Intergenerational Fellowship and Activities!
Many churches have been leaning towards more intergenerational studies, classes, worship, and activities. This is an awesome thing to see! If you haven't already heard of Gen On and their resources, follow them on Facebook and check them out. Curricula, classes, worship - tons of ideas! This post is purely and simply about fun, fellowship activities. Many of our churches like to have monthly or quarterly fellowship nights where the entire church is invited. But what "fun" activity can you do with preschool up to elders? Well, I did some asking and I did some digging (thanks social media and pinterest) - hopefully at least one of these will be new to you! And hopefully you can add at least one of these to your repertoire of games and activities :) If you have anything to add to the list, please comment below!
GAME NIGHT ideas:
There are a lot of ideas and games that your group can play! Infinite in fact! Here are some ideas that other educators have come up with...but first, put some conversation starter cards on your tables to help your multi-ages interact! I made some "Would you Rather" religious cards if you'd like to use them :) (TPT here, Etsy here)
1. Board game night - put one board game on each table and rotate. Or, buy 3-4 of the same board game and have each table play the same thing. A few that come to mind that every age can play (although they would need to be able to read for a few of these)...Apples to Apples (I made a religious version here), classics like Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, Tiny Hands, Telestrations, and Beat the Parents. I also wrote a blog with ONLY a list of board games. I asked educators for their favorites that they use in their ministry and got almost 100 ideas! To help you out they're organized by how many can play and then age.
|This is Tiny Hands...and yes, it really is that funny :) lol|
2. Play a large group game altogether or divide into two teams and compete. Some ideas for this are: Jeopardy, Scattergories, Charades, Pictionary, Outburst, Family Feud, Trivia, and Wheel of Fortune. You can find Jeopardy templates online so you can make your own - personalize it! Have categories that only those in your church might know, make a category of current popular games/toys/music and one from the 40s or 50s, etc. You can personalize Scattergories, Charades, 5 Second Rule (or on Etsy), Pictionary, Wheel of Fortune (12 religious versions on Etsy), Family Feud (or on Etsy), and Outburst as well, or buy the actual games online. I also made religious versions of some of them if you'd like to keep your games Biblical :) Just click on the game and it'll take you to the page. Family Feud also makes a parents vs kids version. I haven't tried it, but it sounds like it could work! Although some of these games require you to read, I've found that teaming up the littlest ones with an older person works well! If you have your group divided into tables, then a LEGO night would be fun! Here are some religious Lego challenge cards (or on Etsy) you could use at each table - or have everyone in the room do the same thing!
3. Adding to the one above, make your trivia night intergenerational by making up your own questions about different time periods! Make sure your teams have all different ages on them. If you do a search online or in some of the Christian Education facebook groups, you can find some intergenerational questions already made.
4. Bingo/Zingo night! Bingo is fun for all ages - you can even find printable picture Bingo cards online so your non-readers can play. One church made a spin on this idea and had a Sundae Bingo night! Fun! If you haven't heard of Zingo, it's a fast paced way to play Bingo that's really fun! Here's a Bible version I made that has pictures so your little ones can play.
5. Bunco Night! I have not personally played this game, but I've heard it's a LOT of fun and after reading the directions, I'm all for it :) Another fun dice game you could play is Tenzi. I made some interesting versions of Tenzi - including some holiday and religious versions.
6. Minute to Win it Games. Just do a search online and you'll get tons of ideas. If you want less waste and less cost, I wrote a blog of some minute to win it games using very few supplies.
7. I liked the idea of one church that did a Carnival Night. Different age groups were in charge of setting up games from their time period!
8. "The best" game. This is a fun game I found online during one of my searches. It's a free printable and a really funny competition game :) When I played it with our youth group, I put all their names in a jar and pulled out two at random to "compete". If you are sitting at tables, this would be a really fun table game!
9. Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. This obviously can't be your only game for the evening :) lol. But it's an awesome icebreaker or filler that will take you around 10 minutes to play (more or less depending on your group size). The great thing about this game, is that when you lose, your goal is to then cheer for the person who beat you. So, by the end of the tournament, you have two sides (loudly!) cheering on their person!
10. I saw a lot of churches and youth groups doing "Silly Olympics" this year since we had the summer Olympics. There are a lot of fun and hilarious versions out there - whatever theme you'd like!
11. Movie Night is always a popular option for an intergenerational evening. Indoor or outdoor! But have you ever thought of some ways to spice it up a little? One church had a scavenger hunt before the movie that introduced what the movie was going to be. We made up a Bingo game for one movie that had to do with people/phrases you would see/hear in our movie. When the person won a BINGO, they got a free bag of popcorn!
12. Talent Show - but wait, this isn't your regular talent show! There is no preparation ahead of time (unless you want to), no practices, no planning! This is the "Weird and silly talent show"! What strange things can you do that others can't do? What is your weird and wacky talent?
|We chose a simple owl night painting. The teacher gave us some guidelines and then let us get creative! They all turned out very different :) |
13. Art/Painting Night - Do you have an artist in the church? For less than $5 each, get everyone a canvas and some paints, and teach them how to paint a specific picture. Search online for "simple paintings" and you can get some really cool ideas! Combine this with dinner (pizza and painting) or desserts as well. Or, instead of painting, make it a "Construction night". We made this bench one VBS and each group was in charge of decorating their one piece of wood. Then we put it all together!
14. Along the lines of an "art night", you could also do a "My church rocks!" night. Have everyone go outside and collect 5 rocks. Bring them inside to decorate and paint - use inspirational words and scripture! Once they finish decorating their rocks, have them each leave one rock somewhere outside the church so that another member or guest can find it. Then, instruct them to stop on the way home and leave their other rocks randomly in the church neighborhood or their own neighborhood.
15. Scavenger Hunts - there are a variety of ways you can do these. You can make a photo hunt where they have to take pics of certain things outside or around the church. Selfie hunts where you and your group have to be "doing" something specific in a certain place. Or, you have to actually go around and find certain things.
16. Escape Room - Search online for various ideas or templates/themes. Keep in mind ER's are best in groups of 8-12 people. I've also created 11 religious escape rooms - for small or large groups. (Etsy link to bundle of 6 non-holiday escape rooms)
17. Karaoke! Make sure you have a variety of songs from ALL the eras :)
18. Make it a Service Night and find some way to serve your community. Some ideas are...Stop Hunger, put together food baskets, stuff Christmas stockings, clean up your church, etc.
18. RAK night! (Random acts of Kindness) How many different RAKS can you do around your church in one night?? 5? 10? More? Search online for some really awesome RAKS to do around your church/church community. Years ago, my kids and I did a variety of RAKS and I wrote a blog - maybe you can get some ideas from that :) My 4th/5th graders made these to put around the church :)
19. Happy Birthday :) I love this idea that a few churches say they have done. They celebrate all the birthdays in one night! Each table is a birthday month, each table has a cake decorated with their month, there are decorations, hats, birthday games, and lots of fun!
Other random ideas...
20. A "Blessing of the ...." night - I've seen a variety of "blessings" that are a fun way to interact and worship at the same time. Most of us have seen or done the Blessing of the animals. I lived in a rural area and there was a church that had a Blessing of the Tractors to start the planting season!
21. A few Christmas themed ideas - Gingerbread house decorating (one per table and then display them in your church?!) and Christmas cookie baking. We did the cookies once in our girl scout troop. Each table had all the ingredients needed to make a certain type of cookie. That table was in charge of that one cookie and then they shared them! (of course, you would need large ovens to pull this off). Lastly, you could do "advent angels" which is something one of the churches I worked for made up. It's a lovely service idea - that is fun for ALL ages!
22. Spring themed idea - "Spice it up!" night :) Buy each person a small flower pot and let them paint/decorate it (pinterest has some really fun ideas). Once they finish, let them plant some kind of "spice" in it to take home.
23. If you're going to have a dinner, you can add a little twist to the appetizer or dessert. "Taste Testing". I've done this with oreos (there are soooo many kinds!), pringles (hilarious), and different candies. Walk around the supermarket and think of some other ideas :) Give them a piece of paper with 5-10 numbered down the side and they have to guess the flavor of each one.
24. Have special 4 legged visitors! If you have the budget for it (or perhaps you could ask for $5 donations to cover the cost), invite a petting zoo to come one night. Every age loves animals. OR, you could invite your local pet shelter to come and visit. They normally bring some of their animals, talk to you about what they do, and let you pet them. To add to that event, bring in some supplies so that each table can make some homemade animal toys or treats that the shelter can take back with them :)
25. Other special guest ideas? Concert with music for all ages or a magic show!
If you would like to purchase ALL the religious games that I mentioned above(minus the escape rooms), the entire bundle is for sale in my TPT store for $60. You get 38 religious games/activities and save $13 by buying them all together :)
Any other ideas? Add them below! Thanks for all you do for your church and The Church. Intergenerational activities and worship are so important 💙 Your creativity and efforts are appreciated more than you know!