Youth Group Activities
Youth groups are often underestimated; however, youth groups help teens establish their faith at a young age and find resources to lead fulfilling, happy lives. In this article, you will find 20 of the best youth group activities that will uplift and encourage everyone participating in the games. Here are the 20 best youth group activities for all ages.
1. Bible Jeopardy
Bible Jeopardy is a great game that combines competition, teamwork, and spiritual conversations. To play, you'll need to create a jeopardy board with different categories. Some examples of Bible Jeopardy categories include:
- Great Bible Men
- Great Bible Women
- Books in the Bible
In each category, create five questions. The first question in each category should be easy and worth 100 points. The next question should be slightly harder and worth 200 points. This continues until you get to the most difficult question in the category worth 500 points.
An example question for the category "Scripture" might be: "The first book of the new testament." The youth can write their answers on their paper. When everyone has an answer, reveal the real answer, which is, "What is the book of Matthew?" Everyone who answered correctly earns 100 points.
Remember to make the questions difficult, but not impossible. Everything in the game should be something you discussed in your youth group.
2. Conversation Circle
Conversation Circle helps the youth learn new opinions and be open to having conversations. Too often, people are closed off to others and unwilling to listen to opinions. This activity helps to break those walls down and teach the youth to love everyone, regardless of their opinion.
Set up two circles of chairs. The first circle is inside the second circle so that every chair is facing another chair, creating a pair. Give the group a prompt and listen to the youth discuss their opinions on the prompt. For the first few rounds, keep the conversations light to give the group time to adjust to the activity.
Some good prompts for this activity might be:
- What is your favorite memory?
- What qualities do you look for in a spouse?
- What's something you love about yourself?
As the activity continues, dive deeper and ask questions that make the youth think:
- What do you think is the purpose of life?
- What makes someone a good Christian?
- Do dogs go to heaven?
- Do miracles still happen today?
- What happens to nice people who don't believe in God?
The purpose of this activity is to encourage youth to think outside of what their pastors and youth leaders have told them. Developing lasting faith revolves around exposure to difficult questions. There is no "right" answer to any of these questions.
Only do this activity if you feel like your group is emotionally and spiritually prepared. This activity is best for mature youth groups.
3. M&Ms Get to Know You
M&Ms Get to Know You is a fun, lighthearted activity where the kids get a chance to learn more about one another. To play, you will need a few packs of M&Ms and several small paper cups. In each cup, put two M&Ms of different colors. Next, give each youth two slips of paper and have them write down two random questions--tell them to be creative with their questions. Put all the questions in a side box to give the game more variety
Let the kids walk to the front of the room and pick a cup without looking at the colors inside. The colors correspond with questions.
- Yellow: Tell a story from your childhood.
- Red: What's something that always makes you happy?
- Orange: What's your favorite book, movie, or show? Why?
- Brown: What's something you can't live without?
- Blue: Pick from the box.
- Green: Pick from the box.
Do several rounds where the kids pick new M&Ms and answer new questions. It's a fun game for youth groups of all ages, both young kids and older teens.
4. Sleeping Worms Race
This game is pure fun. There's not much of a lesson to the game, but it will get the kids rolling on the ground with laughter--literally. To play, you will need two sleeping bags. Pair up the youth to go against one another and make sure that the pairings are fair.
Then, help them get into the sleeping bags and lay down on the floor. They will have to inch like worms across the floor to the finish line. The first person to make it to the finish line wins the round.
This game is hilarious to play and hilarious to watch. By the end of the activity, everyone will have aching sides from laughing.
5. Painted Scriptures
For this crafting activity, you will need a wooden board for each person, paint, and paintbrushes. The participants will get to choose their favorite scripture--something that brings them comfort--and write it on their board.
Start by decorating the board with things that make them happy. Tell them to remember their happiest memory and then paint it on the board. Next, help them write their favorite scripture on the board to create a keepsake that helps them through the tough moments in their life.
6. Would You Rather
Would You Rather is a great game to learn more about your group's youth; however, this doesn't mean that you can only use it as an icebreaker. Would You Rather can be played as an icebreaker or as a regular game long after the group knows one another.
To play, put a bunch of Would You Rather questions in a bowl. One by one, have the youth pass the bowl around the group and pull out a question. They will read the question out loud, and everyone will answer. If the question or answers are interesting, encourage the youth to debate with one another.
Some good Would You Rather questions include:
- Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or fly?
- Would you rather talk to animals or read minds?
- Would you rather be covered in fur or covered in scales?
- Would you rather be able to talk to land animals, flying animals, or underwater animals?
- Would you rather live forever or never feel pain?
There are endless Would You Rather questions that you can create. It's also entertaining to listen to the youth debate their answers and explain why they would rather breathe underwater instead of fly like everyone else.
7. Human Tic Tac Toe
To play Human Tic Tac Toe, set up chairs in a three by three square. Split the youth group into two teams and let them pick their name. For example, the teams might choose to be angels and demons or Moses and Noah. Let the teams pick a team leader who will designate where the players will sit.
Once the game is set up, start playing as if it were a normal tic tac toe game. The team leader points their players where to sit. The next team will then have their turn and choose a chair—the first team to get three players sitting in a row or diagonally wins.
Human Tic Tac Toe is a simple game, perfect for filling time while you're setting up the main activity of the evening. The youth group leader can also find a way to incorporate the game into lessons as a way to give the kids a break and a chance to relax.
8. Streamer Spy
Streamer Spy is a great game for younger kids, though there's no doubt that older kids will also enjoy the game. It is a great youth group activity that the youth leader can tie into an overarching lesson about avoiding sin.
To play, the youth leader will need to tape streamers in one of the church building hallways. You want the hallway to be nearly covered in streamers, both tapes sideways across the hallway and hanging down from the ceiling. It helps to enlist a volunteer or two who isn't apart of your church youth group (such as a youth's parent or a second youth leader).
Once the streamers make it difficult to cross through the hallways without breaking the streamers, bring in the youth group. Let them laugh and stare in awe at the now impassible hallway. Then, tell them the game.
For this activity, feel free to spin the game however you want. If you want it to be based on religion, explain that the streamers are sins and that the kids will have to make their way through the hallway without touching any streamers. They can move as slow or as fast as they want. If they knock down a streamer, they have to take it with them. When everyone has made it to the end of the hallway, take away the streamers they accumulated and explain that Christ washes away any sin.
You can also pretend that the streamers are lasers and that the kids are spies. They have to work their way through the hallway to get to the prize on the other side without touching any lasers.
9. Cake Wars
For an easy, exciting, and hilarious youth group game idea, play Cake Wars. Depending on your group size, you can play with several teams (three to four people per team) or make small cakes for each person. You will also need to prep several things in advance, meaning that this isn't a great game for last-minute youth group game ideas.
For this activity, you will need:
- One cake per group or per player
- Lost of different colored frostings
- Tools for cake decorating
Give each group their cake and a tray of cake decorating materials. Then, have each group pull a paper from on hat. The paper will give them their theme for decorating their cakes. Some great theme ideas include:
- Genesis 7:1-5
- Exodus 14:21-31
- Daniel 6:10-28
- Genesis 1 (creation story)
Feel free to pick any story from the Bible to give to the groups. This activity challenges to express biblical stories as scenes and pictures decorated onto a cake. It's a great idea for large or small youth events as long as you have access to lots of cake.
10. Bible 20 questionsIn Bible 20 Questions, the youth leader starts by mentally choosing a person from the Bible. The youth then get to ask 20 questions to determine who the youth leader is thinking of. The first youth to guess the person wins the round and thinks of the next Bible character.
The youth can only ask yes or no questions. For example, youth couldn't ask, "Is it a boy or girl?" but they can ask, "Is your character a girl?" If the group uses up all 20 questions without correctly guessing the person, the narrator wins, and the round starts over.
The game encourages the youth to think outside the box and think of more obscure people from the Bible. This is a great game to pair with Bible study.
11. Blind Faith Toss
Blind Faith Toss is the perfect game to pair with a lesson on faith and is a great game for either a small group or a large group. It can also be played inside or outside, making it a great game for any occasion.
To play, group the youth into pairs of two. One person will stand with a ping pong ball while their partner stands several feet away next to a bucket. The person with the ping pong ball closes their eyes and lets their partner instruct them where to throw. At first, it will seem difficult. However, once the pair learns how to work together, it will get easier.
The youth leader will need to move the buckets around from time to time to make the blind person rely even more on the caller.
12. Melted Crayon Pictures
For this craft youth activity, you will need a hairdryer or two, several boxes of crayons, and several shades of thick paper. The youth will take a paper of their choice and draw a picture or use stencils to create crisp art. One of the most common pictures for this project is a girl holding an umbrella. Other pictures that work well with this project include:
- Tree of life
- Hot air balloon
The beauty of this activity is that the kids can use their imagination and draw whatever they want—next, hot glue crayons to the top of the paper. The kids can also shave crayons onto the paper to create a tree or heart. Place the paper on the ground and use the hairdryer to melt the crayons. If making rain from the crayons, make sure only to blow the crayons down towards the umbrella.
This activity encourages kids to express their thoughts through crafts. It also brings color into their lives and lets them take home a craft project that they are proud of.
13. Movie Night
Hosting a movie night is a stress-free way to include student ministry with busy lives. Teenagers will feel like they can relax for a moment and take a break from the constant movement of their lives. Students can finally put aside their homeowner and watch a movie with their friends.
Bring popcorn, candy, beanbags, and blankets, and set up a projector screen in one of the rooms in the local church. You can also host this activity in your home to make it cozier for the youth. Hosting a movie night helps the student youth bond with the youth pastor and youth leaders without feeling stressed.
14. Pet Rock
Creating a pet rock sounds like an activity that only kids would love; however, teenagers and young adults will all embrace this chance to remember their childhood creativity.
For this activity, bring a bucket full of smooth, pretty rocks that the youth can decorate. You will also need paint and paintbrushes, as well as a group of kids willing to pain rocks. Hand out the materials and let the kids paint. They can paint whatever brings them comfort, from scriptures to animals or simple patterns.
While the youth are painting, read a meaningful story, or simply talk to them about their week. The purpose of this activity is to bring comfort. Hopefully, whenever the youth look at the painted rocks, they will remember the comfort they felt while painting them.
Spending time in nature helps people to appreciate their world and its intricacies better. Use your time with your youth group members as an opportunity for hiking or just spending time appreciating the world.
Check All Trails to find easy hikes in your area and give your youth a break from social media. Focus on nature in the hike and devise a small outdoor game while you're walking. This is one of the best activities to show youth how to take better care of their world.
16. Campfire Night
Another perfect outdoor activity is hosting a campfire night. The youth can gather around the warm campfire at night and roast marshmallows over the flames. Check with the other youth leaders and parents to see if anyone has a campfire pit in their backyard. If so, plan to host the campfire there. If not, find a park that has safe campfire pits.
Make sure to bring chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows to make the night fun for the youth attending.
17. Board Game Night
Board games are perfect for small groups, large groups, or medium groups. Everyone can bring a game that they love and groups can rotate through games to maximize their fun. Some of the best board games for a Board Game Night are:
- Apples to Apples
- Settlers of Catan
- Code Names
There are no bad games to bring to Board Game Night. Tell the youth to each bring their favorite board game, and you'll have plenty to play. Remember to supply snacks and treats as well.
18. Clean Up Outreach
Plan a Clean Up Outreach activity with a local organization to clean up riverways, lakes, and highways. Although this activity will need more planning, it's extremely rewarding. It will teach the youth why littering is bad as the kids have to pick up the trash other people have left behind. They will also see the difference they made as they pick up trash in their local parks.
Participating in a trash pick-up will teach young kids and teenagers how to take better care of their parks, trails, and waterways.
19. Secret Angel
Secret Angel is a fun mystery game for all ages. To play, gather everyone in a circle, then select one person to be the detective. The detective will leave the room for a moment while the rest of the group determines who will be the angel. When they've decided who the angel is, bring the detective back into the room and have them sit in the center of the circle.
The detective's goal is to find out who the angel is. The angel winks at other players in the circle, trying not to let the detective see that they're the ones winking. When another player gets winked at by the angel, they "faint." They can come back to life in five seconds. The detective will have to watch closely to determine who is winking at all the other players.
This game is fun to play and is perfect for any youth meeting. You can play this game before starting a lesson or after.
20. Scripture Scavenger Hunt
Another fun activity for a youth meeting is Scripture Scavenger Hunt. For this activity, give each kid a list of scriptures and a Bible. They will have to race the clock to look up all the scriptures and spell out a secret phrase.
When they find the scripture, they will take the first letter of the first word in the verse and write it down. They continue this pattern until they have the first letter from all the scriptures. Then, they will have to unscramble the letters to make a phrase. If they can beat the clock, everyone wins a prize. If they don't beat the clock, they still win the prize (but tell them that).
Because the group can work as a team, they will feel better connected to their youth members. This is a great Sunday activity because it teaches the kids to flip through their Bible and locate verses quickly.