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Alexis Waid

Alexis has a Master's degree from Denver Seminary and a Bachelor's degree from Colorado Christian University. She has been in professional ministry for over 15 years. She has served in ministry positions such as co-pastor, youth minister, and spiritual director.
She is a mom, wife, and passionate believer that Jesus changes everything.
Alexis Waid
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Oh my gosh, it’s sooo nice out today! What are you going to do with your students? Oh… you know they all want to go outside and play a game, right? Well, we have the best outdoor games for you right here!

Below I have compiled a list of 27 great outdoor games for youth ministry that you can do right now. Seriously, right now!

Outdoor games for youth ministry are a great way to enjoy the good weather, burn off some energy, form new bonds, and break up a youth group session. When it comes time for camps and other summer activities, having a list of outdoor games for youth is big asset for filling up time and keeping your students engaged and occupied.

As a youth minister, I know we sometimes run behind schedule, and before you know it, youth group is about to start and we still don’t have a game picked. If that is often the case for you, then you must check out my other post 50 no prep youth group games (which is a big list of indoor, outdoor, icebreakers, and more).

27 Amazingly Simple Outdoor Games For Youth Ministry (of course they are little or no prep)

27 Outdoor Games For Youth Group

1. SPUD (with my special instructions)

I love this game and so will your youth. Seriously, super fun and a great way to incorporate all kids in your group. Equipment: a soft ball (dodgeball, kickball, etc). Space: Open Field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Here are my instructions that vary from the original instructions:

  1. Have everyone share their name aloud. Then, choose someone to be “It.”
  2. “It” gets the ball and the rest of the players stand in a circle around “It.”
  3. “It” throws the ball up into the air and calls out any one person’s name.
  4. As soon as “It” throws the ball into the air, everyone runs as fast as they can.
  5. The person called out by “It” called runs back and grabs the ball and screams STOP.
  6. Everyone must stop at once. (Be aware that youth will try to get away with not stopping immediately. It might be good to have another adult just watching and making sure everyone is stopping when STOP is called-just a tip from playing this sooooo many times.)
  7. Once STOP has been called, the “New It” (the person’s whose name was called and is now holding the ball) has 4 steps they can take (S P U D) to reach the closest player.
  8. The “New It” can’t jump, but can take as big as steps as they can – no more than 4.
  9. The “New It” then picks out a “Target” person to throw the ball to try to get them out.
  10. “New It” must hit the “Target” they choose, but no head shots.
  11. If “New It” misses the “Target,” or if the “Target” catches the ball, then “New It,” is now out and the “Target” is now the new “It.”
  12. If “New It” successfully hits their target, then the “Target” is now out, and “New It” remains “It.”
  13. Return to Step 2 – Gather everyone in a circle again and keep playing until only one person is left.

SPUD Traditional Instructions Click Here.

2. Human Knot

This game will really bring your youth group together as everyone together makes a knot and then tries to untangle it without letting go of each other.

Equipment: None. Space: Open Space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Human Knot Instructions.

3. Blob

One player is “it” and they try to catch someone. When they touch a person, then the other person becomes part of the blob. The two students link arms or hold hands and, running together, try to catch another student. They keep adding to the blob as they catch more people. The game ends when all are caught.

Depending on the size of the space, you may need to establish boundaries, with students automatically becoming part of the blob if they go beyond them.

Equipment: None. Space: Open Field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 8+

4. Manhunt

Reverse Hide And Seek.

Equipment: None. Space: Outdoors. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Manhunt Instructions

5. Blind Man’s Bluff

Basically, it is blindfolded tag.

Equipment: Blindfold. Space: Open field with nothing in it. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Blind Man’s Bluff Instructions.

Outdoor Games For Youth Ministry

6. Kick The Can

A combo between hide and seek and tag.

Equipment: a can. Space: Outdoors. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Kick The Can Instructions

7. Capture The Flag

Team-based strategy game.

Equipment: two flags (can really be anything). Space: Outdoors. Number of Youth Group Participants: 8+

Capture The Flag Instructions

8. Four Square

This is such a classic and beloved game for youth ministry, your kids will love it!

Equipment: A bouncy ball and something to make the four square divisions like chalk or tape. Space: Outdoor on concrete. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Four Square Instructions

9. Everyone Is It

Everyone Is It – Super fun and a great, I mean a great way, to burn energy! A tag game that is for everyone.

Equipment: none. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Everyone Is It Instructions Click Here.

Outdoor Games For Youth Ministry

10. Freeze Tag

Good old freeze tag, you might be surprised how much fun youth will have playing games they played as elementary kids.

Equipment: none. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Freeze Tag Instructions

11. Red Rover

Again, another throwback that your youth will have fun doing, but in order to really play this right you need a lot of kids.

Equipment: none. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 12+

Red Rover Instructions

12. Silent Ball

This will get your group to quiet down and test their ability to stay quiet while playing a game.

Equipment: A Ball. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 6+

Silent Ball Instructions

13. Kickball

To play this game right, you really need a big group of youth.

Equipment: A kickball and four bases. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 14+

Kickball Instructions

14. Crab Soccer

Playing soccer in a crab position.

Equipment: A ball and two goals. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 12+

Crab Soccer Instructions

15. 21 Football

“The object of the game is for teams to score 21 points by completing passes in different areas of the field.”

Equipment: A ball and two goals. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 6+

21 Football Instructions

Outdoor Games For Youth Ministry

16. Cone Guardian

Each team tries to knock over the other team’s cone by throwing a ball.

Equipment: balls, cones, and hula hoops. Space: Open space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 6+

Cone Guardian Instructions

17. Dragon Tail

“Dragon Tag is an action-based game that is like tag, but with a twist! Teams of 4-8 people form “dragons” by linking elbows and attempt to grab the “tail” of another team’s dragon. Last team remaining wins.”

Equipment: None. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 10+

Dragon Tail Instructions

18. Alligator Swamp

A game where players try to get across the playing field without touching the lava.

Equipment: Potato sacks or towels/sheets or cardboard. Space: Open field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 10+

Alligator Swamp Instructions

19. Spin Tag

Pull out a timer and have all the kids assemble in a field and spin for a minute, including “it”. When the minute is up “it” tries to catch everyone they can. Be careful to have everyone spread out so they don’t hurt each other while spinning.

Equipment: None. Space: Open Field. Number of Youth Group Participants: As little as 3 or more.

Outdoor Games For Youth Ministry

20. Poop Deck

A fast-paced game where youth run to different parts of the “ship” as fast as they can to avoid elimination. 

A personal favorite of mine for middle school youth because they love yelling out poop deck! It’s a good game for high school students too.

Equipment: Boundary markers. Space: Open Space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Poop Deck Instructions

21. Trust Walk

Great game for building unity and trust in a group.

Equipment: Blindfolds. Space: Open Space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 3+

Trust Walk Instructions

22. Chain Tag

Once tagged, you form a human running chain until everyone is caught.

Equipment: None. Space: Open Field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+ but the more the better!

Chain Tag Instructions.

23. Hit The Door

This is a version of Ghosts in the Graveyard.

Equipment: None. Space: Outdoors best at night. Number of Youth Group Participants: 5+

Hit The Door Instructions

24. Dodge Ball

A favorite of many teens especially boys. It’s important to note that you caution everyone to not intensely throw the ball as it can really hurt people.

Equipment: Ball. Space: Open space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 10+

Dodge Ball Instructions

Outdoor Games For Youth Ministry

25. Burning Ball

A larger group ball game.

Equipment: Ball, cones, and a basket. Space: Open space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 12+

Burning Ball Instructions

26. Zombie Apocalypse

“The goal of this game is for the Survivors to get back to the starting point without being tagged by a zombie”

Equipment: None. Space: Open Space. Number of Youth Group Participants: 9+ (but its realy suited for a large group)

Zombie Apocalypse Instructions

27. Army Dodgeball

A fun twist on dodgeball.

Equipment: Dodgeballs. Space: Open Field. Number of Youth Group Participants: 10+

Have fun playing outside!

For more Youth Ministry resources check out these great posts:

50 No Prep Youth Group Games

101 Conversation Starters For Ministry

128 Small Group Questions For Youth Group

450 Lesson Topics For Youth Group

27 Outdoor Games For Youth Group
27 Outdoor Games For Youth Group