Being fun and creative is part of your awesome job as youth leaders, and designing wildly entertaining experiences for kids is what you do every day! Even so, hosting successful events where everyone leaves smiling and sore from laughing too much requires a lot of hard work, planning and preparation. In fact, you’ve probably heard about integrating color powder into your youth ministry events but don’t even know where to start. Our team at Color Blaze helps youth leaders around the country elevate their ideas into a rainbow of activities that become the most talked about events of their year.
To help you discover the right activities for your group, we’ve created a quick how-to reference guide of awesome ideas, lists for what you need, and how to make it happen on a budget.
What is Color Powder?
Firsts things first, what is this color powder stuff? Color Blaze color powders are made with high quality cornstarch and food dyes. All materials are 100% approved by the US FDA and our safety standards are in accordance with products designed for consumption. Of course we don’t want you to eat the powder (it’s definitely not delicious), but to ensure your kids feel safe, we went above and beyond to meet food grade regulations. Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for our Safety Data Sheets to give to inquiring parents.
Organizations on tight budgets sometimes opt to make their own color powder. This is possible, but there are challenges to consider. We’ve received countless panicked message from leaders in the final hours before an event that attempted the DIY route unsuccessfully. Common experiences include powder getting moldy, not enough pigment/vibrancy, or it was just taking too much time to thoroughly dry out. We encourage you to invest your time and budgets into the fun part of the Color Powder versus unpredictable outcomes, one time use supplies and the messy process of homemade. If you are still curious, check out our post that includes the step-by-step instructions for making it yourself.
And now… let the games begin!
Uniform for all games: wear white 😉
Amount of Color Powder: 1 pound per participant and/or 3-4 color packets per participant
Number of Participants: unlimited
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Active Play Time: 20-30 Minutes
Additional Supplies: Dixie cups or small ziplock bags if buying bulk and distributing to the participants. Another idea if you are interested in maximizing the fun and extending the Color War into two sessions (about 90 minutes for the prep session and 30 minutes for the Color War) is to make your own Color Balls by filling nylons with bulk powder – sort of like a medieval mace filled with rainbows. Check out the DIY tutorial for the recipe. The most economical option is to use bulk powder with Dixie cups and/or Color Balls. The packets are super easy, but they go fast!
How to Play: The actual color battle is epic and yields the most happy color covered kids! It’s a simple game with a simple strategy of separating the kids into teams, giving each team their own color of powder, letting them have at it and try to cover the other teams in their assigned color. The easiest method is to purchase individual color packets and give each team a bundle to distribute amongst its members and use on their opponents! Chances are that teams will begin the war with a plan and tactics to win… however, it quickly devolves into a color cloud where every man/woman/child is out for themselves. The color powder is promptly emptied from their team’s collection and they resort to scooping it off the ground.
You can also create a neutral zone in the middle if you have the buckets of each color powder. The kids run to the bucket, fill their Dixie cup and run back into the playing field to throw.
It is so fun and so wild! Always a favorite!
Color Powder Capture the Flag
Amount of Color Powder: ½ pound to 1 pound per participant
Number of Participants: 6 – unlimited (the more people the more challenging it is and the longer the game lasts)
Prep Time: 1.5 – 2 hours
Active Play Time: 45 Minutes
Additional Supplies: nylon stocking (1 pair per person), field cones, flags/colored bandanas
Most students are familiar with the game Capture the Flag, and this variation of an old classic includes the addition of color-powder-filled-stockings which is used to color-tag the other teams. We suggest breaking this activity into two sessions.
Session one (traditionally between 90 minutes and two hours) is spent assigning teams and preparing the color filled stockings. You can have all sorts of competitions or games to decide the teams rather than just letting the kids select themselves. Also, once teams are set and powder is prepped, teams can choose a name and create/perform a cheer for the whole group!
Session two is game time! Depending on the number of kids in your group, you can opt for a variety of team structures, but typically a four-team set up is great for 20 kids of more. Arrange the field in a quadrant. Each team is assigned their own quadrant, with a big neutral square in the middle. Teams place their ‘flag’ centered in the back of their square, 15 feet away from the back border.
- Step out of bounds, and you are out!
- Hit someone from another team with your Color Ball (aka color filled pantyhose) while they are not in their own quadrant or the neutral zone – they are out
- Once out, you just sit down where you are.
- Even once you’ve been tagged, you can still tag others while out and seated. It simply must be a player from the other team that is not in their home quadrant.
- Every team is trying to capture all three flags of the other teams
You can play till one team has all four flags, or have a set amount of time that when the clock is up, the team with the most flags wins or the team that has tagged the most opponents with color wins. All sorts of varieties can be explored! You can even let the winners go full on color attack to the losing teams! Or just have a color combat zone after the game where everyone lets loose in a rainbow of fun!
Color Powder Twister
Amount of Color Powder: 4 colors – 2 Color Powder Duos will last for 10 – 20 games depending on the number of participants and how much powder you use for your Twister circles.
Number of Participants: 2-???
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Play Time: 20 Minutes
Additional Supplies: Twister Mats optional, Spray Bottles With Water Makes for some Messy Fun!
Color Powder Twister! The idea is simple in that you play the tried and true game of Twister with all the tools and rules as prescribed, however, you add color powder to each of the floor mat circles. This way when players struggle to reach or stretch to their next move, the challenge is brighter and the falls end in rainbows.
If you have a large group you may choice to have several twister mats taped together. Or you can forgo the mat all together and just make color powder circles on the ground.
Squirt your players with some water from a squeeze bottle and the game gets even more colorful! We must advise – a slippery, sloppy rainbow mess may follow but it’s well worth the smiles!
Rainbow Slip and Slide
Amount of Color Powder: 1/2 pound per participant
Number of Participants: 1 – unlimited
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Active Play Time: 30 Minutes
Additional Supplies: Dixie cups or squeeze bottles for throwing color, 8 x 100 foot of plastic from the hardware store, dish soap, optional: cheap goggles (tell your kids to bring their own). Goggles are by no means necessary, but they will protect from soap and color powder from getting into their eyes.
This is a great final game of the day because kids will be soaked in color and bubbles! Set up the plastic runway by anchoring the edges into the field and stretching it long and taut. Add some water and soap directly onto the plastic. Set up color throw stations at one or two lengths of the slide. ‘Throwers’ can use either a Dixie cup filled with color, or big squeeze bottles to squeeze onto the sliders.
We suggest that each participant slides several times, and for each turn they take, a different color is thrown. So, first, everyone will take a slide and get green thrown. Once everyone is covered in green, then maybe a yellow turn; and so on. This will help keep it from turning into a giant mud colored mess too quickly. May have to keep adding water so it stays slippery, so keep a hose nearby.
These are just a few possibilities that we’ve seen to be a success, but you probably have some astounding ideas of your own and we’d love to hear them! We are always excited to collaborate and support in the innovation process as you plan your events. Give us a call and we’re happy to help!