33 Games for Church Youth Group


youth group games

It can be quite a challenge when you’re trying to come up with entertaining games for youth groups. They have to be easy enough to learn on the fly but still interesting enough to keep everyone entertained. 

We’ve come up with a great list of games that will keep the youth group entertained while allowing them to bond and get to know each other in a fun way.

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YOUTH GROUP GAMES FOR TEAMWORK

During youth group, you want everyone to have fun, but you also want the games to encourage something. These games encourage teamwork and make everyone work together to reach a common goal.

1. HUMAN KNOT

human knot youth group game

Human knot is a great ice breaker game to play especially at the beginning of your youth group. If there are people who don’t know each other very well this is a great game to play. 

First, get all the players to stand in a big circle. Then, each player must grab one hand from one player and the other from another player. This will form a giant human knot. The goal is to work together to untie yourselves without ever letting go of each other’s hands.!

2. THE KEYPER

the keyper

The keyper is an extremely fun game that will test your youth group’s ninja skills. Choose one player to be the keyper and have them sit on the floor blindfolded. Now, place some keys in front of them, and all the other players stand in a circle around the keyper. One person in the group has to try and sneak into the circle silently, steal the keys and then move back to their own spot. 

If the keyper hears the thief, they should point to where they think the thief is. If they are correct, the thief has to put the keys back, and someone else tries. However, if the thief succeeds, they become the new keyper. The keyper only gets three guesses.

3. SCAVENGER HUNT

scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is always a fun thing to do with any group. You can do it almost anywhere, and the setup is minimal. Simply hide items around an area, then make a list for the group to find. You can split everyone into teams and have them work together. Whichever team finds the most items is the winner. 

4. CAPTURE THE FLAG

Yet another great team game for the youth group is Capture the Flag. The game is simple: split the group into even teams and give each of them a flag. Now, they must hide that flag and try to protect it from the other teams. They must also work together to try and capture the other team’s flags! This game really brings out everyone’s competitiveness, but it is so much fun.

5. CODENAMES

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Codenames have to be one of the best board games out there. Split your group into two teams, red and blue. Now, each team will have a spymaster who will be the one to get their team to guess words. 

Now, set the random words in a 5×5 grid and have the spymasters look at the key. They must try to get their teammates to guess their color words before the opposing team while also avoiding the assassin’s word. They can say one word and one number. The word is the hint, and the number is how many words the clue refers to. 

This is such a fun game, and it is great to see how well teams work together and try to convince each other that they are correct.

6. IN THE NATURE OF THE ADVERB

youth group games - in the nature of the adverb

In the nature of the adverb is another great teamwork game that also helps with creativity. Have the entire youth group stand in a circle and choose one player to be the guesser. The guesser must leave the room, and the rest of the team must choose an adverb. 

Once they have chosen, the guesser can come in and stand in the center of the circle. He now asks the other players to do actions in the nature of the adverb. He then gets three chances to guess the adverb correctly.

7. SIMON SAYS

simon says

Simon says is a classic game that the entire youth group will enjoy. Gather everyone up and have one person be Simon. Then, have Simon give everybody actions to do. If they say, “Simon says,” everyone must do the action. If they don’t, then they shouldn’t. It gets very confusing very quickly, so if you take an action and Simon doesn’t say, “Simon says,” you’re out!

8. TUG OF WAR

tug of war youth group game

You can’t ever leave out tug of war when talking about teamwork games. Everyone has to team up and try to pull the rope away from the other team. If even one person is not doing their part, it can throw off the entire game. 

9. DUCK DUCK GOOSE

duck duck goose

Duck duck goose is a childhood classic for many people. It brings back memories of camp or recess at school. You can play this game either indoors, if there’s enough space or outdoors. Have everyone in the youth group sit in a circle for this game and choose one player to be the tapper. 

Now, he must go around the circle and tap each player on the head, saying, “Duck,” as he taps each player. Then he chooses one and yells, “Goose!” now that player must get up and chase the tapper once around the circle and tag him. If the tapper makes it back to the other player’s spot without being tagged, then the new player becomes the tapper. If he gets tagged before, he will be the tapper again. All the other players have to cheer on whichever player they want.

10. CHARADES

Charades

You didn’t think we would leave charades off the list, did you? You can have several teams depending on how many people are in the youth group. Then, have everyone write down a word or phrase on a piece of paper. Now put all the papers into a hat and one member of the team goes up to the front. 

They now have to mime out the word or phrase on the paper and get their team to guess correctly. Usually, you can have a one-minute timer for each team. Whichever team guesses the most words at the end of the game wins.

OUTDOOR YOUTH GROUP GAMES

Now you might be thinking, what about outdoor games? Well, don’t worry; we have a list of those, too. These games are so much fun to play outdoors, especially when the weather is nice. They will get everyone in the youth group outside to be active while still having fun. 

11. BASEBALL

youth group games baseball

We’ve said it many times before, but you can’t forget about normal sports games as youth group activities. Baseball is considered America’s pastime, so why not let the kids play whenever they have the chance? It encourages teamwork and gets everyone active and involved.

12. WATER BALLOON TOSS

water balloon

The water balloon toss is a summertime favorite. It’s a spin on the egg toss, but you use water balloons instead. Get everyone in teams of two and have them stand a few feet apart. Then, they toss a water balloon back and forth, gradually moving further and further apart. Whoever can go the furthest without popping the balloon is the winning team.

13. THREE-LEGGED RACE 

three legged race

The three-legged race is another great game to play outdoors with the youth group. Split the players into teams of two and have them stand on one side of a field. Then, tie two of their legs together to create three total legs for the team. They must then race to the other side of the field. The fastest team is the winner. 

14. POTATO SACK RACE

sack race

Somewhat similar to the three-legged race is the potato sack race. You can use pillowcases if you don’t happen to know a potato farmer. Get everyone in the youth group to take a pillowcase and stand in it on one side of a field. Then, have them race to the other side by hopping inside the pillowcase! The first person to cross the finish line is the winner. 

15. CORNHOLE

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Cornhole is a Midwest classic that’s gotten super famous worldwide. You can get a proper set or simply use bean bags and buckets. The players will stand on one side of the field and try to toss the bean bags into the cornhole board to score points. The team with the highest score wins.

16. PICKLEBALL

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Pickleball is a great game to play with a youth group because it’s super easy to understand. It’s like a combination of tennis and ping pong. It’s the fastest-growing sport in America, so why not get the kids started early?

17. OUTDOOR BOWLING

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Outdoor bowling is exactly like it sounds. You can get a set and have hours of fun with it. The best part is that you can get several sets for different ages and skill levels.

18. GIANT JENGA

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Everybody loves to play Jenga. It’s quick to set up, and there’s no learning curve. The best part about giant Jenga is that you can get a set that is up to 5 feet tall! This is a classic game that everyone in the youth group will enjoy.

19. VOLLEYBALL

beach volleyball gameplay

Volleyball is a great option for playing outdoors with the youth group. It is fun, and it doesn’t require too much athleticism. Especially when you’re just playing for fun. Simply set up a net anywhere outdoors and start the fun.

20. OBSTACLE COURSE

youth group games obstacle course

An obstacle course is so much fun to play, especially outdoors. You can make it as easy or as difficult as you want. Set up any obstacles and challenges you can think of and let the youth group run through it. The fastest player is the winner.

YOUTH GROUP GAMES FOR SMALL CHILDREN

Ok, so what about when the youth group has more younger children than most? Well, we’ve got some games for that occasion as well. These games cater to a younger audience, but that doesn’t mean older people won’t have fun playing either.

21. CANDYLAND

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Candyland is probably one of the most iconic and fun children’s games out there. It is extremely simple to play, but the illustrations and challenges in the game make it so entertaining. Be the first to reach the candy castle to win.

22. ROCK PAPER SCISSORS TOURNAMENT

rock paper scissors

Rock paper scissors is a game that almost everybody knows how to play. So, one fun thing to do is to turn it into a tournament. It is surprisingly quick, and it is so entertaining to watch or even to join. 

Everyone starts out playing against a random player, then the loser stands behind the winner and cheers them on in their next game. This continues until there are only two players left each with a massive group cheering them on!

23. TELEPHONE

 telephone

Younger children in the youth group will love telephone. Gather the groups into equal teams and have them stand in a line. Then, go to one end of each line and give them a phrase. They must whisper this phrase to the next person, and so on. Finally, when you reach the end, have the last player say the sentence they heard out loud. The massive difference from the beginning to the end will have everyone rolling around with laughter. 

24. WOULD YOU RATHER

would you rather

Would you rather is a very easy game to play in youth group. Have everyone sit in a circle and choose one person to go first. That person should ask a would you rather question to the person on their left. For example, would you rather never be able to eat ice cream, or can you only eat ice cream forever? The other player must answer and elaborate on their answer. Then, they can ask the next question.

25. RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT

red light green light

Yet another classic youth group game to play is red light, green light. The rules are simple. Have one person be the stoplight and stand on one end of a field or room. Everyone else stands on the other side. The stop light turns its back to everyone and yells, “Green light.” 

Now everyone can run towards the stoplight. However once they turn around and yell, “red light” everyone must freeze in place. Anyone caught moving has to go back to the starting line. IF someone manages to tag the stoplight, they become the new one.

26. FREEZE DANCE

youth group games freeze dance

Freeze dance is somewhat similar to red light and green light. The only difference is that you use music to get everyone moving. Everyone spreads out and dances when the music is playing; everyone can dance. However, once it stops, everyone must freeze! If the DJ catches you moving when the music stops, you’re out. The last player standing wins.

27. I SPY

i spy

I Spy is a super easy game that you can play literally anywhere. All you need is some curious players. Choose any random object and say, “I spy with my little eye something…” Then, you can say a color or a letter that describes your chosen item. The rest of the players must guess what it is. The first person to guess correctly is the next player to spy something.

28. BINGO

bingo

Everybody loves bingo, and contrary to popular belief, it is not just a game for senior citizens. The youth group can enjoy this game too. You can print out bingo cards with numbers, or you can print blank cards and fill them out yourself. The winner can win prizes such as candy or toys.

29. HEADS DOWN THUMBS UP

youth group games

This is a game that you may have played in school. It is super fun, and there’s virtually no setup. To start, have seven random players go to the front of the room. Everyone else sits at a desk with their heads down and their thumbs up.

Now, the seven players must go around and each tap one player, who will then put their thumbs down. Once everyone has picked a person, they can go back to the front. Everyone can open their eyes, and the players who have their thumbs down can stand up and try to guess who tapped them.

30. HOT POTATO

hot potato youth group game

Hot potato is another great game to play with the younger members of the youth group. Have them sit in a circle, and you can hand them a ball or beanbag; no, you don’t actually have to use a hot potato. While the music is playing, they must pass the ball around to each other. Once the music stops, the player left holding the “hot potato” is out.

YOUTH GROUP GAMES FOR SERVING OTHERS

We have a couple more games made specifically for the youth group. While it is fun to just play games, there are ways you can use games to help serve others. These games will combine fun with helping others.

31. SERVICE SCAVENGER HUNT

scavenger hunt

The service scavenger hunt is a really fun thing to do to help serve others. Make a scavenger hunt list of things you can do for your community or for others, such as picking up trash or cleaning a window. Then have the youth group go out and do these acts and snap a picture for proof. It gets everyone to do something nice in the community while having fun.

32. BLESSING BAGS

blessing bags

Making blessing bags is so much fun. It encourages the youth group to think about others while making it feel like a fun game. Have them make bags full of things that can help a homeless person. This can include snacks, socks, t-shirts, blankets, and more. 

33. SHINE YOUR LIGHT NIGHT

shine your light youth group games

This is called shine your light because it seems like you are shining a light in a dark world. Have the youth group choose a person in their community who usually serves others, such as a postal worker, lunch staff, grocery store clerks, you name it. 

Once they choose someone, they can write a thank you note to them with one or two specific things that they truly appreciate about them. This makes them really think about what they are grateful to these people for. Then, choose a day to go and hand them out. The smiles this brings are priceless.

If you enjoyed these games, check out our back to school games.

Alan Lemus
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