DCE John Hagge of St. James Lutheran Church, Montague, Mich., provides the following activities to facilitate family-building in your youth group. Have fun!

The Ex-MO Relay (Extremely Made-Over)

In this game, students take off the “old self” and put on the “new self,” conveying that as Christians, our spiritual journeys begin with Baptism (Matt. 28:19, Col. 3:9-10


Enough squirt guns for each person
A plastic bucket to hold the squirt guns
A set of very large shirts and pants (to put on and take off). One set per group


In groups of five or more, stand in a line. The first person in the line puts on the shirt and pants, takes them off and hands them to the next person. The next person can not put the clothes on until the shirt and pants are off the first person. Each participant must put on and take off the clothes and when each person in the group finishes the whole group goes to its bucket. Each group member takes a squirt gun and empties it out on the members of their group, only in the face! The first group to empty its guns is the winner. Winners get to keep the guns and also receive a bag of candy.

Mascot Mania (mixer)

In this game, students are marked with a crazy mascot and identified as that image. Connections can be drawn to the Mark of the Cross we receive in our Baptisms (Gen. 1:37 & 1 Peter 3:21).


Index cards
Masking tape


Choose your favorite professional, college, or high school sports mascot and put draw or print its name on an index card. Pass your card to the youth leader.

The leader redistributes the cards by taping them on the backs of the people assembled in the room. Each youth is then to identify the mascot on his or her own back by asking yes or no questions of the other people in the group. Winners are those who correctly figure out their own mascots.

Basketball Blitz

This event is much the same as a Crazy Olympics except you use only basketballs. You may have relays, best shot contests, or crazy races using a basketball. It is possible to apply the following Scripture about sacrifice and working hard toward a goal to this activity: Phil. 3:12, Heb. 10:32,

12:1, 1 Cor. 9:25, II Tim. 2:5.

Some suggestions include:

  • Free Throws (best out of 10)
  • Dribbling relay (race down and back-pass to next person)
  • Crazy shot (shoot a basket in a crazy way and make it)
  • Dribble between the legs relay (those who can do this easily must dribble with “opposite hand”)
  • “HORSE” contests (or PIG, DORK, etc.)
  • Throw for distance (boys & girls divisions)
  • Basketball spin on a flat surface (winner is the one who can spin for the longest period of time)
  • Basketball bounce on head relay (use a “nerf” or playground ball and race down and back only bouncing the ball on head)
  • Two person bounce pass relay (two players run and bounce pass, down and back, and pass off to next pair)
  • Half court shot contest or farthest shot made.

These are just 10 ideas to use for your Basketball Blitz night.  You can make up your own games and “have a ball!”

Crazy Olympics

This is an all-afternoon event that is very similar to a sports field day. Brainstorm ideas for running, relay, and field events for your “meet.”  Connections can be made to Phil. 3:12 and running the marathon of faith.

Suggestions include:

Field events:

  • Marshmallow “put” – the one to “shot put” a marshmallow the farthest wins
  • Paper airplane throw
  • Frisbee toss into an old tire
  • Water balloon roll (roll till it breaks; winner is the farthest roll without breaking)
  • Straw javelin toss (farthest toss wins)

Relays/Running events:

  • Clothes relay (put on/take off)
  • Balloon over/under relay (over your head to under/between your legs to over your head and so forth)
  • Penny Drop (put a penny between your knees and walk 15 feet; drop the penny into a bottle or cup; run back, next person goes)
  • Pass the Fruit: fruit under chin; pass to next person with chins only; NO hands (orange or grapefruit)
  • Yard Dash:  the one who can eat a long string of red licorice the fastest wins


Everyone likes kites; at least if you can get them up into the air. This kite mosaic event begins by giving each youth a plain white plastic kite, which can be purchased through Oriental Trading Company. Each youth can decorate his or her kite anyway he or she wishes with markers, streamers, stickers, glue, yarn, paint (spray or brush), confetti, string, etc. 

Display each kite and take pictures before they all see “flight.” Have a contest and provide prizes for the best-looking, ugliest, cutest, prettiest, most manly, etc. Make up awards so everyone in your group gets one!

The next step is to fly these kites on a day shortly after you have made them and take a lot of pictures of the whole event. Then assemble all the kites together so they look like a wide and long graffiti board. Take pictures and create a bulletin board and slide show presentations with the results.

Connections can be made to the following passages from Scripture: Genesis 1; 1 Peter 2:9 & 10, Is. 45:18; Ecc. 3:11; John 13, Heb. 12; Rev. 14:7; Jer. 1:4-5.
Published April 2006