Everyone should line up on one side of a room / field / playing area. One person is selected to be ‘on’ and stands in the middle of the space. Everyone must try to get from one side to the other without getting tagged by the person in the middle. As and when people get caught, they join the person in the middle. Once everyone has either successfully made it to the other side or been caught, round two begins whereby individuals must again try to cross the space without getting tagged by those in the middle. Continue this process until only one person remains! Be aware of health and safety issues and lay some ground rules for safe play before you start.

Run the gauntlet

15 minutes

You will need: small cones; sponge balls; water (optional)

Create a playing space between 10 to 20 metres long by setting out two lines of cones that are approximately 5 metres apart. One person stands at one end of the gauntlet run, ready to run to the other end. Everyone else lines up on either side along the length of the gauntlet with a sponge ball. The individual must try to get to the other end of the gauntlet with as few sponge balls hitting them as possible. Those standing on the sides should try to hit the person running the gauntlet with their ball but they may not enter the run itself. Keep a record of the best (lowest) score. If you’re playing outside, you could soak the sponge balls in water!

Human knot

5 minutes

Get the children / young people into groups of between six to ten people. Everyone in the group forms a circle and holds the hand of two different people - but not the people next to them. You should now have created a complicated knot, which the group needs to unravel without letting go of each other’s hands or even turning their hands round to a more comfortable position! The group must try to unravel the knot by getting people to go over or under each other’s arms, turning round etc. The winning group is the first to untangle themselves.

In the manner of the word...

10 minutes

Select one volunteer to leave the room. Everyone else decides together on a manner in which they are going to answer all questions posed by the volunteer when he or she comes back in. For instance, the group might choose the word ‘enthusiastically’. Invite the volunteer back in to the room. The volunteer then proceeds to choose individuals and ask them any random question they want (eg “How was your day?” “Do you like Ed Sheeran?” “What day is it?”). When asked, the individual must try to answer the question in an ‘enthusiastic’ manner. The volunteer keeps on asking different people questions and hearing their answers until they can correctly guess the key word (‘enthusiastically’). If they are struggling, people can begin to make their answers increasingly obvious or you can accept answers which are deemed close enough (eg passionately, positively).

One word story

5 minutes

As a group make up a hilarious / random story together where everyone says one word each. For example:

First person - Once

Second - there

Third - was

Fourth - an

Fifth - extremely

Sixth - hazardous

Seventh - animal

Eighth - which...

Go around the group again once everyone has contributed a word. Keep going until your story comes to a natural end!

Question game

5 minutes

Split the group into pairs. Challenge them to have a conversation only using questions. They cannot say a statement (eg “It’s Saturday.”) nor a statement followed by a question (eg “I don’t know, do you?”).

For example:

Person A: Is that your brother over there?

Person B: What? Him?

A: What’s his name?

B: Have you never met him?

A: When do you think we might have met?

B: Would you like me to introduce you?

A: Now?

B: When’s good for you?

A: Are you busy?

B: Will it take long? etc.

Counting to 20

5 minutes

Everyone in the group should close their eyes and keep them shut throughout the game. Together, the group must count aloud from one to 20 with one individual saying: “One”, another saying: “Two” and so on. One person cannot say two consecutive numbers. If two or more people say a number at the same time, then the group must begin all over again until they successfully reach 20.

Five things

5 minutes

Choose a category, for example chocolate bars. One person must write down five chocolate bars without showing anyone else (eg Kitkat, Mars, Ripple, Bounty, Lion). Everyone else in the group has one minute to guess all five chocolate bars. People can have as many guesses as they want but must make sure they don’t all speak at the same time so the person with the list can keep up! The individual who writes the list can decide how easy or difficult they want to make the list.

By the youth and children’s teams at Holy Trinity Brompton.