In this article, we will explore some fun indoor youth group games you can play when it’s cold, rainy, or just not possible for your youth to be outside. These games will work for kids, junior higher, and teens…
Games are important in youth groups. Playing fun games together breaks the ice, encourages social connection, builds trust, and keeps the camp fun and interesting. Learning a few fun indoor games is essential for all youth leaders to have under their belt.
Not every youth group game is a hit, so it is important to try a few until you find the best games for your group. Every youth group is different, and kids of various ages respond to games differently.
Take the time to explore and experiment with these games until you find the types of indoor games that your group enjoys.
Indoor games are excellent for rainy days, youth meetings in winter, or any youth meetings where outdoor games are not an option. We used to play a ton of indoor games during our winter camps.
Just because you are inside doesn’t mean it won’t be fun. Indoor games can be a great way to get kids active and energetic. Plus, they are usually very easy to set up and execute.
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Fun Indoor Youth Group Games
Youth group games can be challenging to do well, but if you take the time to explore some options, you are sure to find the best games for your group and the best games to use regarding set up and pack up for you doing it for a camp or during an event like a youth conference.
Let’s explore some of the best indoor youth group games, regardless of the season or weather. These games are fun and interactive, suitable for all ages, and very easy to do.
Some games may require extra materials and prep time, but they are all great fun, and your youth group will love playing them!
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This game is similar to hide-and-seek, but it has a twist. Rather than the group hiding and one person seeking, one person hides, and the group seeks. When the hiding place is found, the group packs into the hiding place like sardines until the game is over.
Sardines can be played with small or large groups and requires no materials other than a large space to find hiding places. It works great for youth groups with younger students like junior high, but it also works great for high schoolers. We played this a lot during camps and lock-ins at the church.
How to play sardines:
- Gather the youth group, and elect one person to be the first sardine.
- The group closes their eyes, giving the sardine 90 seconds to hide.
- When the timer is finished, the group must spread out quickly to find the sardine.
- When a player finds the sardine, they hide in the same place until all but one player has found the hiding spot.
- The last player to find the sardines becomes the first sardine in the next round.
The Floor Is Lava
The floor is lava is an excellent indoor game that can be played with any size group and with basic items already on hand.
The game’s object is to stay off the floor by moving various objects from a start point to an endpoint above the ‘lava.’
How to play the floor is lava:
- Set up an obstacle course in a straight line using furniture, pillows, boxes, and any other objects that will support a person’s weight.
- The players must move from the start of the course to the end without touching the floor. The course can be made as easy or difficult as you want.
- Each player is timed as they move through the obstacle course.
- If a player touches the floor rather than an object, they get 10 seconds added to their time. Players who fall off an object into the ‘lava’ are disqualified from the round.
- The player with the quickest time wins.
What’s Different is a fun youth group game that requires no extra materials and can be played with any size group. This game can be played in any room, but it is best to use a room with many objects. It can be played as teams or as individuals.
Quack relies on memory and is an excellent way to get quiet junior highers and teens out of their shells and interact with the group, as it is very easy to play and requires no physical experience or prowess.
How to play What’s Different:
- Gather the group together in one room, and tell the group to scan the room and take a mental note of everything they see.
- Play a round of rock, paper, and scissors to determine the player who begins the game.
- The person who begins the game must leave the room for 90 seconds while the rest of the group changes three things in the environment.
- No more than three changes can be made unless the game is played in larger groups.
- The player who left the room is called back in, and they have 90 seconds to identify the changes that the group made.
- The player who identifies the most changes wins. If there are multiple players who identify the three changes, the game repeats with these players, but the number of changes is increased until there is a winner.
Marshmallow Tower is an excellent indoor youth group game that can be played by groups of any age and size. However, it is best to play this game with multiple small groups, so the more people there are to play, the better.
This game requires two bags of marshmallows and a box of raw spaghetti per team.
How to play Marshmallow Tower:
Gather the materials:
◦ Spaghetti (uncooked)
- Separate the group into teams of three or four, and allocate two bags of marshmallows and one box of raw spaghetti to each team. Each team must come up with a name for themselves.
- The teams must use marshmallows and raw pasta to build a tower. They can use any design they choose, and the tower can be as large and complex as they want it to be.
- The teams are allowed ten minutes to build their tower, and the best tower wins.
- Extra points can be won by creativity, sturdiness, complexity, and innovation.
Blob is a fun form of tag that is excellent for playing indoors. This game is best played by larger groups, as the bigger the group is, the funnier and more challenging this game is.
All you need is a large space to play in and many players!
How to play Blob:
- Gather the group in a large room, and decide who is first to be ‘it’ by playing rock, paper, scissors, or odds-and-evens.
- The group forms a large circle around the player chosen to be ‘it.’
- At the count of three, the group must run away from the ‘it’ player, who must try to catch the other players one by one.
- When a player is tagged, they hold the hand or link the arm with the first ‘it,’ and they become the first member of the blob.
- When any player is tagged, they join the blob. All the players joined to the blob must run and work together to tag the rest of the group and grow the blob.
- The game is over when every player is absorbed into the blob, and the last player tagged wins.
Donuts On A String
Donuts On A String will have your youth rolling in laughter. This fun game is not just fun to play but fun to watch. Depending on the size of your group, you can figure out what is the best plan of action for how many youths will be participating and how many donuts you will need.
The Ready Whip is optional, but I highly recommend it as it adds to the messy faces!
Here is how to play Donuts On A String:
Gather the materials:
◦ Long piece of string
◦ Ready Whip Cream (optional)
◦ Drop cloth (optional but HIGHLY Recommended)
• Have an adult or student leader hold each end of the string, and place one donut on it.
• Invite youth to participate in the game. Their objective is to eat the donut off the string without using their hands. Place a drop cloth underneath each player to catch any dripping whip cream and falling donuts.
• Once everyone is in place, have the leader say, “Ready, Set, Wait!” This is because it’s time to break out the can of cream and cover each of the donuts with it. Then proceed with your…”Ready, Set, Go!”
• If a donut falls off the string and hits the floor, that player is out. The last person left with a donut on their string wins!
• To take this game up a notch, have the leaders swing or wiggle the strong with the donuts on them. Or you can blindfold the players, which is hilarious to watch.
Crab Soccer is a lot of fun. And your youth will love it! Plus it will burn out a lot of energy. And lets be real, sometimes you need them to get those jitters out so when it’s time to focus they can!
It requires a large open indoor space, a yoga or stability ball, two teams of at least five players, and objects to set up as goals.
Here is how to play Crab Soccer:
Gather the materials:
◦ Yoga Ball
◦ Objects to set goalposts
- The group is split evenly into two teams, and goals are established at opposite ends of the room.
- The players must sit on the floor and lift themselves up onto their hands and feet with their chests up. This places each player in a crab-like position. Every player must remain in ‘crab mode’ while playing the game.
- The game is played like regular soccer, except there are no goalkeepers.
- The players must work together to score goals with the yoga ball while remaining in crab mode.
- The team with the most goals in 15 minutes wins.
Musical chairs is a classic game that people forget to play because they think it’s for smaller kids. But let me tell you…teens love it! When I was a teen we would play this with our huge youth group and it was a BLAST. It’s so funny to see people’s reactions and leaders can have a lot of fun choosing wacky music.
Here is how to play Musical Chairs:
Gather the materials:
◦ Chairs (enough for everyone except one person)
- Place the chairs in a circle. Just make sure the room is large enough for everyone to move around freely.
- Make sure chairs are facing outward in a circle with one fewer chair than there are people playing, so that when all of the chairs are filled, there will still be one person standing.
- Choose fun, wacky music and make sure all the players know it.
- Have a leader in charge of the music.
- Players must move around the chairs as quickly as possible, walking/dancing until the music stops.
- When the music stops, each player must attempt to sit down on one of the chairs.
- The person left standing is then out of the game, and one chair is removed from the circle.
- The remaining players continue until only one winner is left!
Playing games indoors with a youth group can feel challenging, but if you choose the right games for your group, they are great fun that the kids are sure to enjoy!
All of these games are ideal for playing indoors, but they can be easily adapted to outdoors on sunny days, and they can be played with almost any size group. Have fun with these games, make them your own by adding extra rules and challenges, and no youth camp will ever be boring again!
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…