Since we are in a new year, let us celebrate the start of 2014 with a few games to get your group energized and engaged.
This game is best played in a gym or in an open field. Divide your group into two teams of elves and then let each team choose a team name. Each team must defend its treasure (a pile of balloons) while attempting to steal or destroy the other team's treasure. In order to steal or pop a balloon, a player must cross the half court line and reach the "safe zone" (located behind the opposing team’s treasure about 7 ft away). Once a player has reached the “safe zone,” he or she is safe. A player cannot steal or pop any more balloons until they return safely to their team’s treasure. Players can be tagged out once they pass into the opposing team’s side. Players cannot be tagged leaving their “safe zone,” but have 10 seconds to return to their team’s side. Use one color of balloons for one team, and another color for the other team. Designate a time period (five to 10 minutes) to play the game. When the time ends, each team's un-popped balloons count 100 points each. Stolen, un-popped balloons count 200 points each.
Materials: Balloons (two different colors), markers to designate zones and half court
Players sit in a circle. One blindfolded person sits in the middle (this person is the guard), with their "treasure" (a random object, either chosen by the player or chosen by you) in front of them and a "stick" (rolled up newspaper) in hand. A thief is chosen from the circle to attempt to snatch the treasure, without making any noise to alert the guard in the middle. If the thief is swatted by the newspaper stick, they must return to the circle. If the thief succeeds in stealing the treasure, they become the new guard. Note: when playing this game, watch for rough players. Set ground rules so no one get swatted too hard!
Materials: Blindfold, object to serve as "treasure," a rolled up newspaper
Honey, If You Love Me...
The group sits in a circle facing inward. One member of the group is "it." The objective is for this person to make another person smile. He goes around the circle, picks a person, kneels, and asks him or her, "Honey, if you love me, will you please smile for me?" The person must respond with, "Honey, I love you, but I just can't smile for you," without smiling. If he or she smiles, that person becomes "it," replacing the first. If the person "it" does not convince a person to smile, he or she must approach another until he or she does. "It" may do any gestures they want to make the person smile (e.g. make funny faces, do a stunt), but cannot touch the person. This is a circular game, meaning it does not end. A good length for this game would be 20 minutes or when most of the group has been "it." This game is a great ice breaker.