Ok, now you’ve already chosen the game that your group is going to play and you’ve planned how you are going to run the game. Next up, you need to bring the game to your youth group, and you need to explain it to them.
You may not normally think about how you explain a game to your youth group, but it is a very important step. Without it, kids and leaders can be confused and the game doesn’t really work. If this happens, the game probably wont fulfil whatever purpose you had planned. And most probably, whatever follows from the game will suffer from the lack of organisation because you did not explain the game properly.
In order to avoid this. Here are a few steps you need to consider when explaining the game to your youth group.
- Plan out your explanation
- Practise your explanation
- Tell your leaders first
- Ensure safety is explained clearly
- Be confident
- Only allow three questions
By this stage, you should have carefully planned out what you will say when explaining the game to your group. This is, in essence, a speech. So prepare for it. Write down notes.
In your explanation, consider the following questions:
- What is the aim of the game?
- Are there any special rules?
- How are we going to stay safe?
- What are the leaders doing?
- How long will the game run for?
- What are we going to do when the game finishes?
If you can answer all of these questions. Then you’ll well and truly be on your way to planning an excellent explanation.
As I said, an explanation of a game is a speech. When you were (or are) at school, you practised for your speeches. You had palm cards. Why is this less important than your school speeches?
With time, you’ll need less practise. Especially if you run the same games over and again. But when you are starting, please practise.
If you’re looking for an audience, I’m sure your mum would love to hear it. If she then can understand how to play the game, then you’ve done a good job. If not, ask a fellow leader to listen over the phone. Ask anyone! And better yet, ask them if they would feel confident playing the game.
Tell your leaders
Before you explain the game to the youth group, explain it to the rest of the leaders first. This is especially true in complicated games where leaders will have a specialised role.
If the leaders know how to run the game, then even if the rest of the group doesn’t understand, the leaders should be able to direct the game. Think of your leaders as your safety net. If the group doesn’t understand the game, at least the leaders will.
Explain safety clearly
I stated this before. It’s really important. You need to make sure that you’ve considered all aspects of safety.
Are there any tripping hazards? Is any food involved? Do we need to think about allergies?
Make sure that leaders and kids alike know what to watch out for. And one final tip, if there is any running involved, remind people to look out for people when they’re turning. Having this in the front of their minds can help to avoid a head collision or two.
This is a quick tip. When you’re explaining the game, be confident. The rules that you’ve stated are the rules, there are no additional rules and if one person in the group knows different rules to the same game, that’s ok. This is the way you are playing it today. Don’t allow anyone else to change the rules. Be confident in what you have prepared.
Only allow three questions
If you have explained the game clearly, then there should be no need for clarifications. However, some kids are always going to have weird, edge case rule situations. Limiting it to three questions allows you to get into what you are there for. The game.
If you just want to check to make sure you have explained it clearly, ask another leader to check if you’ve forgotten anything. They’ll be able to ask any serious questions and wont ask silly time-wasting questions.
Now you’re ready to play to game.