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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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Using icebreakers in youth group is not only fun, it can also help bond your group and enable kids who are usually reserved to open up.

We’ve put together a list of 46 icebreakers in this post to provide you, the leader, with great games that are easy to pull off, even if youth group is starting in 5 minutes and you’re still not ready!

We have a lot of resources on our site to help you with youth group, and we hope that this list of 46 youth group icebreakers becomes a valuable tool in your youth ministry tool kit!

Every youth group icebreaker below can be done with little or no prep and can work with both very small youth groups to large youth groups.

Youth Group Icebreakers | Icebreakers For Teens | No Prep Youth Group Games

Youth Group Icebreakers

1. Solitary Confinement

Participants needed: 2 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Instruct everyone to imagine having to spend a week in an apartment (stocked with basic food and supplies), but with no outside access, visitors, TV, computers, internet, phones, or any other electronic media devices. Ask each person to think of 1-3 activities or hobbies they’d bringing along to keep themselves sane for the week. At least one activity has to be something other than a book or some other form of literature. Have the youth share their answers with the group.

2. Toilet Paper Talk

Participants needed: 2 or more

Supplies: A roll of toilet paper.

Instructions: Tell the youth they can take 1 to 10 pieces of toilet paper. For each square of toilet paper, they have to share one thing about themselves. This is a silly way to get teens to open up a bit!

3. You Must Pick A Side

Participants needed: 4 or more

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Meet in a room where you have space for the youth to run from one side to the other. Have everyone meet in the middle. In this game, you will be offering youth the choice between two options and they have to pick their favorite.

Tell the youth they can pick only one choice and designate a side of the room for them to run to based on their selection. When you ask the questions, point to the side of the room they should go to for their choice. For example – “Donuts or cake? Cake goes to the left side of the room donuts to the right!”

Below are a couple of other ideas to get you started

  • Beach or mountains
  • Pizza or Hamburgers 
  • Christmas or Halloween
  • Summer or Winter

This icebreaker can go on and on. It’s great for the youth to see what other people in the youth group like and do not like.

For bonus fun – ask the youth to defend their decisions after each selection!

4. Pop Quiz

Participants needed: 3 or more.

Supplies: Scrap paper and pens. Optional: a prize (like a candy bar.)

Instructions: Before starting, come up with a list of 5-10 questions relevant to your youth group, such as questions about your church, a mission project, youth group or even the latest sermon. Distribute a piece of paper and pen to each kid. The winner gets a candy bar or bragging rights.

5. Investigator

Participants needed: 5 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Don’t announce anything about this game until the investigator leaves! To begin, have one person (the investigator) leave the room. Then, instruct everyone remaining on the rules of the game for the investigator to solve. For example, everyone could decide to mimic the person to their left. Then, have the investigator reenter the room and start asking yes or no questions trying to figure out what is going on with the group. The youth will pretend to be the person to their left, answering as though they look like the person next to them.

You can do endless variations of this game:

  • The group can act like they are all barnyard animals
  • The group can act like they are all doctors
  • The group can all act as though they are aliens from another planet.

Youth Group Icebreakers

6. Would You Rather

Participants needed: 2 or more.

Supplies needed: None.

Instructions: A game of scenarios. For example, have the youth choose if they would rather be stranded on a deserted island with two of their closest friends or all alone but with endless clean water? Think of a few scenarios beforehand in order to complete few rounds of this game.

7. Who Are You?

Participants needed: 5 or more.

Supplies: Pen and paper.

Instructions: Give each youth a piece of paper and a pen and have them write out facts about themselves. Tell them to try to disguise their writing and to not put their name on the sheet. Once everyone is done, have them place their papers face down on the table. Pick a person to read the papers and have the whole youth group try to guess who each person is. 

8. Create Your Own Logo

Participants needed: 2 or more.

Supplies needed: pens, paper, markers, etc.

Instructions: Make accessible some art supplies and have each youth create their own logo that represents them. Once they are finished have them share with the youth group explaining why this is their logo.

9. Don’t Laugh

Participants needed: 3 or more.

Supplies: none.

Instructions: One person is the jokester and they try to make each person in the circle laugh. They can tell jokes, make funny faces, and so forth. Set a time limit for each person. The winner is the one who made the most people laugh.

10. How Much Do You Have In Common?

Participants needed: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have the youth separate into small groups (preferably not with their friends) and figure out a list of a few things they have in common. Then once the designated time goes off, they share the results with the whole youth group. 

Youth Group Icebreakers

11. Instagram Show And Tell

Participants needed: 2 or more.

Supplies: Youth must have cell phones and an Instagram account – or just access to their pictures.

Instructions: Have everyone access their Instagram or their camera roll and tell them to pick out a picture from their profile that they would like to share. Have them explain the picture and its significance to them. 

12. Missing Shoe

Participants needed: Works best with a big group, but could be done with 6 or more.

Supplies: Nothing additional beyond the participant’s right shoe.

Instructions: Have everyone take off their right shoe and put it in a bin by the door, then gather everyone together. Next, tell everyone to grab a shoe that doesn’t belong to them and find the owner. This works best with a big group of kids. 

13. Two Truths One Tale

Participants needed: 3 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have each youth come up with two truths and one fib about themselves. Then, have them present the two truths and one untruth to the entire youth group and have the youth guess which one is the fib.

14. Back To Back

Participants needed: 4 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have youth form pairs and then stand back to back with their arms linked. Next, have them race to sit down and stand up as fast as the can keeping their arms linked the whole time.

15. Telephone Game

Participants needed: 5 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have youth group form a single line and tell the first person in the line a long worded statement like, “Mrs. Alice ate bananas and ice cream every day for forty years until she died.” The rule is they can only say the sentence one time, no repeating. Once they hear the statement, have each youth then turn to their neighbor and tell them what they just heard.

Youth Group Lesson: This is a great activity for youth sermons on gossip.

Youth Group Icebreakers

16. Trust Walk Group

Participants needed: 5 or more.

Supplies: Blindfolds.

Instructions: Have the youth group get in a single line, put on blindfolds, and put their hands on the shoulders of the person infront of them. Lead them through the church, or around the building, having them keep their line intact the whole time.

Youth Group Lesson: Could go with youth sermons on leadership or discipleship.

17. Trust Walk Pairs

Participants needed: 4 or more.

Supplies: Blindfolds and obstacles (you can use anything that’s around as obstacles, like pillows, books, etc.)

Instructions: Have the youth group form into teams of two. One person is the leader and the other the follower. The follower is blindfolded and has to listen to the voice of their leader. The two cannot touch – the leader must lead the follower through obstacles solely by giving good instruction. Once they complete the course, have them switch places so they both get to experience being a leader and follower.

Youth Group Lesson: Could go with youth sermons on leadership or discipleship.

18. 20 Dollars A Week

Participants needed: 4 or more.

Supplies: none.

Instructions: Split the youth group into teams of 3-4. Instruct groups to work together to come up with a plan for each person to live on $20 per week for food (or $60-80 the for entire group). Give groups a few minutes to develop their strategies and then share with everyone. 

Youth Group Lesson: Could go with youth sermons on finances or stewardship.

19. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament

Participants needed: 10 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: This fast-paced game is a blast! Have all students pair off and play one another in Rock, Paper, Scissors using the standard rules. Each winner advances, while the loser moves to the side to cheer on. The students continue playing one another until only two competitors remain, who face off to determine the champion. To extend the game, have each Rock, Paper, Scissors match be a Best of Three to determine the winner. You can also replay the entire tournament multiple times (as long as it’s even-numbered) to have a final “Champion’s Round” where all the tournament winners face off.

20. Change Places

Participants needed: 10 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have the youth group sit down in a circle, preferably chairs. Call out instructions, such as, “Change places if you are wearing a t-shirt!” Then, every youth that’s wearing a t-shirt has run and change their seat. Continue calling out new rules, such as if you are wearing glasses, are a junior, have a part-time job, etc.

Youth Group Icebreakers

21. Personal Hot Potato

Participants needed: 4 or more.

Supplies: Soft, safe ball or similar object, timer app.

Instructions: Before beginning, leader should think of a topic they’d like the group to share about, such as “Favorite things about our church” or “Places you’d like to visit.” The leader should also have a timer on their phone handy. 

Have everyone except the leader stand in a circle. The leader hands the ball to a person, introduces the question, and sets their timer to a time not stated to the group, between 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the size of the group. 

The game is played by each person answering the question as quickly as possible and then handing the ball off to their left. The person stuck with the ball when the timer sounds is “out”, or becomes the person designated to do a chore for the night. Play a few rounds with different questions as needed.

22. Prosecution and Defense

Participants needed: 4 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Divide entire youth group into smaller teams of 2-6, then group two teams into pairs, assigning one group as the “Prosecution” and the other the “Defense.” Provide each pair of groups a topic of interest (fun topics are best). Tell the teams to come up with “opening statements” stating why they are prosecuting or defending each idea. Give them a few minutes to prepare and elect a lead lawyer to make their statement, which they will give to the entire room.

Then, ask both teams to vote as a jury as to which side deserves to win the case, regardless of which team they are on. 

For example, the topic might be, “Are Cookies A Good Thing? Why?” The prosecution might argue, “Cookies are junk food and bad for your teeth”,  while the defense might argue “Cookies taste awesome with milk and are Santa fuel.”

23. Hotter or colder

Participants needed: 2 or more.

Supplies: Something to hide.

Instructions: Hide something in the room or in the church and have the youth group work together to find it by telling them they’re either getting hotter (closer to the hidden item) or colder (further away from the hidden item). 

24. 60 Seconds

Participants: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Break off into groups of three or more and have the youth replicate different objects like an airplane, dryer, a dining room table, fruit, etc. 

25. Human Knot

Participants needed: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Tell the youth group to form a tight circle and to cross their arms and grab hands with anyone but the person next to them. Now they have to work as a group to untangle the knot they have just made without letting go of the hand they are holding. This is an excellent icebreaker for team building and listening skills.

Youth Group Icebreakers

26. I Was Walking Down The Street

Participants needed: 3 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: This game begins by having one person finish the statement “I was walking down the street…” The point is for the person to begin crafting an imaginative story of their walk down the street and what the see or experience. When the student has completed a couple of sentences and got the story going, the leader should say “FREEZE” and point to another student to pick up the story right where the previous person left off. Continue doing this until you let everyone goES or the story simply unravels. For an extra obstacle add the challenge that when they pick up the story they cannot say “um” and it needs to be seamless. 

27. Human Sculptures

Participants needed: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Divide the youth group into teams of three or more. Go to each group and give them a topic to replicate with their bodies. Give them a few minutes to get their human sculpture together and then have the whole youth group assemble. Call each team up and have the others try to guess what they are trying to replicate.

28. Ultimate Ninja

Participants needed: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

For detailed instructions for Ultimate Ninja instructions.

“The goal of the Ultimate Ninja game is to be the last ninja standing. To stay in the game, you must not let anyone hit your hand. If someone hits your hand, you are “out” and must leave the game.”

29. Pass The Emotion

Participants needed: 5 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have the youth group sit in a circle. You start it off by expressing an emotion through facial expressions. Look to the person to your left and pace that emotion through the whole group as everyone passes that same expression to their neighbor until it reaches back to you. Switch things up by letting youth start off different rounds.

30. Wink

Participants needed: 6 or more (but really works well with a big group)

Supplies: A deck of cards.

Instructions: Identify a card as the “killer” card, for example, the King of Clubs. Then, pull out the King of Clubs along with enough cards for everyone to get a card (if you have 13 players, pull out 13 cards, with one being the King of Clubs).

Have everyone sit or stand in a circle facing one another.

Pass out cards randomly and face down to each youth group participant. Announce to the group what the “killer” card is and have them secretly look at their cards. The youth with the King of Clubs is the killer.

The leader should then announce “Begin,” at which point the youth begin silently looking at one another.

In order to “kill” – the “killer” must look directly in another person’s eyes and wink. At once the victim must place their card on their forehead and remain silent and cannot talk the rest of the round.

In order to catch the “killer,” people need to be on the lookout for “a killing.” If a youth happens to witness a “murder” and they think they know who did it, they should then raise their hand and wait for one other youth to also witness a murder.

The killer can still “kill” a youth with their hand raised, if they look at them and wink – so youth who suspect a killer shouldn’t look at them!

Once two hands are raised the youth leader tells them to yell out the name of the “killer” on the count of three. If they both correctly identify the killer the killer is out, and a new round begins.

However if the youth with hands raised both say two different names (even if one of the names is the killer) they are both out and the game continues until the killer is correctly identified or everyone is dead.

Be sure the youth understand that is the killer looks them directly in the eyes and they don’t put their card on their head, they are cheating and the game will not work. Also, the game will not work if someone pretends to be the killer hen they are not!

Youth Group Icebreakers

31. Whoosh Ball

Participants needed: 10 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Youth assemble in a circle and pass an imaginary ball around the circle. Detailed instructions found here.

32. Bippity Bop Bop

Particpants needed: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have the youth group form a circle around the youth leader. The leader points at someone in circle and says quickly either “bippity, bop, bop” or just “bop”

The youth that the leader points to tries to respond by saying “bop.” However, if the youth says “bop” in response to the leader just saying “bop”-they are out.

The youth must respond to “bippity, bop, bop” by saying “bop” before the leader finishes the phrase.

Leader says either “bippity, bop, bop” and the youth they pointed to must respond with “bop” before they finish, or they are out.

If the leader says “bop” and the youth also says “bop” – they are out. Continue around the circle trying to trip up the youth until only one remains!

33. Charades Relay

Participants needed: 6 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have a list of 10 items the youth will act out:

  • A flower
  • baseball player
  • dancing dad
  • snake
  • popcorn
  • washing machine
  • candle
  • substute teacher
  • jack in the box
  • stampede

Divide the youth group into two groups on opposite sides of the room and line up in order. Call the first participants and give them the thing they will act out, instructing them that they cannot talk. They run back to their group to act out their selection, and as soon as someone guesses, the next in line runs up to get their new thing to act out. This continues until the list of ten items has been completed.

It’s good to have an adult volunteer referee this game to ensure there is no talking on the part of the charades actors!

34. Initial Acronyms

Participants needed: No minimum.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have youth come up with an acronym for their initials, then share it with the group. For example – “Cody Patrick Fitzgerald is C.P.F.. – Which Means “Continuously Playing Fortnite.” It’s a great way for the youth group to learn each others initials and middle names!

35. Birthday Months

Participants needed: No minimum (but works best with a very large group)

Supplies: 12 sheets of paper for each month of the year, optional small prizes (like fun-size candy).

Instructions: Assemble in a room that has enough space and place the pieces of paper with each month of the year throughout the room.

Have the youth assemble and tell them to go to the month they were born and write down their birthday and stay in their month groups.

At this point, you can ask questions to the entire room to interact with the groups. It will require a little interaction to get the youth to answer questions. You can award prizes (optional) to students who can best fulfill the roles of the questions.

Questions include:

  • Does anyone have the same birthday?
  • Who has the closest birthdays?
  • Who has the furtherest apart birthday within the same month?
  • What day is there the most people with birthdays (such, as are there more people with birthday’s on the 6th of all months or the 27th)?
  • Whose birthdays are the furtherest apart (Note, Jan.-July, Feb. – Aug., Mar.-Sept., Apr. – Oct., May – Nov., June – Dec. are opposite months.
  • Does anyone have a birthday on someone else’s half birthday (exactly six months from your birthday)?
  • Which month has the most birthdays?
  • Which month has the least birthdays?

Youth Group Icebreakers

36. It’s national … day

Participants: No minimum.

Supplies: Phones.

Instructions: Have each youth use their phone to look up what national day their birthday is and have them share with the group. There are fun days observed on every day of the year. You can find a link to all the national days here.

37. Who Is It?

Participants: 6 or more.

Supplies: Pieces of paper and pens.

Instructions: Split the youth group into two teams and have each youth write down anonymously 4-5 facts about themselves, things most people do not know. Once everyone is finished, swap the lists giving another team that group’s papers. The groups have to try to guess who each list belongs to. The winning group is the one who guessed correctly the most.

38. 10 Word Bio’s

Participants: No minimum

Supplies: Paper and pens.

Instructions: Have each member of the youth group come up with a biography for their life using only 10 words. Once finished, have them share with the group.

39. Spot the difference.

Participants: 2 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have youth get into pairs and give them a moment to observe each other. Then tell everyone to turn around, to not face their partner, and have them make 3 changes to their appearance. For example, they might roll up their sleeves, or pull their hair down, or remove an earring or take off shoes. Then when they turn to face their partner, they both must identify the differences.

40. Fast Line

Participants: 10 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have youth form in lines of 5 people. Each line is racing against the others to be the first to accomplish various tasks. The leader will ask different questions for each round, like:

  • Assemble first name alphabetically
  • Assemble by last name alphabetically
  • Assemble by middle name alphabetically
  • Assemble by birth month
  • Assemble by height
  • Assemble by age
  • Assemble by alphabetical order of the street you live on

Youth Group Icebreakers

41. Silent Order

Participants: 5 or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Quietly or silently give each youth a number between 5 and 20. Tell the youth group they cannot speak, but they must form a numerical line in order and must find silent, creative ways to express their number without writing. For example, they can tap out their number, making minimal noise.

42. Where Have You Been?

Participants: 3 or more.

Supplies: None (optional paper and pens)

Instructions: Have each youth think of a destination they have traveled to. Next, they have to come with with three clues to present to the whole youth group for where they have been while everyone tries to guess. It’s important that the clues not be too hard or too easy for this game to work.

43. Desert Island

Participants: Groups of 2 or more.

Supplies: Paper and pen

Instructions: Have the youth break off into smaller groups. Give each group a piece of paper and a pen. Tell them they can only have 5 things on a deserted island, what will they be? They must agree as a group. Once finished have them present their options to the group and why they chose each item.

44. Threes

Participants: Groups of three

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have the youth group break into groups of three. The task of each group is to find 5 things in common besides obvious things like gender and age. Give them 5-10 minutes to do so and when everyone is done have all the groups share their findings with the rest of the youth group.

45. I Am Going On A Picnic

Participants: Three or more.

Supplies: None.

Instructions: Have the youth group assemble in a circle. Next, they go through the alphabet assigning a different food to each letter. Student 1 starts with “I am going on a picnic and I am going to bring apples” The next student follows with letter B, but has to repeat the previous food called. So they would say “I am going on a picnic and I am bringing apples, and banana bread.” This continues until you get to Z or it all falls apart.

46. Interview

Participants: 6 or more.

Supplies: Pens and paper.

Instructions: Have the youth break off in pairs with someone that they don’t know well. Have the pairs interview each other with the following questions

  • Where were you born?
  • What is your middle name?
  • What time do you usually go to bed?
  • If you could be an animal what would it be?
  • What’s your favorite subject in school?
  • Give me one word that describes you?

Youth Group Icebreakers | Icebreakers For Teens | No Prep Youth Group Games
Youth Group Icebreakers | Icebreakers For Teens | No Prep Youth Group Games