What can you do with some liquorice, spaghetti, flour, chocolate, jam doughnuts, sweets, coke, crackers and marshmallows?
A fun evening which is excellent for 11-14's and works well with a small group. Remember, always be enthusiastic and join in yourself.
Read the 10 icebreakers and games carefully before you use them. Select the ones which will work best for your youth group. Many are based on common party games and adapted through generations of youth leaders.
It's probably impossible to say who first thought up any of these games, but whoever you are, thanks!
A simple introductory game to play as everyone arrives. Give each young person a sheet of paper with the alphabet written down one side. They have to add the name of a food to each letter of the alphabet i.e. a=apple, b=bread. There is one point for each answer. Select a few letters for a triple point score. I suggest, Q, U, V, X, Y, Z. The highest score wins an item of food of your choice!
For those who are thinking it can't be done, Q is for quiche, quail, quince; U is for uglifruit, unpasteurised milk (OK, I'm stretching); V is for venison, veal, vermicelli, vinegar, vol-au-vent, vomit fruit (honestly, Google it!); X is for xigua (OK, really struggling here, but this is a Chinese watermelon!); Y is for yam, yogurt, Yorkshire pudding; Z is for zucchini, zabaglione sauce.
Invite three or four volunteers to sit at a table facing the rest of the group. Then bring out a large plate of spaghetti for each person. Explain that the first person to finish the spaghetti wins. However, they must eat it without the use of a knife, fork or spoon and their hands must be behind their back! A great spectator sport. Have your camera ready for a picture spread in the church newsletter! The winners prize - a packet of spaghetti.
You will need some very long strands of liquorice (or smaller strands tied together). Invite five or six couples (boy/girl) to take part in the game. Each couple places one end of the liquorice in their mouth. At the signal they begin to chew until they reach the middle. The winning couple is the one which reaches the middle first. Award a bag of liquorice to the winners.
A simple but effective party game. Fill a bowl (or mould) tightly with flour, so when it's turned over it retains its shape. Turn it upside down onto a flat board or tray and then put a jelly bean (or another small sweet) in the middle of the top of the mound. Ask everyone to sit in a circle on the floor and take a turn to cut a thin slice of the flour (with a knife). The one who makes the final cut which causes the sweet to fall must retrieve it by only using their mouth. Encourage the group to take thin slices which allow everyone to take part and builds the suspense.
Another old party game, but still lots of fun. Ask everyone to sit in a circle on the floor. In the middle of the circle place a large bar of chocolate on a plate, a knife, a fork and three items of clothing – gloves, scarf and a cap. (Don't forget to remove the wrapper from the chocolate!) Each person in the circle takes a turn at rolling a dice. On throwing a six they run to the middle of the circle, put on the items of clothing and try to eat as much chocolate as possible. However, they can only cut it with the knife and pick it up with the fork. As soon as someone else throws a six, they run to the middle, put on the gloves, hat and cap, and take over. Continue until all the chocolate is eaten.
WHISTLE AND BURP
Invite three couples to take part in this simple game. Ask them to sit together at the front of the group. Give each of the boy's five crackers and give each of the girls a can of coke. On the signal the boys must eat the crackers as fast as possible and then whistle a pre-selected tune to the satisfaction of the rest of the group. They then hand over to their partner (girl) who must drink the coke and then burp audibly. The first couple to finish wins a packet of crackers and a can of coke!
JAM DOUGHNUT FEED
Invite (or choose) three couples and ask them to sit opposite each other across a table. They must be within arm's reach. Place a plate of three jam doughnuts in front of each of the girls. The object of the game is for the girl to feed her partner the jam doughnuts. The boy who eats the most doughnuts in three minutes wins. However, before the game begins, each couple is blindfolded! The prize – a bag of jam doughnuts! This is another great spectator game. Encourage the rest of the youth group to offer advice, directions and encouragement to the couples.
PASS THE POLO
Invite the group to line up in teams of six. Give each person a toothpick, which they must hold in their mouth. The person at the front of the line has a polo on his toothpick and he must (without using his hands) pass the polo down the line. If anyone drops their sweet, the team must start again from the front of the line with a new polo.
Invite four or five couples to take part in a human wheelbarrow race! The girls do the wheeling i.e. holding the boy's legs while they balance on their hands. The object of the game is for the girl to wheel their male partner from one end of the room to the finishing line at the other end. However, the barrow (guys) must eat a number of things along the course i.e. jelly babies, marshmallows, crisps, peanuts etc. Make sure the food is placed on clean tissues. Try doing it again, but this time blindfold the wheelbarrow (guys). Don't forget to take some photographic evidence!
This works best with a larger group. Invite everyone to sit on a chair in a big circle. Designate each young person to be an apple, a pear, an orange, a banana. The game begins as you call out one of the fruits i.e. apple. Everyone who is an apple has to get up out of their seat and change with someone else who is an apple. However, they must move further than the seat next to them. As everyone begins to move, remove a chair, so that the slowest person can't find a seat and is out. Continue this process with different fruits, or fruit pairs i.e. banana and orange. When you call out fruit salad everyone in the circle must change seats. The last person left is the winner, who receives an apple as their prize!
REFLECTIONS AND DISCUSSION
Continuing the food theme, here are some suggestions for devotional ideas to end your evening, from the life and ministry of Jesus.
- Jesus turns water into wine - John 2: 1-11
- Jesus feeds five thousand men - John 6: 1-15
- 'I am the bread of life' – John 6: 22-40, 47-52
- 'I am the true vine' - John 15: 1-17
- The parable of the Great Feast - Luke 14:15-24
More here, if you need help in developing discussion questions or you're looking for creative bible study ideas.
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