Games for UU kids and adults
Compiled and written by Dan Harper, v.1.3a
Copyright (c) 2014-2021 Dan Harper
Icebreakers and name games
Online games — many of which can also be played in person
Classic kid games
Building community in youth groups
Other sources of games and initiatives
Games are FUN. Games have AN OUTCOME. Games are SOCIAL.
Some types of games useful with our Unitarian Universalist groups:
— Icebreaker and name games: for whenever you have a newcomer
— Classic kid games: for any age, just to have fun
— Fantasy games: unleashing fantasy and creativity
— Active games: get up and get moving
— Simulation or teaching games: learning by doing
— Theatre games: awareness of self, awareness of others
— Energy breaks: very short activities designed to regulate the group’s energy level
Every game-playing group of which I’ve been a part — from Sunday school classes with little kids to adult groups — usually has one or two games that they love best, and the group can play that game over and over again. My goal with every group is to try a bunch of games until I find at least one game we want to play over and over again. Of course I want to play lots of different games, but if there are one or two favorites, then when all other plans fail, we all know that at least we can play our favorite game.
Please note that rules of games are mutable — you may know one or more of these games with slightly different rules. The rules given here are rules that I know work, but you should change and adapt them as you wish.
For youth groups, see also the separate section on Building Community in Youth Groups. This is my adaptation of the classic model described by Denny Rydberg in his
Bernie De Koven’s selection of playful games — an excellent selection of tested and tried games collected by Bernie De Koven, a game designer and self-described “fun theorist.” De Koven was one of the key figures in the New Games Foundation.
Team building activities from Willerdom — Includes instructions for leading the following classic initiatives: Mine Field, Toxic Waste, Keypunch, All Aboard, and Warp Speed. This site also has descriptions of tons of other games.
Building Community in Youth Groups by Denny Rydberg (Group Publishing, 1985), a book that is now very dated, is still an excellent source of games and activities for use in youth groups, if you’re willing to adapt and update.