9 Contained Youth Group Games That You Can Play In A Classroom

May 10, 2011 — 4 Comments

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ClassroomIn my experience youth groups tend to have a lot of space, but I’ve also had times when I have very little space to use. It’s times like these that classroom games come in handy. These are the type of games that you can play in a small amount of space with a lot of people.

The games in this post are games just for that situation, they can be played in a small amount of space with resources that you would typically find in a classroom (chairs, tables, whiteboard etc.). These games can be played in small groups or in groups up to about 20-40 people, and if you’re creative you could probably modify some of them to work in much bigger groups.

So here’s the list of 9 youth group games that you can play in a classroom. Keep reading below the break for a description of all of these games.

  1. Silent Ball
  2. Heads Down Thumbs Up
  3. Hangman/Martyr Man
  4. Straw Towers
  5. Blind Guidance
  6. Heads or Tails
  7. Scategories
  8. Coin Rugby
  9. Balloon Netball

Silent Ball (6-40 people)

A great, simple classroom game. The only thing that you will need is a ball (preferably something about the size of a tennis ball). The group spreads out around the room, and one person is given the ball. They then toss the ball to someone else, when that person catches the ball, they can take one step. After they take that step they can then try to physically tag someone with the ball in their hand. If they can, then that person is out. If they can not, then they need to throw the ball to someone else. If you drop the ball then you are also out.

This game gets it’s name from the fact that everyone must be absolutely silent throughout the game. If you make a noise (even a giggle), then you are out. Last person in wins.

Heads Down Thumbs Up (10-30 people)

This is a classic classroom game. Firstly, select 20% of your group to be in (this would be 4 people in 20). These people say “Heads down thumbs up” and everyone else in the room puts their heads down on a desk and both of their thumbs up. The people who are in then go around and tag 1 persons thumb each, when somebody has their thumb tagged, they put both of their thumbs down.

Once the people who are in have selected their people and are standing at the front of the classroom, they say “heads up stand up”, everyone brings their heads up and anyone who was selected stands up. These people who were standing then get to try and guess who tagged their thumbs. If they are right, then they are in, if not, then the person who tagged them stays in.

Hangman/Martyr Man (5-40 people)

I’m sure you’ve heard of hang man. If you haven’t, here’s the gist. One person thinks of a word and writes that many lines on the board. People from the group then have to guess letters and eventually the word. For each incorrect guess, part of the man being hung is drawn. If the drawing of the hung man is completed then the class loses.

For a twist on Hangman, why not play Martyr Man? Instead of drawing a man being hung, draw somebody being martyred (stoned, crucified, crucified upside down, burnt alive etc.). This could then lead to some interesting conversations about the men that were killed in these ways.

Straw Towers (6+ people)

Firstly, divide your group into smaller teams of about 3-6 people. Each team then gets a packet of straws and some sticky tape. The goal of this game is to create the highest self supporting tower that they can using the straws and tape in a certain time. At the end of the game, whoever has the highest tower, wins.

Blind Guidance (6-40 people)

This is a good game to play if you’re looking at something to do with trust or guidance in the rest of your session. The basic idea behind this game is to create an obstacle course (made of chairs, tables and anything else), and to try and have someone who is blindfolded being led through the course by someone who is not blindfolded. The aim is to get through the course without the blindfolded person touching anything, in the shortest period of time. You can then have a competition to try and beat the best time.

Heads or Tails (4+ people)

This is a quick true or false game that involves the entire youth group. Everyone stands up and is told a statement. If they think the statement is true, they put their hands on their heads, if they think it is false, then they put their hands on their bottoms. If they get it right, they remain standing, if they get it wrong, sit down. The last person standing wins.

Scategories (6-40 people)

This is one of my favourite non-active youth group games. Divide your group into teams of 3-6 people, each team is then given a sheet of paper with a grid on it, down the side of the grid are a number of categories such as fruit, band/artist or country. The row across the top is left blank. Each round, a letter is announced, and within 2 minutes (or other amount of time that you determine), they must come up with something for each category that begins with that letter.

A point is scored for each correct word. However, if another team has the same word, then neither team gets a point. So the aim is to come up with unique words for your categories. Fun right?!

I have made an example of a scategories grid which you can download here.

Coin Rugby (2-30 people)

This is a really quick game that is best used as a time filler. Divide your youth group into pairs. Each pair gets a coin and a table. The goal is for one person to flick the coin so that it is partly hanging off the other side of the table, the person has 3 attempts to do this and then it is the other persons turn, the person with the most points at the end wins.

Balloon Netball (6-30 people)

This is one of the few active youth group games that I know of that can be played in a classroom. You’ll need 2 chairs, a number of balloons, and 2 pins. Divide your group into two teams, one person from each team is then given a pin and stands on a chair at one end of the room. That persons team needs to then try to hit the balloon towards the person on the chair, who must then pop the balloon with the pin. The team who pops the mosts balloons, wins.


Done! This is the last post in this series of 9 youth group games. This wont be the last thing that I write about youth group games, but for now, I’m ending this series. I’m hoping to compile all of the games that I have written about so far into one downloadable resource for you all, so stay tuned for that. But in the mean time, I’d love to hear from you.

Do you have any youth group games that work well in a classroom setting?

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Calum Henderson

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A Christian Primary school teacher. Married to Alice. I write about Christian ministry and technology, as well as anything that may interest me.

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