Head, Shoulders, Knees and CUP! FUN Youth Group Game

Last night in youth group, our Youth Intern, Josh, introduced a super fun game! I have no idea where he got it, or if he made it up – but it was a blast! It is an elimination game! Kids pair up head to head, if an odd number, either grab a leader or that student waits until the next round. The students face off with a plastic cup on the ground between them, placed upside down. The leader calls out body parts and the players have move their hands to that spot – head, knees, toes, eyes, nose, etc. BUT when they say “CUP!” the pair each try to grab the cup. If they grab it, they remain in the game. The other player is “out” for the rest of the round. ALSO – if a student touches the cup when “CUP” was not called, they are immediately out! So they need to listen carefully and the leader attempts to trick them into lunging toward to the cup! Here is a quick video of the game in action! HAVE FUN! (and have lots of cups on hand!)

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FLIP IT to Gratitude

Introducing The Complaining Game! How do we help kids focus on the positive? This is what I did one Sunday. I put 10 common complaints of kids onto slips of paper and then put them on the top of 10 buckets. Kids then go 3 Popsicle sticks to use to vote. They put a Popsicle stick in the top three buckets they complain about the most. Then, we totaled them to discover the top complaints. Here was our results: BUT, then I flipped the papers over to reveal the postive aspect of that complaint. Don’t like to clean your room? Be thankful you have a room, and a house! Hate eating veggies? Be thankful you have food to eat! Internet too slow? Be thankful you have Internet! Download all the complaints and “flipped” gratitude statements here. Find out what your kids top complaints are, then help them “flip it” to see why they should be thankful instead. Included is a full size version of this graphic I sent to parents to help them see what their kids were complaining about.

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Expect Much, Get Much!

Children typically only rise as far as you expect them to. Rarely does a student exceed the expectations of the leaders in their life. I’ve learned, “Expect Little, Get Little; Expect Much, Get Much.” Many children have a low opinion of themselves, but if you think more of them than they think of themselves, you can have the power to help lift them to the next level on their Christian journey! As a young boy, one of my teachers, Helen Reed, gave me a passion for Scripture memory. I still remember hearing, “I think you can do it,” whispered in my ear as I worked to memorize the Bible verses she provided. Her consistent encouragement pushed me to accomplish much! I would have never memorized all of those verses, nor would I have the grasp of Scripture I have today, if it wasn’t for her faithful challenging. When it came to Scripture memory, I knew that was an area of strength, so did I no longer need challenging? Far from it! We moved and I got a new church teacher. Mr. Ralph could have just complimented me on my knowledge of Scripture, but instead he commented, “I’ll be impressed when…

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STOP, DROP and ROLL!

As teachers, we have an agenda. We have a lesson plan we are trying to teach, a game we are trying to lead, a craft we are trying to complete, or some other activity that we prayed about, planned, prepared and now are trying to pull off. But often our children have other ideas about how the time in the classroom is going to be spent. There is an old children’s ministry saying that goes, “If you don’t have a plan for the kids, they’ll have a plan for you!” What do you do when you are trying to lead young children in one direction and they are moving in an entirely different direction? We usually tell them to stop what they are doing and to do what we tell them to do. Does this work? Not usually. Someone once defined insanity as taking something that doesn’t work and working harder at it. When children don’t respond well to our request to stop and obey, we have a conflict. In the classroom we are dealing with other peoples’ children, so we lack the authority and leverage we’d normally have over our own children, so we feel rather powerless. We try…

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THE NO RULES GAME!

Why did God give us commandments and rules? Was it to spoil our fun? Rather than merely explain it, have your kids experience it! Play the NO RULES GAME! Randomly divide the kids up. Put out a bunch of game stuff. Blow the whistle say “GO!” As the kids start to try and play with the stuff, start awarding points AND penalties and declare a winner and loser. See how the kids respond. They won’t like a game with no rules where it is unclear how to be a winner! Finally stop the game and explain that’s WHY God gave us commandments. A life lived without rules leads to chaos. We need rules in order to win in life! WATCH THE GAME IN ACTION: LIKE GAMES THAT TEACH? Be sure to check out The Game Zone on Kidology!

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