Deep Fun

Or in other words, how to have good clean fun. Directions for about 25 well-proven games for groups are succinctly supplied by this free PDF book. These games originated in church youth groups, but I’ve seen them used at camps, large family gatherings, company retreats, and even a few tech meetings. They are aimed at building community, and are primarily ones that can be run indoors. I’ve played a number of these games as an adult over the years and they really are deep fun. It is amazing how fast you can unleash your inner kindergartner. Some of this group fun, like Silent Football, have been around since ancient youth camp times. I wish more folks would enliven their stuffy meetings and offsites with a few of these games.

– KK

Deep Fun
Free from UUA

Sample excerpts:

To make this book more user-friendly for youth and advisors, we decided to organize the games into five chapters, loosely based on Denny Rydberg’s “Five Steps to Building Community.” Introducing new games to your youth group or conference will work best if your timing is right–if you choose games that fit the level of community already attained and nudge the group on to the next level.

Hog Call
Parameters: 15 to 60 people
Have the group split up into pairs and come up with a matching set of words or sounds (i.e. “hic-cup,” “peanut-butter,” or “honey-bee”). Have each person choose one of the words as their own. Then have each person announce their word to the group, so that there are no repeats. Then instruct the group to close their eyes and start milling around the space with the goal of getting as far away from their partner as possible. Once the pairs are well-separated, announce that they are to find their partners without opening their eyes, by shouting their word. (If all goes well, Peanut will meet up with Butter).

Angel Wash Variations
Parameters: 15 to 60 people
(Remember anyone can opt out if they don’t feel comfortable.)
Form two lines facing each other. Have one person from the end of the line (or two people holding hands) close their eyes and place their arms crossed on their chest. Direct them to proceed down the aisle of the double line with their eyes closed. As they pass, each person washes their aura with their hands, passing their fingers and hands lightly over their body, from the crown of their head to the ground, without actually touching them. If the person should stray, the people in the lines can gently direct them back on course. When they reach the end, their friends can communicate to them, with touch, that its time to open their eyes. Continue until everyone has had a chance.