top of page



timer challenge

Number of players:  2 - 200

This is an all-against-all game where the best guess wins.

This is a handy game for getting young people to be quiet! 

Equipment needed: A timer

How to play

Find a timer that has an alarm which can be set between 15 seconds and a minute. Tell the group that their task is to guess how long 15 seconds is. To begin with everyone must remain seated. You will count down 3-2-1 and start the timer. Players will have to guess the passing of time and stand up when they think 15 seconds is up. The last player to stand up BEFORE the alarm sounds, is the winner. If two or more players stand up at the same time, they can go through to the final. No watches, devices or phones can be used. You might also want check where the clock is on the wall! 

It's handy to have a number of leaders on the lookout to help spot the winner. 


youth group games

Number of players:  4 - 104

In this game players compete in teams to think up and sing a line from songs that contain a key word. 

This is game usually sets a good atmosphere for the evening.

Equipment needed: Pens and paper

Getting ready

Divide the young people into teams so that you ideally have four or five groups. Give each team a piece of paper and a pen. Instruct the teams that you are going to call out a word and each team has to think of as many songs as they can that contain the word you have called out.  It can be the title of a song or a lyric in the song. Give them 3 minutes to come up with a list.


How to play

Once the 3 minutes are up, teams will be asked in turn to sing one of the lyrics they have on their list that contains the key word. Once a lyric has been sung by one team, that lyric cannot be repeated by another team. A team has 5 seconds to come up with new a lyric and it has to be an actual lyric and not a made up one!  If a team cannot come up with a lyric in time, they will be out.  Continue asking teams for their lyrics until there is just one team left. The last team standing is the winner!

Words to use

Here is a list of some words that might work well:









Socially distanced games


Number of players:  6 - 30

Players use actions to pass on control of the game whilst being undetected.  

This is a fun game that gets everyone involved.

Equipment needed: None

Getting ready

Have the youngsters sit in a circle with space for one person to stand in the middle. Then get each young person to think up a (nice) hand signal to do (for example playing air guitar, brushing your hair, a simple thumbs up, a dance move or anything else). Make sure that people’s signs are sufficiently different from each other not to be confused.


How to play

One of the group members must volunteer to stand in the middle of the circle and close their eyes whilst a person is chosen to start the group off. Once the person standing in the middle has opened their eyes, the person chosen to start the group off begins by doing their signal. The aim is to do this in a way that is not seen by the player in the middle. After a player has done their own signal they follow it with someone else’s hand signal (again unseen by the person in the middle). 


Once a person's signal has been done, that is their cue to secretly repeat their own signal, before doing someone else's, thereby passing control on. The person in the middle has 3 chances to catch someone doing their signal. If they can correctly identify the person who has control before they pass it on to someone else, they can rejoin their seat. The person caught will then be the person who stands in the middle.


It’s really a fun game to watch people get away with it, without being noticed! To keep the game going at a good pace, people who take too long to do their signal will be eliminated and therefore chosen to stand in the middle. 

Found what you're looking for?? Did you know that we do Bible study devotions books for teens?

Many of the Psalms look at issues relating to young people, such as anxiety, identity and going through difficult times.

Click on the picture to take a look at some samples.

Inspire devotions-min.png


Number of players:  5 - 30

The aim of this game is to remember the ever increasing number of signs as they are passed through the group.

This is great for icebreaking and funny moments. 

Equipment needed: None

Setting up

Before you start the game, have each member think up an action (such as a dance move, facial expression or a cool wave). This will help the flow of the game when you start. Have people sitting in a way so that they can see who is before them. A circle is useful! But you could also have folks sitting or standing one behind the other with players turning round to pass on their actions.

How to play
One person will begin by performing their action. The person next to them has to repeat the action performed, followed by their own. The next player will then repeat both the actions of the previous person, before adding their own. This continues throughout the group, with players trying to remember the different actions in order. Continue until it gets too tricky. Folks can be eliminated if you are looking for a winner.

master codebreaker.png


Number of players:  4 - 30

In this game a team has to work out the code before the other teams can successfully decode it.

This is game is a great brain teaser. 

Equipment needed: A flipchart or pieces of paper and a pen.

Setting up

All you need to set up is a flip chart. You will need to think up a code which is four digits long using any of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. So your code could be 3352. Make a note of this code and stick it to the back of the flip chart. You might need to refer to the code during the game.


Separate the group into teams who will work together to guess the secret code. The number of players in each team is not important.

How to play
Tell the teams that they have to use their brain power to work out a secret four-digit code that is behind the flip chart. The secret four-digit code will consist of one or more of the following numbers... 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. The game will begin with a team sending a player to the board to write down their guess of the four-digit code (for example 3434). You will then be able to give teams a clue as to how close this number is to the code, by using a 1 or 0.

By comparing the number the team has written with your secret code, you will see that one or more numbers may be correctly placed and match your code, but not all numbers will. For example, comparing your secret code 3352 with the code the team has guessed 3434, there is one number that matches your secret code exactly 3_ _ _, For this you will award a 1. There is also another number which is in your secret code, but it is in the wrong place _ 3_ _.  For this you will award a 0. The other numbers that are not in your code will be ignored. Therefore you will write on the board next to the guess 01. This will help players to work out the code as the game progresses.

So after each guess, you award as many 1s or 0s as are required. 

1 = the right number in the right place

0 = the right number, but in the wrong place. 


A new team will then send a player to have a guess and again you will look to see how their guess matches up with your secret code and provide your clues. After a few guesses, teams will be able to work out what numbers are and are not being used and begin to decide which order  matches your secret code. You can either play until there is a winner, or allow a maximum number of guesses.

You may also want to use a timer of 30 seconds for teams to make their guess, so that the game keeps a steady pace. If social distancing requirements prevent people from moving around, have teams appoint a spokesperson to call out their guess. This game also works well in virtual online zoom-style meetings.



Number of players:  5 - 30

This is a fun storytelling game using people's imagination

This is great for icebreaking and funny moments. 

Equipment needed: None

How to play
In this storytelling game, the idea is to create an imaginary story using quick wits and humour. The leader begins the story with an imaginary scenario that appears to be going wrong. For example "Whilst visiting the zoo, an announcement came over the loud speaker that a hungry wolf had escaped his enclosure and was heading in my direction." The person to your right will then have to continue telling the story, beginning with the word "Fortunately." For example, "Fortunately I had been to the butchers that morning and had a leg of lamb in my backpack."

The person to their right must then add to the story beginning with the word "Unfortunately." For example, "Unfortunately the wolf was a vegetarian." The next person would continue with their humourous addition to the story, starting with "Fortunately." Maybe they might say "Fortunately I was not covered in leaves, so was of no interest to the wolf."
Move around the room switching between fortunate and unfortunate situations.  To make things interesting, If somebody pauses, “ums” or “ers,” they are out.  The winner is the last person left.

Did you know that volume 3 of the inspire resource has 81 games (and how to play them) in the back of the book?

Actually all of the 33 ready-to-use sessions in the volume 2 have at least one game or icebreaker to start things off. 


Click the book to find out more.

vol 3 games-min.png


Number of players:  5 - 30

This is a detective game where the right question will reveal the truth!

Equipment needed: A flip chart or board and marker pen

Setting up
Have a flip chart or wipe board positioned where everyone can see it easily.

How to play

Choose two people to be accused of a crime. These two people have to imagine that they were together at the time. Describe the crime. For example, a Nerf gun and half eaten pizza was stolen from the Youth Pastor's office at around 7pm last night.

The two accused must then go out of the room to construct an alibi. As they talk together they will have five minutes to make up a story of something they could have been doing together, as if it actually happened. They should consider things like: who they were with, what activity they were doing, and at what time, what they ate, what the other was wearing, what the weather was like, was it dark or light? etc. They will have to go through as many details as they can think of, as afterwards they will be questioned!  

Whilst the accused are together in a separate room thinking up their alibi, the rest of the group will have to think up 10 questions to ask the accused who will be brought out separately and asked the same set of questions. The questions will relate to what they were doing at 7pm last night and try to uncover inconsistencies in each of the stories of the accused. These questions can include who they were with (names of all people), what food the other person ordered, when they met up, what they talked about, who paid if they ate out, etc. All of these questions will enable the questioners to pick holes in the stories of those accused.

After five minutes, one of the accused will be brought out for questioning, whilst the other accused remains in another room, unable to hear the questions or answers being given. Once this questioning has ended, the second person accused can enter to be questioned. It's wise to make notes!  The first accused can now remain in the main room, but must stand behind their fellow accused and not interact with them. No eye contact, coughs or any hand signals!


When questioning the second accused person, you must again note down their answers (but they must not be able to view the board or flip chart!). You will be able to compare the answers given by the accused, which may lead to further questioning of the second accused person! Once five minutes of questioning is up, the group will then have to discuss the answers given and make a decision; if the statements agree, the pair are innocent and free to go. However, if their statements significantly differ, the accused must be sent to jail. But will there be enough testimonial evidence to make a conviction?!

1, 2, 3, 4


Number of players:  5 - 30

This is a game of chance, where players have to be the only person holding that number.

This is great for icebreaking. 

Equipment needed: Paper and pens

Setting up

Give each person a sheet of paper and have them fold it into half and half again. When they open it out, the sheet should be divided into 4 quarters. Have them tear along the fold lines to make 4 pieces of paper which are roughly equal in size. Each sheet must be numbered from one to four. So they will have one piece of paper with the number 1 on, one with the number 2, one with the number 3 and one with the number 4.

How to play
After the count of three, each player must immediately select one of their four pieces of paper and hold it up for the others to see. If they are holding up a number that no-one else is holding up, that person will earn the same amount of points as the number on their piece of paper (ie. number 4 = 4 points). The winner is the first to make it up to 10.




Number of players:  5 - 15

This is a game where players use creativity and bluffing to try and outwit their opponents

This is a great game to get people interacting with each other and developing social skills. 

Equipment needed: Paper and pens

The game
In this game, players will draw a picture which they will then attempt to auction off in a bidding war using "virtual money." As well as selling their artwork, players can increase their "virtual money" by bidding for other people's artwork. The person who makes the most profit wins. I have also played this game using Skittles sweets as currency, but that isn't advisable with current social distancing requirements.

Setting up

Each person will need to be given a blank piece of card (A6 or postcard sized), some coloured pens and a small piece of paper with a valuation on it. They will also need something on which to write their current monetary balance. On each small piece of paper write one valuation. These valuations will range from £20,000 through to £2,000 (you can also add in a couple of forgeries). There should be one valuation for each player. Players must keep these secret. Anyone who reveals their valuation before the end of the game will have it reduced to £10. You can tell the group that the valuations range from £2,000 to £20,000 and that there will be a couple of forgeries!

How to play

Each player will have 5 minutes to create their own masterpiece by drawing their artwork on the postcard. It can be real or abstract, a copy of an old master, or their original work. Each player will have a total of £20,000 to start off with, which they will write down and keep track of during the game.

Once all masterpieces have been completed the auction will begin. Each artist has to describe their masterpiece to the rest of the group before the auction of their work commences. The aim is to sell it for the highest bid. Only the owner of the picture is allowed to see how much it is worth (from the valuation you have given them). They must not show the valuation to the group. Their job is to convince the group that they have the highest valuation for their work of art (even if they don’t!).


Once the artist has introduced their work, the bidding will start. Each person can only bid up to the amount they have on their balance sheet. Once bidding has ended on that item, the masterpiece and the valuation (which much still be kept secret) are to be paid for by the highest bidder. They must deduct their winning bid from their balance sheet and it is then added to the sheet of the seller. Then both the picture and the valuation are handed over to the winning bidder. Whatever the highest bid was, it must be paid immediately to the owner before the new owner looks at the actual valuation. If the bidder has any funds remaining, they can bid in future auctions.

The aim of the game is to sell for more than a picture is valued at and to buy for less than it is worth. Although this is not always possible! Players can also re-sell items. By the end of the game each player must have sold at least one item.


Once you call an end to the game, players then add the value of the items they own to their "virtual money" balance and declare their total. The one with who has accumulated the the most is the winner.


play your cards right.png

Number of players:  2 - 30

This is a game-show style activity where teams have to guess if cards will be higher or lower than the one showing.

This is an easy game for anyone to join in 

Equipment needed: A deck of cards (the larger the better)

Setting up

You can either run this as a stage game, like a game-show with two teams of two contestants, or play it as a group game dividing folks into more than two teams.


Have a stand or flip chart with a sill for the cards to sit on for people to see (and make sure you have one or two decks of cards available). Shuffle the packs.   

How to play
Place 5 cards in a row (with numbers facing towards the board) on your stand. Pick up the card that is furthest to the left and turn it over so that everyone can see the number on the card. Whichever team you have chosen to start first can now choose if they want to keep that card or swap it for another card chosen blindly at random.


The team must now guess if the next card is going to be higher or lower than the one showing. Once they have decided, turn over the card next to the one you have begun with. If the team have guessed correctly, they must guess if the next is higher or lower than the one just turned over. If they guess incorrectly at any stage the next team gets to carry on where the last team left off. The card that is guessed incorrectly is replaced with another random card.

When a new team begins, they are allowed to see the card and can choose to keep it or to swap it for a new randomly chosen card. Again they go along the board, guessing if cards are higher or lower. When a team guesses the last card (the 5th card) correctly they win the game. If the 5th card is guessed incorrectly, both the 4th and 5th cards are replaced and the 4th card is turned over for the team to see. Then they can guess whether the 5th card is higher or lower than the 4th to win the game.

Ace is generally considered as a high card. If a card is turned over and isn't higher or lower than the previous one (eg. you have a 5 and another 5 is turned over), this is considered as an incorrect guess. You get nothing for a pair - not in this game.

Alternative game modes: 


To add a bit more drama to the game, each team can be allocated points (eg. 50 points). When deciding on whether a card is higher or lower, they can double their points by choosing how many points they are happy to risk in order to gain those points. If they are very confident that their higher/lower guess will be correct, they could risk 30 points for example. If they are correct, they get 30 extra points. However, if they are wrong, they lose 30 of their points.   



To start along the board, teams must be first to buzz in and correctly answer a question.

Check out Paul Martin's Bible study resources, which help young people to interact with the Bible text in a fun and meaningful way:

Inspire website.png
Available on AMAZON in paperback


Sign up for updates from Inspire.

Thanks! We'll keep you posted!

bottom of page