Social distancing is hard – especially for children who don’t understand why they can’t get closer to their friends. So, to make things just a little easier, here are five socially distanced games you can play while children are still arriving before the service or even after the service if you need to fill a bit more time (we’ve all been there).
1. Freeze Dance
This game is super simple and can take as much or as little time as you have
allotted. Put together a playlist of fun, upbeat music and you’re ready to go. Tell the
kids to show off their best dance moves so long as the music is playing. Then, when
the music stops, tell them to freeze in whatever position they’re in. The classic game
eliminates the kids who don’t freeze immediately when the music stops. You can do
that, or you could consider using a physical challenge for those who don’t freeze.
For example, ten jumping jacks or five push-ups.
2. Simon Says
This is another classic. Think of ways to get creative. Rather than a simple round of
“Simon says, ‘Touch your nose,’” tell them to play air guitar, waddle like a penguin,
act like a monkey. Another way to make it just a little bit harder would be to have
the kids do the opposite of what you say. (You may want to go back to simple
instructions for this one). For instance, if Simon says to stand in their right foot, the
kids have to stand on their left foot.
3. High Wire
Using tape or carpet Velcro, create a “tight rope” walk for the kids to follow. It could
be as simple as a long straight line or as complex as a path that zigs and zags
around the room. Bonus: if you have a couple of volunteers that can help monitor
the course, create a couple of stops where the kids have to do a challenge – bust
out their best dance move, spin in a circle three times, do ten jumping jacks –
before continuing on with the course. And, if they lose their balance, send them
back to the beginning!
4. Lion's Den
Line the kids up on one end of the room – six feet apart. Choose one child to be
“the lion.” The lion is in its den and goes to sleep (“the den” should be about midway
between the starting and finish line and off to one side). When the lion closes his or
her eyes, the other players must silently tiptoe past the den from the starting line to
the finish line. If the lion hears any noise, it will wake up and roar! The other plays
must freeze in place. If the lion catches any of the other players moving, that player
has to go back to the starting line. The first player to make it to the finish line
without getting caught by the lion is the new lion.
5. I Spy
Create a real-life I Spy game in your children’s ministry room! Print out a series of
images and hide them around the room. Then, make a list of all of the items the
kids need to find so they can check them off as they go! The best part of this game
is that it can change with the seasons. For summer, hide pictures of flip-flops, palm
trees, and sunglasses. You can update it for fall with pumpkins and leaves that have
changed colors. You get the idea. But you can easily change the location of the
pictures week to week to keep it fresh and fun!
So, there you go—five socially distanced games you can pull out whenever you need them. On the whole they take very little preparation or supplies. Let us know what you’re doing to keep your kids safe as you reopen!