Christmas is almost here! (finally)
And it’s time to start planning youth events. As youth ministers know, Christmas is a wonderful time in the church. 91% of US citizens celebrate Christmas, and church attendance jumps 30% during the holiday. This is a great time for outreach to these new visitors.
So how can the youth ministry take advantage of this increase? Rally the troops and host a youth Christmas party! Engage those newcomers in interactive games and help them mingle with current members.
Here are the best games to get you started.
Christmas Candy Games
Candy Game #1: Stocking Stuffer Relay
It’s not a real youth Christmas party until candy is involved!
We’re going to start off with an easier game. For the stocking stuffer game, divide the group into teams. Each team needs a shallow ladle, bowl of candy, and a stocking. Set the group, ladle, and bowl of candy 10ft or so away from the stocking.
Teammates must take turns scooping candy from the bowl and dumping it in the stocking. The first person will take the spoon, scoop candy, dump it in the stocking, and run back to the start. At that point, person #2 takes the spoon and does the same thing. Runners may not use their hands to hold the candy. If any candy spills the runner must run back and restart.
The first team to fill the stocking wins!
Candy Game #2: Candy Cane Chain
Okay, game #2 is going to be more of a teamwork game. For this one, the whole group should be split into two teams. Each team should sit or stand in its own circle.
Once grouped, pass out candy canes. Every person will need a candy cane to hold in his/her teeth (sounds good, right?). Once everyone is ready, the game master will need to hang another candy cane from one of the participant’s cane. The goal of this game is to pass the loose candy cane around the circle. The group will pass the loose cane clockwise around the circle, using only the candy cane in their teeth. EVERYONE needs to pass.
If the candy cane drops, the group must start over! The first group to complete the circle wins!
Candy Game #3: Hershey Kiss Relay
The last of the candy games may be the most fun to watch. Enjoy it.
Split the group into teams of six. Each team gets one pair of thick mittens to share. They have to be thick mittens for this to work. Much like a relay race, everyone must participate, and only one person can go at a time.
For this game, members of each team will need to unwrap and eat a Hershey’s Kiss while wearing the mittens. Once the Kiss is eaten, the person removes the mittens, passes them off to the next person, and that person begins unwrapping.
First team to have everyone eat a kiss wins!
Spirit Game #1: Penguin Waddle
The first of the spirit games everyone for oneself. There are no teams in the vicious world of Penguin Waddles! This is a race to the finish!
For this game, game masters must set up a race course. It can be a straight line (for inexperienced waddlers), or it can be made more difficult with cones or other obstacles to navigate. The contestants will be racing to see who can finish first.
To make the contestants waddle, they must hold a balloon between their knees (no hands!) and be careful not to pop it! Also, if anyone drops his or her balloon, then that person must restart. Also, this is a NO CONTACT race. Any bumping, grabbing, or other tampering will result in immediate disqualification.
The first person to cross finish line is the winner!
Spirit Game #2: Human Snowman
Here’s a game for the creative types. For the Human Snowman, divide the group into teams of 5. Every team elects 1 member to be the snowman (victim, maybe?).
Teammates have 1 minute to plan and 3 minutes to decorate the snowman using toilet paper and other crafting supplies.
One the time is done, judges will pick the winner. Judges should look for the 3 C’s – coverage, creativity, and Christmas!
Spirit Game #3: Ornament Balance
This game can be a little trickier to set up, but it’s great for the thinkers.
Setup is key. To set up for the game, create a balance rack. To do this, take a paper towel tube and set it on a table so that it stands tall. Once the tube is standing, take a yardstick and balance it across the top of the tube (it should look like a “T”). If it’s stable, you’re ready to play.
Split the group into pairs. Each pair needs a balance rack and a pile of Christmas ornaments. To make the game more difficult, provide the team with ornaments of all different shapes and sizes.
Each pair must balance as many ornaments as possible on the yardstick. Winner is the team with the most ornaments balanced on the yardstick!
Lastly, Santa Games!
Santa Game #1: Hide and Seek with Santa’s Helpers
The first game is a class – it’s a SCAVENGER HUNT! You will need stuffed toys of elves, reindeer, penguins, and any other Christmas critters you can find. Hide them around the building or room (make it difficult). Make sure that none of the pieces are placed higher than arm’s length.
Split the group into teams, and have the teams divide and conquer to find the missing helpers. Team to find the most helpers wins!
Santa Game #2: Santa Belly Buster
WARNING: This game can get INTENSE
This is another Individual game. To play, make sure that every person gets a balloon and that they blow up said balloon. The filled balloons go under the shirt (like Santa’s belly!)
Participants will put their hands behind their back (no cheating!) and keep them there. The goal is to pop the balloon as quickly as possible. The last to pop his/her balloon (or last 3-4, depending on the group size) becomes Santa for the next activity!
Santa Game #3: Great Santa’s Beard!
We saved one of the best games for last. This one is a blast for kids – and for the game master.
Great Santa’s Beard is a relay race of sorts. To begin, split the group into teams of 6. MAKE SURE to separate the last place finishers from Belly Buster – every group needs a model. Once the models have been separated, give each one a pair of safety goggles (because you just never know).
Model Santas sit in chair 10 ft from the team, and teammates surround a table stocked with cotton balls and Vasoline. 1 at a time, team member must build a beard by dipping a cotton ball in the Vasoline, running to the model, and sticking the swap to the model’s face or another cotton ball. Once the cotton sticks, the player must sprint back to the start. Once he or she reaches the table, the next team member run to stick on the next cotton ball.
After 3 minutes, Judges declare a winner. Judges should grade based on the Santa Certifications – beard coverage, beard appearance, and overall appearance.
So There You Have It!
These games are FUN, and they call for kids to engage in a number different ways. The games provide youths the opportunity to get to know each other and to increase bonding using the power of play.
Bring them together this Christmas. And again, HAVE FUN!
For these and more youth Christmas party ideas, make sure to check out the Creative Church Idea Attic, Red Tricycle, TinyPrints, Janis Meredith’s blog, and PartyGamePlus. For help facilitating these games, fill out a Contact Form on our Contact page.