Games are one of the best ways that Cub Scouts have fun and build relationships, whether indoors or outdoors! In the Cub Scouting world, boys and girls alike learn many useful life skills and make exciting memories while playing games within their dens and packs.
What are the best games for Cub Scouts? The best games for Cub Scouts include a mix of fun, camaraderie, and skill-learning. Pack and den favorite games like “Steal the Bacon” and “Minute to Win It” merge play with teamwork and Scout knowledge, ensuring an exciting and educational experience for every Cub Scout participant.
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂
In this article, I’ll tell you about several awesome games that can be played by practically every Cub Scout! My son, who has passed the days of Cub Scout games, but still has fond memories of those fun times, shared his experiences. I also sought input from several former Cubmasters and Cubs.
The thing I like about games is that they reinforce skills that are important for learning. They also provide opportunities for team building and communication skills. When the Scouts do these things and they are fun, they connect the dots better– and the kids tend to retain the information for the long term.
– Dave W., former Cubmaster from California
Are you ready to learn 11 exciting games that you can share with your pack or den? First, let’s talk about popcorn! Follow along… I’ll explain. If you’ve already entered the world of Cub Scouts, you understand popcorn’s important role as a Scouting fundraiser. So, let’s have some fun with it! It’s only natural that some games have been developed using a popcorn theme.
11 Fun and Easy Games For Cub Scout Packs and Dens
Cub Scout Game 1: Popcorn Play
This game is perfect for large groups of Cubs! One variation of popcorn play involves the Cubs sitting on the floor or in chairs in a vertical row. There can be as many teams as needed. The first person in each team scoops popcorn from a large container with a bowl. All the players behind him have empty bowls.
How to play: The first player dumps the popcorn from his bowl (over his head) into the bowl of the person behind him. Of course, that Cub is trying to “catch” as much popcorn in her own bowl. She then dumps the popcorn from her bowl, over her head, to the person behind her. The last Cub dumps whatever popcorn is left into a larger nearby container. This process stops when the first team has filled that container– or until a specific amount of time has passed.
The second variation of this game involves only two Scouts (of the same rank) sitting one in front of another facing forward. The front Cub tosses 10 pieces of popcorn over his head while the Cub behind him catches as much as he can in a bowl. The number of pieces collected are added up and recorded. Players alternate spots until everyone has played. Teams with the youngest Scouts typically get an advantage, such as a larger bowl to catch the popcorn!
In the end, the team with the most popcorn wins! As you can imagine with either arrangement of this game, there will be a bit of popcorn to clean up when the fun and games are completed. 😛
Skills learned: Teamwork and how to toss/catch objects accurately
Cub Scout Game 2: Steal the Bacon
One of my son’s favorite games was called Steal the Bacon. You can play this game anywhere you have a bit of space, and just need two teams lined up on either side. An object (“the bacon”)– which could be a football, a shirt, or anything you want– is placed in the middle. This just over-a-minute video relays the main idea of the game, although obviously our version has been tailored to Cub Scouts.
An adult then asks a Scout-related question to each team, one at a time. If the team gets the question correct, they run to grab the object. As soon as they’ve grabbed that object, the opposing team can try to tag them before they return to their safe zone. If they return without getting tagged, they get a point. Scouts can determine the number of points to end the game.
You’re on a team with your friends, competing, and getting to be athletic. It’s a great combination of skill and fun. It also incorporates physical fitness, which is an important element of Scouting.
– Life Scout Zach H. from California
Skills reinforced: Scout knowledge, agility
Cub Scout Game 3: 20 Questions
With 20 questions, there is one Cub at a time who comes up with a noun for the other Scouts to guess. Scouts get to ask one “yes or no” question at a time to determine what the Cub is thinking. Answers must be truthful. If the Cub’s noun is not guessed after 20 questions, he wins and another Cub takes a turn. If the Cub’s noun is guessed within the 20 questions, a new player starts sooner.
To make the game more relevant to the Scout world, Cubs can be given directions on what noun to pick. For example, leaders could ask them to select a camping trip from the past year, think of a skill they learned, or come up with anything else Scouting-related! 🙂
Skills taught: Coming up with uncommon nouns and asking insightful questions
Cub Scout Game 4: Make Me Laugh
While typically laughing and smiling are encouraged when we play games, in Make Me Laugh, the goal is to avoid cracking a smile. Divide the Scouts into two teams. Then select one player from each team to face each other. They can stand or sit, whichever you prefer.
Now, in the next timed two-minute period, one Cub is tasked with doing whatever he can to get the other to laugh. Anything that looks or sounds like a laugh means you’re out! Once out, the two switch roles. When they’re done, another set of players goes. The team with players who keep their composure the most often is the winning team. 😉
Extra challenge ideas: 1) have the Cub who is trying not to laugh stand with a mouthful of water. You’ll probably want to do that version outside! 2) Watch a minute or so of this video (6:42) to see how family members handle the game by only using sounds.
Skills observed: Facial relaxation, how to be silly
Cub Scout Game 5: Name That Tune
Name That Tune is a great game for groups with young musicians or singers. Of course, that is not a requirement but an extra benefit. A smartphone with access to appropriate music will suffice just fine. This game is great to mix into a pack meeting for extra fun.
It would be most beneficial to prepare for this game by making a music set list. You might even make more than one. For example, the youngest Cubs might enjoy tunes like “It’s Raining Tacos,” “I’m a Gummy Bear,” and “Who Let the Dogs Out?” The goal is to be the first Cub to identify the song from just hearing its beginning notes.
Another list might interest the older Scouts who are about to transition to Scouts BSA: “Heat Waves,” “Cha Cha Slide,” “Counting Stars,” and “On Top of the World” are a few ideas. Of course, these are just a few examples and popular songs will vary depending on where you live.
Skills learned: Tune recognition through good listening
Cub Scout Game 6: Two Truths and a Lie
Two Truths and a Lie is a great game to play while sitting around the campfire during a Scout outing. The game requires no equipment but definitely benefits from some creativity. One at a time, each Cub gets to share three things about themselves.
The goal is to make the list sound somewhat believable and reasonable. For example, “I’ve been to the moon. I have 2 sisters. I cleaned my room yesterday.” does not include three such statements. Change the first one to “I’ve traveled to Oregon,” and that could work. No matter who plays the game, you’ll always learn something about the people with whom you play!
I brought this game to our Cub Scout pack. It gives the kids a chance to say something unique about themselves. It also works as a terrific time filler at any needed moment.
– Brian H., former Cubmaster from California
Skills taught: Keeping a straight face, coming up with creative facts
Cub Scout Game 7: Burlap Sack Race
The burlap sack race is a bit old-fashioned, physical, and a lot of fun! Scouts race while hopping in a burlap sack. There is a starting place and a finish line. If you want to be more official with the finish line, use a piece of rope or something like caution tape for the racers to run through. You can check out this quick video (1:46) for a refresher on the game.
To include lots of Cubs in this game, you could plan it as a relay race where hoppers tag their teammates. The team that has everyone hop to the finish first wins! Larger packs might want to choose this option to get more Cubs involved in the game faster. However, I’d encourage you to add unique rules to make this activity even more fun!
Skills reinforced: Coordination and speed
Cub Scout Game 8: Akela Says
Akela Says is essentially the same game as Simon Says but with a different name. According to this Wikipedia page, Akela from The Jungle Book has been used in Scouting programs for decades. In this case, Akela refers to an individual who mentors a Scout and can change upon the setting. At a den meeting, the Akela would be the leader while at home, it would be a parent.
Just as in Simon Says, in Akela Says one Scout gives direction to all other Cubs. If he says, “Akela Says…” then all others must perform the action. If he does not say that, anyone who performs the task is out. Of course, the Cub calling out Akela Says will perform all actions to try to trick the others into doing them when they are not supposed to. Whoever remains standing last is the winner of Akela Says! 😀
Skills observed: Listening
Cub Scout Game 9: Flashlight Tag
Flashlight Tag is like a cross between hide and go seek and tag, making it the perfect evening meeting or camp activity! The difference is that in flashlight tag, you’re out if the light beam “hits” you instead of a hand “tagging you.” This is a great game to play at a campout as well. We recommend the Scouts stay with a buddy while playing this game and that a safe area be outlined as the border for the game.
I remember one time we were playing flashlight tag and having a lot of fun. At one point, my brother was getting chased and tripped on a rock. After his wound was tended to, we all had a good laugh. Now, it is one of our best memories of Cub Scouts.
– Eagle Scout Corbin A. from Utah
Skills learned: Careful footwork, speed, hiding
Cub Scout Game 10: Broomball
Broomball is generally played on ice, and is basically hockey, but uses a softball-sized ball and broomball sticks. If you live in a town with a lot of safe, public ice fields in the winter, it will be easy to find a place to play. Otherwise, see if the local ice rink will allow you time to play.
For Cubs without access to a real ice rink, a basketball court would also work well for broomball. Honesty, Cub Scouts will have fun anywhere you choose! Broomball is a team sport, so it involves some coordination and knowledge of rules. You can watch this P.E. class video (6:47) to learn how to play this fun and exciting sport.
Skills taught: Speed, agility
Cub Scout Game 11: Minute to Win It
Minute To Win It games have become popular with packs because you can make up so many different games for the Cubs to play! The premise is simple: contestants have one minute to complete the task– or complete as much as they can in one minute. The possibilities for these games are truly endless!
In the video (15:37) below are 10 extremely fun Minute To Win It games that could be perfect for your next Cub Scouting event. I personally really like nose dive, stack attack, and this blows, for Minute To Win It games, but I’d encourage you to try out any that look fun!
Because there are so many options for Minute To Win It games, maybe this article should’ve been called 60+ games your Cub’s Pack will love! Before you go, I wanted to share with you this excellent article from MomLovesBest on 50 fun Minute To Win It games with video tutorials. Hope the Cubs in your pack have a blast with all of these ideas! 😀
Skills observed: A huge variety as it depends on the challenge!
No matter what game you choose, Cub Scouts are bound to have a fun and memorable time. However, to take things up a notch, you could even challenge your Cubs to create an entirely new game! That task would encourage them to be creative and to collaborate. You can never go wrong when smiles and laughter are involved!
Thanks so much for dropping by, and for being an awesome part of Cub Scouting! If you enjoyed learning about these awesome games for your Cub Scouts to play, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles if they spark your interest:
- The 3 Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (Also Written by Jaci H)
- What To Expect At A Cub Scout Pack Meeting (To Be Prepared)
- Cub Scouting Costs In 2023: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- Everything To Know About Cub Scout Ranks And Advancement
- 51+ Incredible Scouting Facts (To Wow Your Troop or Pack)
That’s all for now! Hope these fun games and activities help to connect your pack and leave the kids with even more positive memories of Cub Scouting. Hope to see you back here at ScoutSmarts again soon. Until next time, I’m wishing you some thrilling Cub Scout game times ahead! 😀