Lawn Games for the Entire Family

Summer can pose a problem for families in search for new and fun things to do. So much free time can lead to boredom. Finding fun, inexpensive, and innovative ideas that keep everyone interested is hard to do. Lawn games are a perfect way to get the family outside and to spend time together. With so many options, there is a lawn game for everyone to enjoy.

Lawn Twister

To set up this easy game, begin by painting a “twister board” onto the lawn. It is best to cut a template of a circle out of some leftover cardboard. Use ground marking spray paint on the grass because it washes off easily.

Tug- of-War​

This classic game includes the entire family as well as friends or neighbors. Get a long and sturdy rope, and either some colored tape or marker to mark the center of the rope. Split into two teams and begin pulling. One fun twist to the game is extending the rope across either a stream or water sprinkler. Tug-of-War is not only about strength, but it is also a lot of fun, and there are many variations of the game that can be played.

Frozen T-Shirt Race​

This game is easy to set up and even more fun to play. To start, grab a single t-shirt for each player and soak it in water. Once it is thoroughly wet, squeeze out any extra water and fold it up. Place all t-shirts in a plastic bag with wax paper in between the different shirts. When they are completely frozen, distribute the shirts. The winner is the first person who can completely unfold their t-shirt and put it on.

Badminton​

This is a traditional lawn game that the whole family can play together. The net can be set up in any open space. The only materials needed are the net, racquets for each player, and a shuttlecock.

Water Balloon Toss

Grab five different buckets. Set them up in a line on the driveway or pavement. If different sized buckets are used, place the larger ones closer to the start and the smaller ones at the end. Label the closest bucket 25, then the next 50, 75, 100, and 500. Use filled water balloons to toss into the buckets. The winner is the one that can score the most points.

bucket of green water balloons next to legs of small child wearing shark shorts and crocs

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Bean Bag Ladder Toss​

For this game, all that is needed is a step lapper and some bean bags to toss. To start, label each rung of a step ladder with different points. Normally, the top rung will be the highest number. Throw the bags between the rungs to score points.

BAGGO

BAGGO is a classic lawn game that is loved by the whole family. Design a BAGGO board that has a theme that represents the interests of the family. To start, set up the boards opposite from each other. Split the players up into teams of two and give each team four bags. The opponents will alternate the tosses until all of the eight bags are thrown. The team that reaches 21 points first wins the game. Ask friends and neighbors to bring their portable BAGGO boards and set up a BAGGO tournament in your yard.

Jenga

This game requires a little more preparation, but it will last for many summers to come. Buy several 2x4 boards that can be cut into 48 ½ inch pieces. The boards can be cut by hand or at a local lumber yard. After the pieces are cut, sand the edges so each piece is smooth and can be easily slid across the other pieces. To add some creativity and color, paint the ends in different colors. There is no need to seal the wood because it may cause the wood to stick and the pieces will not slide as easily. Once the project is complete, you can begin playing the game. Store the pieces in a garage during wet weather to prevent warping.

Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag​

For fun after the sun goes down, try a different take on a classic game. Divide up family and friends into two teams. Use different glow stick colors as the flags for each team. Give each player two glow bracelets which match the color of their flag. The objective is to find the opposite team's “flag” and bring it back to their side. The winner is the team who successfully captures all of the other team’s flags.

Outdoor Bowling​

Fill 2-liter soda bottles with water or sand, and use a rubber ball as the bowling ball. Adjust the length of the lane according to the ability and age of the players.

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Slide and Toss

Slip and Slide is a yard activity the whole family has enjoyed for many years. To make it into a game that involves scoring points, gather a tarp, duct tape, and Frisbees. To set up the game, cut different shapes into the tarp and reinforce the shapes with the duct tape. Give different point values to the shapes and then hang the tarp at the end of the slip-n-slide. To play, slide down the slide, stand up, spin around four times and throw Frisbees to gain points. The winner is the person or team with the most points at the end of the game.

Blanket Run​

This easy and fun game only requires blankets to play. Simply have one person sit on the blanket while the other stands and holds the other end. The winner is the one that can pull their partner across the lawn to the finish line first.

Playground Games​

Playground games such as jump rope and hopscotch are fun, too! They can provide hours of outdoor family entertainment and require very few materials.

Final Thoughts

Summer is an exciting time for creating lifelong memories. Summer entertainment does not have to be expensive and should include the entire family. It can be as simple as making bubbles and hula hooping, to creating competitive games. Whichever activities your family chooses to participate in should be fun!

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Human Knot Icebreaker Game

The human knot icebreaker game is a great one to play when you are thinking of ways to make friends at a meeting or a party. There are people who have never done this before, or they might have only seen a description of it. You have to get in your mind how much fun it is going to be to play, and then you are going to be able to get to know people while you are playing. You might see some people say that you can do this with a really large group, but you are going to get better results by breaking up your group into chunks of about ten people.

Starting Out

Starting out is a very simple process, but you have to be willing to break people up into groups. The groups that you make for all the people around you are going to be helpful because they will have just a few people together that can learn each other's name as they go. Make sure that everyone has a name tag on, and then make your own human knot.

Holding Hands

Everyone needs to be holding hands, and you need to make a knot that connects people in a twister sort of fashion. The twister setup that you do for the game is going to be easy to untie, but you have to make sure that you have done all that you can to make the knot complex. Everyone is going to keep holding hands, and they will need to untie themselves. This is where everyone has to get to know each other because they have no choice.

The first step for making the knot is to make sure that you do not turn anybody around while you are doing it. They might have to twist and turn when they are untying the knot, but they kind of need to be facing each other as you start the game.

Starting the Game

You are going to ask everyone to start to untie the knot, but they are not going to be untie the knot unless they keep holding hands. Holding hands is going to be hard for everyone to do when they do not know all the names around them, but they are going to share their names when they are untying the knot. This might be kind of hard for some of the people in the group, but it is hard to keep untying the knot when people do not know names.

Waiting

You have to remember that they are going to wait sometimes when they do not know how they are going to be able to get the job done. They have more time to talk because this game can get kind of complicated. These people know that they are going to have to work hard at it to get it done, but they might take a break just to talk. This can be kind of helpful, but everyone is going to learn names as they go.

Pushing the Group

There will come a time when you need to push the group because you know that they are going to have to actually finish. It might be funny to leave everyone in knots, but you might need to have them to keep working on the knot. You can actually show them what to do, and then you can let them keep going on their own to get done. This means that they can get the knot finished with some help, but these people already know each other's names.

A group that moves really fast is going to have a chance to go back and try a harder knot, and that could be really fun because it is your first chance to get them to do something that is even harder. You might not have an idea if they can do the bigger knot, but it will be fun to try. People are going to learn names, and they are going to have a chance to work out their brains on something that is really complex.

Doing it Blindfolded

You cannot do the whole game blindfolded, but you can blindfold every other person or even just one person in the group. This means that the people who can see have to give direction to the people that are blindfolded, and you also need to remember that it is going to be easier for these people to learn names because they have no choice.

You are going to have a lot of fun playing the human knot icebreaker game at every meeting, and it is still going to work when you are trying to get your team to work together. The person that is going to be the best at this is going to be good at problem solving, but the people that like to socialize will enjoy it just the same.

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How to Play Egyptian Rat Screw

Egyptian Ratscrew, also known as French Slap and Egyptian War, is a fast-paced card game for two or more players. To play the game, you'll need a standard deck of 52 cards (or multiple decks for more players).

General Gameplay

To begin, the deck is shuffled and each player is dealt an even number of cards face down. At no point during the game are the players allowed to look at their own cards.

The person to the left of the dealer begins the game by flipping the top card of their pile and placing it face up in the middle to start a center pile. The player flips the card away from themselves so that all players may see the card at the same time. The play of Egyptian Rat Screw continues around the circle with each player placing one card face up on the center pile until a face card or an Ace is played.

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When this occurs the next player or "challenged" has four chances after an Ace is played, three after a King, two after a Queen, and one chance after a Jack to place another Ace or face card. If the player completes the allowed number of chances without placing the correct card, the play continues.

If the challenged player manages to place a face card or an Ace, then that player becomes the "challenger" and the next player is given the same number of chances to place a correct card. As long as an Ace or face card can be placed, the game will continue to the next player. If not, the challenger takes the pile and begins a new one. Once a player collects all the cards in a deck, the Egyptian Rat Screw game is won.

Slapping

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Certain combinations of cards agreed on beforehand allow players to slap the pile and claim it. Some examples of slap combinations are a Double, any two cards of equal value; Sandwiches, a Double that has a card of different value between the two cards of equal value; Big Mac's, a double that has two cards of different values between the two equal cards; consecutive runs of at least three cards, ascending or descending; wild cards, generally Jokers; and Marriage, a King and Queen on top of each other.

The person who slaps the pile the quickest is able to claim the entire pile. If two players slap the pile simultaneously, the one who has contact with the most number of cards wins the slap.

Player Elimination & Penalties

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A player is eliminated once he or she has no more cards to flip. If the player's cards run out while challenging an Ace or face card, then either of two situations can occur. The next player may use the remaining chances to try and counter the challenge or the challenger can collect the pile and begin a new one.

One or more penalty cards must be given if a player slaps the pile on a combination that is not set forth prior to the game beginning. The cards must be placed face up at the bottom of the pile so that the play may resume with the last card played. If a player incorrectly slaps more than five consecutive plays, then they are out of the game.

Even without any cards left, a player may still slap at appropriate card combinations. If, however, they slap incorrectly they are given a strike. Three strikes and they may not slap until the next game.

Wrap Up

There you have it, the step-by-step process on how to play Egyptian Rat Screw. Enjoy this fun card game with family and friends. Check out the rest of the site for more fun cards games.

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41 Fun Youth Group Icebreakers

Many church leaders who work with youth choose to start a service with an "icebreaker." These can be questions, get-to-know-you activities, or even just silly games. However, youth group icebreakers should always come with a purpose. Even the most absurd of games can lend to the theme of a message of that day. They also have the added benefit of expelling some of the energy that would later lead to distractions during the service. Enjoy these fun activities with your youth group!

Name Games

Sometimes when a lot of new kids have begun attending service, it is good to welcome them to the group with a name game.

Whomp Em

Whomp Em is a fun circle game. Have everyone stand in a circle. One player is chosen to stand in the middle with a pillow. The player in the middle can only get out by hitting someone in the knees with the pillow before they can say their name and someone else's. This game is great at relieving excess energy and can go on for a while without getting old.

Bumpity Bump Bump Bump

Just like Whomp' Em, in this game, everyone but one stands in a circle. The person in the middle says the name of someone in the circle followed by “Bumpity bump bump bump.” The person whose name has been called must say the names of the people on either side of them. Pick a random word (spaghetti, ribbit, etc.) that either a facilitator or the person in the middle can shout out at any moment forcing everyone to move elsewhere on the circle and learn new names.

Getting to Know Each Other

Even the most close-knit of youth groups will face the drama that comes along with being a young person. Playing get-to-know-you games can help the kids in your youth group remember their similarities and teach them to work together.

Speed Friending

Speed Friending is much like speed dating! Have several small tables set up with two chairs. Players get a set amount of time to talk to each other before the facilitator blows the whistle and they must move on. Provide some topics for discussion on the table in case the groups aren't sure what to talk about.

Question Web

Provide a list of questions (like "Where in the world would you most like to travel?") that everyone can see. There should be at least one question for each player. Have players sit on the floor, with one having a ball of twine or yarn. Have that player answer a question from the list. Then have them look at another player, call their name, and throw the ball of yarn at them while holding on to an end of the yarn. By the end, everyone will know a little more about everyone in the group and you will have formed a "friendship web."

If

Provide notecards and pens for everyone in the group, then have them write down one or two If questions (such as, "If your house was on fire and you could only save one possession, which would it be?"). Shuffle the notecards while scanning for naughty questions, set them in a pile in the middle of the circle, and then have everyone pick a question to answer.

Name that Person

Divide the group into two teams. Have everyone write down five things that few people know about them, in order of difficulty. Gather the cards, keeping them separated by teams. The other team gets to guess who it is, receiving five points if the first guess is right and one point less for each clue after that. The team with the most points at the end wins. This game can be a great way to talk about how no one really knows a person all the way except God.

Flags

Provide the group with paper, paints, markers, and other craft supplies. Have each person design a flag that represents them. At the end, have everyone share their flags with the group and discuss why they choose the symbols on their flags.

Line Up

This game is best with a large group. Tell the group that, without speaking, they have to line up in order of height. Once this is done, try alphabetically by first name, alphabetically by last name, or even birthdate. The group will have fun figuring out how to communicate with gestures, and will have a hard time not laughing!

Sit Down If

This game is great if you need to keep your audience in a sitting formation. Have everyone stand up. Then proceed with to say statements that start with "Sit down if. . . " The statements can get pretty silly, such as "Sit Down if you have two pillows on your bed." The last person standing gets a prize!

Seven Word Biographies

Explain to the group that they must sum up their entire life in seven words. For example, "Born. Boring career. Found God. Changed Forever." Many ice breakers ask for opinions, but few ask about a person's entire life. This is great for the group to get to know each other, but also for the leaders to better understand where the members of their group are coming from.

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Shuffle Your Buns

Have the group stand in a circle, and then place their shoes in front of them. One pair of shoes is removed, making one less spot than there are players. One player stands in the middle and says, "Shuffle your buns if. . .", ending the statement in something that applies to them. Everyone who agrees with the statement must run to a spot not next to them. Whoever is left without a spot is the next person to say "shuffle your buns. . .". As a group, come up with a funny catchphrase to say to make everyone shuffle their buns!

Concentric Circles

This game is great for large groups. Form two circles, one within the other, of equal size. Players across from each other are partners. A leader asks a question such as, "which activities are you involved with at school?" The partners give each other the answer to that question. Then the leader says, "Switch!" The outer circle revolves one spot, giving everyone a new partner. A new question is asked, and the game continues until everyone has spoken to each person in the other circle.

Toaster

The group sits on the floor in a circle. A toaster is in the middle, along with a facilitator, bread, and several toppings. Everyone takes turns stating facts about themselves. Whoever is talking when the toast pops up must eat the toast with one of the toppings.  With each piece of toast, the toppings will get stranger and players will state facts more quickly to avoid them!

Entertaining

Before a more serious service, it can be good to play something lighthearted. More silly youth group icebreakers can help everyone feel more comfortable around each other and keep them coming back each week.

Chomp

Have everyone sitting or standing in a circle. In the middle of the circle, place three articles of clothing, such as a large sweater, a scarf, and a hat. Also place some delicious but difficult to chew food, such as marshmallows or chocolate. One player receives two dice. When he rolls doubles, he passes the die, runs to the middle of the circle, puts on the clothes there, and attempts to eat as much food as possible. Make it even more difficult by making players pick up the food with a fork or chopsticks. The only goal of the game is to eat some of the food before its gone!

Ping Pong Ball Messages

Write the letters to a message on ping pong balls, and place them in a bucket. The bucket can be filled with water or slime, depending on how gross you want to make it. To make the process go faster, also include blank ping pong balls for the spaces in between words. If you have a larger group, have the same message in several buckets, and have the team that unscrambles the message the fastest win! This is a great way to introduce the verse of the day.

Octopus Tag

Have everyone form a pair that links elbows. One pair is it and has to chase after all the other pairs. When they catch another pair, the pairs link elbows, forming a group of four. They must stay together for a tag to count, and only the people on the end can tag. The winners are the pair of people who are still free!

French Charades

This game is a mix of Telephones and Charades. There are two teams, with each person on each team numbered. The first person on each team goes outside of the room to hear a situation that they must act out without words. The second person on the team goes outside of the room to see the first person act out the situation. Then the third person watches the second person act, and so on. It goes down the line and the team that is closest to guessing the actual story at the end is the winner.

Best Meme Contest

Bring funny pictures of the leaders along with any submissions from the youth. Have the players look at the picture and then write a clever meme. Establish a point system for first, second, and third funniest memes. Bonus points for humorous and appropriate biblical references. The player with the most points at the end wins!

Sock Wars

Everyone takes their shoes off and leaves them to the side. Now players must crawl around, trying to pull off other people's socks. The last person to still have one or both socks on wins!

Church Scavenger Hunt

A church scavenger hunt requires a lot of advanced planning, but it's great for having kids who only come to church on Wednesdays to get to know the place better.

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Clothespin Mixer

Each player attaches five clothespins to their sleeves. The goal is to get their clothespins off of their sleeves and onto someone else's by the end of the night. If this game is played at a lock-in or other more laid-back event, it's a great way to keep an on-going source of competition.

Encore

Break everyone out into even groups. The facilitator yells out words that are frequently featured in popular songs. Groups win a round by singing a song with that word in unison. This game is sure to be popular with anyone who has watched Pitch Perfect!

Act & React

Players pick a scenario from a hat and the player must act out the emotions from that event. For example, someone who picked "about to get married" might act fluttery and nervous. Other players guess what is happening. To make the game even harder, make the rule that the actor can't talk.

Birdie on a Perch

Everyone pairs up and decides who will be a birdie and who will be a perch. Then form concentric circles, with the birdies on the outside and the perches on the inside. Have the birdies walk clockwise and the perches counter-clockwise to music. When the music stops birdies must run to their perch (their partner's knee). The last pair to find each other is out. The winners are the pair that find each other first in the last round.

Cinderella's Shoe

In this game, partners sit next to each other in a circle. One partner is blindfolded. The partner who is not blindfolded must throw their shoe in the middle of the circle. The blindfolded partner must go to the middle of the circle to receive the shoe with only their partner's voice to guide them.

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Mummy

Have out several rolls of toilet paper and a few people who volunteer to be mummified. Form equal teams around each mummy. The first team to completely wrap their mummies with toilet paper wins! Be sure to take some pictures.

Freeze Dance

An oldie but a goodie. Play some funky music and have everyone dance. When the music stops, the players must too. Anyone caught moving with no music playing is out!

Strange Disease Diagnosis

A player who has volunteered to be a doctor leaves the room while the patients decide what cooky disease they have. Explain that it should be fictitious. Something like thinking they are goats or being allergic to air. Bring the doctor back in and let the insanity ensue!

Weird Talent Show

This is a great game to bring people up to the front. Host a talent show for people with weird talents or attributes. This a chance for youth group members with extremely long fingers or an ability to burp the alphabet to finally be in the spotlight.

Zoom-In Game

Here is a short game to bring attention to the front of the room. Project an image of a zoomed-in object. Have everyone guess what it is and throw prizes to whoever guesses right first.

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Barnyard

Everyone is blindfolded and assigned to an animal. They have to make that animal's sound and group themselves with other people around them who are the same animal.

Screamer

Everyone sits in a circle, looking at the ground. On "Heads Up," they must look up into someone's eyes. If two people are staring at each other, they must both scream and get out of the circle.

Killer Wink

In this game, one of the players is selected to be the murderer. Do so in such a way that players cannot tell who is chosen, perhaps by handing out slips of paper, one indicating that the player is a murderer. Players can either form a circle or just mingle about. Any player who is winked at by the murderer must wait five seconds and then die a fantastic theatrical death. A Player who thinks they know the murderer can raise their hand and say, "I accuse." They ask for someone to second them without either naming who they will accuse. Then both accusers count to three and point to who they would like to accuse. If the two point to different people or both accuse an innocent person, both accusers die. Two accusers must point to the killer for the killing spree to end.

Outdoor Games

If your church has an outdoor space, make the best of it! Outdoor games are great for expelling excess energy, and you will notice the improvement in behavior during the service!

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is a great outdoor game, even for kids somewhat intimidated by sports. It's non-contact and quite simple. To start, a team is chosen to pass the frisbee to the other side. The holder of the frisbee cannot take a step, although they can pivot. Points are only scored when a player passes a frisbee to a teammate in the end zone. Vary how many points are needed to win by how much time you have.

Big Bad Wolf

Have one player volunteer to be the wolf. The wolf stands apart from the other players ("the sheep"). On go, the wolf runs and tags as many players as possible before they cross an established safe line. Players who are tagged help the wolf tag more sheep in the next round. The winner is the last sheep left whom the wolves haven’t tagged.

Constant Contact

This game is great for smaller groups or for large groups broken up into teams. Have everyone on a team in a line with their feet touching. The goal is to cross a finish line. The catch is they can't move forward unless everyone’s feet are connected to the group. A third party watches and blows a whistle when anyone has broken contact. At this point, the entire group must go back to the starting line and start over again.

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Ostrich Tag

Choose 1-2 hunters (depending on the size of the group) to try to tag the rest of the group (the ostriches). When an ostrich senses a hunter nearby, he must stick his head into the snow and thus avoid getting captured (or maybe just the top of his snow cap, depending on the weather). Make sure that it is a warmer day and the snow is soft.

Lawn Twister

Play a giant game of twister! All you need are stencils, spray paint, and a lawn. This is a great summer game—just make sure everyone is dressed modestly.

Frozen T-shirt Game

Play this game on a hot summer day! Soak t-shirt for each contestant in water and freeze it overnight. Each contestant receives a bag with a frozen t-shirt. Whoever can get the shirt on the fastest is the winner.

Giants, Wizards, Elves

Essentially a giant game of Rock Paper Scissors, this game is a riot to play. Divide the group into two equal teams. Instead of rock, paper, or scissors, a team can choose to be giants, wizards, or elves. Giants stand on the toes and roar, wizards cast a spell and say “shazam,” and elves cup their hands over their ears and say “EEE!” Giants beat elves by crushing them, elves beat wizards by outsmarting them, and wizards beat giants by casting a spell on them.  Before a round, teams huddle and choose a creature. Then the troops gather across from each other. The team that chooses the winning creature runs and tags as many of the other team as they can. Tagged people join the other team. The team that captures everyone is the winner!

Everybody's It

In this version of Tag, everyone tries to tag everyone else. Everyone who is tagged must sit down, and the last person standing is the winner. It can go by fast, so it can be fun to hold several rounds.

There you have it, 41 Youth Group Icebreakers. Check out our extensive list of icebreaker questions.  

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