Social Distance Games & Activities for Youth Programs

If you’re looking for activities for your youth program, get inspired with these ideas from Youth Program Fire! We’ve shared several game ideas that can be used for YMCA, camps, PE, parks and recreation, and more. Many of these were created with social distancing in mind or can be altered for distacning, and the materials are easily sanitized. 

Soccer Tennis

This game allows kids to stay 6 feet apart and can be played outdoors or indoors. Soccer Tennis is a great game to teach skill development and work on the skills needed to play in an actual game of soccer. Separate your group by age, and make it a fun competition! Players serve the soccer ball over the net to the other side. The other team has 3 touches max to return the ball back. Learn the step by step rules on how to play here

Materials:

soccer tennis

Find other soccer related games in the Resource Zone section of Youth Program Fire’s website, including:

Freeze Dance with Exercise

Play music and have your participants run around the room, gym, or outside. When you stop the music, the participants must freeze. If they don’t, they are out and must go to the other side of the room to do exercices, like jumping jacks or push ups. You can provide them with fitness dice if it is helpful. This is a great game for younger kids. You can find this game on the Youth Program Fire blog

You’ll also love this Dance Off contest that can be found under Contests in the Resource Zone.

Steal the Bacon Pasta

Create two teams and spread them out on each side of the room. Give them a number 1-10. Place the bacon (ball) and pasta (pool noodle) in the middle of the room. When the participants number is called, they run to the middle to try to steal the bacon or pasta. You can assign a point value, like 3 points for bringing the bacon past the team line. Add some fun rules, like if the player with the pasta is tagged, the other team gets a point. The team with the most points wins!

Learn more about this game on the Youth Program Fire blog

Paper Airplane Golf

airplane activity youth

Materials:

This game is similar Frisbee Golf. Participants can design their paper airplane any way they want to allow for creativity! (You can even supply them with model planes they can decorate.) Once everyone has made their airplane, have them come up with a fun name for the golf course. Break up your group of 10 participants into pairs and spread the players out. Use hula hoops as the holes (about 6-7 holes depending on your space). For the tee (starting points), use poly spots. For each hole you can set the par. If you have a range of age groups, have the older kids keep score but the younger kids can just have fun playing! Add fun obstacles like chairs or cones, or even a small inflatable pool. Learn more details on how to play here

Design A Robot

youth program robot activity

For this activity, kids can design a robot that can do whatever they wish for. Have them draw a robot on paper (or build one from craft materials!) Have them be prepared to tell a story to the group about what cool things their robot can do. Tell them to be creative, money is no object when building and designing their robot!

Find more robot activities and crafts here

Make A Treasure Map

youth program activity

Materials:

Supply kids with a piece of paper to design a treasure map that leads to a hidden treasure. Tell them to customize their map however they would like, or have them make the pirate map using your location and it’s landmarks as a guide. For example, at a camp it could be the picnic tables or the swingset. Either way, this is their map, and they can use their own creativity to design it. Once their map is created, they can dip the paper into tea to make the paper turn brown. Then your group can tear the corners and even have the adult burn the edges to make it look like a real treasure map. Finally, have them find a fun “treasure” that you have hidden at your program by giving them fun clues. X marks the spot! 

View 5 other ideas from Youth Program Fire on their Social Distancing ideas blog

Kite Flying

youth program kite

For this activity, kids can decorate their own kite! You can provide them with a kite craft kit or DIY with garbage bags and other things that you may have at your program or your home. Have the kids compete to see who can keep their kite in the air the longest, plan relays with the kids running with them, and who can make their kite do the coolest trick. This is a great way for them to develop confidence and have fun at the same time.

Learn more about this activity here – and a Cloud Watching activity that you can combine with it! 

Air Hockey

air hockey game youth

Materials:

Air Hockey is an activity that helps kids develop coordination and blocking. You can create your own DIY game with the materials listed above. This game can be modified for social distancing – add an extra noodle to make the distance a little more and add space in between the kids sitting. If you don’t have extra bean bags to sanitize, have the kids wear latex free gloves. You can also use gator skin balls, small balls, or anything that slides or moves that can teach coordination and blocking. This game was featured on thepeshed.com – photo credit Middlebranch-Avondale PE. Find out more details on this activity here


Youth Program FireAbout Youth Program Fire:

Dustin Williams has over 20 years of experience in YMCA and youth related programming/staff training. He launched YouthProgramFire.com as an idea/resource sharing site for anyone working with youth in the YMCA, Camps, P.E Teachers, Youth Groups/Clubs/Young Life, Parks and Recreation, Birthdays or anything else that involves youth. The website includes a “Resource Zone” with downloadable conten that you can use for your program. Twitter: @ypfire

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