The Chariot Race Game

This was one of my all time favorite games in youth ministry, and the students love it as well. It doesn’t take a whole lot of prep, either. Just get a couple old blankets, carpet pieces, or even cardboard boxes that students can sit on while they are dragged around a prepared “race course”. For the record, the old blankets or sheets work best, but you can use anything that can be dragged.

When everyone arrives, divide them up into groups. If you have a big group, pick a few groups of 4 kids to do this as an “upfront” game. If your group is smaller, let everyone participate. Divide them into equal size groups between 3-5 students each.

Each group gets a “Chariot” – the blanket, carpet, or cardboard. Line the teams up at the starting line. One student will sit on the “chariot” and the other students will drag them. When you say go, the teams will race around the course, and the student in the chariot will do their best not to fall off while the “horses” drag them around the course.

The race will consist of multiple laps – enough to allow everyone to go for a ride. If someone falls off, the team has to stop until the rider gets back on the blanket. The winner is the first team to finish the course. You can do this inside on carpet, or outside on grass. Just be warned – your students will probably want to do this game again and again!

Life Sized Jenga

Life Sized Jenga

Jenga is a fun little party game where you pull out sticks from a tower til it falls over. Want to take it up a notch? Make it full sized!

Instead of using little 2 inch sticks, use foot-long 2×4 blocks and build a 6 foot tall Jenga tower!

You Need –
Seven 8’ 2×4 boards
Circular Saw


Cut the boards into 12 inch lengths. That will give you 56 pieces.
Check to make sure each piece is level and smooth.
Sand each one until they are smooth. Also sand the edges so they are slightly round at the end. It makes it easier to grab.
Treat each piece with the miniwax to make them slide easier.
Set the tower up to make sure it sits level – 3 boards per level, alternating which directions they go.

I recommend using another board or two to make some extra pieces, in case they warp or get damaged.

Game Play

Stack the tower by placing all 54 pieces. Lay down three per level, alternating which directions the pieces lie. Your tower, when completed, should be 3 feet tall.

Once the tower is built, the game begins. You take turns moving one block from any level and placing it on the topmost level. The one exception is you can’t take it from the incomplete top level or the one below it.

The game ends when the tower falls, or if any other pieces not being moved fall to the ground. The winner is the one who successfully moved the last block.

This game would require a bit of prep work, but would be a ton of fun for a lock-in or upfront game. Have you tried it before? How’d it work? Let me know in the comments!


Paint Soccer

Paint Soccer

Are you looking for a fun, messy game that your students will want to play again and again (and parents will beg you not to)? Then Paint Soccer is the perfect game for you. Simply did a soccer ball in paint, throw it in the field, and let the teens go at it.


Soccer balls (that you don’t mind ruining)

Paint of various colors

Cones (to mark the boundaries)

Bowls to keep the paint in

Mark out a field big enough for everyone to fit and be able to move (no limits on size of teams or the field). Place bowls of paint around the field. Every time the ball goes out of bounds, or someone scores, you dip the ball into a bowl of paint and it gets thrown back into action. After a while, everyone is a mess of crazy colors.

You can play “serious” or silly. Either follow real soccer rules (for those real competitive types), or mix them up to make things interesting. Like use multiple balls. Or, have girls kick with their right leg and boys with their left. Or you have to head the ball into the goal to score. Have fun with it!

Be sure to let your students (and parents) know ahead of time you’re playing this so that people can dress accordingly. Also, and this should go without saying, don’t let students traipse through the church building while covered in paint. Cause, you want to keep your job.

If you play this game, tell me how it goes! Better yet, load up some pictures in the comments!



Game – Football Soccer

Games are great for youth ministry, but if you have a few of the super-athletic types (such as myself) they can end up dominating and making the game not-so-much-fun for everyone else. To make things more interesting, try this variation on an old world favorite.  Soccer is fun. Football is fun. But playing soccer with a football? Yeah, thats pure awesomeness. And since its World Cup time, you can’t find a better time to play it!


The rules are simple. Set up an area big enough for your group to play. Set up two goals.  Divide your group up into two teams. This can work with any size groups, but an ideal size is between 6-10 per team. Once they are divided into teams, the rules are standard soccer rules. The only difference? Use a football.

The non-spherical shape of the football means you have goofy and crazy bounces that neutralizes much of the athletic ability of the super athletes. Also, its just so much fun because you have very little control on the trajectory of the ball. This makes a great outdoor game that requires little prep.


If you do it, let me know how it went in the comments!


Baby Bottle Chug

By the time you read this, my wife should be close to done giving birth to our forth child. So, in honor of this momentous occasion, our game of the week is the “Baby Bottle Chug.”


3 (or more) baby bottles

Liquid to drink

The game is simple. It makes a great up front game. Buy three or more baby bottles, fill them with liquid like pop or water, and set them on the stage. As the up front game, simply pick three volunteers and have them sit in front of the bottles. At a signal, they race to see who can drain the baby bottle first. 

Be sure to poke a hole in the nipple (yes, I did say nipple in a youth ministry blog!) I found out the hard way not all come pre-poked. Or, if you want to mess with someone, have one without a hole. Then when they go to drink it, the one without the hole starts to freak out. Simple and fun game! Let me know in the comments how it goes!