Sometimes a busy schedule and a youth group meeting don’t mix very well. Low-preparation activities are a handy idea to have when time and the budget are short, but can still be just as fun and beneficial as activities that require more prep time. Check out these 3 low-cost, low-preparation youth group activity ideas.
Low-Preparation Youth Group Activities
There isn’t always a lot of time for preparation, but youth group programs can still be fun without the extra bits. Check out these ideas for inspiration to have fun at youth group without hours of preparation.
Icebreaker games are easy to put together and can be just as fun whether you’ve prepared or just voted for the one that the group most wants to play. Some games are short, and others are longer. Choose a game that fits the age group and interests of the members and enjoy having fun without any extra gadgets or tools.
If you have a smaller group or a few decks of cards, split into groups of 6-8 people to play the simple card game spoons. Gather 1 item for each person playing (roughly the size of a spoon if spoons aren’t available). In the center of the group, place the items, removing one so that one person will be unable to grab an item.
Deal out four cards to each player. To play, each player must simultaneously pick one card from their hand and pass it to the player on their left, and then pick up the card that was passed to them. At no point can any person have more than 4 cards in their hand. The dealer is drawing one card from the top of the leftover deck of cards and passing to their left.
The passing continues until one player manages to collect 4 of a kind in their hand. At that point, they can grab an item from the center of the circle. Once one person has grabbed an item, all of the other players can stop passing cards to grab an item as well. The person left without an item would be eliminated.
If you have a competitive group of students, try playing Captain’s Orders to release some pent up energy and have a great time. Start by choosing one person to be the “Captain”. He or she stands in front of the group and calls out orders/actions that the group must perform. Use examples from this list or create your own “orders” and share them with us in the comments below!
- Man Overboard — all players have to drop into a plank.
- Captain’s Coming — all players must stand at attention and salute
- Man the Lifeboats — three players pair up, sit in a row with the two on the ends holding their hands out to make a “boat,” while the person in the middle rows.
- Find North — three players group up and all point one direction.
Check out this blog for fun ideas and instructions on how to play some more low-cost, no-prep youth group games and activities. (Link to After School Youth Group Games and Activities)
Simple Community Volunteering Ideas
Some volunteer projects take prep and planning, but going out into the area around your group’s meeting place to offer a helping hand can make for easy volunteering. For example, a group that meets at a church in a neighborhood might offer to rake the fall leaves for those living nearby. You only need a few rakes and the other members can hold the collection bags. Another low-prep idea is to simply head out in small groups to collect and dispose of trash and other debris left lying around.
Not only are these ideas a low-cost option, but they help to make a positive impact on the community. If you have a little more time to prepare for a volunteer activity next time, check out these ideas on our Youth Program Community Service Options blog.