AWANA Games for Children’s Ministry: Quiet Ball

Sometimes as a leader in children’s ministry you may find yourself in a most inevitable and unfortunate position: downtime. What do you do when you have 30 kids and 5-10 minutes to kill? When I worked at the YMCA we had a stash of ideas that we called “backpocket games.”

These games were a way for us to kill time that way the children wouldn’t kill themselves. Most of these games have nothing to do about Jesus, however, they are a good way to grab control over a group of kids when things seem to be going awry. In this post, I am going to introduce to you the wonderful game of Quiet Ball.

Children’s Ministry Game: Quiet Ball

For some reason, this game (read: ploy to make kids settle down) is always a child favorite (And all you need is a ball – or something you can throw) Here’s how you play:

  1. Have the kids spread out at least at arms length with each other across the room, field, gym, etc.
  2. Give the rules: Everyone must be quiet. If a child speaks, makes any noises, etc, he or she is out. Disclaimer: You’re sure to get the “What if I sneeze/cough/burp, etc.” question. If you do, just say, “one sneeze/cough/burp per person and then you’re out.”
  3. Demonstrate how to play by throwing the ball to a kid who you know will catch it.
  4. Have the kid throw it back to you. Drop the ball. Announce that when a player drops the ball he is out and must sit down.
  5. Have that kid throw it to another kid. Have that kid throw it back to the first one. Have the first kid drop the ball. Announce that if the person that got you out, gets out, (in this case the first kid) you can get back in. You’re now in the game and the first kid is out. He can get back in if you get out.
  6. Start playing. Remember, if any child talks or makes any noise he must sit down, he is out.

I’ve seen this game go on for over 30 minutes. Somehow it works. Plus, it’s fun. Especially, when the kids successfully get an adult out.

One other disclaimer: If a throw is too high, too low, or “un-catchable,” the thrower is out and he/she can get back in when the person that he threw it to is out.

Have fun playing Quiet Ball!


  1. says

    Thanks This is my. First time doing. vbs we have a lot of boys at our church so I am gonna try this game because they are loud lol thank you sister Valeria Jones

  2. Kaitlin says

    It’s true!! I learned this game while I was working at a Day Camp for kindergarten-8th graders, and it was a MIRACLE game! I have brought it to the church I am now the Children’s Director at, not knowing how they would respond. But they LOVE it also! They beg me to play it every week! I don’t know what it is….but it works! :)

  3. Brian says

    Thanks so much for this idea! Every Sunday I tell them to keep the noise down, it never works! But this, this is GENIUS!!!!!!

    Thank you so much for saving the sunday school teachers!

  4. glenys says

    Hi Tony , I am go on a mission trip very soon and I was looking for a very short Puppet skit .I really love your site and have been able to use lots of your materail Bless you glenys

  5. Jeanie says

    I came up with my own version of this game. Its called scripture ball. write down a scripture then the first person tosses the ball and says the first word of the scripture the one who catches it says the next word until you go through the scripture. then you start the scripture over until your through all the kids in the two lines then you take a small step back and begin again. if you drop it your out. if you miss a word your out.

  6. Patricia A. Martin says

    The games seem outstanding. I wish I could copy them, but I am disabled and have no one to connect my printer. I know you can’t send them through the mail. I will use the same ones I’ve been using. I was happy to see them.

  7. says

    Bigger balls are best for younger kids. If you have older ones that can catch well, its good to use a smaller one.

    I just got back from Centri-Kid Camp this week. Trying to get caught up on everything!

  8. says

    Funny how the simplest games are often the best! Thanks Charlie for a good idea. (now I’d like to find a “quiet ball” like the one in the picture…) :)

  9. says

    OK, so I left the last comment and this realized that this article is from Charlie not Tony. So, strike all the credit given to Tony in my comment and attribute all to Charlie instead. Doh!



  10. says


    I love any game with the word quiet in it. :) This one sounds like fun. I’m going to have to try it out. We have some real competitive kids in our class on Sunday, and I’ve found that spills into a good old fashioned bout of “the quiet game” where who talks last wins. We play it all the time in the car with my own kids, and I only recently thought to use it at church. It’s funny that some of the noisiest kids are also the most competitive and their parents are always amazed when they pick them up and their kids is sitting their quietly. Now, I just need to figure out how to get the kids to redeeem that competitive spirit for Christ and I’ll be set!

    Thanks again for the game idea. Keep ‘em coming.


    Wayne Stocks
    aka “Dad in the Middle”

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