Christmas is a great time to spice up your youth group gatherings with new games or activities! Here is a list of 10 games and activities to prepare and try out as we approach the holiday season!
1. Blindfolded Gift Wrapping
Provide the kids with a box, tape and wrapping paper. Blindfold them and have them try to wrap the box and put a bow on top. You could also do this with two blindfolded people working together, or for an added challenge, they have to put one hand behind their back to complete the task.
2. Blindfolded Paper Tree Building
Give participants green construction paper and tape and have them tear a four-tiered (going from large to small triangles) Christmas tree and tape it together — but ask them to do all of it blindfolded! For added fun, give them colored dots to put on as Christmas lights as well. The one that looks most like an actual tree is the winner!
3. Cotton Ball Santa
For this fun relay game, divide into three or four teams depending on group size. Students get Vaseline or shaving cream smeared on the bottom of their face, run across the room and stick their face into a plate of cotton balls trying to stick as many as possible, then run to the other end and peel them off into a bowl before tagging the next person to start the process. First team to get a set number of cotton balls (have leaders keep count) wins! Take some pictures of the kids to remember the holiday fun!
4. Christmas Theme: One Word Guessing Game
Teams of four are needed for this game so depending on your group size, print enough clue cards for each team. Print one Christmas-related word on a card (songs, holiday-related treats, décor), have three on the team each say one word that describes the word on the card, the “guesser” only has one guess of the Christmas word their team is describing.
5. Worst Family Christmas Card Photo Competition
Have volunteer leaders and kids bring goofy props and clothing (be sure to return at the end of the night), then divide them up into teams and have them go into separate rooms. They have 10 minutes to take 10 pictures on someone’s phone to be voted on for “Worst Family Christmas Card.” You can also award prizes for most unique use of a prop, worst dressed and most unique facial expressions. Show some examples from the web before you start to inspire your students!
6. Gratitude Game
This game is best for smaller groups — everyone partners up, sits in a circle, and one partner is given a gift bag. On “go,” gift bag partner runs out of room to find a “gift” around the church (square of toilet paper, pen or you can supply a “gift box” with dirty socks and other unique gifts). They must return and go around the circle, giving their gift to their partner. The partner thanks them and adds a sentence of what they like about the gift, how they will use it or enjoy it: “Thank you so much for this square of toilet paper. Though I will only use it once, I will think of you and be thankful for it.” Partners take turns giving gifts for several rounds. Give prizes for most creative thank you, most sincere thank you, etc.
7. Speed Tree Decorating
Get a non-decorated Christmas tree and set it up in the middle of the room. Divide your group into two teams and put a throwing line with tape in a circle, 8-10 feet around the tree. Provide each team with a bucket of non-breakable ornaments of a specific color. The challenge is to throw ornaments into the tree and have them stay put. For fun, you could also add silly items like small stuffed animals, an elf or a rubber chicken! The team with the most in the tree wins.
8. Christmas Reverse Charades
Fold index cards with Christmas movies, songs and typical Christmas activities printed on them and put them in a large bowl. In reverse charades, one person on the team guesses while the other members, as a group, silently give clues. You can have multiple bowls going at a time and divide your youth group into teams of four or five and play tournament style so that the final two teams with the most correct guesses go head-to-head in a final reverse charade battle.
9. Christmas Gratitude Letter Writing Party
Gather cardstock, markers and colored pencils and a box of envelopes and have students write letters to bus drivers, favorite store cashiers, school administrators, pastors and church staff. Provide holiday cookies and cider, put on some festive music, and let the words of encouragement flow! End the evening with a gift exchange and games.
10. Christmas Kindness Paper Chain
Pre-cut red, green and white paper strips and have students write an act of kindness they can do on each strip, counting down to Christmas day. Create paper chains for the students to take home and decorate their bedrooms and tear off a ring each day and do the act of kindness!
Incorporate these games or activities into your youth group Christmas plans and have a merry and bright season together!
Ofa Foiakau is the Youth/High School Ministry Lead and Field Officer (Central/West) within the PULSE team.