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Refresh Old Games

 —  July 17, 2014 — 4 Comments

refresh your gamesThere are certain classic games that your group loves to do. Chances are some of your favorites have been worn out because you over used them. Want to bring them back? Put a new twist on them. It’s not that hard. Just take the basic object of your favorite game and play it in a new way. Think of it as your favorite game on steroids. [don’t actually use steroids]

How does this work? Let me give you an example:
Rock, Papers, Scissors (Ro Sham Bo)
You know the rules, but change what the action is. There is a good chance you have played another version of this. Like Ladies, Hunters, Bears. Participants pair up and stand back to back. On 3 they turn around and pose as a lady (hand on hip and other hand on head saying “heeeyy” in a high pitched voice) or hunter (pretending to hold a giant gun under their arm and saying “BOOM”) or bear (both arms in the air yelling “Roooaaaaarrrr”).
Ladies beat hunters.
Hunters beat bears.
Bears beat ladies.
Loser sits down and the winner finds another partner until you are down to your final 2.

If it’s a tie they are both out. (this helps the game go by quicker).

Take Ultimate Frisbee as another example.

Just find another random object (one that won’t hurt) and use that instead. A few ideas: Ultimate Cow Tongue, Ultimate Octopus, Ultimate Pillow, Ultimate Flip Flop, etc.

Want to go really big? Play Monopoly, BUT use an entire room as the set up. Lay down cardboard or butcher paper and make a huge board. Then take a couple of square boxes and make large dice. Use cardboard sheets for your chance cards, etc. Find full size objects to be your game pieces.
Playing the Game of LIFE? Use Tricycles or little kid cars.

You can make the most boring game turn into something exciting by giving it a twist that your students aren’t expecting. Don’t limit yourself. Look around in your game closet and see what you can put together.

What game have you refreshed that worked well?

Erik with a "K"

Erik with a "K"


Father of 4 and husband of 1. He has been in youth ministry for over 20 years. Loves to surf, snowboard, run and hang with his family. Often speaks at camps and schools around the world, leads worship and has enjoyed doing improv over the years. Most recently he authored his first solo book project "Y is for Youth Worker," which can be found at simplyyouthministry.com. Erik w/a "k" calls Oregon home (cuz that's where his heart is...awww).

4 responses to Refresh Old Games

  1. One of our faves is glow in the dark volleyball. Get black lights. (They are expensive but if you go to a pop-up Halloween store right after Halloween you can get them cheap!) Those plus a neon volleyball or a regular volleyball or beach ball with neon paint or duct tape and youre off. If that sounds too dangerous, a safer version has kids sitting on the ground with ling tables laid on their sides with the beach ball.

  2. Erik with a "K"
    Erik with a “K” July 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Patty! That sounds awesome!! What a fun twist

  3. I appreciate the energy spent with refreshing new games; however, the rock, paper, scissors version needs to be rethought again. The “ladies” image is not helpful for young girls who grow up in a culture with so many negative stereotypes already there.

    • Erik with a "K"
      Erik with a “K” July 26, 2014 at 1:45 am


      Totally fair. I actually did this one with group as Man, Bear, ninja. It wasn’t necessarily my favorite version because it was harder to remember who beats who. I do not like to perpetuate negative stereotypes for girls and I appreciate your input on this. Any suggestions as to how you might refresh this one?

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