In this article, we will look at several easy youth group games that your kids, teens, and even young adults will love. Most of these games are no prep and little to no materials…
Youth group games or youth fellowship games are an important aspect of youth group gatherings. These games help break the ice for groups who do not know each other, build camaraderie and trust in the group, and are a fantastic way for the kids to have fun together.
Youth ministry is a blast! As a teen, I was heavily involved in my youth group, first as a student and then as a youth leader, and I always loved it when they planned games for us. I also led a young adult group for a few years. Whether on a Wednesday night at church, during camps, outings, or more…playing games was such a fun way to connect with each other.
Everyone who leads a youth group or helps to lead a youth group must know some good, low-prep games for the group to play. Playing games can help fill time, lift the group’s mood, and develop a sense of unity among the kids or teens. I also have noticed it helps shy kids connect with other kids.
Youth group games do not need to be difficult, expensive, or fancy. And they can be easily modified to suit any group. Some games are more physically demanding than others, and some are so simple that they can be played in tiny groups or break your group. Remember, these games do not need to be intense to be fun. Sometimes simple games for youth are the best.
If you are looking for more team building or icebreaker games, which tend to work great for youth groups too. Check out these posts below:
- 6 Quick Team Building Games to Energize your Team
- 9 Team Building Activities for the Classroom
- 7 Christmas Team Building Activities Everyone Will Love
- 7 Fun & Easy Ice Breakers to Jazz Up Your Event
- 8 Super Quick Ice Breakers for Meetings
Easy Church Youth Group Games
We have listed 7 of the best and easiest youth group games, the materials you need, and how many people are required to play the game well. These games for youth groups are good for junior high, high school, and college-age kids.
Group Size Required: Good for all group sizes. It can be done on a large scale or break up your group into smaller teams.
Materials Required: Something to draw on and something to draw with. If you are doing it in a large setting, try grabbing a chalkboard or a dry erase board.
Pictionary is a classic youth group game that any size group can play. If the group is large, they can be split into two groups to play the game.
Pictionary requires one person to draw an image, and the rest of the group must guess what the person is drawing as they go. A time limit of 60 seconds is put in place, and the person whose image is guessed correctly in the least time wins.
How To Play Pictionary
- Gather the group around the drawing surface.
- One person thinks of something funny and simply begins to draw the image.
- Start a timer for 60 seconds as the person starts to draw.
- The rest of the group calls out what they think the person is drawing until a guess is correct.
- Whoever’s drawing is guessed the quickest wins.
Group Size Required: Good for any sized group, but 5+ players are preferred.
Materials Required: None.
Charades is another classic game that everyone should be familiar with.
This game requires one person to act out a phrase, word, place, person, animal, action, movie, character, scene, or experience without making any sounds. There is a time limit, and the person can act out suggestions and clues along the way.
A fun twist for youth groups is to give the kids Bible characters or scenes from the Bible to act out.
The player who’s acting is guessed in the least time wins.
How To Play Charades
- Gather the group in a central location, and choose one person to start the game.
- Provide the player with something to act out, and give them 30 seconds to think about.
- Start a timer for 60 seconds as the player begins to act.
- The rest of the group must guess what the person is acting out.
- The person who’s acting is guessed in the least time wins.
3. Guess The Person
Group Size Required: At least two people.
Materials Required: Paper, pens, and Fun-Tac.
This game is perfect for youth groups and requires very little effort and no physical exertion, which means it is ideal for all ages and groups. Guess The Person is a hilarious game that can be made especially fun for youth groups.
This game is played by writing the names of famous people, Bible characters, or characters from pop culture onto paper strips. The group is then split into pairs, and each person randomly chooses a slip of paper and sticks it to their forehead with the Fun-Tac.
Each player must try to guess their character based on answers to questions they ask their partner. The players may only ask “am I?” questions until they guess their character. The person who guesses their character with the fewest questions wins.
How To Play Guess The Person:
- Divide the players into pairs.
- Write the names of the Bible or other characters onto slips of paper and stick them onto the foreheads of the players.
- Players guess their character based on answers to “Am I?” questions, such as “am I from the Bible?” or “am I in the New Testament?”
- Whoever guesses their character with the fewest questions wins.
- The winner of every pair plays against another winner until one overall winner is established.
4. S.P.U.D or SPUD
Group Size Required: Medium or large group.
Materials Required: A larger ball, such as a basketball or soccer ball.
S.P.U.D is a more physical game than the others on the list, but this game is great fun for all youth groups, especially larger groups with access to a large space to play in.
Ideally, S.P.U.D. should be played with people in a group of similar age and size to prevent smaller children from competing with the bigger children. So, I wouldn’t recommend like a mix of the junior youth group with the teen youth group.
The nature of the game requires the children to have a certain level of ball skills, which means it is probably suitable for children from the ages of 8 years and older.
How To Play S.P.U.D
- Gather all players in a circle, and elect one person to start.
- The starter throws the ball up in the air and shouts out a person’s name from the circle while other players run away.
- The person whose name was called returns for the ball while the others continue running.
- The nominated player must catch the ball after it has bounced once and calls out “stop,” All other players must stop in place.
- The person with the ball gets four SPUD steps – large steps without jumping, to move toward the closest person while spelling out the word S. P. U. D.
- The player with the ball must throw the ball at another person after staking the SPUD steps.
- If the ball hits, the player is out. If the ball misses, the thrower is out.
- The ball is only allowed to hit a player below the waist, or the hit is illegal.
- The players who ran are allowed to dodge the ball, but they are not allowed to move from their place.
- Rebounds hits are permitted so long as the ball hits the player below the waist.
- Every player that the ball hits below the waist is out.
- Repeat the game until a winner is established – the last player left.
Groups Size Required: Large group.
Materials Required: A large area with hiding places.
Sardines is a twist on the classic Hide and Seek game and is perfect for larger youth groups. The game is suitable for people of all ages and can be adapted to include children of all ages in the same game.
While the game can be played at any time of day, it is best to play it in the evening or at night, when darkness falls, to provide more options for hiding and avoiding detection. This is a blast during camps or lock-ins at church.
The twist from hide-and-seek is that the person nominated as “it” is the one who runs and hides rather than the one who does the seeking.
How To Play Sardines
- Nominate one player as “it’.”
- This player has 60 seconds to hide while the others cover their eyes and ears.
- When the timer expires, the group must seek the hidden player.
- Each individual that finds the person hiding must join them in the hiding place until the players are packed in like sardines.
- Players must try to remain as silent and invisible as possible.
- Distractions and misdirection are allowed.
- If played at night, flashlights are not permitted.
- All hiding places must be safe for multiple people.
- Players may hide indoors and outdoors.
- The last person to find the group becomes the new “it” person to hide, and the game repeats.
6. Two Truths And A Lie
Groups Size Required: Large or small group.
Materials Required: Nothing
Two Truths And A Lie is a fun game that can help kids and leaders get to know each other better. And the best thing about this game is there is no prep, and it can be done inside or outside.
How To Play Two Truths And A Lie
- One by one, let each person in the circle says three statements about him/herself. Two of the statements must be true facts about themselves. For example: “I have a golden retriever dog,” One statement must be a lie. The goal is to make it hard for the others to guess which one is the lie.
- After sharing their statements, the group must guess which one is the lie.
Groups Size Required: 6 or more
Materials Required: Nothing
I have fond memories of playing Mafia with my youth group. It’s a simple game but a little more complex than games like two truths and a lie. This one goes really well with teens and older youth. It’s what I like to call a cool youth group game. In the group, you will have five different roles:
Leader – This is the game master who leads the game play and gives instructions. This can be a youth leader or a youth pastor.
Mafia – This person works in secret to take our villagers.
Doctor – This person can save people from the Mafia
Detective – This person learns the player’s identities in secret.
Villagers – This is everyone else who is playing, and they will try to figure out who the mafia is and vote them out.
How To Play Mafia
- Have your group sit in a circle and close their eyes (no cheating!). Then the leader will instruct the students that they will touch one person on the top of their head, and this person shall become the mafia.
- Once the leader does that, they will announce that they will pick the doctor in the same manner. After that, they will pick out the detective the same way. All the other players are villagers.
- Now you can start your first round. Each round is the same and is played as follows:
The leader asks everyone to shut their eyes. Then asks the mafia to open their eyes (we usually say “wake up mafia” and silently point out who they want to kill (kidnap is a good exchange for younger youth). Then the leader asks the mafia to close their eyes again.
After the mafia closes their eyes, the leader asks the doctor to wake up. They open their eyes and are allowed to silently point at one person and save them from the mafia. Once done, they close their eyes.
Then the leader will ask the detective to wake up and open their eyes. They can silently point and accuse someone of being in the mafia. The leader will nod yes or no if the person picked is the mafia. The detective then closes their eyes.
Now, the leader will ask everyone to open their eyes, and he/she will make up a funny, creative story about how the murder took place. They will mention if the doctor saved the right person or not. If the doctor was wrong, that person is killed off and is not allowed to comment/play in the game anymore.
This is when the fun begins! The youth will now accuse certain individuals of being in the mafia, and these people will try to plead with them that they are innocent. The leader should help them narrow it down to one person. That one person will go to trial. Everyone votes with a show of hands. If the majority votes that they think this person is the mafia, then the person dies. If it wasn’t, then the killed an innocent villager; if it is the mafia the town has won and the game is over.
Play as many rounds until the mafia is found!
These games are great fun for youth groups and can be played by groups of all ages. The more physical games, such as S.P.U.D and Sardines, are better for larger groups, but a group of any size and age can enjoy every game we have mentioned here.
And some of these will be a real blessing to your junior highers and teens. It will help you learn more about the kids you have in your group and help them connect better with others kids and with leadership.
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…