Around the world
The leader begins by saying the name of any country, city, river, ocean or mountain that can be found in an atlas. The young person next to him must then say another name that begins with the last letter of the word just given. Each person has a definite time limit (e.g. three seconds) and no names can be repeated. For example – First person: London, Second Person: Niagara Falls, Third Person: Switzerland
The first player says: “I went to the supermarket to buy an Apple (or any other object you can buy in a supermarket that begins with an A). The next player repeats the sentence, including the “A” word and adds a “B” word.
Each successive player recites the sentence with all the alphabet items, adding one of his own. For example; ‘I went to the supermarket and bought an Apple, Banana, CD, dog food, envelopes, frozen fish’. It’s not too hard to reach the end of the alphabet, usually with a little help! Watch out for ‘Q’ and ‘X’
The leader starts a story with a sentence that ends in SUDDENLY. The next person then has to add to the story with his own sentence that ends in SUDDENLY. Continue the story until everyone has contributed. The story becomes crazier as each young person adds their sentence. Tape it and play it back. For example; ‘Yesterday I went to the zoo and was passing the elephant enclosure when SUDDENLY…..’
Once upon a time
Ask each young person to think of either the name of a person, a place or a thing. Invite them to share this with the rest of the group. Select one of your group to begin a story. However, within 10 seconds they must mention the person, place or thing they have thought of. After 10 seconds (use a stopwatch or kitchen timer) the story is continued by the next person who must also mention their person, place or thing within the 10 seconds.
Continue until everyone has made a contribution. The stories can get really weird, but that’s part of the fun!
This is a word association game. Ask the group to sit in a circle. The first person starts with any word they wish i.e. red. The next person repeats the first word and adds another word which links to the first i.e. tomato. The next person repeats the previous word and add another word link i.e. soup, and so on. To keep this moving, only allow five seconds for each word link.
Collect together a number of objects and place in a canvas bag. The objects can include everyday items i.e. a pencil, key-ring, mobile phone, but also include some more unusual ones i.e. a fossil, holiday photograph, wig!
Pass the bag around the group and invite each young person to dip their hand into the bag (without looking) and pull out one of the objects.
The leader begins a story which includes his object. After 20 seconds, the next person takes up the story and adds another 20 seconds, incorporating the object they are holding. And so on, until everyone has made a contribution to your epic literary tale
Simple, completely ridiculous and a lot of fun. The first person says a word, for example ‘The’. The second person says the first word and ADDS a second word of their choice, and so on. At the end you might have a complete sentence!
For example, ‘The aardvark spiralled into the puddle of custard clutching his skateboard while whistling his favourite Bjork melody.’ The fun thing is putting twists in the sentence so that the others have a hard time coming up with a word that fits.
You begin by thinking of a word and then give the first letter. The next player thinks of a word beginning with this letter and gives the second letter. The third player thinks of a word that begins with the first two letters and adds a third. The object of the game is to avoid completing a word. When a player has completed three words or failed to add a letter they can rest their brain for the remainder of the game! You might need a dictionary handy to adjudicate on some words.
One minute please!
The aim of the game is to talk for one minute on a given subject. You announce the topic and a member of the group is randomly selected to speak for one minute. Use a pack of cards to randomly select i.e. person who draws the lowest number. Choose subjects to stimulate the imagination and which may be amusing. Put a stopwatch on each person to see how long they last before drying up! Subjects might include, my earliest memories, my favourite computer game, why beans are good for you, 10 things you can do with potatoes, Alligator wrestling.
Divide into teams of five or six people and give each group a copy of the SAME newspaper. Ask them to spread the newspaper out in front of each team. Describe a particular advert, article, fact or picture from the paper and the group has to find it, rip it out and bring it to you. The first team to bring it gets a point. Continue calling out items and the winning team is the one with the most points.
Ask the youth group to line up. Works best with 8-10 in a line. If you’ve got a bigger group, split them up and challenge each line to complete the task first. Ask the group to form a new line in order of….
• Height, from smallest to tallest.
• Birthdays, from January through to December.
• Shoe size, from smallest to largest.
• Alphabetical first names (A-Z).
• Alphabetical mothers first names.
• Alphabetical grandmother’s first names!
• Anything else you think up.
Select three couples to help you with this game. Give each couple three balloons. The couple must blow up and knot all their balloons. Then place two under the girl’s armpits and one between the pair as they face each other. The couple then has to burst the three balloons simultaneously by hugging each other. The winning couple is the pair who burst all their balloons in the quickest time.
Who am I?
Prepare a self-adhesive label or post-it note for each young person in your group. Write on it the name of a well-known or famous person. This can be an historical character or current sportsman, musician, TV personality, celebrity etc. Have a good mix of men and women. Keeping the names hidden, stick the post-it notes on the foreheads of everyone in the group. They must then ask questions of the others to find out their identity.
Each person takes a turn to ask questions and figure out who they are. For example, Am I alive? Am I female? Am I in a band? Only yes or no questions can be asked. If the answer is no, their turn is over. If the answer is yes, they can ask another question and keep going until they get a no, or guess who they are. Keep playing until everyone has guessed, or if time is short, stop after the first few correct answers.
Pass the orange
Ask the young people to form a circle. Give the first young person a large orange and explain they need to pass this around the circle. No problem. BUT, it has to be passed around the circle using only chin and neck. If the orange is dropped, it must be returned to the previous player in the circle and the game restarts.
You will need some very long strands of liquorice (or smaller strands tied together). Invite five or six couples (boy/girl) to take part in the game. Each couple places one end of the liquorice in their mouth. At the signal they begin to chew until they reach the middle. The winning couple is the one which reaches the middle first. Award a bag of liquorice to the winners!
Another old party game, but still lots of fun. Ask everyone to sit in a circle on the floor. In the middle of the circle place a large bar of chocolate on a plate, a knife, a fork and three items of clothing – gloves, scarf and a cap. Each person in the circle takes a turn at rolling a dice.
On throwing a six they run to the middle of the circle, put on the items of clothing and try to eat as much chocolate as possible. However, they can only cut it with the knife and pick it up with the fork. As soon as someone else throws a six, they run to the middle, put on the gloves, hat and cap, and take over. Continue until all the chocolate is eaten.
Whistle and burp
Invite three couples to take part in this simple game. Ask them to sit together at the front of the group. Give each of the boys five crackers and give each of the girls a can of coke. On the signal the boys must eat the crackers as fast as possible and then whistle a pre-selected tune to the satisfaction of the rest of the group. They then hand over to their partner (girl) who must drink the coke and then burp audibly. The first couple to finish wins a packet of crackers and a can of coke!
Pass the polo
Invite the group to line up in teams of six. Give each person a toothpick, which they must hold in their mouth. The person at the front of the line has a polo on his toothpick and he must (without using his hands) pass the polo down the line. If anyone drops their sweet, the team must start again from the front of the line with a new polo.
Divide your group into teams of 6-8. Each team forms a small circle. Ask them to extend their right hand across the circle and hold the left hand of the other team member opposite them. Then extend their left hand across the circle and hold the right hand of another group member. The task is to unravel the spider’s web of interlocking arms without letting go of anyone’s hands. Give them a three minute time limit to complete the task.
Divide into pairs. Ask each pair to sit on the floor with their partner, backs together, feet out in front and arms linked. Their task is to stand up together. Once everyone has done this, two pairs join together and the group of four try to repeat the task. After they succeed, add another two and try again. Keep adding people until your whole group is trying to stand together.
Before the youth meeting write out the first lines from several well-known songs, but write down only one line on each piece of card. Make sure that only enough songs are used to cover the number of people present. The cards are then scattered on the floor. Once the game begins each person grabs a card and tries to find the holders of the other cards which will complete the verse or section of the song. The winning group is the first one to correctly assemble and sing their song. Record the songs to playback later.
Make a list of 20 popular TV programmes. Divide your group into smaller teams who base themselves around your room! You stand somewhere in the middle. The game begins by each team sending one person to you. Show them the first TV programme on your list. They return to their team and silently act it out in front of the group. As soon as someone guesses it, that person runs to you for the next clue and repeats the process. The wining group is the one which has acted out and guessed 20 programmes.
20 questions is an old party game which encourages deductive reasoning and creativity. One player is selected to think of an item. The rest of the group tries to guess the item by asking a question which can only be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.” Truthful answers only please, as anything else will ruin the game.
Ask the group to sit in a circle. Choose a number of playing cards to match the number of young people in your group. Be certain your selection contains an ace. Each young person then draws a card. They must not comment or show it to anyone else. The player who chooses the ace is the murderer and he kills his victims by winking at them!
The game begins quietly with players sitting looking at each other. When someone catches the eye of the killer and is winked at, they are killed, and can die in any manner they choose. Some prefer to die quietly with a whimper, some opt for the blood curdling scream technique, while others might fall off their seat and lie prone on the floor. The object is to identify the murderer while trying not to be killed in the process.
The human chair
Invite everyone to stand in a circle shoulder to shoulder. Each person then turns to the right to face the back of the person in front of them. Ask them to place their hands on the shoulder of the person in front. On the count of three they slowly begin to sit down on the lap of the person behind. As long as everyone is helping the person in front of him or her to sit, then everyone should be supporting the weight of everyone else.
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