The following games have important meanings that should be stated to all who play these games. These games are ideal for Youth Events when trying to teach certain values:
Dungeons & Dragons
This is a choice game, where you ask for a willing volunteer to rescue the Princess. A story has to be made up, where there are a series of choices to be made, such as how to enter the castle, 1) Swim the moat, 2) Climb the Ivy, 3) Go over the Drawbridge. If they choose the wrong option, then they are out of the game and another volunteer is needed. This game can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make it.
This game teaches people to learn from each others mistakes. If a volunteer makes a wrong mistake, and is out the game, then the next volunteer should learn from the previous person’s mistake.
Nought’s & Crosses 2
Equipment: A Blackboard (or something on which you can draw a grid of squares 6 x 6). This game can only be played once as it is a game with a meaning which can be explained after the game has finished. The teams are divided into “X’s” and “O’s”, and then told they have to take it in turns to go up to the board and put in an X or O. They only have 10 seconds after the last person has made their mark in which to make their mark. Build this game up by saying that there is 10p for each line that a team makes.
You will find that no team wins at the end, as they will be too caught up in stopping the other team making a line, that no winning lines will be made. The moral of the game is that if both teams worked together instead of competing, they could have had 3 winning lines each.
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Friends Like These
This copies the TV game show. 2 (or more) teams compete in a series of challenges, each one requiring the player to have a particular skill (e.g. speed, strength, dexterity). This game is all about Inclusion, and emphasising that “We’re all good at something” therefore it’s important to make sure that each person ends up doing a challenge. Prepare the list of challenges beforehand (with cryptic titles) and give list to teams. At the start they have to decide amongst which person (or in pairs, if you have big teams) should do which challenge (encourages kids to recognise gifts in others that they may not have themselves). Encourage kids to cheer on their “champion” for each challenge. Use your imagination for challenges. Examples:
- Speed – do straight races up and down hall, or “shuttle runs” (i.e. run around and back from a series of chairs placed at distances away from start-line)
- Strength – time how long kid can hold a heavy weight out in front of them with straight arms.
- Aim – throwing balls/beanbags etc into any container(s) to score points
- Working together – 3 or 4 kids stand in a triangle/square shape. Each has a bean bag. They all throw simultaneously in a clockwise direction. Score for each time whole group catches all beanbags
- Memory – player has to memorise the name + favourite food of each of their team members. Score points for remembering each pair of facts correctly (for older kids add in more facts…e.g. favourite band or colour)
- Endurance – Player lies across 3 chairs. Then holds body taut whilst middle chair is removed (supporting self by shoulders and calves – make sure leaders are holding onto 2 chairs). They have to pass a large (but not heavy) object up, over and around their waist. Count for a minute/30 seconds.
- Dexterity – Players must thread a number of sewing needles stuck into a chair/cushion
- Knowledge – have some Gen. Knowledge questions – e.g. Which band is at No.1.
- ALWAYS finish series of challenges by playing “Best Friends” where you get two best friends up (from each team) and ask one questions about their friend (e.g. what is your best friends favourite food?) If this is a Christian group, this game can be linked in with talking about how well we know each other and how well God knows us.
This text was originally created and published as part of a document for Church of Scotland Summer Mission (Holiday Club) teams by Steve “The Juggler” Thomson. This version was updated by many more iMPACT members who I thank for enhancing it with even more wonderful information!