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Summary: Sometimes you feel twisted in different directions in your life. Take a lesson from the game of Twister to see how you can handle those life’s tuggings.

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Opener – Circle Twister

Have youth group leaders get all participants standing and forming two circles. One of the circles should be inside of the other circle.

It’s helpful if there are a couple of the leaders standing on a stage above the players or on a stable platform/chairs.

When the music starts the two circles will rotate in opposite directions.

The leaders will stop the music and make an order. Somewhat like the game twister, they will call out body parts to connect.

Examples are “right elbow to left ear”, “left knee to nose”, “right hand to right shoulder blade”, “head to left ankle” or other safe combinations you can come up with.

You can have these written down to be pulled out of a hat or just make them up as you go.

The leader calls out one of the orders and the inside circle players are to quickly find an outside circle player and complete the order by connecting.

As the players start to find a partner, they are given only a few seconds to complete the order, the leaders on stage will start calling players out that have not completed the order.

The leaders will start pointing and saying “Your out”, “Your out”, “Your out” trying to eliminate as many as possible.

After a few seconds you start up the music again and repeat, trying to get it started quickly so that the kids will be mixed up with as many players as possible.

You can play this until you have one couple as the winners or until they get tired of the game. Great game to get kids to interact and meet new faces (elbows, knees, ears, feet). Can be done with a large group of 50-100 kids.

This is the second lesson in our series called Games People Play. Today we’re talking about Twister.

History of the game Twister:

Back in 1965, Reyn Guyer was running a sales promotion firm he had founded with his father.

Known for creating eye-catching in-store displays and innovative package design (clients included Pillsbury, Brach’s Candies, 3M, and Kraft Foods), they were commissioned by a Wisconsin shoe polish company to develop a premium for use in a "send a buck and a box top" mail-in campaign.

Guyer was toying with a notion that included color patches that went on kids’ feet (along with a correspondingly colored walkaround grid), when it occurred to him that what he had come up with might work better as a game.

He called on one of the company’s artists, who sketched out a giant board, then tested it out with a group of office workers divided into two teams.

Seeing the fun in eight people-as-playing pieces crammed on a 4x6 mat, a number of concepts emerged, eventually evolving into a game they called "Pretzel".

Pretzel was picked up by the Milton Bradley company, who, against Guyer’s wishes, changed the name to Twister.

But even with the name change, the game still had trouble once it got to market -- major retailers balked, not sure where it fit in or if customers would understand it.

Company fears that they might have a huge flop on their hands vanished, however, on May 3, 1966, when Twister was featured on ’The Tonight Show’.


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