Clap Catch and Pterodactyl: 2 Mega-fun Back-Pocket Youth Games


We are back by Popular Demand!. Yet again, I put my head together with our Associate Children’s Minister and all around game guru, Sam Taylor Gochey, and we came up with four easy no-prep games that you can play at your next youth night.

Clap Catch

Gather the whole group in a circle. One person starts off with the ball and throws it to a different person. The person they throw it to cannot be standing directly next to them. The person catching the ball must clap before catching the ball. If they do not clap they are out, and if they clap but do not catch the ball they are out. This even applies for the people whom the ball was not thrown to! Everyone has to clap before the ball is caught. Keep playing until one person wins!


  • The ball must be catchable. If it is too high or too low the person who threw the ball is out. If the ball is thrown too hard the person who threw it is out.
  • You cannot throw the ball to the person next to you. This is no longer a rule once you get down to 4 or less people.
  • You are allowed to fake people out.
  • At least one other person must be able to hear the person who is clapping. If no one hears it, then the person who caught the ball is out.

Ball… or anything you can safely catch (not a knife).


Get the whole group in a circle. Start by having someone turn to the person to their right and say, “Pterodactyl!” without showing any of their teeth. Then that person turns to their right and repeats the phrase, this continues around the circle. If someone wants to reverse the direction (counterclockwise to clockwise or vice versa) then they must “Squawk!” at whoever said “Pterodactyl” to them. That person would then have to turn the opposite direction and say “Pterodactyl” again… without showing any of their teeth!


  • If you show your teeth, you are out.
  • If you cover your mouth in order to hide your teeth, you are out.
  • You are not allowed to touch anyone.

Mike has been working in student ministry for around 10 years now. He got his start in student ministry as an intern at St. James United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL, and after a few years he was hired as an associate over the middle school. He is currently serving in Mobile, AL as a youth minister at Christ United Methodist Church. Mike has a passion for building relationships with students and to teach them about God’s love and grace. You can follow Mike on Twitter: @mikeyrollins and on Instagram: @mrollins83