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christmas games & activities

Check out these Christmas ideas. Not all games linked to will be suitable for all groups, or even any youth group. Always check the game and complete a risk assessment. Do use these to springboard to different ideas. And if you've got ideas for games or know of other resources, please let me know.

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Play in person or play online with your youth group or with friends and family. It's even been played as an office Christmas party!

Christmas presents

christmas quiz

Emma Jackson from YTH CHRCH in Southampton has created a great resource for all of us who throw in a quiz at our Christmas parties. Creative Christmassy vibes.

paper plate christmas scene

Give each young person a paper plate. They put that on top of their head and use felt tips to draw a Christmas scene/ snowman/ Christmas trees/ whatever you like. Anything recognisable wins a prize!

Idea from

christmas charades

Loads of different ways to play charades, but you can play in teams, with each team having a number of clues as a relay, which makes it really fast-moving. First person acts out first clue, second runs up to get second, then continue until they've gone through all the clues. First team to finish wins.

hungry reindeer

Scatter large marshmallows in the middle of a large table and place a paper plate in front of each player sitting round the table.

Have them put large plastic cups on both hands. When the whistle blows, they need to gather up as many marshmallows onto their plate as possible, but with plastic cups on their hands..?! Play until all the marshmallows are collected.

Christmas presents on right

nativity in one minute

Ask young people in teams to act out the Nativity story. You can give points for Biblical accuracy, humour, whatever you want. Rules are that the whole story needs to be told in one minute and everyone needs to be involved. You could give each team a couple of quotes from Christmas movies or carol lyrics to slip in (other teams could try and spot them to win bonus points). Add any more rules you want. Give them five to ten minutes to prepare.

Idea from Anya Bowker, Youth Minister at St. James Muswell Hill, London

the after eight game

After Eight game. Put an After Eight (other square, flat chocolates are available) in the middle of your forehead. Try and get it into your mouth without touching it.


Play against each other to see who can do it fastest.



cookie decorating


sprout and spoon race

You can work that one out! If you want to spice it up, make it more difficult by hopping or crawling. And if they drop it, they have to go back to the start. Hop till you drop!

sprout bowls

Use a table tennis ball for a jack, or a Malteser (but not with underfloor heating!), then see who can get their sprout closest to the jack. Alternatively use a target to aim for.

candy cane jousting

Each player loops a candy cane over the edge of their hand (but they can't hold on to it). Let the young people loose to try and knock the candy cane off their opponents while still holding on to their cane. If it falls, or if they grab hold of it, they're out, until you have a victor, or you stop the game before it gets dangerous. 

Christmas presents

snowball fight

You can go expensive and use pretend snowballs, or just wad paper snowballs. Put masking table down the middle of the room. Put an even number of snowballs on each side of the line with each team. Teams throw snowballs at the other team.


When the whistle goes for the finish, the team with the higher number of snowballs on their side loses.

gargle that tune

Team member is shown a card with a Christmas song on it. They need to gargle it to the rest of the team. 

You can play it in a relay or play each team member against another team member. First one to guess it wins.

You'll need water, glasses and probably a tarpaulin!

toilet paper snowperson

Give each team leader a roll of toilet paper (preferably the same number of sheets!). When the whistle goes, they need to spin round to wrap themselves in toilet paper while another team member holds the roll.

When they're finished wrapping, a hat, scarf, carrot, whatever you can manage would finish off the look perfectly.

reindeer hunt

If you can get hold of a small reindeer (preferably not a live one, but that would be memorable), hide it somewhere in the building, where leaders know where it is. Have leaders sing Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer loudly as people get closer to it, more quietly as they go further away.

You can play multiple rounds.

Snowman Hunt and Frosty would work too!

Christmas presents

human shazam

Find a playlist of Christmas songs. In teams, have the first player come up.

Their desk could have a buzzer (if you're so inclined) or a bell, or they can imitate a Christmas story animal (OK, so not many animals are mentioned, but use your creativity).

Start playing the introduction to a Christmas song. First team to buzz or moo or whatever gets to answer. Song right for one point. Artist right for one. Both for three points. Then next player.

I have no link with the app Shazam.

festive what's in the box

Put a box with a hole cut in it in front of each team.

On go, first team member in each team puts their hand in and tries to identify the festive object in the box. First identification wins a point.

Swap the players and the items and play continues.

Ideas could include soggy Brussel sprout, carrot, fake snow, tinsel, Christingle, stocking with Rubik's cube in it, etc.

elf breakfast eating competition

Give each player a bowl of (cooked) spaghetti, together with maple syrup, chocolate syrup, Smarties/M&Ms, marshmallows, pretty much anything.

When the whistle goes, each team member needs to build their breakfast and eat it. You can help build that breakfast if they're not very fast... First to finish wins.

The idea is taken from the movie 'Elf' with which I have no connection.

christmas movie observation

Play about five minutes of a Christmas movie (remember your licensing). Then ask around 10 questions on the scene.

You might include questions like: What time does the clock on the wall of the kitchen say? Or Which step does Marv slip on? Or what song is playing in the hotel scene? 

Try and get questions people will have heard as well as things they've seen.

Christmas presents on right

santa hat game

Everyone wears a hat throughout the session. This is a rolling game. Let someone know that they are the Secret Santa. Tell the group that one of them is the Secret Santa. At some point Santa is going to take their hat off. When she does that, everyone has to take their hat off. Last one with a hat on loses. 

do you want to build a snowman?

Get individuals or teams to build a snowman with whatever is at hand. Best snowman in five minutes (or longer) wins. Add another prize for person who puts it all back fastest (otherwise you'll spend ages trying to remember where the dusty OHP machine was kept).


Explain before starting how you will score it - most realistic, best dressed, looking most like one of your leaders, etc.



Give each team lights, tinsel, star, paper chains, whatever. They have five or ten minutes to turn their leader into the best Christmas tree.

Definitely only use battery lights. Just... in... case...

christmas round

In teams. One team sings a piece of a carol or Christmas song. When they stop, the next team starts a different song. So it continues, until you rotate back to the first team. Any team to repeat a song or carol is knocked out, until only the winning team is left. 

Background photos by George Dolgikh from Pexels

Christmas presents

carrot darts

Put a dartboard on the wall (it can be printed if you don't want ketchup all over your dartboard). Each team dips their carrot in a different coloured sauce then throws their carrot at the board. Score as normal.

You'll probably need to have the carrots un- or undercooked. Floppy carrots will be funny but may not fly well.

name that christmas tune

Read out clues to different Christmas songs / carols e.g. We - Richard II, Lear and the Lion. First person to sing it wins the round. You could just convert this into a quiz round. 

Idea from

snowflake-making contest

All you need is paper and scissors. Give each player five minutes to make their best snowflake.

christmas bingo charades

Give each person a bingo card with each box of the card having a Christmas-themed idea e.g. Santa getting stuck up the chimney, building a snowman, King's Christmas message, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, whatever you like. Every bingo card has to be different. Each young person also starts with a card with a Christmas idea.


Choose young people at random, or have them volunteer to act out their idea. When someone recognises it, they cross it off if it's on their bingo card. Eventually, someone will be able to cross off everything on their card and shout, 'Bingo', hopefully!

Wrapping pairs

Get some outsize sweatshirts. Split group into pairs. Each pair puts a sweatshirt over their head, with both their heads through the head hole. One player puts their left hand out and the other their right hand. Each team has to wrap a present using just one hand each. They race with other pairs. Probably best to play single-sex pairs.

get in touch

Do let me know if you have a great idea for a Christmas game!




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"Raising the Bar is a MUST READ for every youth minister."

Matt Wendal, US Youth Pastor

Get more ideas and support for your youth ministry with my book: "RAISING THE BAR: Nearly Everything You Need to Know about Christian Youth Ministry."

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