Hosting a youth group can be tricky, especially if you’re new to it, but arming yourself with assorted indoor youth group games before you begin can really help out.
After all, if you can make the games as fun as possible, it’ll encourage the kids to want to come back next week for more fun with their fellow group members.
There are 3 key things to look out for in any group game you introduce into your youth group.
They need to:
- Include everyone,
- Be simple to set up and explain,
- Not last too long.
So this is why we’ve designed a list of 28 of our favorite indoor youth group games played, all of which follow these 3 principles to make the ideal activity.
Indoor Youth Group Games with No Equipment
Game Objective: Have all but 1 player count down from 100 whilst 1 player hides. After the count of 100 is up, players need to find the hidden person. If a player finds the hiding spot, they join in until there’s only 1 player left who loses and becomes the next player to hide.
Check out the Sardines game rules for more information on how to play this game.
Why it’s Fun: Like playing hide and seek in reverse, Sardines is ideal if your youth group is held in a place with lots of good hiding spots.
4 ON THE COUCH
Game Objective: Split the group into even teams of 4; the goal is for each team to get all 4 players sitting on an empty couch the quickest. The starting player must call out a name of a teammate to leave their seat and sit on the couch. Whoever’s name they call out becomes their name instead. The player to the left of the empty seat then calls out the name of the player, and this continues until 1 team has all 4 players on the couch.
Why it’s Fun: Slightly confusing when your youth group first plays; after a few rounds, the game becomes easier and also competitive. Kids enjoy having to think through every move they make, with the change of names causing havoc for everyone.
HEADS UP SEVENS UP
Game Objective: Pick 3-4 players to be the chooser and have everyone else put their head down and stick their thumb up. The choosers pick someone at random to place their thumb down. The chosen players have to guess which chooser it was who pushed their thumb down.
Why it’s Fun: The Heads Up Seven Up rules are very straightforward, and there aren’t too many to learn either, which will mean you can easily teach your group this fun game.
Game Objective: Have 1 player leave the room; once that player has left, the other players to need to change the room in some way. When the player returns, they need to walk over to what they think has changed. The rest of the group quacks louder as the player gets closer to finding out what has changed.
Why it’s Fun: A fun yet a silly game that is very simple to set up. Games are over quite quickly, which means everyone within the youth group should get a turn at leaving the room.
Game Objective: Each player needs to come up with their signature sign, for example, waving with their left hand, thumbs up, etc. The player in the middle shuts their eyes and tries to catch someone performing their sign to someone else.
Why it’s Fun: Signs is a game that encourages kids that they can be silent whilst they communicate with one another. Easy to set up, make sure everyone has a different sign to make the game more fun for all involved.
Game Objective: Come up with an activity that players can do, such as jumping jacks or hopping on the spot, then challenge each player to say how many of each activity they can complete. The player who says the highest number gets to attempt to complete it, and if successful, they win the youth group record.
Why it’s Fun: Kids love to prove how good they are at certain activities, and this is their chance to prove it within their youth group. Try to continue until everyone has at least 1 world record each.
2 TRUTHS 1 LIE
Game Objective: Nominate a player to begin who must come up with 3 statements, 2 of which are true and 1 of them is false. Challenge the other players to try to identify which 1 is the lie with a show of hands. Award everyone who is correct 1 point.
Why it’s Fun: A good game to play if you have newcomers or are just starting up a youth group. Encourage everyone to keep it simple so that the lie isn’t obvious and so that everyone can take part.
Game Objective: The detective takes a look at the line of players and then turns around with their eyes closed. Swap 3 players around, have the detective turn around, and open their eyes. The detective must guess which 3 players have swapped positions in the line.
Why it’s Fun: Another quick and easy youth group game to set up, see who is the most perceptive out of your youth group.
Game Objective: Divide teams equally into 2 and line up both teams with hands on the shoulders of the player in front. Each team needs to work together to hop from one side of the room to the other, and the winning team reaches the other side first.
Why it’s Fun: The ideal game to encourage teamwork whilst also being competitive, see who can come up with the best system to lead their team to victory first.
Game Objective: Each player needs to think of a famous person and tell their youth group leader their chosen person. The youth leader will announce one of the famous names at random, and someone within the group needs to guess who picked that person. If correct, the player who picked the famous person joins their team. The winners are the players in the biggest team at the end.
Why it’s Fun: Empires tests how well your youth group knows one another as the only way players can be successful is if they can predict who each player is most likely to have picked.
Game Objective: Nominate a player to become the museum guard who has to attempt to catch players moving. The guard stands on 1 side of the room, and everyone else stands on the other side. The other players move when the guard back is turned; when the guard turns around, anyone caught moving is out. Winners are whoever manages to touch the guard.
Why it’s Fun: Also known as Red Light, Green Light, Museum Guard is a great way to teach kids about patience.
TAP IT OUT TELEPHONE
Game Objective: Divide up the group into 2 even teams, and have each team line up a single file. The goal is for the player at the back to write a word on the back of the player in front and continues until the player at the front correctly guesses the word.
Why it’s Fun: It’s hilarious to see how wrong some of the guesses can be, but the immense satisfaction when a team gets a word right is great to see.
Team-based Indoor Youth Group Games
Game Objective: Before the game begins, hide assorted items in various places indoors. Give each player a list with riddles that they must complete to find each item. The first player to find all the items on their list wins.
Why it’s Fun: Scavenger hunt games come in many different varieties, so tailor your version around your specific youth group for maximum chance of fun.
Buy It: If you’re pressed for time, then you can purchase a pre-prepared scavenger hunt pack to help you out.
Game Objective: Divide all players into 2 even teams, have them all line up in the middle, and throw 2 balls at random away from the line. Whoever has the ball can only take 2 steps and then must throw the ball to try to hit a member of the other team. Once hit, that player must sit down, and the last player standing wins the game for their team.
Why it’s Fun: If you’re looking for an active youth game to play then, this is a great one to pick as it gets everyone involved all at once.
Game Objective: Pair up players and give each pair a set of spaghetti and a pack of marshmallows. Challenge teams to build the tallest tower out of the supplied materials.
Why it’s Fun: The only thing kids find funnier than building a marshmallow tower is eating said tower, and in this game, they’ll be able to do both.
Game Objective: Split your youth group up into 2 teams and supply each team with a whiteboard and pen each. Tell each player who is drawing an object that they must draw, and their team must guess. The quickest team to identify the object wins a point.
Why it’s Fun: A great icebreaker game, the fast and furious gameplay that Draw It encourages will keep your group entertained every time you suggest playing it.
TUG OF WAR
Game Objective: Divide the group into 2 teams of equal strength and get both teams to decide upon an order. Have both teams grip hold of the rope from opposite ends; the winning team is the one who pulls their opponents past a certain point.
Why it’s Fun: A classic for a reason, mix up the gameplay by having kids vs adults to see if the kids can work together to defeat the youth group leaders.
Game Objective: Set up a bunch of challenges in a room where everyone in your youth group is locked inside. Each challenge completed earns the group a step closer to finding the key to exit the room.
Why it’s Fun: There are many different escape room game ideas you can implement to make it special for your own group.
Buy it: Feel free to make your own one up, or grab yourself something like this Exit: The Game set to help you out instead.
HUMAN TABLE FOOTBALL
Game Objective: In teams, score 7 goals first to win. Arrange chairs in a classic table football formation and hand each player a wooden spoon. Players sit in their chairs and hit a ball with their wooden spoon until they score.
Why it’s Fun: Table football is always great fun, and what better way to get everyone involved than introducing this game to your group.
Game Objective: Players sit in a circle and write down a random sentence on a piece of paper. Everyone passes their paper to the left, and the next person continues the sentence with their own sentence. This continues until each player gets their original paper back, everyone reads out their stories.
Why it’s Fun: Extremely simple to set up, Paper Telephone is always hilarious to hear how outlandish each story gradually becomes as more gets added to them.
Game Objective: Captain Ball is a team-based game where players score goals, with the team with the most goals at the end of the game-winning. Set up 2 team captains on chairs on opposite sides, to score goals, players need to successfully throw the ball to the captain,
For a full rundown on this game, read our guide to the Captain Ball game rules.
Why it’s Fun: Encourages teamwork whilst also a great way to expend energy; Captain Ball is non-contact, so you can include everyone in your youth group in this game.
Individual Indoor Youth Group Games
Game Objective: Get a player to hide a large doll and a ‘murder weapon’ such as a spoon in a room. All players get placed in a room, and everyone needs to find the doll and weapon and also figure out who hid them in the first place.
Why it’s Fun: Bringing the classic game of Clue to life, take inspiration from the Clue game rules to come up with different scenarios to keep it interesting.
Game Objective: The last player who still has their penny balancing on their chin wins this game. Each player starts by balancing a penny flat on their chin and must go around attempting to know off the other player’s pennies.
Why it’s Fun: The youth group leaders will get as much enjoyment out of watching players as the youth group will out of playing. Make sure it’s kept friendly throughout, however.
TENNIS BALL TIGHTS
Game Objective: Each player starts by putting on tights with tennis balls in the feet to restrict movement. Set up an obstacle course, and have each member of the youth group attempt to navigate the course. The player with the quickest time and the least objects knocked over wins.
Why it’s Fun: Kids love playing an obstacle course at the best of times. And with the added challenge of wearing a ridiculous outfit, everyone will be laughing at players attempting the course.
Game Objective: Bring in enough large towels for several teams to play at once. Teams of 2 or 3 players each sit on the towel, and their task is to flip the towel over without anyone falling off the Magic Carpet. The quickest team wins.
Why it’s Fun: A game that very much sounds a lot easier than what it actually is, trying to work out the easiest way to complete the challenge can become rewarding.
OVEN MITT UNWRAPPING GAME
Game Objective: Wrap a present up in several layers of wrapping paper before your next youth group meeting. In the Oven Mitt Unwrapping game rules, players roll a 6 on a dice and then attempt to open the present with oven mitts on. They have until the next player rolls a 6 to open the present. If they fail, the present passes over to the player who rolled the 6. The game continues until the present gets unwrapped.
Why it’s Fun: Another game that sounds easy until you actually attempt to do it yourself, the unknown time constraint added to this game adds an extra thrill as well.
MONKEY IN THE MIDDLE
Game Objective: Monkey in the Middle requires players to throw a ball around in a circle whilst the monkey attempts to intercept. If successful, then whoever threw the ball becomes the new monkey. This continues until everyone is too tired to carry on.
Why it’s Fun: Another great example of an active game that gets everyone involved, it’s an easy game to play that only requires a ball and can be used as a wind-down game too.
HOT POTATO GAME
Game Objective: Avoid being the player who is holding the hot potato when the music stops. In the Hot Potato game rules, players throw a hot potato around in a circle; when the music stops, whoever is holding the potato is out. Last player who manages to avoid holding the potato wins.
Why it’s Fun: Hot Potato teaches kids the need to make quick decisions and not to dawdle, and being able to think quickly on your feet is a great skill for kids to learn.
Buy It: Although you can play with any ball or similar object, getting an official Hot Potato game set for your youth group is the funner way to play.
We hope that after reading our list of some of our favorite indoor youth group games, you have plenty of fun activities and tasks that will keep your group entertained for hours.
When the weather becomes nicer, and you can take your youth group outside, check out our list of youth group games which feature outdoor games as well, so you’re covered all year round.
Take this further as well and discover some of our handpicked camp games for small groups as well in case your youth group takes summer vacations together too.