Monday, March 23, 2015

Simple Effective Games

I had a list of some simple short games for the recent Combined Youth Night. It was tricky because we rolled ten kids in and out of Laser Tag in the next room about every 7-10mins...

Here are the options I had on my list which didn't all get a run!!

Find a pair and sit opposite each other so you can have a conversation. Do that so person A is part of an inside circle facing out and person B is in an outside circle facing in. The LEADER suggests introducing names plus 1-2 other 'get to know you questions.' After a time of conversation, invite the inner or outer circle to move on a chosen number of people, then set the same o different questions, then repeat several times so the group meet and get to know a number of other new friends.

Bring a pack of playing cards [or more for larger groups] and have the group form a large circle facing the centre [or two lines at each end of the room]. Throw the cards across the floor and call a card for people to find and hand in on GO... Set safe rules according to your group and the space. Repeat often and stretch the game out by hiding a card without getting caught. More rough and tumble groups used to say 'get the card to your teams end of the room however you can.'

The LEADER is at one end of the room with all participants at the other. They place a 'treasure' object at their feet and turn around from the group for a few seconds to however long they choose. The participants try to sneak up and be first to grab the treasure. The LEADER spins around catches out anyone who is moving and sends them back to the start. So Participants are trying to 'freeze' before they get caught. Repeat and winner becomes LEADER in groups where they are capable of doing that well.

Everyone playing pair up and play 'paper, scissors, rock.' They make a fist and shake it saying "paper, scissors, rock" and on rock make a shape of one of those three. Paper covers rock, rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper. The winner moves on to another winner for the next game, the losers go along and chant their name... then again until there are two players left with half the group cheering for each one.

We also played 'Can You Follow Directions' but it is a bit mean... You set up a sheet of instructions inviting you to write your name on the sheet, then to read every instruction before doing anything. Then you have a set of instructions about counting, underlining, writing on the back of the sheet etc and the final line invites you to only do the instruction about writing your name and then put your hand up and call out that you're finished. To redeem it own up to being mean and unfair but reminding people that being part of a group is often about listening and knowing what you're supposed to doing.

Two equal numbers teams line up together facing the leader. One team is CROWS and one is CRANES and the room wall or row of chairs is their 'home.' On the call of CROWS they run to home and CRANES chase trying to tip runners. Anyone tipped joins the other team. This can get down to everyone vs one person. Use the calls to even up and run longer. If you call cricket, crocodiles etc and people leave their line, they too have to swap teams. There doesn't need to be a winner unless one team is down to zero members.


Name Bop
Use a pillow for 'it' the centre of a circle of players on chairs. Pick one person who says their name and the name of someone else in the group, that person repeats their name and another [you can't pass it back]. 'It' starts in the centre but moves round trying to time it to hit someone on the head who has been named before they get both names out. Great name learning game.

Swap sides if
Form a circle with one person in the centre who says 'swap sides if... you're wearing red' and those who are must find another chair [including the person in the centre] and whoever missses out is in the centre for the next call.

Teams form circles with 5-6 people holding hands. One player is alone outside the circle and one person in the circle is nominated at 'tribute'. The lone player tries to 'tip' the tribute and without breaking hands the circle of players try to protect the 'tribute' from being tipped. Swap players in and out.

With a longer group time we could have made PAPER PLANES and throw them for distance

Is for sizeable groups where all but two participants line up in grid of lines as streets and lanes. Streets means hold arms out at your side and be close enough to touch hands with those in your line. lanes means swivel and hold hands out to your sides with those who were in front and behind you. Of the two players left one is 'it' being chased and the other is the 'chaser'. Neither can break through a street or lane and the Leader calls them to change from one to the other as the game goes on. If the chase takes too long call change and the chaser roles are reversed.

Set up rules around the playing space. Send one person to hide and the rest of the group to search. If you find the person, join them hiding without telling anyone... the more who hide the more obvious it becomes... see who long the last one or few take.

Send 3-6 people outside where they can't hear, telling them the group will 'make up a story' and when they come we see if they can work it out asking yes or no answer questions. The trick is you simply set a rule for answering by the group... ask a question starting with a vowel 'yes' or a consonant 'no.' See how long before it drives them nuts. Don't explain but send the others back out, make a new story and so on until you let them in on the secret. So it can work well with one person only and if they have a great imagination and don't work out something is up... eventually they will ask how you could get that complex story in the few minutes they were outside!!

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