Active Games

Active Games
By Linda Magee


Select four or five people from the group to be “psychiatrists” and send them out of the room. The remaining members of the group choose one person to be the “patient.” Each person assumes the characteristics of the person on her/his right. For example, if asked the color of the “patient’s” hair, the person questioned would say “blonde” if that is the hair color of the person on his right. Bring in “psychiatrists” one at a time. “Psychiatrists” may ask any question of any person except the name of the “patient.” Game continues until all “psychiatrists” have identified the “patient.”


Each player picks out a scene to pantomime. It can be a Bible scene, commercial, old proverb, etc. The one who guesses the scene gets to act out the next scene.


One person leaves the room while the others select a predicament, such as “in the shower and the doorbell rings, then the telephone rings”, or “out of gas in a rainstorm.” The person returns and tries to learn the nature of the predicament. To do so he asks the players in turn, “What would you do in this predicament?” and each must give an appropriate answer. The one who gives the predicament away is the next to leave the room.

Compare It to Me

While one player is out of the room, the others choose an object in plain sight. The player returns and goes up to the others in turn, saying “Compare it to me.” The person then makes a comparison between the player and the object. When the person guesses the object, the person who gave the last comparison must take the player’s place.

Guessing Proverbs

One player leaves the room while the others agree on a well-known proverb. The player returns and asks questions of the others. Each one addressed must answer the question put to him, and his reply must include one word of the selected proverb, the words following in order; that is, first word of the proverb and so on. The one who gives the proverb away is next.


Two or more people stand with their back to the group. A pose is described and they turn to face the group and assume the pose immediately. Examples: Girl seeing mouse, child taking medicine, learning to water-ski, playing soccer.

Balloon Bump

Each person is given a balloon to tie around his/her waist so that the balloon is in back. The object of the game is to break balloons by bumping into one another. The one who survives with an unbroken balloon is the winner.

Button Snap

Draw a starting line and a goal line. Place a button for each player on the starting line. Also give each player a button. Players press the edge of their button against the other button to make it fly a distance. If the button leaves the game area, it is returned to the starting line. The player whose button reaches the finish line first is the winner.

Bow Tie Relay

Form two sides, giving the first player of each side an old bow tie. At a given signal the first player ties it in a bow around the neck of the second player. The second player unties it and ties it around the neck of the third player. This continues until one side wins.

Potato Race

Form two teams and have the players seated. Start a potato relay at the beginning of each side. The potato must be passed with the two feet. If the potato should hit the floor, it is brought back to the first person and started again.

Paper Duel

The players are paired off and blindfolded. Each duelist is given a tightly rolled newspaper as a weapon to be held in the right hand. The left hand grasps one end of a yard stick. Being unable to see, the blows to the enemy are not too accurate. Allow four minutes and then choose another pair.

Bottle the Pins

Provide a small-mouth half-gallon jar and ten clothespins. Let each person drop the pins into the bottle one at a time. The one who drops in the most is the winner.

Annie Oakley

Line three boys in a row. About six feet opposite them, line three girls in a row. Each boy holds a small paper cup on the top of his head. Each girl is given a water gun and she tries to put as much water as possible into the cup.


This game is for boys and requires cooperation and ingenuity. Divide the group into pairs. Establish a starting and a finishing line. The smaller boy gets on the shoulders of the larger boy. The first pair to reach the goal are the winners. The snag in this game is that the person who does the walking is blindfolded, and the rider has an egg in his mouth.

Gum Animals

Each person is given a piece of gum and told to start chewing until further orders. After a while give each a toothpick and a small piece of cardboard with the name of an animal written on it. Each player then molds his gum with his toothpick into the shape of the animal written on the cardboard. When all have finished, display each and choose the winner.

In the Ring

Draw a ring on the floor large enough for the men of the party to stand inside and still leave a margin of three feet. The men stay inside the ring with arms folded, facing the center. When a signal is given, all begin to push and shove the others out, while trying to remain inside the ring themselves. Anyone who is pushed over the line or unfolds his arms is out of the game. The shoving continues until one player remains.


Scatter a box of toothpicks on the floor and see who can pick up the most toothpicks in a given time. After all the excitement, count the picks and reward the winner.

Walking on Eggs

Except for one person, all participants should be sent from the room. Place a number of eggs on the floor and tell this player to note their location. Blindfold him while someone else quickly and quietly picks up the eggs. The blindfolded person is instructed to walk through the eggs without stepping on any. When the blindfold is removed, he can see why all the merriment. Continue calling in players one by one.


Let each boy choose the subject of discourse. A girl should then talk to him on this subject for one minute. Then the girl next in line becomes his partner. When each girl has talked to every boy, the boys vote on the ability of the speaker. Then vice versa.

Tomato Game

Divide the group into couples. Put a tomato between the boy’s and the girl’s forehead. The boy then carefully takes off his shoe and the girl must put the shoe on her foot and tie it without dropping the tomato. The first couple to complete the maneuvers without mishap wins.


Have four boys pretend to be horses by getting down on all fours. Choose five girls to be cowgirls. Play music and when stops the cowgirls jump on the horses. The girl left standing can pull and tug trying to get the others off. Poor horses!!!

Picking Noses

This game is for married couples. Have four women sit down, cover them with a sheet, cut holes in file sheet for their noses to come through. The husbands are then brought out one by one and each picks (locates) his wife’s nose. When he thinks he has located it, he kisses the tip of it. After all have finished, the women are uncovered. Roles are then reversed and each woman picks husband’s nose.

Hanging Apples

Attach a string to an apple and suspend it from the ceiling. Choose someone to try to bite the apple without using hands or arms. It is nearly impossible. This is a hilarious game but it dies after about the second or third individual.

Elopement Race

This is a race for boy-and-girl pairs. An umbrella and a dosed suitcase containing various articles of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories are placed on the floor a few feet in front of each couple. At the starting signal, each pair rushes to their suitcase, opens it, puts on all the clothing over their clothes, and raises the umbrella. They then remove all the clothing, close the suitcase, close the umbrella, and run to the finish line. (Clothing should be put on over clothing participants are wearing).

Chewing Tug of War

This is a contest for two people. A piece of candy is tied to the middle of a piece of string eight to ten feet long. Each person takes one end of the string in his mouth and clasps his hands behind his back. At a signal, each begins to chew the string into his mouth until one reaches the candy. The person who gets the candy is the winner.

“Active Games”. By Linda Magee.

“This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”