COVID-Safe Club Idea: Rotating Game Night

Drew Hill November 18, 2020

Are you looking for a socially distanced club idea?

My friend, Melissa Lewkowicz, recently came up with this “Rotating Game Night” idea that was COVID-safe and A LOT of fun! It could work with middle schoolers, high schoolers or even college students.

We had around 30 folks and set up 5 tables outside with 6-8 chairs around each table. Everyone was required to wear masks and we had hand sanitizer at each station.

Each table had a “game leader” who was prepped to run a “speedy version” of the game at their table. The key is that some version of the game needs to be able to declare a winner in less than 6 minutes, so longer games like Monopoly won’t work.

Table games that could work:

  • Uno
  • Scrabble
  • Scattergories
  • Memory
  • Trouble
  • Candyland
  • Jenga
  • Sequence
  • Chutes & ladders
  • Spot It
  • Operation

You could have skit characters, like referees, set up the competition and instruct everyone in how the rounds will work. Invite each person to have a seat at any game table they would like. Start some background music and let round 1 begin. The person who is in the lead at each table when the 6-minute timer goes off gets 2 tokens (or tickets or chips or something that they’ll hold on to throughout the night and redeem at the end for a prize.) The second-place person gets 1 ticket or chip.

At the 5-minute mark, sound a 1-minute warning buzzer and at that point, if the game requires tallying up anything (like counting Scrabble or Scattergories points), the game will stop. If it’s easier to count, like Memory, you can keep playing until the 6-minute end timer. If two folks are tied they would each get 2 tokens.

There’s a 1 minute musical rotation between rotation where you play some hype background transition music. Make a playlist in advance and designate a DJ!

After 5 rounds of 6 minutes, with the 1-minute transitions, you’ll have played for 35 minutes. At that point, award prizes to the top 3 token winners. Recycled Halloween candy or lunch delivered later in the week by a Young Life leader (not a Door Dasher) are always easy prizes!

Doing the game rotation for 35 minutes allows you to still have time for announcements and a talk! It’ll feel quick, but we always want to leave them wanting more.

Do you have a COVID-safe club idea? Share it here.

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