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Games seminar – workshop

This entry came from Sister Ulrike from the “Mädchengemeinschaft der Diözese Augsburg „Der Neue Weg“ and has been written in the context of a games workshop for full-time workers in Christian youth work. Lots of games are included in the collection of games, or at least similar ones, but the main thing here is way the games are put together and the concluding feedback/appraisal. Learning to play, recognising play relationships and using the right games for the group is important for a games leader. Personal experiences are very important in choosing the correct games for group sessions for all members of the group so hat strengths and weaknesses are skilfully built in.

Cushion hunt

Size of group: 14 person and more
Length: 5-30 minutes
Material: 2 sofa cushions or 2 balloons
Category: Warming up

The group sits in a circle and are alternately numbered 1 and 2 so that 2 teams are made who will play against each other. Each team is responsible for a cushion. The game leader gives a cushion to two players – one player per team sitting opposite each other. The cushions must be passed among the team in a clockwise direction. Throwing is not allowed, no one can be skipped over and the opposing team is not allowed to hinder their opponent. If a cushion overtakes the other one, this team has won.

Flying fish

Size of group: At least 8 players
Length: 25-30 minutes
Material: approx. 10 cm fish cut from transparent paper, 2 plates, 2 files
Category: Warming up

The group is split into two teams who sit on a line (edge of the pool) sitting/standing opposite each other. At each end in the middle is a plate with a fish made of transparent paper. A light board (cardboard) is placed next to it. The team players are numbered. The game leader calls the players by number (randomly) and then gives the start signal. The player from each team runs to “their” plate and try, with the help of the board, to get the fish onto the opposite plate. Disturbing the opponents is allowed! The fish is not allowed to be touched with the hands nor with the board. The team player who has the fish on the opposite plate wins a point for his team. The fish is not allowed to touch the floor.

Figure of eight

Size of group: 4-25 players
Length: 5-30 minutes
Material: (Climbing-) rope approx. 20 meters long
Aim: Mood, fun and movement
Category: Co-operation

The game leader lays out a rope in a U shape. The players stand at the rope and hold it tightly with both hands. They are not allowed to let go of the rope throughout the game but it may slide through the hands. The game leader places a little piece of rope with a knot in it in the middle (figure of eight or slip knot or similar). The task for the group is now to make the same knot with the large rope without anyone letting go.

For youths you can show a slip knot instead of a figure of eight. Evaluate the knots afterwards!

Curse of the Caribbean

Size of group: 8-25 players
Length: 15 minutes
Material: Blindfold, treasure, stool
Category: Co-operation, warming up, trust, fun. Warning: very funny!


  • The group is the crew of a ship. All of the shipmates have had a hard night drinking and have no control over their balance anymore and cannot talk. They must sit behind the goal line and are silent. They can still make gestures.

  • One of the crew members is the old admiral. He obviously wasn’t involved in the heavy night, he is fit and can talk. However due to his age he cannot move and sits in a wheelchair at the front of the ship des with his face to the crew and his back to the sea. He has a stiff neck and can only look forwards.

  • Then there is also a super young captain. He kept himself under control in the drinking night, can speak and can move. However the courageous captain lost his eye sight in the last battle (blindfold).

  • Now the ship is sailing towards the treasure island they have looking for, for a long time where the treasure can be dug up (the treasure by the game leader, funnily enough in a bag or bin....).

  • Once the scenery has been put in place the game starts: The crew shows the admiral where the treasure is who must then tell the young captain so that he can search for the treasure while blindfolded.

Beer mat hunt

Size of group: 8-30 players
Length: 10-20 minutes
Material: 8 beer mats, 2 blindfolds, 2 stools
Category: Warming up

Each team chooses a representative. This person is blindfolded and is placed on the stool. The game leader places 8 beer mats in the room. On the start signal they must hunt for 4 beer mats while blindfolded. They are directed by the team who calls out directions. The player is not allowed to step out of the playing area with the beer mats before they reach the stool. Once they reach the stool, they must place a beer mat under each chair leg and then sit on the stool. Each beer mat must remain under the stool legs. The first person finished has won. New round.


Size of group: 6-24 players
Length: 20-30 minutes
Material: None
Category: Warming up, co-ordination

There are 3 players in a team. One person is the programmer and the other two are his robots. The two robots stand back to back and when the game starts they move forwards – only an obstacle can stop them.

The programmer can change the robot’s direction by 90° by tapping his shoulder. If there are no commands the robot moves forwards without stopping. The robot stops still if he reaches the edge of the area or hits another robot put keeps moving his legs on the spot. The aim is to get both robots to hug or stand opposite each other or to get both of them to park alongside each other at an agreed position. The roles are then swapped.

Contact sticker

Size of group: 8-100 players
Length: 10-20 minutes
Material: A beer mat for each pair, music
Category: Warming up, trust, fun and movement

The participants make pairs and move to the music. When the music stops the game leader gives the command which two body parts have to be stuck together with a sticker (Beer mat) e.g. hand and forehead, right thigh and left shoulder, hand and toe.... The same movement in this position takes place until the next break.

Variation: Not only the position is changed in the break but also the partner.


Size of group: 4-25 players
Length: 10-40 minutes
Material: At least as many cardboard discs with numbers on as the number of players
Category: Co-ordination, co-operation, concentration

The game leader places little with numbers in the playing field. The group has one minute (or shorter or longer if necessary) time to try and remember where the numbered cards are. Then all of the cards are turned over but they stay in the same position and the players leave the playing field. Now one member of the group is chosen who turns over the cards according to the commands of the other players.

There is one joker and a vampire (the joker always works and the vampire means “lost”). The group can estimate beforehand how long is needed to play the game.

Option: Instead of numbers you can also use letters for smaller children. When playing with adults the numbers can be very different and positive and negative.

Sensor game (Wind in the Willows)

Size of group: 12-50 players
Length: 10 minutes
Material: Blindfolds
Category: Warming up, Co-ordination, Co-operation, acceptance, trust

Participants spread out quite close together in the room (in a marked out field) and they are sensors who make beeping noises. One participant is blindfolded. They must now make it from one side to the other through the sensor field. The target sensor makes a little beep every now and again. The field sensors make a constant low buzzing noise. The nearer the blindfolded player comes to the sensors the louder they buzz. Aim: The blindfolded players may not touch the sensors.

Options: Instead of sensors: willow. Instead of buzzing: blowing

Misikatchen (Ankle sumo)

Size of group: 10-30 players
Length: 10-15 minutes
Material: Area markings (string)
Category: Wild games, warming up

Participants go into the playing area (Misiland). The people of Misiland are all handicapped: their hands hold their own ankles – on both sides, which means they are all bent over (safety factor).

Now the people of Misiland want to choose a king (the strongest). They all try to push each other out of Misiland which is only allowed with the bottom. The one who is left at the end is the winner.

The game is very aggressive. Game leaders should keep an eye on everything and intervene if necessary. Misikatchen is perfect as an introduction to a “violence” theme evening (my readiness to be violent, my ability to stop, a fluent transfer between want and violence...)

Partner catching/hat catching

Size of group: 10-30 Players
Length: 10-20 Minutes
Material: 2 hats/caps
Category: Warming up, movement

The players make pairs and hook arms. A couple is given a hat to wear. The couple now tries to catch another couple by placing their hats on another couple’s heads.

Catching monsters

Size of group: 10-30 players
Length: 10-20 minutes
Material: None
Category: Warming up, movement

The participants are spread out in the room with their legs apart. One person is the elf and behaves elf–like and squeaky. He/she is followed by a monster who shouts and bellows. The elf can save herself by crawling through the legs of another player (for safety reasons – always from the front). The person whose legs are crawled through becomes the next monster who chases the other monster, who then becomes the elf. If the monster catches (touches) the elf before she could save herself then the roles are swapped over.

The fast ball

Size of group: 8-30 players
Length: 15 Minutes
Material: Tennis ball, stopwatch
Category: co-operation

Task for the group:
The tennis ball must be kept in play at all times and therefore must be kept moving. It may only by touched by one person at a time. Each person must have contact to the ball once. The group must think of a strategy how the taks can be solved as quickly as possible. Aim: This is possible in 2 seconds with 20 players! The group should estimate the time needs before the game starts.


  • 1. Step: pass the ball around the circle
  • 2. Step: stand closer together
  • 3. Step: ?

Goal: To make a track with the arms so that the ball can roll down the track.

Option: Put two or more balls into play

Appraisal of co-operation games

A choice of appraisal questions

  • How satisfied are you now?
  • Was hindered you?
  • What was easy/was fun?
  • What did I enjoy?
  • What was lacking?
  • Who gave you support?
  • Which conditions were required for the group to manage the task?
  • What was difficult?
  • What helped you to manage the exercise?
  • If someone had went around with a camera and had taken a photo of the absolute highlight of the group, which scene would have be photographed?


  • Decision maker
  • Participant
  • Forward thinker
  • Sceptic

Scale with cards

Which strengths in your team can be used to complete the task? Which weaknesses were noticed? Answers make them positive and make a scale (from „worked really well“ to „did not work“). Talk with the group about their positions and then work on any deficits in the next co-operation game/task.

Scale with the question sheet

The co-operation within the group was very good!
-5 0 +5

My contribution to the solution was good!
-5 0 +5

I would have liked to have been more involved in the group decisions!
-5 0 +5

We used the planning time perfectly to think of a strategy!
-5 0 +5

We started straight away and didn’t have a plan!
-5 0 +5

The communication in the planning and work phases was very good!
-5 0 +5

I tried to watch out for other people’s opinions during the game!
-5 0 +5

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