It seems every youth group within the span of time has played the common ice breaker game, "I Have Never" or "Train Wreck". This game is a simple variation of this, sure to please!
"Spots" for each participant (rubber markers, paper plates, shoes, etc.)
"Mashies" for each participant, something soft (small pillows or socks may be acceptable)
Find an open space where participants can stand in a circle, with some room for movement.
Have participants stand in a circle and ask them to take a small step back, to allow for room, and ask them to stand on their "spot".
Have one participant (or you, the leader) remove their spot and stand in the middle.
When play starts, the person in the middle will state a true fact about themselves (ie. I like the color blue; I've dropped a phone in the lake; I've got 5 sisters).
If this particular fact is also a true statement for another participant in the middle, they are to step off of their "spot" and use their "mashie" to hit the person in the middle.
That person (as well as the person in the middle) then needs to pick up a different "mashie" and return to a "spot"
Whoever is left without a "mashie" is the new person in the middle.
In these kinds of activities, there can arise circumstances in which play gets "Out of Hand". Consider these RULES when explaining:
The mashie is to strike the person above the waist, and below the neck. Participants not doing so may be eligible to "sit this one out".
Strike the participant at an appropriate velocity. If you pull a muscle, you may have thrown too hard (don't try to hit the person as hard as you can).
Instead of the person in the middle stating a true fact, consider these alternatives:
The person stating something they have never done, and participants coming up if they have (ie. I've never been fishing; I've never eaten spaghetti; I've never had fake teeth)
The person names a location they've been (New York, a bathroom, Lincoln Street)
The person names something they've eaten before (Pizza, Anchovies, Menudo)
Access to Twitter and a Computer before the event.
3 noise making implements (cow bell, bicycle horn, shaker, etc.)
Before the event, go on to twitter, and find "Tweets" from different organizations, people, places, other congregation members, etc.
Set up the play area by placing three chairs next to each other, with a noise maker on each chair.
Break the group up into 3 teams, with one player sitting in the chair, and the rest of the players lined up behind them.
Name 3 choices, then read the "tweet". The player plays their "noisemaker" to ring in, then names which of the choices authored that writing.
Correct answer is 10 points, and another team may also buzz in and try if the first team gets it wrong.
Rotate through players, doing as much trivia as you can.
Find some that are pictures tweeted by that person to show
Find celebrities, and share a series of three tweets (Name that Tweeter)
If you're following up with a devotion or Bible Study, end the game with tweets that may apply (pros or cons to the topic, religious type quotes, etc.)
Get into a discussion regarding public opinion and how words impact others.
Serve It Up
Spoon and serving utencils of different shapes and sizes (teaspoons, tablespoons, slotted spoons, ladle, spatula, etc.). The more and the more random, the merrier.
Small round-ish objects, about 50-100 total (marbles, small bounce balls, cotton balls)
At least 3 "Home Bases" (Hula Hoops, 4 cones in a square shape, etc.)
One more large object to hold the round-ish objects (baby pool, hula hoop, etc.)
Find a space, indoors or outdoors, with lots of room for movement.
Put the "Home bases" on the edge of the boundaries.
In the direct middle, place the baby pool (or other large object) and spread out the round-ish objects.
Place the serving utencils within the boundaries all around the baby pool.
Divide the group into 3 groups and place them behind one of the boundaries.
The object is to collect as many of the balls as possible, but this is how it works:
Only two people from each team can be in the playing field at any one point in time.
When a player enters the playing field, they may either
A) Collect a serving utencil and place it in their hoop OR
B) Use a utencil already in their hoop, and scoop as many round objects with it as they can, and return them and the utencil to their hoop.
When using the utencil:
Players may use their fingers to scoop the items onto the utencil, HOWEVER...
When lifting and transporting the items, they may not use their spare hand to keep the items on the utencil.
If any items fall off in transport, they may not retrieve them at that time.
Obviously, bigger utencils can hold more objects.
When scooping objects, a player CAN scoop items out of another team's hoop to place in their own.
When retrieving a utencil:
A player may go into another team's hoop and take their utencil
A player MAY NOT enter the playing field two times in a row. When a player comes back from the playing field, somebody has to take their place before they can go back in.
Play continues until one team has all of the ITEMS or the game has reached it's peak.
If playing outdoors, use ice cubes instead of objects.
Include some flat utencils as well.
For Bible Study/Devotion ideas, consider the theme "Striving for the Goal".
Sean Cramer graduated as a DCE from Concordia University, River Forest and served as a Program Assistant/Associate at Camp Lone Star in La Grange, TX. After moving back to his hometown near Rockford, IL, Sean currently works with Developmentally Disabled individuals. Aside from awaiting a Call in professional ministry again, Sean enjoys volunteering, reading, playing games, exercising, and observing his dog be absolutely resistant to any new tricks.