Games are an important component of junior high youth group. According to youthspecialties.com, “Your crowdbreaker may say more about the adventure of following God than even your best-planned talk.” Whether the youth group is affiliated with a church or another organization, games set a tone for the event and create memorable experiences. However, games and activities do not need to be expensive.
This game provides a good icebreaker and also puts the junior high youth into small groups. As with any junior high game, do not tell the youth that the game is intended to create small groups, unless you want to end up with large groups of friends in the same group. Tell the group that you are going to name a few animals, and on the count of three they should begin to act like the animal with which they most identify. As a leader, determine how many animals to say according to how many groups you would like to form. Choose a wide variety of animals such as lion, dove, iguana, octopus and ant. Announce the animals and watch the room transform into a zoo. Instruct the youth to find the others who chose the same animal. These are the small groups. You could continue with a lesson that involves animals, or transition into another game.
According to the website jubed.com, caterpillar race is one of the most popular games. Form equal-sized teams of five to seven people. Ask the teams to create one-syllable names. Line them up behind a starting point. Team members place their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. When the race begins, the first person hops forward, then the next, until the last person hops and yells out the team name. This is the signal for the whole team to hop forward once. Repeat the entire sequence until a team crosses the finish line. If any team member breaks the chain of hands on shoulders or hops out of sequence, the team must go back and start over.
Last One Standing
This game works well if junior high youth have been sitting for a long time and need a quick break. Ask everyone to stand. Announce that you will say a series of criteria, and if they fit the criteria they should sit down. For example, tell them to sit down if they are wearing yellow, saw the last episode of a popular television show or have been to a particular state. Be careful not to say something that might embarrass the people who have to sit down for the criteria. Continue to announce criteria until you have a winner.