Home > Calming Games > Why Play Calming Games?

Why Play Calming Games?

By: Tom King - Updated: 3 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Why Play Calming Games?

Calming games are one of the most important tools a youth leader possesses. It is essential that you have games up your sleeve for the kids to play when they've burned off their energy and have been acting a little bit 'hyper'. Children may often complain at the end of active play, but if the calm game you choose is the right one, they'll soon settle into play and they might even end up enjoying it!

Calming games are underrated because they can actually have all the same qualities as an active game, apart from the need to run around like headless chickens. Children and teens can learn many of the skills that they would get from active play, and because these calming games involve less physical effort, their minds may actually absorb more of what they hear, see or do. With that in mind, here are some great calming games to play with youth groups.

Sleeping Lions

This is, of course, the quintessential calming game. Great to play for children of all ages, it requires absolutely no preparation and no effort on the part of the leader - a perfect game, in other words!

Most people will have played this at least once, but just in case you haven't, here's how it works: all the children lie down on the floor and pretend to be asleep, keeping themselves as still and as silent as possible. The object of the game is to be the last one to move or to 'wake up'. The leaders should make the job more difficult by creeping between the 'sleeping lions' and making funny comments, or suggesting that children have moved when they have in fact remained still.

It is remarkable how many children will abandon the game and suspend play to complain at a perceived injustice - at which point you can notify them that as they have awoken from their slumber they are out! This is good as a closer to the evening, but don't play it too often, otherwise children tend to get a little bored of it.

The Minute Game

This is, if anything, even simpler than Sleeping Lions. It is also a very short game, but it is surprisingly calming and leaves the group in utter silence. To play the game, the youth group must stand in a circle. The leader will stand in the middle and hold a stopwatch. The object of the game is to sit down precisely a minute after the leader has started the stopwatch. Many groups who play this find that it is an interesting insight into the power of peer pressure, as many children just sit whenever someone else does.

However, it is also surprising how close many children get to estimating a minute correctly. You will need to ask another leader to monitor who sits down, and when, especially if you have a particularly large group. It is easy to play this game any number of times; often kids will ask to play another round if they feel that they can improve their performance!

Other Calming Games

There are many other calming games which are great to play, and which can really help with that transition between active play and the end of the evening. Here's a brief list of other calming games for you to play:
  • Scissors - the leader passes some scissors (or two sticks) to another leader and asks "Are these crossed or uncrossed?" The answerer should act as if they are concentrating very hard, and then reply either 'crossed' or 'uncrossed'. The kids will have a field day trying to work out why the scissors are or are not crossed! (The answer is that it depends on whether the first person's legs are crossed or uncrossed!)
  • The 'Erm' game - To play this, the leader asks another leader a question. Their answer does not matter as long as they say 'erm' before they say it. This leads to some confused looks if you ask questions such as "Which language is spoken in the USA?" as leaders can respond "Errrrmmm... German!", and that is a correct answer! Again, the object is to try and get the kids to work out what is going on... this may require some heavy hints!
Hopefully you will find these suggestions useful for your youth group. It can be difficult to calm excitable kids down, but these games will help the children in your youth group to play and to learn without smashing anything, tripping each other up or even making a racket. Now who wouldn't want to play games like these?!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Congratulations! This is a very good site esp. for those starting to work with young people's group. May you'll have many more creative activities. . God bless
BB - 3-Apr-13 @ 8:52 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Beezmark dee Boison
    Re: Why Set Up a Youth Group?
    I and my partner currently running the Youth Center in our village starting from last year festive season. I now came on this website…
    19 August 2018
  • beepbeepimmasheep
    Re: Team Building Games
    I am having trouble with my friends right now and this sight helped me find activities that can help rebuild our friendships
    3 May 2018
  • Seeking practical ga
    Re: Fun Games That Teach Life Skills
    I am doing some research on games and education and would like to contact Ms Sheri Kruger (cited in above article) I am…
    15 April 2018
  • CrazyAshley742
    Re: Murder Mystery Games for Youth Groups
    I really want to be a detective when I grow up. So I' practicing right now
    18 February 2018
  • winza
    Re: How to Set Up a Youth Group
    We are a youth club that started not so long ago..we in need of funding..
    24 January 2018
  • Funtime Foxy
    Re: Games for Juniors (8-11 yrs old)
    I love these games and it kept my brother occupied for ages!
    6 January 2018
  • YouthGroupGames
    Re: Why Play Games at all?
    Nick - Your Question:Hello, Who responsible for the risk assessment and the liability, the owner of the building, or the person who is…
    13 December 2017
  • Nick
    Re: Why Play Games at all?
    Hello, Who responsible for the risk assessment and the liability, the owner of the building, or the person who is running the youth club,…
    11 December 2017
  • Thandy
    Re: How to Set Up a Youth Group
    I'm a parent , I work for social development. There are lots of youth running around the street in my surbarb. I want to start…
    7 December 2017
  • Newnew
    Re: Games for Early Teens (12-15 yrs old)
    I can't find any good games put more hit top games up
    26 November 2017