20 Fun and Exciting VBS Games to Try this Summer!

Emma DavisUncategorized Leave a Comment

Vacation Bible School isn’t a time for kids to sit quietly and not have any fun. VBS is a great experience to make learning about the Bible fun! Whether you do this through VBS games, videos, or skits, all the kids should walk away with a better understanding of the Bible. We’ve pulled together some of the best VBS games to try out this summer.

There are some great indoor and outdoor VBS games depending on what you’re able to do. Pick your favorite of these Vacation Bible School games to make a lasting impression on your youth group. Or try a twist on these game ideas to make them specific for your needs.

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Indoor Games

Indoor VBS games typically don’t require a lot of materials and can be played in any medium to large room such as an auditorium or gym. A lot of these games use music so make sure you have access to speakers and a microphone!

1. Human Knot

The Human Knot is a team activity that requires group members to form a circle, grab two opposite participants’ hands, and then untangle the resulting jumble without ever loosening the grip. To start this game you’ll need to split groups into teams of five to twelve members. With four or less participants, the knot will be solved too quickly. Add more than twelve teammates, and the knot grows complex.

Players will extend their left hands towards the middle of the circle. Once hands reach the middle, a player will grab the hand of a team member across the circle. The teammate must not grab the hand of an immediate neighbor, but rather a participant opposite the circle. Players then reach their right hands across the circle and grab a different participant’s hand.

Teammates try to untangle the jumble without releasing their hands. To do so, participants may duck, twist and turn, squeeze through gaps in legs and elbows, step, and jump. The exercise concludes once no hands remain in the middle of the circle and participants form one large ring.

2. Bible Trivia

If you have limited space for indoor games, then Bible trivia is a great alternative. It doesn’t require a lot of materials. Use a whiteboard or notepad to keep track of scores. Bible trivia is a simple game if you have downtime during VBS and are looking for something to fill the time with. Have a main host stand at the front of the room and ask Bible questions. If you want to make it super competitive, then call one member from each team or group and have them be the first to press a buzzer or raise their hands. Check out Ministry to Children for a list of great Bible trivia questions!

3. Telephone

This vacation bible school game is best played in a large circle seated on the floor or ground. One person reads the slip of paper with the content on it and then whispers it into the ear of the person to the left of him/her. The phrase cannot be repeated, so the listener must be intentional while listening and share with the person to his/her left. The game is over when the final person, seated next to the reader of the content, says the message out loud for all to hear. It’s a fun game because the message is usually never the same once it gets to the end. Try a phrase from a Bible verse that pairs with your VBS theme.

4. Duck, Duck, Goose

To play Duck, Duck, Goose, one person is chosen to be the goose. The goose stands in the middle of the group and everyone else sits down in a circle. The goose then taps someone on the head and says “duck” and continues to say “duck” until they tap someone and say “goose”. The person they tapped saying “goose” then has to stand up and chase the person that tapped them before they get back around the circle to their spot. The person who didn’t sit down fast enough now becomes the new goose.

5. Verse Hunt

This activity is done in groups of 10 to 15 kids. This vacation bible school game should be done a bit earlier in the day, so your kids have time to memorize their scripture verses. Let them keep their verse to look at periodically throughout the day, like at break times. Put one scripture verse in each egg and make sure you hide 1 egg per child.

Once a kid finds an egg, they must bring it to their leader. Write down the verse they found next to their name on your attendance chart.  Near the end of the day, ask each kid to tell you what verse they found. Give them 5 seconds to look at it again. They have to be able to recite the verse. If they get the verse right, give them a fun little treat like a fun-size candy bar!  

6. Freeze Dance

This is another active vacation bible school game that will get everyone moving and having fun! Put on some upbeat music and let the kids dance around. When the music stops, they have to freeze in place! You can even make it a competition by seeing who can hold their pose the longest. If they move during the freeze moment, then they have to sit down during the next round.

7. Musical Chairs

To play this game you will need one fewer chair than there are players. And you can have as many chairs as you want, depending on how long you want the game to last. The chairs are set up in a circle or other shape and the players walk around them while music plays. When the music stops, everyone must sit down in a chair. The person who does not find a seat is out. One chair is then removed and the game starts again. The process continues until there is only one person left, who is the winner.

8. Freeze Tag

Show the kids the boundaries and instruct them to stay within them during the game. Designate one child as the ‘freezer’ and another as the ‘un-freezer.’ Blow a whistle to start the game. The freezer should tag people with their objects to freeze them. The un-freezer will do the opposite. After about 30 seconds, blow the whistle and the players must hand off their objects to whoever is closest to them. After a few turns make sure every child gets a chance to play each role. Use pool noodles for the freezer and un-freezer for their objects.

9. Hungry Hungry Humans!

This game might be the most expensive idea in this post because you’ll need to buy a pack of ball pit balls and 4-6 laundry baskets. But the fun and laughter will be well worth the investment!

Toss the balls into the middle of the room and have the kids evenly spaced around the balls. Hand each kid a basket and tell them to lie on their stomachs with the tops of their basket on the floor. On your signal, the kids will crawl on their bellies and use the baskets to gather as many of the balls as possible. Any ball not contained in a basket is fair game! Once all the balls are collected, have the kids count how many they have in their basket.

10. Roll Up

This game is a play on the old “Over and Under” balloon game. Divide your teams into two groups. Pick ten kids at random to represent your two teams or pull ten from the boys and ten from the girls. Girls against boys pair-offs are always a popular competition. Line up the kids so that they stand in front of one another in the same direction. Hand the first person in the line a roll of toilet paper. Tell the leaders that when you give a signal they should loosen paper from the roll and carefully pass it to the person behind them.

Each team member should alternate passing it over their heads and under their bodies. When the roll gets to the end of the line, the person on the end wraps it around his waist and passes it back. This should continue a few times or let them use the whole roll. Use a whistle or start festive music to signal the start and end of your game.

11. Coat of Many Colors

Teach the story of Joseph with this game! Split into several teams, and give kids several colors of streamers. Make this a competition by either seeing which team can wrap a teammate up with all of the streamers the quickest or by asking them to make it look like the person is wearing a colorful coat — and judging whose is the most stylish!  

12. Goliath’s Hungry

Choose a child to be Goliath and then divide the kids into two teams. The teams need to be spaced about ten to twenty feet apart with Goliath standing in the middle. When Goliath shouts, “I’m hungry!” All the kids run to the opposite side. Anyone Goliath touches joins the giant in the middle. Together, they hold a hand and grab for more kids as they run through again. Every time Goliath shouts “I’m hungry!” until all the kids are caught. This is also an excellent game for outside or auditorium play.

13. Pool Noodle Ring Toss

It’s just like a normal ring toss but on a huge fun scale! Buy 6 or more pool noodles. Bend the ends together and wrap duct tape around the seam to form a permanent ring shape. You can use anything for the post, like a dowel rod or a traffic cone.

Then divide the children into two teams. Give each team half of the pool noodle rings. Each kid on the team tosses each ring and then goes to the back of the line. The team with the most successful tosses wins!

14. Red Light, Green Light

To play Red Light, Green Light, one person is chosen to be the stoplight. The stoplight stands at one end of the playing area with their back to the rest of the players who line up at the opposite end. The stoplight calls out “green light” and everyone starts walking toward them. Then, the stoplight calls out “red light” and everyone must freeze. If anyone moves, they are out. The last person left is the winner and becomes the new stoplight.

Outdoor Games

Outdoor vacation bible school games are really fun for super hot days at VBS. Kids usually love going outside and especially love water games – anything to cool off! These games will require water, sponges, balloons and a couple of buckets.

15. Wet Sponge Relay

You will need two buckets filled with water, two empty jars, and two large sponges (like car wash sponges) for this game. Next, you’ll want to form two different teams. Each team makes a line next to a bucket filled with water. When the game starts, have the first team member put the sponge in the water, put it on their head, and run toward a jar at the other end of the playing area. Squeeze the all the water into the jar and run back. Continue with the rest of the players. The first team to fill the jar to overflowing wins!

16. Wet Sponge Tag

The same rules of tag apply, but instead of the “It” kid tagging someone with their hand, they toss a soaking wet sponge at another kid to tag them. The “It” kid has to keep the sponge wet, so place a bucket full of water in the middle of your play area. You can have several “It” kids instead of one if you prefer, depending on how many kids you have.

17. Water Balloon Tag

The same as the “Wet Sponge Tag” above, but with a water balloon instead of a sponge. Make sure to have a bucket or kiddie pool filled with balloons so you don’t run out too fast. This game might be best for the older kids of VBS as younger kids might not have the best aim!

18. Beach Ball Keepie-uppie

Separate kids into two teams and give each team an inflatable beach ball. The rules are that they must keep the beach ball in the air at all times by batting it into the air with their hands. The trick is that they cannot move their feet! The team that keeps their ball in the air the longest wins!

19. Pass the Water Cup

Poke holes into Styrofoam cups. Children then line up side by side in between the trash can full of water and the empty trash can. The line leader next to the full trash can fills the cups with holes in them and passes them down the line of children. The team that collects the most water wins. 

20. Wet Sponge Hot Potato

Have the kids sit in a circle and hand one a soaking wet sponge. The kids then toss the sponge around the circle as you play a fun song. When you pause the song, the kid holding the song has to wring the sponge out over their head! Alternatively, you can let the kids decide to empty the sponge on the head of one of the kids next to them! The bigger the sponge the better. For maximum fun, use a car wash sponge.

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