52+ Activity Ideas -- A Year of Children + Youth Activities

Disclaimer: These ideas aren't all my own. Most are from past fun activities I have been to, all of which have been team efforts. I hope all my current and former leaders know how much I appreciate everything they planned for us. I'm always open to more y'all have in the comments. So...

A year of activity ideas!! Pin your favorite ideas now so you don't forget them later! πŸ“Œ

INTELLECTUAL ACTIVITIES

1. Cook for the missionaries


Choose a target dish for the youth to learn to make. Bring supplies and tell missionaries dinner's on y'all for that night. Instruct them on making, serving + setting up the meal. Add time limits for suspense!

2. Photography night


A photographer in the ward shared her tips on posing, selfies, lighting, group pictures, cameras, and more. It ended with a big photo shoot for practice.

3. Paint night


One of our young women was close with her art teacher, so we brought the supplies and the expert showed us how to use them. So much fun that we've done this several times. You don't need anyone good at painting to lead the activity, though -- Pinterest and YouTube have so many tutorials as well!

4. Outdoor survival night


 We split into teams in the church parking lot and had to "fight to survive" through three stations: making a lean-to with a tree, rope, and tarp, building a fire without matches, and using a compass to find hidden treasure, and enjoyed s'mores. 

5. Cake decorating night


A sister in the ward is a professional caterer + baker and she showed us all the different icing and frosting mixing and piping techniques! It was sweet. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‹

6. Traveling Etiquette Dinner


 We went to three houses with different lessons and food at each one. First, we had appetizers and a lesson about dinner behavior, then we drove to the next house where we had dinner and talked about place settings. Finally, we went to the last house and talked about dating while having dessert.

7. International Foods Night


Our youth group is so diverse and we have a lot of amazing girls that have joined us from different countries around the world. We set this up to let them teach us about their culture...and yes, to have lots of amazing food. It doesn't get better than that!

8. Friendship Bracelet Night


We all wished we knew how to make friendship bracelets but felt intimidated by complicated techniques. So we learned to make them soooo easily, with cereal boxes!! All credit goes to this blog from Pinterest, we enjoyed using her tutorial.

9. Iron Chef Competition


This was so fun it became a ward tradition. Gather mystery ingredients. Missionaries make great judges. The teams have an hour to make a master meal with what they have, learning resourcefulness and cooking from the older kids along the way.

10. DIY flip flops


Relief Society tablecloth flat lays 🀣🀩
Relief Society tablecloth flat lay πŸ€£πŸ€©


Cheap, useful, and cute. We bought $1 flip flops for each Young Woman, and decorated them with fabric ties, as per here. The goal was for everyone to have a pair of inexpensive flip flops they didn't have to worry about getting dirty at girls camp.

11. Tie dye night


Everyone brought a white shirt and we folded and dyed them. Pretty easy and quick, try the tutorial here. We bought tie-dye colors but I've seen food coloring used before, from Pinterest ofc.

12. Band night





This was amazing. Our former bishop loved music and was actually in a band, so he got each of the members of his band to teach a different "clinic" based on each instrument - voice, piano, guitar, drums, etc. The youth signed up for which instrument they wanted to do individually beforehand (so we didn't have any groupthink going on and there was equal distribution to each station). A bunch of instruments were borrowed. We all learned the different parts to one song (It was this contemporary version of "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today") and then we had a performance at the end of the night in the gym.

13. Time capsules night


I've made printables for cute individual time capsules! What would also be so cute is a group time capsule - each class could make one with group photos of them, positive things they write about each other, their favorite church things, etc.

14. The Game of Latter-Day Saint Life


 We brought a Game of Life board and played, pausing for devotionals from different people at each spot (college or work first? marriage? kids? home ownership? money?) You can also make a custom Latter-Day Saint themed game board or a life sized game of LIFE.

15. Making Intention Necklaces

One of the sisters in the ward was really into the message of the group "MyIntent." They have jewelry where you choose one word to focus on. She brought all the supplies, using the kit she had, which was very kind (because that would likely be way outta budget otherwise🀣) and helped us imprint our words onto the necklaces. It was so cool! Just another example of helpers in the ward. 

16. Make-up Know How

Makeup is a basic enough skill that, in a group of young women and their leaders, people qualified to teach it won't be scarce. This was fun for the younger yw who were just getting into makeup and for the older yw who could show off their talents.

17. Bread Making

We learned how to make our own bread. We each had index cards to write the recipe on, but we did it step by step as the leaders demonstrated the process with us. Bread making can be intimidating, but thankfully Pinterest exists! Here's an idea to get you started.

18. Hairstyle night

This is a lot like the makeup night, but just as fun. We learned to do the basic, Dutch, and French braids and all brought our own brushes and hair ties so everything was hygenic and non-problematic. Maybe try and stay away from people practicing hairstyles on each other because, first, Dutch braiding someone else's hair is a completely different skill than doing it on yourself, and the goal is for the girls to have new insights on doing their own hair, and second, not everyone may be comfortable with doing that. 

19. Modesty night

We cut out paper dolls and made modest outfits for them with scrapbook paper. We discussed standing out from the world and being a light as we cut, pasted, and taped. 
A modest fashion show could also be fun! 

20. Song night

We've done this to prep for musical numbers, or to learn to sing a song. A way to make this more fun is to get a ukulele involved. Chances are that several of the youth know how to play (this has always been true for us at a given church activity) and gets them involved and everyone having fun. 

PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES

21. Sledding

If you have the weather, location, and snow, this one is super easy to plan. We just, of course, enjoyed some fun in the snow and then some hot chocolate back at the church building.

22. Youth Pool Party

I know, some of these physical activity "ideas" are like, "no...duh..." but that's kind of the nature of the beast...I mean, beast? Did I say beast? Nooooo, physical activities at church are *fun* no but like I'm serious-- the ones I'm listing here are. This one is a classic, along with a cookout! Life hack: we have the leaders bring the most essential items (burgers, buns, plates,  paper utensils) the young women bring the kind of essential items (salads, desserts, appetizers) and the young men bring the items that won't cause a scene for us to miss (sodas, chips, condiments etc) and it always works out. 

23. Yoga Night

We did this one outside, in the fall, so the mosquitos weren't terrible and we got fresh air. Again, someone from the ward helped us out on this one, but there are so many yoga videos that you can use on YouTube if you can't find anyone to teach. But it's always more fun when people get to be the expert for the night and give us tips.

24. Cultural Dance Night

This one was sooo fun! I forget every dance move but not how much fun we had. A dance teacher from the ward taught us traditional dances from different ward cultures, and then we did them to the music! It was a lot of fun to do more than just the basic dances we're used to. 

25. Nutrition Night

Nutrition can definitely be a sensitive subject sometimes, but I don't remember us having any issues in our activity. We just labeled it nutrition night and taught everyone how to make healthy green smoothies. It was delicious!

26. Color run 

We got everyone white shirts that said "let your colors shine." A couple in the ward sells t-shirts, so they helped us make them for our custom needs. And then we sprinted around the church parking lot while the leaders tried to make us as colorful as possible hahahaha. 

27. Outdoor/backyard games night

This is perfect for summer. We played kickball and Spud, but other outdoor games are, of course, fair game. Ideas include Mother May I, What Time Is It, Missionary Tag, Blob Tag, Ghost in the Graveyard, Werewolf/Mafia, Sardines, or whatever y'all enjoy.

28. Glow In The Dark Volleyball


Omigosh. I HATE volleyball (and all team sports) and I had fun at this activity! For the first fifteen minutes, everyone got glowsticks and put them together as necklaces, bracelets, anklets, etc. We put glow in the dark paint on our volleyball and really enjoyed this fun twist on a classic game. For dessert we had glow in the dark Jello (neon Jellow in a dish with a glow in the dark light under it.) So fun.


29. Church gym sports

When nonmembers ask why we all have gyms, this is one of the reasons. Volleyball, basketball, dodgeball, soccer, and more are all easy to plan and then play inside in those cold winter months. 

30. Self defense instruction night

One of the young women is into karate and invited a member of her dojo (is that what it's called?) to give everyone tips on basic moves to defend themselves and stay safe if attacked.

31. Duct Tape Wars

This idea is from another blog, which you can visit and read about here. We did three main and fun challenges inspired by the post: duct tape relay, duct tape fight, and duct taping a volunteer to the wall and seeing how long they stayed. Which sounds sketchy when I write it out, but it wasn't our idea (hahahaha) and no one was unwillingly duct taped.

32. Life Sized Games

Our ward has played life size Hungry Hungry Hippos and Battleship.The latter was when we did life size Battleship. We split into teams, put up a blanket in the middle, and everyone lay in different areas on the gym floor. While lying down, we would throw a light ball at each other over the barrier and if someone was hit, they were out. 

I found so many other cute life sized game ideas on Pinterest y'all could try, including Foosball, Clue, Guess Who, Connect 4, Operation, Angry Birds, Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Jenga, Pac Man, Scrabble, Tic Tac Toe and Kerplunk. Woah, 15 weeks of creative combined youth activities. πŸ˜‰

33. Group bike route

In my old ward, there were SO many of us (easily 30+) and I still laugh out loud thinking about this one bewildered man walking his dog who saw this procession of dozens of women and girls zooming by on their bikes, and was like "who is this?" Having enough bikes for everyone can definitely be a challenge, but if you can round up a lot of extras or consult with parents first before planning, you could make it work!

SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES

34. Watch Face2Face Addresses

We always do this whenever they come out because our time zone has them dropping at 10 pm on a school night. You can even do this with old ones they've put out, they've been pretty good. It's cool to see what real youth are asking the apostles or Latter Day Saint celebrities. Next time you have nothing planned, don't have everyone do Knockout. Give one of these a try.

35. Scripture canvas bags


Hahaha we were SO crafty this one year. Due to behavior, there had been a push from the teachers in our Sunday School class for us to bring scriptures instead of using our devices. So we took it in stride and planned and turned it into an activity and decorated bags so we could bring our scriptures to church in style.

36. General conference prep night

We made trail mix to enjoy with our families and DIY notebooks -- dollar tree journals, with cut out pictures of the general authorities that we taped to the pages and used as tags. 

37. Missionary movie night

For guys: The Best Two Years; for girls: The Errand of Angels, and for the whole youth group...well, you decide! Consider the needs and rules of local missionaries if inviting them, tho, bc we invited the sisters from another ward when we held ours, to ask them questions and have their advice etc, and they had to leave after 15 minutes when we started to watch the movie because it was against their mission rules and we felt so bad!! 

38. Teach the Theme activity

Every year we get a new one and every year I put together a package to help you make teaching it to your youth a fun and memorable experience! I ended up having to take the 2020 one down 😒 but I'll be back with another one when the creating-resources-for-the-theme-in-4-months frenzy returns.

39. Indexing clinic

Everyone brought a dessert from a country of their heritage and we enjoyed treats while our Youth Family History consultant gave us pointers on how to use the Family Search indexing program. We also did our best to make it fun by incorporating the "Find My Famous Relatives" database that BYU has and using the "Relatives Near Me" feature on FamilySearch. 

40. Spiritual Journal Jars



Talk about the importance of writing down your "Spiritually Defining Memories" (recently coined term, classic concept.) We decorated mason jars with washi tape, scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and acrylics. We put journal prompts on slips of paper as well.

41. Church escape room

This photo is from a St. Patrick's day escape room I created for the group and let me tell you...never again!! The activity went well, and staying up so late working on it every night and going crazy making every detail perfect did not go to waste. But you don't have to become a martyr to host a good activity. Which is why I would suggest using a pre-made church themed escape room like the Hope of Israel one (we've tested and enjoyed) or this general church themed one

42. Primary song helps

Make cute visual aids to help the kids learn their primary songs, helping your busy chorister save energy and time. Win win!

43. Cleaning the nursery


We got on our gloves, turned on our Disney music, and disinfected every last nursery toy. We did it this year, but before corona was a big deal, but I have a feeling this might become more frequent when we're back at church again. πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚

44. Family History Stories

Everyone shared one funny/entertaining story from their family history, in the RS room with the lights off and flashlights and lanterns on sitting around this fake fire--which was so hilarious--red, orange and yellow tissue paper crumpled up in a casserole dish.

45. Missionary life skills night

RMs set up a bunch of different stations with rapid fire lessons on missionary (but honestly also) life skills they wanted the youth to review/learn--ironing, shining shoes, cooking, sewing (for repairs)--and talked about their mission experiences while we did those chores. 

46. Pioneer life skills night

Set up different stations with different pioneer skills (making butter, hauling firewood, milling flour, grinding wheat, pulling a handcart) and honor their sacrifice and legacy.

47. Investigator Trailer Night

We were put into companions and a bunch of the leaders went into different classrooms, acting as the different stereotypical types of investigators when we "knocked on their doors." (Golden, nice but not interested, angry, devout Christian, etc). Discuss how missionary work is hard but rewarding and your converts, baptisms, results etc don't determine your success but your perseverance and positivity do.

SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

48. Personality Party


We decorated with Disney Princess Personality Posters, and had everyone take a free MBTI test. We played games that helped us to know how to better minister to and get along with our fellow leaders + young women. Posters, handouts, activities, etc, are here!

49. Speed Friendshipping

Super low prep and chill. Bring paper, pens, and people. Everyone writes creative, funny, or even deep questions on slips of paper. Create concentric circles with the folding chairs, and have one circle rotate so everyone gets to "friendship" everyone. They get a time limit to go through as many questions as they can.

50. Caroling for the elderly

Every year at Christmas, we sing carols at an assisted living home and enjoy hot chocolate afterwards.

51. Heart Attack

This has always been received so well and is a Valentine's Day classic. Spread the love!

52. Cookies + Cards

We made valentine's day cookies and cards and delivered them to our ministering sisters.

53. Friendship Dinner

We did this over the span of three activity nights and it had a Valentine's Day theme. The idea was to make a dinner connecting youth with those who were old/lonely in the ward for a night of ministering and fun. First, we delivered invitations with cookies to the invited. The next week, we decorated the gym for the event. The final week was the dinner.

54. Gratitude scavenger hunt

I created a Thanksgiving themed escape room/scavenger hunt activity that is so cute and will be available in the shop when the holiday approaches.

55. Mom + Me minute to win it games

A fun Mother's Day competition. See here.

56. Daddy-Daughter Showdown

Super fun Father's Day activity with three main events: the dads stood behind a chalkboard and we had to guess whose was ours, we drew pictures of them they had to guess which one was them, and then the big finale was us having to tie their tie and them having to paint our nails.

57. Disney lip sync battle

One of our favorite activities EVER. Young women versus young men -- we rehearsed separately to face off and ended up choosing the exact same song! Super fun, easy, and hilarious.

58. Taking Photos of Graves

Easy service project to organize -- index graves for BillionGraves, which has an easy to use mobile app.

59. Mall Scavenger Hunt

We split into teams with leaders as the captains and were dropped off at our local mall. The team to take group photos with every item on the list and make it back to the church first were the champions.

Whew! We made it! Want to make your life as a leader easier? 🀩 I have rounded up so many other helpful activities and printables for youth, which you can enjoy for free. πŸ’› 

You’ll be the first to see Children and Youth Activities and other cute Latter-Day Saint printables when you follow me on Pinterest! πŸ˜‰

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