Written by Nick Bremmer
Preteens love crazy, wild and high-energy games at church! Here are some of Nick Bremmer’s favorite games to play with the preteens at his church. Use them at your next preteen event or preteen church gathering. Have fun!
This one is easy. It’s played exactly like 4-Square but you have 9 squares. 3×3 is the lay out and make sure the squares are pretty big. We normally play with an exercise ball for more fun but a normal kickball or basketball works good too! If you have some money in the budget, a good investment is 9 Square In the Air (see above pic for black light version). Check out their website, it’s a really cool item to have. But if you don’t have the money, then just make the squares on the ground with tape, chalk, etc.
What you need is 3 soft soccer balls and a bowling pin (Cone or Plastic cup works too) for each student. Create boundaries and have each student take their bowling pin and set it up anywhere inside the boundaries. Make sure they are all spread out and well staggered throughout the playing field. Have 3 people set out to begin the game with their bowling pins. On “Go”, throw the balls into play and have the students use only their feet to knock over each other’s bowling pins. This is all verse all. Once your bowling pin is knocked over, pick your bowling pin up and head to the end of the out line and the first person in the out line can get back in. You can also play single elimination.
Ups & Downs
Everybody gets a plastic cup. Create boundaries and have everyone spread out inside the boundary lines. Divide the group in half. Have half of the group place their cups mouth up and the other half mouth down. The goal is to have the mouth up team flip the opposing teams cup over and vice-versa for the other team. Whoever has the most wins.
Musical Chairs of Death
This is a modification of the normal musical chairs. If you don’t have chairs, we have used paper plates before. Instead of having one chair less than participants, you have 2 chairs less. The extra chair is placed a distance out. Play like musical chairs. When the music stops, there should be 2 students standing. Those students race to “safe” chair. If you make it, you stay in. Here’s the kicker. The adults get to stand off to the side, each holding a ball that they will use to throw at the students running to the chair. The adults only get 1 throw. If the students get hit before they make it to the chair, the first student to get hit is out. Warning: They could get into a scuffle over the “safe” chair or some students could chose not to try to sit when the music stops and shoot for the “safe” chair each time. Make sure to put a stop to that somehow.
3 Ball Kickball
This one is really simple also. The rules are exactly like normal kickball. The difference is, you have 3 different size kickballs you play with. This is how you decide which ball you use. Before you kick, you draw a playing card (Ace, 2 and 3). The ace is the smallest ball, 2 is the medium ball and 3 is the largest. This is what I use for the balls. Smallest is one of those Nerf style basketballs (about 6 inches round), medium is a normal kickball and the large is an exercise ball. Make sure you mix up the cards constantly to get a good spread of choices.
Want to better understand preteens so you can point them to Jesus?