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Whole-Group Activities

  • The Math Game

    Competitors hold just one hand behind their back, revealing the number of fingers at the signal. Whoever yells out the sum of the fingers wins the first round. For Round 2, multiply the fingers. Round 3 is the difference between the two numbers. Rotate through as many rounds as you want, but for the championship round (between the two survivors) have them square the total of the two sets of fingers. For example, Person A shows three fingers, Person B shows four, so the winning answer is 3 + 4 = 7 x 7 = 49

  • Singing Contest

    Divide the crowd into 3 or 4 groups. Give a topic or theme (such as songs mentioning a color or a girl’s name). Then have each group, in order around the room, loudly sing the appropriate line from the song. No repeats are allowed. Last group left with a song is the winner.

  • Instant ID

    Divide into two teams. Have two people hold a large, thick blanket up like a curtain. Have a person from each team stand facing each other with the blanket between, then quickly drop the blanket. The first one to correctly say the other person’s name earns a point for his team. This game often produces hilarious results.

  • Balloon Game

    Tie a balloon on a string (at least two feet long) to each person’s ankle. The objective of the game is to be the last person with an un-popped balloon around one’s ankle. Note: This game takes some prep work. Balloons must be blown up and string cut in advance. It is a fun game, though. Don’t try this in someone’s living room if you want to be invited back!

  • Squirt Game

    Everyone sits in a circle. Designate one person as the “squirter” for first round and put a spray bottle of water in his hand. This student names a topic, such as “Rides at Disney,” and secretly thinks of one, item in that category. Squirter goes around the inside of the circle, pointing the spray bottle right in the face of each person, who must quickly name an item fitting the topic. Squirter lets them have it if they don’t name one right away, OR duplicate something already said, OR name the item chosen by the squirter. The person who got squirted becomes the new topic selector and bottle holder. I like this game because you can make it fit any group of students you are working with: Runners (topic: running shoes), football players (topic: NFL teams), and so on.

  • I’ve Never

    This game works kind of like musical chairs. Start with a person standing in the middle, and everyone else seated in a circle with no extra chairs. The middle person makes an “I’ve never” statement; for instance, “I’ve never been to the beach.” Everyone who also has never been to the beach needs to jump up and get to a new chair. Whoever gets stuck without a seat takes over the middle spot and makes the next “I’ve never” statement.

  • Who am I?

    Write out names of famous people on name tags. As people enter the room, place one on each person’s back without them knowing who it is. They then go around and ask people to look at their name tag and then ask them yes or no questions to figure out who they are.

  • Communicating Challenge

    Give everyone a number. They have to arrange themselves in numerical order by communicating with each other without speaking or holding up fingers. They make up their own sub-language or sign-language and it often is pretty amusing. Round two. Have people arrange themselves in order of birth or in calendar months.

  • M&M’s Game

    Pass around a bag of M&M’s and have each person take as many as they want. For each color of the M&M’s have a question that they have to answer. For instance, red can be, “Describe your first crush.” You can play this with Skittles or other colored candies.

  • Human Foosball

    If the audience is situated in rows, either on chairs or on the floor, every other row turns around and faces the opposite direction. Use a balloon to bat around like a volleyball. A point is scored when a team gets the balloon past all of the opposing team and hits the wall (indoors) or beyond a boundary (outdoors).

  • Person Scavenger Hunt Bingo

    Make a bingo board of things a person may have done or has in their possession. Give each person a copy and have them ask people if they qualify for any of the squares. If so then they have that person sign their name on the square. For example, one square can be, “Find a person with five brothers and sisters.” Another can be, “Find someone who forgot to brush their teeth this morning.” Give them a time limit. The winner is the first person who gets five in a row or the most names.

  • Scavenger Hunt

    The emcee addresses the audience from the stage. Have audience break into 3 – 4 groups. The emcee calls out different items or activities for the groups to produce. The first group to come up to the front with the item gets a point (the entire group does not have to go). Group with the most points wins.

    • Red (or another color) shoelace – has to be removed from the shoe
    • Pen with a chewed cap
    • Penny or any coin with a certain date
    • Paper clip
    • Stamp
    • Family picture
    • Guy wearing red lipstick
    • Two people with their shoelaces tied together
    • Gum in the wrapper – MC thanks the person and then eats the gum
    • Key chain with at least 8 keys
    • Church bulletin
    • Book mark
    • Store receipt
  • Sit Down If …

    List of questions (the wilder the better) beginning with the phrase, “Sit down if you (blank)”

  • Aura

    Get into pairs and face each other. Place your palms on other’s palms between you a little above shoulder height. Both should close their eyes, pull palms apart (approx. 12 inches) and turn around in your spot three times together at the same time. The goal is to reconnect palms after spinning while keeping your eyes closed.

  • Elbow Tag

    Get into pairs standing side by side and lock elbows. Leave one person to be “it” and one or two to be unattached. “It” chases unattached people, who can lock elbows a member of any pair. The person on the other side of the pair must then break off and run away. This can be done with longer chains if the numbers warrant it.

Get-Acquainted/Name Games

  • First Letter Descriptions

    Have each person describe him/herself by using the first letter of his/her name. For example: My name is Steve and I like spaghetti, my favorite candy is Snickers and my favorite animal is a snake.

  • Catalog Comparison

    Say your name and what object in a Sears/JC Penney catalog that you are most like and describe why. (i.e. My name is Jeni and I am most like a pair of work boots because I like to be comfortable and don’t really care about whether others like the fashion statement I make with them).

  • Koosh Ball Story

    Throw a Koosh ball or pillow or another small non-threatening object to someone. That person says his name and describe why he loves his Koosh ball (let them be as creative as they want to be!). He throws it to the next person, who must introduce herself and the person who went before her, including the “why I love this Koosh” story. Do this until everyone has been introduced.

Spectator Activities

  • Shaving Cream Hairdo’s

    Select up to five teams of students, 3 or 4 per team. Each team picks one person willing to have their head covered with the contents of one can of shaving cream. At the signal, team members apply the shaving cream to the person’s head and start “styling.” Give them a limited time, such as 3 or 5 minutes. Let the crowd choose the champion by applause.

  • Ice Cream Eating Contest

    Set contestants up at a table with a bowl of ice cream in front of each. Just before letting them start, say, “Wait! This is too easy!” and take their spoons away. Act like you’re about to say go, then say, “No, it’s still too easy!” Proceed to put a stocking completely over each contestant’s head so that they must strain the ice cream through the hose while eating with no hands.

  • Cheese Puff Stick

    Have 3 to 5 guy-girl pairs up front. Cover the guys’ faces with shaving cream (or whipped cream, which is not so gross to taste but does not work as well). Have the gals stand about 6 feet away and throw cheese puffs at their partner. Most cheese puffs stuck to the face in the allotted time wins.

  • Latex Gloves

    Get some extra-large latex gloves. Each contestant fits one over his head, down to just below the nose, sealing it with his fingers. They breath in through their mouths and exhale through their nose to inflate the glove. First one to pop the glove wins.

  • Rubber-band Race

    Contestants each put a large rubber band on their heads, over the middle of their ears and on the point of their nose. At the signal, they race, use facial expressions and contortions, to move the band down to their neck. This activity produces great photo opportunities.

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