Here are 3 easy games to keep in your back pocket.
At some point this summer, it’s going to happen. You will need a game to bail you out in a pinch. It won’t be during your mid-week program because you’ve planned that well in advance (you have planned that well in advance, right?). Instead, it will be when the church bus breaks down, or when the entire group is gathered in the parking lot waiting for the late-comer to arrive, or when an unexpected thunderstorm at camp forces everybody into the chapel for 30 minutes. And while youth ministry is notorious for presenting us with unpredictable moments, we can be prepared in advance to make the most of them! Here are three super easy games, that need zero supplies, that can be played in a pinch.
1. The “Look Up” Game. Admittedly this game could use a more creative title, but it’s way more fun than the title suggests. It’s a simple elimination game in which everybody stands in a circle (this works best with twenty or less players, if your group is larger than that, simply make more circles and run several games simultaneously) with a clear view of everybody else. Players look at their toes and close their eyes. On the count of three everybody instantly looks up and stares directly at somebody else in the circle. If you are staring at a person who is staring at you…you are both out. And the game continues. The last person/people standing are declared the winner(s). This game moves super fast and for some reason is a crowd pleaser every time.
2. Counting Chaos. This game works best with larger crowds, but it’s surprisingly difficult and fun even in a smaller setting. The concept is simple: As a group, you must try to count to twenty out loud with a different person yelling out each number. Sounds easy, right? Here’s the catch: Any time two people yell out the same number, the group has to start over again. I recently played this game in a room with about 150 adults and we could never get higher than THREE before needing to start again.
3. What Are The Odds? This game requires a level of supervision to ensure things don’t get out of hand, but it’s hilarious. Here’s how it works: One player asks another “What are the odds you would __________________”? For example: What are the odds you would sing the national anthem right now in front of everybody? Or, What are the odds you would stand on this chair and yell, “I’m The King of the World!” at the top of your lungs? Etc. The other player then decides the odds: 1-5, 1-10, 1-50, etc. Obviously, the more embarrassing the challenge the higher odds the second player wants to declare. Once the second player declares the odds, the fun ensues! On the count of three, both players yell out any number within the “odds” (1-5, 1-10, 1-50, etc.) If both players yell out the SAME number, the player who declared the odds has to perform the challenge. More cautious players will always pick higher odds, while the students who love the attention and are risk-takers will almost always choose lower odds. You can be a “referee” by ensuring the challenges are appropriate and helping decide (based on the challenge, and the personality of player #2) if the odds picked were fair.
So what are the odds you’ll unexpectedly need to fill some time this summer? About 1-1!