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Socially Distanced Games for Ministry

Socially Distanced Games for Ministry

Oh 2020, you’ve taught us so much. We’ve learned that our personal toilet paper supply is kind of important, and if you look hard enough, you can find the right face mask that really makes your eyes pop. But more importantly, we’ve learned that with a little bit of creativity, we can have fun socially distanced ice breaker games within our youth ministry programs.

Be sure to check out our list of fun socially distanced games that you can implement within your youth ministry program!

Good luck, and happy playing!

1) Anything with a pool noodle!

You can play games such as tag, capture the flag, ninja, etc.
Every player has their own noodle, and if you get tagged by someone else’s pool noodle, you’re frozen or out of the game.

2) Human Battleship

Have teens split into two different teams that stand opposite each other – hide the teams from view by sheets, boxes, or any other type of barrier.
Teens choose where to stand, either inside drawn squares or hula hoops (socially distanced!).
Toss water balloons, finger blasters, balls, etc. over the middle barrier and try to “sink” the opposing team’s “ships” by hitting them with the object.

3) Minute to Win it Games

  • After placing an Oreo on their foreheads, teens must race to see who can get it into their mouth first, using only facial muscles, no hands allowed!
  • Eat a Jell-O fruit cup through a straw.
  • Fruit Roll Up Race – each teen gets a fruit roll up and unrolls it, putting one end in their mouth.  Without using hands, who can eat the fruit roll up the fastest?

4) Captain’s Orders/Ships and Sailors

We all know this classic. Here’s the socially distanced tip: don’t have them do the orders where they need to group up. This adaptation will require a couple side line judges to get people out when they are last to follow instructions.

5) Zone Soccer

Essentially this game is human foosball, which uses regular rules of soccer, but teens must stay in their designated zone which is marked out on the ground.

The game moves slower than a regular soccer game, but players need to be more strategic about how they pass the ball since they cannot leave their square.

This game is set up perfectly for social distancing!

6) Egg, Chicken, Dinosaur

This game is a funky version of rock, paper, scissors.
Everyone starts off as an egg, (pantomime being an egg by waddling around while clasping your legs), and must compete (by playing a round of rock, paper, scissors) with another egg. If you win the round, you transform into a chicken. (Again, pantomime being a chicken – obnoxious sound effects are highly encouraged.) If you lose the round, you remain an egg. The winners of the round, (now chickens), must find other chickens and play rock, paper, and scissors. The winner of that round becomes a dinosaur, (again pantomime being a dinosaur), and the loser of the round goes back to pantomiming an egg. Again, dinosaurs find other dinosaurs to play the next round. If you win during the dinosaur round, you level up and become a human. Humans find other humans to play the next round.

Players must act out their current state (egg, chicken, dinosaur, or human) as they search for their next competitor.

While teens might come a bit close to each other (wearing masks!), there is still no touching or resource sharing!

7) Find Your New Best Friend

Have everyone stand up at their seat, and invite one volunteer to front of room.
Ask the volunteer this or that questions like “cookies or cake” and “beach or pool”. The volunteer chooses the best option between the two. If you disagree with the volunteer’s answer, you sit down. Do this until just one person is standing – aka, their new best friend, because they agree on everything!

Melissa Boesch serves as the Coordinator of Events for the Office of Youth Ministry. She previously spent over 6 years in parish youth ministry where she learned a lot about life, love, and the goodness of Jesus. Her passions include Mama Mary and napping. She can often be found on the weekends exploring a new park in South City with her husband and toddler.

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