Christmas time makes for full calendars between holiday parties, school activities, and family get-togethers. Hosting a youth group party during this season gives students the chance to connect in a fun way. Here are seven festive and fun games for your next Christmas youth party.
Stacking cups is one of those games that can be simple yet challenging at the same time. It’s something everyone can do. But even the most skilled competitors will mess up and send the cups crashing down. When those cups get stacked into the perfect pyramid, cheering will ensue! All you need for this game is several plastic cups. To make this a Christmas-themed game, use green cups plus one red cup. This will create the image of a green Christmas tree with a red ornament on top. A simple version would use 15 cups. The goal would be to build a pyramid shape with the cups using five cups as the bottom base, stacking four (off-centered) on top of that, then three, then two, and finally one on top. To make it more challenging, use more cups. A six-story tower would need 21 cups. A seven-story tower would use 28 cups, and so forth. You could play this game in a few different ways. If you divide kids into two teams, pick one student from each team to stack the cups. Using two sets, the selected people from each team race against each other to see who can stack their tree first. Another way to play would be to give every person a chance and time the challenge. Whoever stacks the fastest is the winner. Any way you play, kids will groan and cheer, and definitely have fun!
Send the Good News
Often, the classic game of Telephone is reserved for younger children, but arguably it can be a great game for older kids. Teens can have a great time sending messages to each other down a long line to see if they can get it right or wrong. You need no supplies for this game. Just line everyone up. The first person needs to come up with a message. They will whisper the message into the person’s ear next to them. That person passes it along to the next, and it goes down the line until finally, the last person relays the message out loud. It’s hilarious to see how messed up the message can get. If kids feel like they don’t hear it correctly, they get one chance to say “operator?” and ask for a repeat. Tell kids their message must have something to do with Christmas. Another option is to have premade messages written down on strips of paper, so students don’t have to come up with their own. One example is: Mary, mother of Jesus, made many memories. Tongue twisters are silly and sure to be a challenge.
Face the Gingerbread Man
Christmas is the season for yummy treats, and who doesn’t like cookies? Play a fun game and feed kids a snack at the same time with this next activity. For Face the Gingerbread, you just need one cookie per person. Preferably use a gingerbread man cookie or another Christmas-themed treat like holiday-colored Oreos. Set a timer for one minute. Ask kids to place their cookies on their foreheads. They will need to hold their heads back (looking upward) so the cookie stays. When the timer begins, they will have 60 seconds to scrunch their faces in any way possible to move the cookie from forehead to mouth, at which point they can eat their treat. This one will be fun to watch so be sure to get pictures.
Charades can get kids out of their comfort zone and is a good way to work as a team and get some good laughs. In preparation, come up with several Christmas things for kids to act out. These could be objects, actions, songs, or Bible stories. Here are a few examples: stocking, decorating a Christmas tree, Joy to the World, Mary and Joseph traveling on a donkey. Write these challenges down on small pieces of paper and fold them up to be drawn out later for the game. Divide your group into two teams. For each round, one person from each team will pick out a Christmas-themed idea to act out for the rest of their group. If the group guesses the charade within the allotted time, they get a point. Play until one team reaches 10 points. Their prize can be bragging rights.
Blindfolded Gift Wrapping
This game is just as it sounds. Someone will wrap a gift blindfolded. You’ll need the standard wrapping supplies: wrapping paper and tape. You may want to precut some paper to avoid using scissors without vision. Avoid a trip to the E.R. at all costs! You also need empty boxes that can be wrapped and some blindfolds. Once again this could be a team game. With two teams, one person from each team will go head-to-head in a gift-wrapping competition. Blindfold the two players and let them do their best to wrap a present using the supplies while their teammates attempt to guide them by giving them verbal instructions. In the end, an unbiased leader can determine which gift is wrapped the best.
Sticky Ball Surprise
Everybody likes a prize. Making a sticky ball filled with surprise treats will engage teens and make them want a chance to win something. Ahead of time, make a ball by wrapping a combination of packing tape, saran wrap, and small scraps of wrapping paper. There’s no wrong way to do this. You just need to end up with a big messy wad in the end. As you create the ball, pause every few layers to add in some prizes. Candy, cash, and gift cards are all simple surprises that kids will love. When it’s time to play the game, have students sit in a circle. Starting with one person, set a timer for ten seconds. Each person gets that amount of time to try to unwrap, unwind, and bust into the ball of surprise. To make it a real challenge, make kids wear oven mitts when it’s their turn. This game will be hysterical as kids work tear through the ball to get to the prizes. Anything that falls out during their turn is something they get to keep. The ball will keep getting passed around until it’s completely undone.
Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt
Teenagers seem to always be on their phones. You can put them to good use with this final activity. Plan a fun Christmas-themed scavenger hunt that involves taking pictures or videos on their device. You’ll want to be sure you have a driver for each team. Make as many teams as you want – one team per carload would work. Come up with a list of things that kids must find around your town. When they locate the items, they must take a picture or video (whichever is needed) with their cell phone for documentation. When creating this list, make some items easy and some difficult. Assign point values for all the things they must find. The harder it is, the more points their team can earn. The possibilities for what they must find are endless. Some simple items are a nativity scene on a lawn, a lit-up tree outside, and the words ‘Merry Christmas.’ Some tougher options could be having a stranger sing Jingle Bells, finding a house with music playing outside, and finding ten outdoor candy cane decorations. Give a time limit (maybe an hour) for the groups to complete their mission. Meet back together when the time is up to go over what you found. Show the pictures and videos to prove your points. The team with the most points wins.
Whatever you choose to do with your youth group during the Christmas season, make it meaningful, a time of connection, and of course, lots of festive fun!