It’s been a long semester of planning games, preaching, and prepping your leaders week in and week out, and it’s not over yet. Now, you’re tasked with the ultimate responsibility: the youth group Christmas party. It’s always a great time, but that’s usually because you spent hours scouring the internet and Facebook groups for the best food, the greatest games, and great leader gifts that won’t break the bank. Worth it? Yes, but maybe there’s a better way?
While we can’t recommend any recipes, we can save you some time by sharing some of the top Christmas party games we’ve seen in the last few years (side note: we also made a list of top leader gifts, you can check that out here).
Saran Wrap Ball
Ah, the classic saran wrap ball game. You’ve probably heard of it, but we couldn’t write this list without including it, because it’s a favorite these days. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Saran wrap, lots of it
- A pair of dice
- 10-20 random items – movie boxes of candy, chapstick, $1 bills, tiny toys
- A gift card that fits your budget (or a larger prize that students will want)
- Tape (optional)
Start by wrapping the gift card or “big item” with a lot of saran wrap – the more the better. Add tape if you’d like to increase the difficulty. Continue to wrap saran wrap and add the other items incrementally after multiple layers of wrapping. The goal is for students to unwrap a prize every so often as they’re trying to get to the big prize in the middle. At the end, you will have a giant ball of saran wrap with hidden goodies inside!
To play the game, have students and leaders sit in a circle. When you say start, the first student will begin unwrapping the ball. The student next to him or her will begin rolling the dice until doubles are rolled (i.e. two 3s, 6s, etc). Once that happens, the person unwrapping will pass the ball to the next person, and the cycle continues until the gift card/larger item is uncovered.
Involve multiple students and leaders in this challenge to act out some of the most popular Christmas characters, events, and foods. Check out the list here.
Make sure your computer is up and running for students to click through the different prompts, or turn chairs away from your projector and broadcast the prompts on your screen. If you would prefer to run this game without tech, take some time ahead of time to write the different words on pieces of paper and put them in a bowl for students to pick.
Split your group into two teams. Set a timer (30 seconds-1 minute) and explain that within that time frame, the selected person will try to act out as many as possible to earn points for their team. Continue alternating between teams until you’ve run out of prompts. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Silly Sock Exchange
A fun twist on white elephant/yankee swap/whatever you call it. You can also up the ante and offer a gift card to the best pair of socks (but be sure to set a budget of $5-10).
Announce this to students a few weeks in advance so they have time to purchase their socks. Remind them to wrap the socks. Consider purchasing a few extra pairs in case a student forgets or cannot afford it. Write numbers for the amount of students in your group, cut them up and put them in a bowl.
Put all the gifts in the middle of the room. Pass the bowl around and let everyone select a number. The student with the #1 paper gets to select first. Once he or she unwraps it, the student with #2 can either steal those socks or pick a new pair from the middle. This continues all the way until the end. Typically, once something is stolen 3 times, it cannot be stolen again – but it’s your Christmas party! You make the rules.
Oven Mit Unwrap
This is similar to the saran wrap challenge (both involve laughing at students as they fail horribly at a task – a favorite pastime of youth pastors). It’s simple but fun, and involves lots of students. You’ll need:
- Oven mitts (2 pairs)
- A pair of dice
- A box
- A gift for inside the box
- Wrapping paper and tape
Purchase the gift and put it inside the box. Wrap the box in quite a few layers of wrapping paper and be sure to tape it up as much as you can! Put the box on stage alongside the oven mits.
Group Option: Sit in a circle. One student starts with the mitts on and the gift. When you say start, the first student will begin trying to unwrap the box. The student next to him or her will begin rolling the dice until doubles are rolled (i.e. two 3s, 6s, etc). Once that happens, the person unwrapping will pass the gift to the next person, and the cycle continues until the gift is unwrapped and the gift inside is retrieved.
Teams Option: Split your group into 2 teams. Put the box onstage with 2 sets of mitts and 2 sets of dice. One team will start with a person from their team onstage, mitts on, ready to unwrap the present. When you start, the opposite team will roll their dice until doubles are rolled. At that point, they will take over unwrapping. Different representatives from each team will go up each time doubles are rolled and it switches. The prize must be a prize everyone on the team can receive – $5 Starbucks gift cards, a free item from your snack bar for everyone on the team, etc.
We hope this helps make your Christmas party all the merrier!