Games for Youth to Play at a Mall

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When you've tapped the gymnasium, multipurpose room and field for all possible games for your youth group, try going to an offsite location, like the mall. Shopping centers are ideal for group games because they offer endless possibilities and a relatively safe and enclosed environment. Before the fun begins, make a few ground rules for your teens: no running, no stealing and no discourteous behavior.

Freebie Spree

  • Bring young people to the food court and divide them into groups of five. Tell them they're going to scavenge the mall for freebies. Give them a list of 50 items and the time they should meet back at the food court. The list should include objects and trash that teens should be able to get for free, such as a napkin, job application, brochure, business card, flyer, menu, discarded receipt, cologne sample, tissue and a stranger's autograph. The team that returns first with all the items on the list wins. Make it more fun by customizing the list to the specific stores in your mall.

A to Z Photo Gallery

  • Divide the group into teams of five, and equip each team with a digital camera. The goal is for each team to take pictures with objects or people beginning with each letter of the alphabet. For example, a group picture in the mall's arcade would fulfill the requirement for the letter A. At the end of the game, each team turns in their digital camera with 26 pictures and a written list of the 26 things they found. Give extra points for originality. For example, a picture of a team member wearing an argyle sweater or a salesperson named Amy would be more original than a picture taken in the arcade. The team with the most points at the end wins.

Cheap and Pricey Hunt

  • Use this game to teach teens about disparity in cost. Separate into groups and distribute a list of specific items that can be purchased at the mall, such as a handbag, a pair of jeans, lipstick, a sandwich and a haircut. You can also include big-ticket items, like a refrigerator, flat-screen television and diamond ring. The goal is for teams to find the item at the cheapest possible price and also the highest possible price. Have groups make a written list or photograph the items. At the end, subtract the pricey items from the cheap items, and whichever team has the greatest overall cost disparity wins.

Mystery Man Hunt

  • Recruit eight to 10 volunteers to don funny disguises and wander around the mall's main concourse. Divide teens into groups, and give each group a paper with pictures of what these people normally look like. Groups must find these disguised people in the mall within a certain time limit. When a group finds a mystery person, the person will place a special sticker on the group's paper. Volunteers can be people the teens know well or complete strangers. Have them dress up in sports gear, formal attire or gothic clothing. Let a woman pretend to be pregnant or a young person dress like an elderly retiree.

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