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Opening Icebreaker #1: Getting to Know You

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Opening Icebreaker #1: Getting to Know You

You will need:

three pieces of paper and three pens

Divide the entire group into three teams. Try to put brothers and sisters on the same team. Pass out a sheet of paper with three blanks and ask each team to come up with three things that no one else would know about them. Then have the teams turn the papers into you. You read a random answer from team one and let the people from team two and three try to guess who it belongs to. The team who guesses the right answer gets a point. If no one guesses right, team one gets the point. Repeat this with the rest of the teams until you have gone through all the answers.


Icebreaker #2: Famous Families

You will Need

: Plenty of Pencils and Paper

Divide students into groups of five or six. Any size works. Give them a piece of paper and a pencil, then ask them to Name the characters of Three Famous Families from television: The Brady Bunch, The Winslows from Family Matters, and the Camdens from Seventh Heaven. The group who can come up with the all the correct characters first, wins. If all of the groups seem to be stuck, give them a five-minute time limit and take the group with the most correct answers.

Correct Answers:

The Brady Brunch:

Carol, Mike, Marsha, Jan, Cindy, Greg, Bobby, Peter




Carl, Harriet, Eddie, Laura, Judy


Aunt Rachel, Grandma Estelle, Cousin Max


Eric, Annie, Matt, Mary, Lucy, Simon, Ruthie, Sam, and David

Icebreaker #3: Brady Boggle

You will Need

: enough blindfolds for each person in your group (optional)

Depending on the size of your group, you can either have them wear blindfolds or just close their eyes.

Give each person the name of a different character from the Brady Bunch and have them spread out into an open area. Without being able to see, they need to call out the name of their character and reconstruct the entire Brady Family. At no point can they open their eyes or peek. The first group to get a full Brady Bunch wins. If you have a smaller group, you can have them just find two other people with the same character name as them.

Icebreaker #4: Quick Sort

You will Need

: Nothing

Form groups of about 10. Explain that you will ask a question and they will have to order their line accordingly from greatest to least. First group in order wins. Check and make sure that the team that comes in first really has everyone in the right order.


  1. Number of Siblings

  2. Number of times that your family has moved

  3. Number of cousins

  4. Number of different states that you have been in

  5. Number of letters in your last name

Icebreaker #5: Baby Food Roulette

You will Need

: enough jars of baby food for everyone, One paper bag and spoon per every six people, A CD player with CD or some type of music

Form groups of six. Place a paper bag with six jars of baby food in the center. Hand one person in the group the spoon. When the music starts, that person will start passing the spoon to the person next to them. When the music stops, the person holding the spoon has to take one of the jars of baby food and eat it. They don’t have to down the whole thing, just enough to be disgusted. That person is now out and the game continues until everyone is out.


Game #1: Twin Kickball (outdoors)

You will Need:

kickball, bases, rope, or whatever you used for blindfolds in the Brady Boggle

Set up the game like you would a normal kickball game. Divide into two teams, the only catch is that each person has a teammate who will become their Siamese twin, connected at the knees. Tie groups of two together at the knee. Start the game as normal.

Game #2: The Blob (outdoors or in a gym)

You will Need:


This is an extended version of tag. Pick two volunteers, a guy and a girl. Explain that these two people are starting their own family, by adopting children. Have everyone spread out in an open play area with boundaries. The two volunteers hold hands, if they tag someone, that person must “join the family” by grabbing the hand of the person who tagged him/her. The two people on the end are the only ones who can tag people. The game ends when the last person joins the “family.”


Game #3: ABC Conversation (indoors)

You will Need:


Form groups of 5 and have them sit in a circle. Set up a scenario that they are a family on a trip to Disneyland. They have to finish the story, by making up phrases starting with the letters of the alphabet (A-Z). One person will start off with letter A and the story passes around the circle, with each successive letter of the alphabet. If someone says the wrong letter or can’t think of anything, they are out. The game ends when you get to Z.

Example: All aboard for the train to Disneyland.

But I don’t want to go to Disneyland.

Come on. Sure you do.

Game #4: Pillow Fight – Egg Style (Best of done outdoors, but can be done indoors)

You will Need:

Enough plastic baggies, pillows and raw eggs for everyone in your group, tape

Have a designated area with boundaries. Put a raw egg in a baggie. Tape each baggie to the student’s stomach or back. Each person gets a pillow. Explain to the students that these are eggs are their children. They should do everything that they can to protect their child while still trying to attack others. There are two rules:

  1. They cannot step out of the boundaries. If they do they are out. As more people get out, the boundaries will get smaller.

  2. They cannot hold their egg or cover their egg with their hands.

Let the students loose in the play area. Depending on the size of the group, about every one-fifth of the group that gets out, move in the boundaries. http://www.egadideas.com/ideas.asp

Game #5: Frozen T-Shirt Race (indoors)

You will Need:

Frozen T-shirts, one per team

A couple of days before the game night, put t-shirts into water and freeze them. The night of the event, divide your group into teams of 5. Explain that you are going to teach your group the joys of trying to dress a toddler. Each team has to, by whatever means possible, try to get the shirt on to one of the team members. The first team to have one of their members wearing the shirt wins.


Game #6: Family Feud - Cross Over Dodge Ball (outdoors or in a gym)

You will Need:

One ball per 10 kids

Divide your group into two “ feuding families”. Place a line in the middle of your play area and have one team on each side. Give both teams an equal amount of medium sized, gator skin balls (any light ball that won’t hurt on impact will work). The point is to try to hit people on the other team. If you get hit, you have to cross over the line and join the other team. If you catch the ball, the person who threw it has to cross over the line. The winning team is the one that has the most people on their side. In the end, everyone should be on the same team.



With a touch of theatrics, the Indianapolis judge shook his head very slowly back and forth as his clerk read off John Erwin's offenses from a red record book. He had skipped school too many times to count. He had stolen petty items, like flashlight batteries, only to discard them. He had stolen bicycles, ridden them to the junkyard, and destroyed them.

Most recently, twelve-year-old John had joined a gang of young toughs and threatened his foster parents with a .22 rifle. The judge leaned forward and announced, "Young man, I don't know how any one boy can be as mean as they say you are. But I'm convinced you'll never change. I'm going to send you to a Manual Labor Institute for correction, and I predict you'll spend most of your life in institutions."

Voluntary Life Imprisonment

Three decades later the judge's prophecy has been partially fulfilled: in all, John Erwin has spent over 25 years in a large, notorious institution--Chicago's Cook County jail. But not as an inmate. The judge was mostly wrong: John did change. Remarkably. During a stint in the army, Erwin met a family who adopted him, determined to show him the same love they had shown their own children. The defenses he had built up in a childhood of violence and sexual abuse slowly melted. He experienced God's love and forgiveness, and he became a new person.

As a free man determined to help set others free, he founded and led the PACE Institute, one of America's most successful prison rehabilitation programs. Then he went on to join the staff of Charles Colson's Prison Fellowship.

When asked why he has been so effective in the failure-littered field of prison work, Erwin replies, "Maybe it's because I've been behind bars, like these prisoners. Most of them came from miserable homes also, and were abused by their parents. I understand what makes life so hard for them--and my story gives them hope. I don't give up on people. If God can change me, he can change them too " (NIV Study Bible).

Sometimes we feel like John. We have so much junk in our lives that it seems like we are destined to fail. We feel like no one expects all that much out of us. I’m young, right? What am I supposed to do? As Christians sometimes we feel like we will never be what God wants us to be or that we will never measure up to what he expects from us.

However, Ephesians 1:4-5 says “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” Luckily, like John, we have been adopted by a Father who loves us. He sent His own son to die for us. It is easy to forget exactly what that means. It means that God isn’t waiting with a lightning bolt for you to mess up. Instead, He treats you like a Father who wants the best for His children. He wants to take care of you. He wants to hold you and love you, just the way he would with a child.

God wants us to be holy and blameless, but not through punishment. The only way that you are going to be righteous is if you allow the love of God to change you. You have to accept that you are God’s child and that you belong to Him. That sounds pretty awkward sometimes, doesn’t it? You can’t see God, how are you supposed to treat him like a Father? How am I supposed to accept God’s love, when I can’t see God and I can’t see Love?

Spend some time getting to know God. You hear this every time you come to church, but read your Bible and Pray. The Bible will tell you who God is and how much He loves you. Praying, allows you to talk one on one with God. Guys, God is an awesome Father. He loves you more than any person on this earth ever could. When you pray, don’t just talk. Take some time to listen too. He is worth getting to know. And he will change you if you allow Him too.

Simpson, Amy, ed. Games for all Ages. Loveland: Group Publishing, 2002.
http://www.egadideas.com/ideas.asp Emily Woodruff Theme

The theme for this game night project is 7up night. This theme is really a play on words, because it has nothing to do with the beverage, yet 7up will be used several times during the games to involve the theme into the night. The logo for this theme is very easy to recreate. And if there is time to plan, the leader can call the 7up company to see if they can donate some items to decorate with. Also you can check with local grocery stores to see if their promotion posters and floor models can be borrowed for this event.


The first icebreaker for this fun filled night is called “Two 7up’s and a Pepsi.” Have each person write down three things about themselves on a piece of paper as they come in the door. Two things written down have to be true (hence the clear 7up that represents truth). Then the other has to be a lie, (representing the dark drink, which is sin.) Have them break up into groups and try to figure out which two are truth and which one is the lie. This icebreaker is great because it also allows the students to get to know each other in a fun and interesting way. (www.youthpastor.com/games)

The second icebreaker is called “7 Gross Gum Groups.” Pass out different colors of gum before service to each student. Have them break up into groups according to the color of their gum. When they are in their groups, call out a question for them to answer and discuss together as a group. You can use questions like, “My favorite soda is….”, “The best job I’ve ever had is…”, “If I could go anywhere, I would go to…”.

The third icebreaker is my personal favorite. It is called “Tissue Tattle Tale.”

The students will pass around a roll of toilet paper, taking as many sheets as they want.

Warn them that the number is significant, and not to take too much. As soon as everyone has their sheets, tell them that they have to find someone with the same amount of sheets and tell them that many things about themselves. This will break them out of their comfort zone and will give them a reason to go up to a stranger and talk to them. It will allow them to have a conversation about themselves while learning about the other person as well. (www.funandgames.org)

The fourth icebreaker is currently untitled, but you place a tag on everyone’s back as they come in the door. It will say a name of a drink or snack food on it. The student will have to ask questions to the people around them to figure out what is on their back. Once they know the name of the food or drink, they have to find all the people with coordinating tags. Have these groups sit together for the rest of the evening. This game will create an atmosphere where the student will have to find people to talk to and ask questions. It should also get them out of the routine of sitting with friends only. This will also help visitors to find a place to sit without feeling uncomfortable. (funandgames)

The last icebreaker is called “Heads up, Seven up.” The students should be instructed not to talk at all during this game. They have to find people that are the same age as them without talking or holding up fingers. They will have to create some kind of head movement or sign that will show their age. When they find seven people that are the same age, they will have to get into the correct order of birthdays starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest. This will give them a chance to feel unity among each other, as well as show them who has a birthday around the same time as they do.


The first game for 7up night is called “Super Soaker 7up.” Before this game, make sure that you have set clear boundaries and that you have a super soaker filled with 7up. This game is like the traditional game of tag with a twist. To start, chose a student and give them the super soaker. Have them count to ten while the others begin to run away. The others are to run away from the student with the super soaker. If they get hit they have to sit down. When all have been hit except for one student, the one left can take over the shooting and everyone can rejoin the game. This game will allow for a winner, but will also let everyone rejoin once again. This will make them feel less frustrated when they get out to begin with.

The second game is called “Guess the Gargle.” This game will need several cups of 7up prepared before the event. Have the group divided into two different teams. Choose one person from each team to come up and take a mouthful of 7up. When they have their mouths good and full, have them lean back and begin to gargle a familiar praise and worship song. Only let the team of the “gargler” yell out the name of the song. The two teams can take turns until they reach ten points. The first team to get ten points wins.

The third game is called “Dodge the Fizzy Inflated Sphere.” It is like a traditional game of dodge ball, but with balloons filled with 7up. Make sure the balloons are little and are filled to the maximum intake. This will allow them to break more easily. This game could get messy, so prepare students the week before by telling them to wear old clothes. (funandgames)

The fourth game for the themed 7up night is “Bubbly Burst.” This game takes a little bit of previous planning. It requires some Alka-Seltzer and several cups of 7up. This game could embarrass some students, so make sure to pick students that will not get too upset. This game works well when you make it a contest between the guys and the girls. Choose 5 guys and 5 girls and have them put half of an Alka-Seltzer under their tongue. (Putting it under the tongue will eliminate the taste of the tablet.) Then, tell them to take a drink of the 7up. The one that can hold it in their mouth the longest will win. Mixing a seltzer tab and a carbonated beverage results in a huge bubbly mess, but it is hilarious to watch. Advise them to spit it out if they can’t hold it in, but if some is swallowed it is not dangerous. (My mom…hehehe)

The fifth game of the evening is called “Seven Skittle Secrets.” The students should break into groups of eight or less and each student should get seven skittles. Have one person start the game by saying something they have never done before. If anyone in the group has done it, they have to put a skittle in the middle. Going clockwise, the students should continue with statements that will cause others to put a skittle in the middle. This will not only let the students get to know each other and the little secrets that they are revealing, but it will show them some things that they have in common also. (www.christianvibes.co.uk)

The sixth and final game of the evening is called “The Burp Contest.” Yes, I know that this is somewhat questionable, but how can you have a night that is surrounded with soda and not have a burping contest. I think that you should get some of the most macho guys out of the group and some girls to oppose them. Have them drink an entire can of 7up and then line them up and let them rip. The audience can judge them by their applause. The can promise that you will find that most of the girls in your group can out burp the most macho of men in your church! No lie!!

The devotional time is, in my opinion, the most important time of the evening. Now that you have had fun with the students, and they have worn themselves out, you have a chance to tie everything together from the entire evening.


The theme is 7up and it stands for seven “ups” that will help us in our daily lives. I know this sounds silly, but it really makes sense. The first up is “Wake Up.” Decide to have a good day. Psalms 118:24 says “Today is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” We are the ones that decide how our day is going to happen. It is all in our attitude. The second up is “Dress Up.” The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. First Samuel 16:7 says “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart.” The third up is “Hush Up.” Say nice things and learn to listen. Most people just want someone that will listen to them. By listening, you are showing God’s love to them. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking! Proverbs 13:3 says “He who guards his lips guards his soul.” The fourth up is “Stand Up.” Stand up for what you believe in. If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good…” Galatians 6:9-10

The fifth up is “Look Up.” Look up to the Lord. His word says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. The sixth up is “Reach Up.” We are to reach up for something higher everyday. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6. The seventh up is “Lift Up.” We need to continually lift up our prayers! One of my favorite verses says “Do not worry about anything; instead PRAY ABOUT EVERTHING.” Philippians 4:6 (Barker, Kenneth)

That concludes our “seven ups.” To remind the students as they leave, give them all a can of seven up to take home with them.

Barker, Kenneth L,. and John R. Kohlenberger III, eds. Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary. Vol. 2 Zondervan Publishing House: Grand Rapids, MI 1994.
Nave, Orville J. (1969). The New Nave’s Topic Bible. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

1 Submitted by: Ed Bender

2 Submitted by: Larry Bennet


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