GAMES AND GROUP ACTIVITIES

In the very likely event that your team will be given the opportunity to spontaneously organize games for children and youth at ministry locations, we have provided a list for you of possible activities designed to be easy and enjoyable.

 

HUMAN KNOT

Number of Players:    6-15

Playing site:         Large open area

Object of game:    To untie the knot of people in the group

To Play:

All the players stand in a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder, and join hands with two other people. No one should hold hands of the same person or join hands with the person next to him. Now, everyone tries to untangle the human knot and end up in a huge circle. They cannot break grip with other hands but pivoting hands is allowed. The players may crawl over, under and through one another in order to untie the knot.

 

ISLANDS

Number of Players:    10+

Materials:    Several Frisbees (or other similar objects that can be stationary on the ground)

Playing site:     Large open area

Object:        To touch a Frisbee without touching anyone else

To Play:

A few Frisbees are placed on the ground. One person acts as the referee. The other players run around the area singing. When the leader says, “Islands!” everyone runs to touch a Frisbee. The last person to touch a Frisbee is out. Any two people that touch each other in the process of getting to the Frisbee are also out.  As people are eliminated, some of the Frisbees are removed until there is only one left.

 

Shepherd and Wolf

Number of Players:    10-50

Playing site:         Large open area

Object:            For the sheep to reach the shepherd without being captured by the wolf

To Play:

The leader of the game designates one player to be the “shepherd” and other to be the “wolf.” The remaining players are “sheep.” If the group is large, perhaps over 15 or 20, more than one wolf and shepherd can be chosen.

The sheep all line up at one end of the field. The shepherd is at the other end, with the wolf between them. The shepherd calls his sheep by name, two or three at a time. (This game is really funny if you have the sheep make “baaaaa” noises while they are running down the field.) The try to reach him without being caught by the wolf. When a sheep is caught by the wolf, he is taken to the wolf’s “den,” a designated portion of the field, such as a tree or a corner. The shepherd may go to the den and rescue the sheep only when the wolf is not there, and the wolf may go to the shepherd’s fold to capture sheep only when the shepherd is not there.

When the last stray sheep is either caught by the wolf or reaches the shepherd, the number of sheep each  is totaled. If the wolf has a greater number than the shepherd, he wins. If the shepherd has more sheep than the wolf, the shepherd wins.

 

FREEZE DANCE

Number of Players:        Any

Materials:            Music player or person making music.

Playing site:             Medium to large open area, inside or outside

Object of game:        To remain in the game as long as possible without getting “out”

To Play:

Choose one person to be in charge of the music. When the music starts, everyone else dances, the crazier the better. When the music stops, the dancers must freeze in their position. Anyone caught moving after that is out. Play continues until there is one person left, the winner.

 

CARDBOARD RELAY

Number of Players:    10+

Materials:  2 pieces of cardboard, about 10 inches square for each team (the more players you have, the more teams you can create)

Playing site: Large open area (mostly successful on dry ground. If it is very wet, consider using sturdy cardboard or plastic)

Object: To have all of your team to the goal and return before the other team does

To Play:

The players are divided into two teams. A goal is established for each team so that each team will have the same distance to travel to get to it. The teams stand in lines facing their respective goals. The first person in line for each team is given two pieces of cardboard. The first member of each team goes to his goal and back, walking on his pieces of cardboard. He does this by picking up a piece of cardboard with each step and placing it in front of the food with which he is about to step. When he returns to his team, the next person does the same thing, and in turn the rest of the team, until one team has all its members go to the goal and back. That team wins.

 

DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE

Number of Players:        5-25

Playing site:             Large open area

Object of game:        For “it” to tag a player

To Play:

All players except “it” are seated in a circle on the floor (or ground). “It” walks around the outside of the circle tapping the head of each player he passes. With each tap he says either “duck” or “goose.” (Feel free to use the language of the country you are in so they understand what is being said.) If he says “duck” no response is required. However, when “it” says “goose,” the player being tapped tries to tag “it.” “It” flees, running in one direction only around the circle until he reaches the spot formerly occupied by the pursuing player. If he succeeds in sitting in the unoccupied spot without being tagged, the pursuer becomes the new “it” and play resumes as before. If the pursuer tags “it” during the chase, then “it” must sit in the middle of the circle until another player gets tagged and replaces him.

 

EENY-EINY-OVER

Number of Players:    6-20

Materials:    Rubber gym ball (or soft rubber ball)

Playing site:     Rectangular one-story house with a good yard for groups of people to run     all the way around the house

Object:        To capture all the members of the opposing team

To Play:

One team has the ball and throws it over the house shouting “Eeny-einy-over!” The throwers then run clockwise around the house and try to tag as many members of the receiving team as possible. Meanwhile, the receiving team must get the ball and run clockwise around the house to avoid being caught. They are considered free if they get around the first corner of the house without getting tagged. If a person is tagged, he joins the other team.

If the ball does not make it over when thrown, there is no penalty. The throwers simply try again. Play ends when all players are on the same team.

 

LAZARUS RACE

Number of Players:        8-40

Materials:    Rubber gym ball (or soft rubber ball)

Playing site:     Rectangular one-story house with a good yard for groups of people to run     all the way around the house

Object:        To capture all the members of the opposing team

To Play:

Form four teams. Have each team stand in a circle and pick one person to be Lazarus. Have Lazarus stand in the middle of the circle. On "go," have each team use one roll of toilet paper to wrap Lazarus. The first team to finish wrapping up Lazarus with the entire roll wins in round one. Have each Lazarus stand still until all four Lazaruses are wrapped up. Then call out, "Lazarus, come forth!" The first Lazarus to free him- or herself of all the toilet paper is the winner in round two.

Play as many times as time and toilet paper supplies allow.

 

HAGOO

Number of Players:        10-30

Playing site:             Open area, inside or outside

Object of game:        To walk the gauntlet without smiling or laughing

To Play:

Players are divided into two teams which line up in rows facing each other, forming the gauntlet. Two players, one from each team, stand at opposite ends of the gauntlet and bow to each other, calling “Hagoo.” “Hagoo” means “come here” in the language of the Flingit Indians of Alaska, who invented the game. The two players walk toward each other each maintaining eye contact, then pass each other and walk to the end of the line. Both players try to keep a straight face the whole time. In the meantime, players forming the gauntlet are trying their best to make the challengers laugh without touching them. The challengers who walk the gauntlet successfully rejoin their own team. Those who smile or laugh join the opposing team. The games ends when there is only one team, or when the players can take no more from excessive laughter.

 

FIND THE LEADER

Number of Players:    10-30

Object of game:    To guess who is directing the group to change from one motion to another

To Play:

One person is chosen to be “it” and is then sent out of the room. One of the people left in the group is chosen to be the leader. The leader of the group directs the group in some kind of simple motion (i.e. hand-clapping, thumb-twiddling, whistling, tongue-clicking, etc.). All others in the group imitate the leader so everyone is doing the same thing, together.

It” is called back into the room and stands in the middle of the circle the others have formed. The leader changes the motion repeatedly, a new motion about every 10-15 seconds. He and the others in the group try to keep together so that they leader remains inconspicuous.

As the group goes through the pattern of motions, “it” tries to guess who the leader is. “It” gets only three guesses. If “it” doesn’t figure out who the leader is, he has to be “it” again (maximum of two times). The leader always becomes the next “it.”

 

BRIDGE BALL

Number of Players:        8-12 per circle

Materials:            1-2 soccer balls per circle

Object of game:        To score the least amount of points

To Play:

Players are in circle formation, facing in. Each is in wide straddle step with the side of the foot against their neighbor’s. The hands are on the knees. The object of the game is to throw one of the balls between the legs of any player before they can get their hands down and stop it. Each time the ball goes between the legs of an individual, a point is scored against that individual. The players having the least points against them are the winners. Be sure the players catch and roll the ball rather than bat it. Players must keep their hands on their knees until a ball is thrown at them and their feet must remain spread out to maintain the shape of the bridge.

 

CAT AND MOUSE

Number of Players:        8-25 per circle

Object of game:        For the cat to tag the mouse when they are outside the circle

To Play:

This fun game is good for outdoors or indoors if you have enough space. Select someone to become the “Mouse” and someone to be the “Cat.” Have the rest of the class form a circle while holding hands. Instruct the kids that no matter what they have to remain holding hands. The “Mouse” goes inside the circle and the “Cat” goes outside the circle. The “Mouse” goes in and out of the circle under the players arms while the “Cat” tries to tag him. The “Cat” cannot go in the circle. When the “Mouse” gets tagged he becomes the new “Cat” and the first “Cat” joins the children. Another child gets to be the Mouse. You could change the names of the two main players to David and Goliath if you like.

 

SAMPLE MINISTRY TEMPLATE

Most teams have the opportunity to conduct a VBS-type ministry day with children at our local churches. In the event that your team is asked to do this, you can use this template below to develop your plan. The following information is based on a five lesson series for elementary to middle school age children. The lessons can be used as a series of individual lessons or all together, as needed. Your team leader will have more resources related to this series. This information is to be used as a template. You can use the material as presented or you can customize it to fit other stories. You will need to make adjustments based on the situation (number of kids, ages, language, culture, materials, space available etc.). Important Note: Be sure that all songs, crafts and activities are culturally appropriate! Check with your team leader or in-country staff to discuss further before the event begins.

This is a suggested format for each lesson. Depending on group size these activities may have to be done in station form.

Activate (Steps 1-5) 20-30 minutes

Communicate (Steps 6-8) 25-35 minutes

Hands On (Step 9) 20-40 minutes

Wrap Up (Steps 10-12) 10-15 minutes

 

1 - Welcome Time

2 - Activity

3 - Personal Story

4 - Songs (with motions)

5 - Experiential Game & Questions

6 - Bible Lesson & Questions

7 - Story Illustration & Questions

8 - Prayer

9 - Craft

10 - Challenge

11 - Recap

12 - Dismiss

 

Lesson 1:  Sharing

Main Idea:  Sharing brings joy into our lives and pleases God.

Scripture:  Isaiah 58:7-10

Story Illustration:  Luke 16:19-31

Lesson 2: Obedience

Main Idea:  Obeying God pleases God and shows our love for him.

Scripture & Illustration:  The story of Jonah

Lesson 3:  Self Control

Main Idea:  God wants us to have self-control and flee temptation

Scripture:  Genesis 39 – Joseph & Potiphar’s Wife

Lesson 4:  Courage

Main Idea:  Be courageous, God is in charge.

Scripture:  Daniel 3:1-18

Lesson 5:  Encouragement

Main Idea:  God wants us to encourage each other.

Scripture:  Ephesians 3

 

7 Song Ideas:

1) Father Abraham

2) Deep and Wide

3) I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy

4) Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

5) He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

6) Rise and Shine (and Give God the Glory Glory)

7) My God is so BIG

 

7 Craft Ideas:

1) Salvation bracelets

2) Personalized picture frames

3) Beaded bracelets and necklaces

4) Yarn crosses

5) Paper sack puppets

6) Scripture bookmarks

7) Coloring book pages