While I encourage people to play, I never force it. There may be a variety of reasons people don’t play, ranging from shyness to sickness to anxiety issues. I’ve been in groups that are obsessed with games and with others who really don’t care what we’re doing. Obviously, you need enough people to play in order for games to work, so what do you do if people don’t want to get involved.
Here are a few tips we used to help get more people involved. Keep these in mind for larger group games, such as relays, if you have a group that seems like they just aren’t that into it.
1. Do some pre-game work. Find some key leaders in your group who will help you generate excitement for the game. You can even designate these individuals as team leaders.
Sometimes the best games are the ones you grew up with. So it is with a good old-fashioned Pillow Fight. We had an epic pillow fight on one of our missions trips that none of us will ever forget. I bet that some of you will have the same experience as well!
PREP TIME– None
ITEMS NEEDED– SOFT pillows for everyone
GAME TIME– 5 Minutes
Start by having everyone bring a SOFT (yes, that’s the second time I’ve emphasized this) pillow. This is one of those games where someone is probably going to get clocked, so don’t make it mandatory. My guess is that most people will want to do it though!
Today, we have a great game for you! Blast From The Past is a great game to play any time, but especially at a retreat. It will take some work, but it’s well worth it. This is also a good way to get people to know each other a little better in a very casual and fun way.
PREP TIME– 60-90 Minutes
ITEMS NEEDED– Poster Board, Pictures of Individuals as Babies or Kids, Sheets with Numbers
GAME TIME– 10-15 Minutes
Before you play, you’ll need to collect pictures from everyone- these will need to be from their childhood (it’s better to have baby pics for a younger crowd). Once you collect them all, attach them to a poster board or a wall with a “zot”, push-pin or whatever else you may have. You will also need to place a number over each picture so that participants know where to write their guesses.
Today we are sharing one of our messier, some might say, grosser games. The good news, it’s quite simple. Shake It Off is a relatively quick and easy game that lends itself to plenty of picture taking and comments afterward.
PREP TIME– 3-5 Minutes
ITEMS NEEDED– Swim Goggles, Jar of Vaseline for each Group of 3, Bag of Cotton Balls for each Group
GAME TIME– 5 Minutes
PARTICIPANTS– 4 Groups of 3 (you can have more or less, but have at least 2 teams)
As I mentioned before, this is a simple game. Make sure to select at least one person on each team who doesn’t mind getting messy! Once you have four individuals, have them select two people to be in their group.
PREP TIME– 5-10 Minutes
ITEMS NEEDED– 2 Balloons for Every Participant (have 2 different colors if you’re playing as teams). 2- 18 inch strings (or ribbon) per person
GAME TIME– 5-10 Minutes
Start out by having everyone blow up their balloons and attaching the pre-cut string to the balloon on one side and their ankle on the other. They can not shorten the string or tie it higher than their ankle as to give them an unfair advantage. They will tie one balloon to each ankle.
Growing up, I was a huge game show fan. I watched shows like, “Press Your Luck” (no whammies!), “The Price Is Right”, “Win, Lose or Draw”, and the “$100,000 Pyramid“. Actually, I watched reruns of the “$10,000 Pyramid”, and saw it’s mighty climb all the way to the hundred grand.
Dick Clark was my favorite host, though John Davidson & Donny Osmond hosted the latter years of the game show. Each show paired a random contestant with a celebrity (I use that term loosely). Their goal was to give clues to get the other person to say a word. They could use gestures in the initial round, but they were actually restrained in the final round. In addition, they could not say anything that rhymes with the word or any form or part of the word.
PREP TIME– 10-45 Minutes
ITEMS NEEDED– 2 Chairs, 6 Large Sheets of Poster Board (you can use a vide screen too), Dramatic Music & Countdown Clock
GAME TIME– 2-5 Minutes
PARTICIPANTS– 2 Participants per Game
First off, you will need to come up with a list of phrases. It might help to watch a video clip or two of the game show if you are not familiar with the show. Here is a list of $100,000 Pyramid Clues, but feel free to make your own.
PREP TIME– 20 Minutes
ITEMS NEEDED– 5-10 Gallon Bucket with Water per Team, Small Bowl per Team, 20 Marbles (or more) per Team
GAME TIME– 5-10 Minutes
Before you start, fill your 5 or 10 gallon buckets about 1/4 of the way up with water and drop at least 20 marbles in each one.