Spring Games for Youth Groups
Traditionally, spring is a time of rebirth and new beginnings. For children, however, spring is simply a time of warm, sunny weather and plenty of outside activities to keep them entertained.
When the weather’s nice, youth group leaders should have no difficulty thinking of fun, seasonal games to keep the kids happy. But if you want to try something a little bit different, these games and activities are sure to fit the bill.
Traditional GamesAll too often we forget the traditional games of our youth, which were popular for a reason. Why not write down a list of games on separate scraps of paper, then have the children pick them out one by one from a hat – and play them together as a group? Games can include:
- Tag. Great way to get rid of pent-up energy, before embarking on a quiet activity.
- Musical statues. All you need is some music for this one.
- Musical chairs. Easy to plan if you have enough chairs available - difficult without them!
- Water balloon toss. Just make sure the children have a change of clothes, or swimming costumes.
- Capture the flag. Make the rules more complicated for older children.
Themed PicnicEvery child loves a picnic, but themed ones are even better. Here are a few guaranteed to keep the members of your youth group busy:
- Teddy bears’ picnic. Great for younger children. Have them bring their favourite cuddly toy on a picnic that will involve some themed food, such as teddy bread crisps and honey biscuits. Can be a full lunch or just a snack.
- Board games. Children are asked to bring in their favourite board games, then take them with you on a picnic. Encourage children to try games they’ve never played before. Hint: Check the weather forecast beforehand so the games won’t get soggy!
- Go international. Ask each child to bring a dish from their own home country or that of their parents, be it England, Bangladesh or the USA. Supply plates, cutlery and cups, and start sharing. Every child will be expected to make a short talk about the food they have brought.
- Hawaiian luau. Great for older kids. Ask each child to bring in a sandwich and something “tropical”, whether it’s a mango, a carton of pineapple juice etc. Hold a Hawaiian picnic, with limbo games (all you need is a broomstick) and a Hula dancing competition. Ask them to bring along beach towels for authenticity.
Choosing TimeChildren love having a bit of free time to do what they want, but often they need a bit of encouragement. Choosing Time combines the best of both worlds.
Place fun outdoor toys in the youth group garden or nearby park: hoola hoops, skipping ropes, coloured pavement chalk, Frisbees, jacks, bouncy balls etc. Then give the kids an hour and let them roam from activity to activity. You’ll be surprised which toys they gravitate towards!
Daffodil CraftsDaffodils are a symbol of spring, so why not encourage children to make daffodil arts and crafts? These crafts are fun and good for both older and younger children alike. Perfect for when those April showers make an appearance…
- Daffodil magnets. Take orange clay or plasticine and make six daffodil petals, which you shape together. Next, make a flower centre from orange clay. Put in middle of daffodil and let dry, then attach a magnet to the back with a hot glue gun. If you make a few daffodil magnets – four or five – you can put them into a small gift box to make a great Mother’s Day present.
- Daffodil paintings. Using yellow (washable) poster paint, have each child dip in the palm of their hand, then place on paper four times, with the handprints overlapping. These are the daffodil petals. Net, dip the hand in orange paint and press on the paper with spread fingers, overlapping the petals, to make the daffodil centre. When dry, outline the petals with black pen, and draw or paint on a green stalk. Great project for younger kids.
- Bunch of daffodils. Paint a small egg carton with orange poster paint and leave to dry, then cut out the six egg compartments. Cut out six corresponding flower shapes from a piece of yellow card, then glue to centre of shapes. This will make the trumpet part of the daffodil. Tape a green straw or long green piece of cardboard to the back of each flower, then put inside a “vase”, which is a tube of rolled-up green card. Alternatively, make one large daffodil and glue to card to make a lovely spring greeting or Easter card.