The Yes Or No game is a quickfire, rapid thinking, rapid speaking game that’s perfect for playing in front of a large group of youth, as an icebreaker, or even with a smaller group so that each young person can participate.
Here’s how to play the Yes Or No game:
This can be played with no resources at all, so is also perfect for using as a spur of the moment game when you need something to do with young people, but have no resources.
Having said that, you can enhance the game a little more by using the following resources:
- Gong – The gong can be hit when someone says “Yes” or “No” (see the video below). Other alternatives instead of a gong can be airhorns, cymbals or hitting a cooking pot with a spoon.
- Timer – You don’t have to time how long they last, but it adds an extra competitive element and could be used to decide who wins a prize if you wanted to award one.
- Questions – If you’re concerned about being able to think of questions quickly enough, you could make a list of them in advance in case your mind goes blank during the game.
The Yes Or No game rules are nice and simple. You ask a young person a long series of questions that would normally require that they answer “Yes” or “No”; however, the young person isn’t allowed to say either of these words. They’re also not allowed to nod or shake their head.
For example, you might ask the young person “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” Their natural inclination would be to answer “No” or “Yes”, but instead they’d need to say something like “I have two – one brother and one sister”.
Your next question could then be “Did you say you had three siblings?” This will hopefully trick them into saying something like “No, I have two”, in which case they’re out. Ask the questions in quick succession so that they have less time to think about their answer.
You could keep playing for as long as it takes for the youth to say “Yes” or “No”, or instead set a time limit of 1 or 2 minutes – if they manage to go that long without saying either of these words, they win (or the next person gets a chance to play).
The person who lasts the longest without saying either of the two words.
Yes Or No Game Questions
Don’t just ask closed-ended questions – throw in some open-ended questions to try to catch them off guard. For instance, you could try the following series of Yes Or No game questions (those in bold are yes/no questions):
- Do you have any brothers or sisters?
- Did you say three?
- What are their names?
- So how do you spell your brother’s name?
- Was that ……… (repeat how the brother’s name was spelled)
- Are you older than him?
- How old is he?
- Do you get on well?
- What’s his favorite sport?
- Do you ever play that with him?
- Are you better than him at the sport?
- When’s his birthday?
- What present did you get him for his birthday?
- Did he like it?
How To Use The Game
As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, this game can be played in all sorts of settings. It’s also perfect to use prior to a youth ministry talk or at the beginning of a youth work session on some of the following topics:
- Peer pressure – how it can be hard to say no to friends (or even hard to say yes to something positive if your friends are against it)
- Social skills – when working on conversation skills to encourage them to move beyond just one word answers
- Interview preparation – similar to the social skills point above, you could play this game before they conduct mock interviews to get them into the mindset of being more talkative and answering questions more thoroughly
- Staying focused – if they’re not focused when playing the game, it’s easy to say “Yes” or “No” by accident
- Temptation – the person asking questions is trying to tempt you into saying “No” or “Yes”, so it’s important to be vigilant against the temptation, just like it is in real life when you’re tempted to do things you know you shouldn’t do
To help give an even better idea of how this game works, check out the video below. Please excuse the cheesiness of Des O’Connor (or just skip to 1:39 to avoid the 90s theme tune/intro and his cringeworthy jokes).
If you liked this idea, check out our other youth group games for further game ideas.
Question: What tips do you have for the Yes Or No Game? Can you think of any great questions to ask when playing this? Let us know in the comments below.
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