Fond Childhood Memories of Fun Youth Group Games

Youth Group Games

I have warm-hearted childhood memories of playing group games with my cousins and the kids in the neighbourhood. In this article I reminisce and share with you some of those games.

An Awesome Outside Night Group Game

On the coastal seaweed banks, whilst camping with family friends, we would play a night group game called ‘Kick the Can’. We loved this game because of the exhilaration of hiding in the dark from our ‘enemy’. The aim was to kick the Can without being caught by the Spotter who held the torch. We’d run around late into the night dodging the torch light, hiding behind sea weed banks and sneaking along the sand dune from bush to bush.  We’d watch from the dark corners, our comrades getting picked off one by one by the Spotter. They would be sent to the Spotter’s jail! We’d join forces with those still at large to mount a strategic counter attack to free our captured friends! The only way to free them was to kick the Can. If you managed to do that, you would most definitely be the hero of the game!

Have you Ever Tried Playing Hid-n-Seek, Back-to-Front?

Another fun youth group game that we played all the time in the back yard with the neighbourhood kids was a game called ‘Squashed Sardines’. This game is a reverse of Hide-n-Seek. Rather than one person counting whilst all the other players hid; with Squashed Sardines, one person hides whilst all the other players count. Once the countdown was complete, we would franticly race around searching for our buddy who was secretly hiding. When found, we would silently slide into their secret hiding spot awaiting others to find us. These guys would also join us in our hiding spot. When the last poor sole finally discovers us and our hiding spot… we’d jump out shouting, “Squashed Sardines”. It was our worst nightmare to be that last poor sole! (Find more outdoor group games here)

Heads Down Thumbs Up

At school, our teachers would have us playing fun youth group games. An old favourite, that has stood the time, is ‘Heads Down Thumbs Up’. Such a simple game that we were so stoked to play! I bet many of you played this game as well. Five students were selected to quietly move around the class, each picking a player by touching their thumb. These players had their head buried on their desks and their eyes closed. Once all five students have made their selections, the coordinator of the game (which was usually one of us kids!) would call, “heads up stand up”. Those who had had their thumb touched would stand. Each would have an opportunity to guess who it was who touched their thumb. If they guessed correctly, they would get to swap with that out the front. Then the game repeats. I used to try and peek under my arm at the feet of the kids doing the picking. I’d usually end up getting caught!

Do the French Play Cricket?

A cool group game we played on the oval was ‘French Cricket’. This was played with a bat and a ball. The batter’s legs were his/her wickets. The aim was to hit the batter’s legs below the knee with the ball! Not as easy as it sounds. Fielders would work together, passing the ball between themselves whilst moving in on the Batter. The Batter wasn’t allowed to move his/her feet unless he/she manages to hit the ball with their bat when the ball was tossed underarm at their ‘wickets’. When the ball has hit, the Batter could race off to find a new spot on the oval. As soon as a player picked up the ball again, that player would call out “freeze”, and the Batter would stand with feet still again, ready to defend their wickets. Fielders were not permitted to run when they had the ball. They had to pass the ball to players closer to the Batter. Attacking the Batter with the ball from behind made it easier to get them out. If the ball was being tossed at the batter’s legs from behind, then the Batter would have to keep their feet pointing in one direction, whilst twisting their body around to defend their wickets with the bat. French Cricket works best with small groups of about six players. I have no idea if French Cricket was a game the French play!

Fun Youth Group Games for Kids

Do you Remember These Fun Youth Group Games from Your School Days?

A bunch of other games that I remember playing as a kid were ‘Four Square’ and ‘Wall Ball’ on the quad; ‘Knuckle-Bones’ and ‘Elastics’ in the hallways; and ‘Brandy’ and ‘British Bulldog’ out on the oval. We loved pen and paper games like Boxes, SOS and Pen Flick; or games to practice number concepts (Buz) or for learning our spelling words (Beat-the-Chalk).

I have so many happy childhood memories. It was a time long before electronic games and social media. Playing group games helped me form the foundations to who I am today.

Now, here I am many years later, a Dad to seven kids and a school teacher, reliving my awesome childhood with my own cool little tribe of kids at home and with the kids I teach!

Other articles to check out!

Large Group Games for the Outdoors

Five Fun Classroom Educational Group Games for Teachers

Team Building Games for Kids

Top 5 Tag Games

Tag Games

In English, ‘tag’ most likely comes from the Middle English word tek, meaning ‘touch, slap’. In every culture of the world you’ll find tag games. I have fond memories in junior school of chasing my peers around playing Kiss Chasey. I would likely get a slap in the face if I tried that today!

Here are a few of my favourite Tag Games that you may like to play with your students or youth group.

Snow Ball

Great to play on a large playground with lots of climbing gear. Have a bucket of tennis balls or bean bags. One player is ‘It’ . He/she gives the others a chance to run off. The player who is ‘It’ takes a tennis ball and chases after the other players. When players are tagged, they must run to the bucket, get a tennis ball, becoming a tagger as well. The game goes on until all players have been tagged. Then reverse the game with the last player to be tagged, becoming the new tagger. This player returns their ball back to the bucket, then runs off to tag the other players. As other players are tagged, they also put their balls in the bucket and join the tagging team.

Hum Tag

A player is chosen to be ‘It’. He/she stands with their hand in the air and calls out loudly, “1, 2, 3 I am it!”. They then chase players within a boundary. Escaping players can form a group of three, hold hands, take a deep breath and hum loudly. These three players are safe from being tagged whilst holding hands and humming. As soon as one of them runs out of hum, they must break hands and run off. Any player tagged must stand with their hand in the air and call loudly, “1, 2, 3, I am it!”. Then continue the chase.

Peg Tag

Great youth group game for larger groups. Each player attached three pegs to the back of their T-shirt. The game starts and all players run around and steal pegs from opponents’ backs. Give the tag game a time limit, and then all players count their captured pegs to see who wins. Can also play this game with velcro tail tags instead of pegs. I guess you would have to call the game ‘Tail Tag’ if you did that!

Giants, Wizards and Elves

Set up two teams. Each team has a team meeting and decides if the team is going to be either Elves, Wizards or Giants. Once decided, teams face off in the middle of the court. Toes must be touching the opponent’s toes.  The youth group leader, or teacher, counts down (3, 2, 1), then all players act out (and call out) their chosen character. The team that has the more powerful character must chase the other team to their end zone, tagging players. Any player tagged must join the team that tagged them. Then teams have another team meeting and select a character again to repeat the process until one team runs out of players. Giants squash Elves. Elves chew legs of Wizards. Wizards cast spell on Giants.

Dragons’ Tails

Form teams with about 6 players in each team. Each team forms up as a long dragon with the player at the front being the head and the player at the back being the tail (this player tucks a long tail out of their pants). All the players in the team must hold onto the waist of the player in front of them. The game starts and the dragons move around and try and steal the tails from other teams. If a team loses its tail, it is out of the game. If a team breaks in two, then it is out of the game. The winner is the last dragon left in the game! This is an awesome team building game requiring strategy.

Wacki App Tag Games

Wacki App has a filter that will find you the perfect tag game for the amount of time you have to play, size group and age of the players. We have over a dozen tag games ready for you to try with your youth. There are plenty more outdoor group games or indoor youth group games on this website.

Download WackiApp- Fun Youth Group Games for Kids HERE and try some of our awesome Tag Games.

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