source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
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Nicholas has a problem

Preparation time: 15 Minutes
No. players : 8+
Duration: 1 hour
Material cost: high
Age: 8+
Location: indoors
Season: any
Activity level: medium
Materials: Objects (approx. 5 per group), wrapping paper, wrapped up wooden board, hat, scarf, gloves, knife, fork, spoon, Bobby cars, rope, blindfold, tunnel, newspaper truncheons, bucket, secret writing, pencils, presents, golden book and story.
Aim: Fun, games
Summary: Games centred on St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). Help Santa Claus so that the Christmas celebrations are not cancelled.


Father Christmas has become old and is lying in hospital. The young Santa however, is not totally clued up. To make things worse, Knecht Ruprecht is suffering from Alzheimer’s and so can not help the young Santa. The young Santa does not know what gifts to give to the children and what other tasks he has to do. In order to prevent the Christmas celebrations from failing, the youth clubbers should help him.

Two groups are made

  1. Wrapping presents

    Father Christmas has to be quick at wrapping presents; it is already the 5/12 – everything has to be ready by tomorrow (Knecht Ruprecht wants to show them how, Father Christmas says the children should show how this should be done) Each group receives various objects and wrapping paper; at the end quickness and presentation will be judged.

    Materials: Objects (approx. 5 per group), wrapping paper.

  2. Chocolate eating competition

    In case the children that Father Christmas visits are awake, he has to be able to occupy them so that he can slip away secretly. Knecht Ruprecht thinks of the following game: chocolate eating competition with a wrapped up wooden board instead of chocolate (Knecht Ruprecht accidentally wrapped up his firewood), which has to be un-wrapped using a knife and fork. However this can only happen if the players roll a 6 and have put on a hat, scarf and gloves.

    Materials: Hat, scarf, gloves, knife, fork, dice, wooden board, paper

  3. Reindeer obstacle course

    Father Christmas and Knecht Ruprecht have to be able to manage reindeers in the dark. They both sit on a Bobby car; eyes blindfolded. Two children at a time have to pull them around obstacles after which the next two children are in line to do the same.

    Materials: Bobby cars, rope, blindfold

  4. Crawling tunnel

    Father Christmas has to come into the house through narrow chimneys. Create a relay with a tunnel and other obstacles. (Knecht Ruprecht has to demonstrate)

    Materials: Tunnel (ideally two)

  5. Chinese Whispers

    Father Christmas always has to give orders to the reindeers, otherwise he will wake everyone. The game ‘Chinese Whispers’ is played.

  6. Being Quiet

    Father Christmas always has to talk quietly in houses. We will play the ‘guard’ game; to begin with Knecht Ruprecht sits in the middle and is not checking on the game; one child sits blindfolded in the middle of the circle on a chair. Under the chair there is a key ring. Another child has to creep up and take the key ring. Will the child sitting on the chair be able to tell exactly from where the child is creeping up?

  7. Knowing the names of the children

    Father Christmas has to know the names of the children. For this the game ‘hitting newspapers’ is suited: In the middle of the circle there is a dust bin. One child stands in the middle holding a rolled up newspaper in one hand. This child has to whack the thigh of one of the players using the newspaper, then throw the newspaper into the bin and sit in the spot of the child who was ‘hit’. If the person manages to do this without the ‘hit’ person grabbing the newspaper and hitting them back, then they can stay seated. If however, they get hit by the newspaper then they must remain in the middle and try their luck with the other children.

    Materials: Newspaper truncheons rolls, bucket

  8. Which shoe belongs to whom?

    Father Christmas has to know whom to give which present. All the children take off their shoes – Knecht Ruprecht and Father Christmas have to assign the shoes.

  9. Deciphering wish lists

    Father Christmas has to be able to read wish lists from all countries and with all kinds of handwriting. Secret writing, which each group has to solve: using the computer a piece of text is converted to e.g. Wingdings. The children receive a secret code-key which assigns the symbols to the letters. Using this, the children have to decipher the text as quickly as possible.

    Materials: Secret writing, pencils

  10. Searching for Santa-Claus – instead of Easter bunnies

    Sometimes Father Christmas forgets that he is not the Easter bunny and hides his presents all over instead of simply laying them out. All the children should search for a hidden parcel.


Father Christmas reads a Christmas story out of a gold-bound book.

Sent in by Carina W.

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