Posts Tagged ‘games’

Encore – Hysterical Singing Game

March 25, 2011 6 comments

When I was in high school, I played the board game encore.  When I became a youth minister, I adjusted encore to make it one of my groups favorite games and group building activities.  Because youth love music and listen to all kinds, this game has the potential to engage everyone and not to many games can do that.  I quick google search showed that the game still exists and that you can purchase it from Amazon for $12.  I have played it for years and never purchased it until today.  I think it will be worth the $12 investment, but you can try it out with your group using my adjusted rules and see if you like it first.


  • A list of words you would might find in a song.  For an hour long game, you’ll need 10-15 words.
  • Something to keep score on


Divide your group up into teams of 3-10 people.  This game is best played with no more than 4 groups and 40 people.

The group on your left starts the first round.  Each round, you will move clockwise with a new group starting.

The leader will share the “word” that each group must sing.  Then beginning with the first group, each group or individual in that group must sing a phrase from a song containing the “word” and 5 other words.  The first group has 20 seconds to sing/say the phrase. Then moving clockwise groups continue to sing/say songs with the “word”. After the first group, the time limit is reduced to 10 seconds.  A group is eliminated from the round if they cannot think of a song or they sing a song that has already been sung.  The last group standing gets a point.

Here are some “words” that work well.

  • Blue
  • Love
  • Heart
  • Train
  • Plane
  • Tractor

You can also use topics like:

  • Girls Name
  • Transportation that doesn’t have wheels ie. walking, running, hot air balloon, etc.
  • Types of Cars
  • Hymns
  • Food
  • Cartoon Theme Songs


If it appears they will go forever on a topic, award points to all groups or whoever still remains and move on to the next topic.  If you are playing, it helps to have a piece of paper and pen so that you can make a list of possible songs and be prepared when your turn comes around and to eliminate songs sung by other groups.  You will have to determine what’s a song.  Expect to get commercial jingles and other short jingles in addition to songs.  You’ll have to make the rule “one way or the other.”


Hopefully, your group will understand to keep it clean; but if your group is like my group then a friendly reminder might be in order!


Youth Ministry Game: Frozen T-shirts

September 1, 2010 Leave a comment

This has to be one of my all time favorite games and can be a great use for the old leftover retreat t-shirts that you don’t know what to do with or for the 30 t-shirts you collected in the YS convention exhibit hall.  The game can be played by everyone or by volunteers.  I have a large youth group and tend to play with 5-10 groups with others watching.  Watching is usually more fun than playing!


1 – T-shirt for every group participating, water, freezer


Thoroughly soak 1 t-shirt for every team you will have.  Teams are usually 3 people.  Gently wring out the t-shirt, ball it up, and place in a freezer.  T-shirts need to stay in the freezer overnight.  I know you can freeze ice cubes in 2 hours, but I promise you t-shirts will not freeze that quickly even after 6 hours shirts are not frozen all the way.  Trust me the more frozen the more fun.

How to Play

After asking for folks to volunteer in teams of 3, give each team a frozen t-shirt.  Explain that the winner will be the first team to get one members hands or whole arms and head through the appropriate holes.  Teams proceed to beat the t-shirts until they can pull apart the shirt and put it on a team mate.  Be prepared for this to take 10 – 15 minutes.

Location Warning

These t-shirts can do serious damage to stuff when kids start beating them.  Do not use in a dry wall room.  Cinder block walls will hold up though the paint may not.   If you have a nice wood gym floor, I’d avoid that too.  But keep in mind they will never get them open if they do not have something they can beat them on.

Favorite Moment

The first time I ever played this game I ended up with a team of two cute junior girls paired with a shy 7th grade boy.  The girls eventually got the arm holes open and had the head hole partially open.  So they put the shirt on the boy, but his head was just a little to big.  So the girls started yanking the shirt up and down trying to pry it open with his head.  Every time it would come down on his head, he would yell “stop.”  Now a good youth minister would have stopped it over concern for his neck, but I wasn’t a good youth minister yet because I couldn’t stop laughing.  Fortunately, another team won and he wasn’t hurt.