source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
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The Italian Evening

Preparation time: 5 Minutes
No. people: 6+
Duration: 1 hour
Material cost: medium - high
Age: 6+
Location: indoors
Season: any
Activity level: medium
Materials: Paper and nice pens, adverts from newspapers to cut out, puzzle, store receipts (for the four walls, approximately 8 food-related words), ‘squeeze-snatch-words’ with associated objects for snatching, bonbons, identities on sticky notes, syllables for the syllable game, blanket.
Aim: Fun and games
Summary: A games evening with an Italian theme –about the country, the people and the Italian mentality


The Italian evening is suitable for before of after the holidays. To finish the evening a large family-pizza can be ordered. The helpers talk about their holidays and experiences in Italy.

  1. Packing Suitcases

    Background: To get there we first have to pack.

    Game: Packing suitcases

    Children sit in a circle. One of the helpers starts and says “I am packing my suitcase and I am taking a tooth brush with me”. The person sitting on their right continues and says: “I am packing my suitcase and …”? another object is added as you go along in the circle. The list of objects has to be repeated by each person before adding a new object to the list.

  2. Beach

    Background: You have to take care that the umbrella does not fly away otherwise it will land in the sea

    Game: Zipp-Zapp

    One child stands in the middle of the circle and approaches the ones who are sitting saying either Zipp or Zapp to them. If Zipp is said, the child has to say the name of the person sitting on their left, and if Zapp is said the child has to say the name of the person on their right. If someone is too slow in answering or gets the name wrong, he has to then go into the middle of the circle.

  3. Mafia and Beach-vendors

    Background: One has to take care of their possessions; after each seaside visit, check to see if everything is still there.

    Game: What has changed on whom?

    One child is sent out in front of the door. In a circle, 5 children change something about their appearance, change positions, swap items of clothing etc. Then the child in front of the door returns to the room and has to find the 5 differences and is only allowed to make 3 wrong guesses.

  4. Menu

    Who can create the nicest menu? Groups think of one-course menus and the group helpers judge according to creativity.

  5. Venice

    Background: Gondoliers wink at all women and flirt with everyone.

    Game: Winking

    In a circle each pair of children stands in front of one another. There is one child in the middle of the circle. This child winks at one of the children in the innermost circle. Can the person standing behind hold onto the child in front before it escapes to the child in the middle? If yes then the child who was winked at stays put. If not, then the child escapes to the person winking in the middle of the circle. The person left behind now goes into the centre of the circle and begins to wink.

  6. Naples

    Background: There are many thieves, much is stolen

    Game: Guard-game

    One child sits blindfolded on a chair in the middle of the circle. Under the chair is a key ring. One child creeps up and takes the key ring away. Can the child on the chair point to the direction in which the child is sneaking off to?

  7. Men

    Are conscious of their clothes, are handsome, dark-haired…

    Game: Jig-Saws

    Jig-saws of men’s pictures have to be put together as quickly as possible. Which group is the quickest?

  8. Food

    Background: Italian food is everywhere, one has one has to know where to buy what.

    Game: Super-market game

    In the four corners of the room, hang up sheets of paper with lots of Italian-themed phrases written on them. The group helper calls out a phrase. The children have to search for the piece of paper with this phrase on it and run to this corner of the room. The last to reach the corner is out.

  9. Food

    Background: Food is a battle.

    Game: Squeeze-Snatch-Game

    The children sit behind one another in two rows. A chair is placed in front and at the back of these rows. All the children place one hand to the front and one hand to the back. One of the group helpers throws a coin onto the chair in-front. By number, the children have to pass on a signal via the hands. No head gestures are to be made. The last person in the row has to ‘snatch’ a bonbon if they receive a signal from their group. If not they have to leave the bonbon where it is. Alternative: Food-expressions are lifted up towards the back. Participants have to think of signals as to how they will convey which expression. At the front things such as spaghetti, cups etc. are snatched.

  10. Stories

    Background: Italians are big story tellers

    Game: Predator feeding

    In the middle of the circle there are some bonbons. The group helper reads out a story. On hearing a pre-decided word/phrase e.g. Italy, all the children rush into the middle of the circle to grab a bonbon. More bonbons are then placed in the middle, and on hearing the specified word/phrase again all rush into grab them. Which group will end up with the most bonbons?

  11. Personalities

    Background: Large personalities and artists come from Italy

    Game: Guess the identity

    Each child has a post-it note with a famous person’s name written on it, stuck onto their forehead. Then they have to walk around the room and ask the others ‘yes’/’’no’ questions. If the child receives a ‘no’ answer, they have to find a different person to ask questions to. Who will be the first to guess which personality they are?

  12. Fish Market

    Background: Everything is thrown quickly to and fro

    Game: Throwing Game

    Throw large things to and fro, e.g. a blanket. The blanket is not to touch the floor – which group will manage to pass the blanket the most times without letting it fall?

Sent in by Carina W.

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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