Encouragement Game

4 stars

This game is a potential life changing game.  It works best for groups that know each other reasonably well. 

Sit in a circle and give everyone a piece of paper and pen.  Each person should write their name at the top of the piece of paper, then pass it to the person on their left.  Each person then writes one or two (or more) positive characteristics about the person who's name is at the top of the paper.

After 30-60 seconds, everyone passes the pieces of paper around to their left again.  This continues until everyone has written on everyone else's paper. 

A typical piece of paper would look like this:

Jo Smith



Always thinking of others

A good cook

Has a funny (good) sense of humor


The final step is that everyone receives their piece of paper back again. 

It works best if you collect them and hand them out one at a time, so everyone can see people's reaction seeing the positive comments about themselves.  Depending on the make up of the group, one option is to have people read out their own list.

Important note: As some commentators have pointed out below, it may be worth doing a quick check to ensure the comments are appropriate and positive.

Done well, this is an incredibly affirming game and can be a night that people literally remember for years to come.

Potential variations:

  • Use a large piece of cardboard per person (rather than a sheet of paper) - this way people can stick the cardboard in their room as a constant reminder of how they are loved!
  • Jump online and make a Word Cloud of the terms (tip: to control the size of the text, enter the word multiple times;  Also click "Do not remove common words")  

If you like this game, also check out the game Distinctly Beautiful

  • Free / Low Cost
  • Sharing, Get to know you
  • Night
  • Discipleship / Bible
  • Team Building Teamwork
  • Indoor
  • Large area
  • Small area
  • Primary or Elementary School
  • Teens (Age 12-15)
  • Teens (Age 16-18)
  • Young Adults

Group Size
  • Small Groups (1-9 people)
  • Medium (10-29 people)

  • Longer (30-60 mins)
  • Medium (11-29 mins)
Submit your vote:



Just a thought: Could re-name this the "Prov. 22:1 game" (A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.)
- Joshua Doster (23 Sep 2008)

Used this on a recent youth night. The kids loved it! brought the devotional from Prov. 22:1, and taught on the importance of your testimony. Afterwards, one of the teens started a paper passing around about my wife and I. The kind comments from our teens brought tears to my eyes as I realized teh impact God had allowed me to have in their lives.
- Joshua Doster (1 Oct 2008)

thank you so very much for this idea. im planing on using it for our youth night. god bless. keep them coming!!!!
- javier (27 Oct 2008)

this really is a great activity that really sticks with kids, we did this, litterally 11 years ago when i was at a summer camp, i still have that paper and to this day it lifts me up when i am feeling down.
- michelle (29 Mar 2009)

I have attended Reach Workcamps for the past 9 years and we use envelopes called care cards to write on small pieces of paper to encourage one another. You write one care card per each day of the week for the camp week and you get to read yours after the week is done. I have literally hundreds of care cards saved to this day!!
- MIke (21 Sep 2009)

This is a gr8 game!!! It makes us realise the goodness within us which cannot be seen by our own eyes, most of us used to ask ourselves many questions bout how others think about us?? This game unvails the goodness we have and encourage us to do more and more good things!! God Bless You..
- IO (15 Dec 2009)

just a thought: Could re-name this the "Prov. 22:1 game" (A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.)
- Samra (12 Jan 2010)

I cannot get any of these games to print off. There great games but I would like to print them so I can keep them in a folder. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?
- Theresa (27 Apr 2010)

Just select what you want to print, right click, press print and when the print menu pops up press selection and "ok."
- Crystal (13 Oct 2010)

Will use this tomorrow. I know it will be great. Thanks
- Sis Candie (14 Oct 2010)

We played this game with our young adults and they loved it. It was very encouraging to them. Also, because some people were pretty new to the group, we asked that if someone really didn't know anything about another person when they have their paper, they should write a question to that person. When we read our papers, questions were answered at the same time. We had some good meaningful questions.
- Thamara (3 Feb 2011)

we played it a little differently:

each person got an envelope and a stack of little bits of paper
they wrote their name on the envelope
on each piece of paper, they wrote the name of one person in the group so that they had a peiece of paper for everyone.
they had to take each piece of paper and write something nice about the person it was for.
one by one, each kid passes their envelope around and everyone puts their piece of paper about that person inside the envelope.

some of the kids were really thrilled at the nice things said about them. especially since some of our kids have been bullied or have few friends at school etc.
- beckie (14 Feb 2011)

this game is one i tried in my youth grp and it showed me how much ppl admire about you and others that you sometimes never know!!!!!!!!!
- chenee (4 Mar 2011)

This game is a great idea in theory - however it runs a risk of really upsetting people. I attempted to play this with a group, and whilst it was majorly benficial for most of them, there were one or 2 outcasts of the group, that were made to feel even more outcast when they read their papers out and it said things like "ugly", "freak" and "annoying". It didn't do anything to boost their self-esteem whatsoever.
- Hannah (3 Jun 2011)

This is a great game. Based on Hannah's comments it should be stressed that only positive comments are allowed. Another great game is to position it as "I think God can use you because".... Because we want our kids to look for God's approval above anyone else's.
- Emma (22 Jun 2011)

This Brings Tears to my eye Just thinking about it...Its an encouragement game!!
- Douglas Hollis (14 Sep 2011)

thanks, i really love the game
- chukwu sunday (13 Nov 2011)

very great game! make sure its organized though or itll get OUT of hand! Believe it r not, some people tack their papers on their walls at home!
- Ash (3 Aug 2012)

how great this game i try this on saturday ''' alam ko maging maganda ang magiging kalalabasan na ito GOD knows everything HIS guidance shows mercy to us.
- reymar alonzo (7 Aug 2012)

I read Hannah's comment and it can be a very dangerous game if there is any bullying in the group. I liked the envelope idea because then the teacher(youth leader) can go through the comments and remove any that are unkind. If you know the kids handwriting you can always track them down this way as well.
- Danielle (2 Oct 2012)

Thanks Hannah and Danielle - that is a valid point. I've updated the game to include a suggestion the comments are checked by a leader
- Admin (10 Jan 2013)

Another way to eliminate the bad comments is to have the participants write their comments about each person on slips of paper. Then instead of just giving the comments to each person, you start with one participant and have everyone else tell them what they wrote about them. This can be a little hard for shy people, as it is hard to have the spotlight as everyone goes around a circle and gives them compliments. Everyone can still collect their comments to keep.
- Stacy (11 Jan 2014)

Thank you. It's a great game
- Stevany (22 Jan 2014)

Great idea, I have added this game in my church Sunday school lesson :)
- Nimitporn (27 May 2014)

thank you for this game. it could be a great & effective game. God bless
- darLing shy (26 Jun 2014)

We play this at camp but we tape a sheet of paper on each kids back and they all run around writing positive things on that child back and the adults walk around to make sure nothing "mean" is wrote. Then we talk about how our words can build people up or tear them down.

- Angela (9 Jul 2014)

This is a great website, first time using it. I will use this game with my youth group tonight, I know they will enjoy it. Lucrecia
- Lucrecia Mendez (18 Oct 2014)

it will be realy helpful for our yfc team building, thank you.
- francisca (18 Oct 2014)

I did this with index cards and at the end I had them to turn their cards over and make two circles. What they didn't know was they were making an event reminder for that weekend. One circle became a bowling ball and the other, sliced to make a pizza for a "Bowling & Pizza" party. Date & Time reminder.
- Delvin S. (2 Dec 2014)

This game falls right in line with the lesson we are teaching our youth this Sunday in our youth group. We are are studying Proverbs 16:24 "Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
- Kimmie (15 Jan 2015)

i love it and i am going to try it today with my youth
- Butholenkosi Moyo (19 Jun 2016)

I love this game. Do it time and time again with special people including Sunday school teachers and youth groups and years later I still read the pages of encouragement I received with tears running down my cheeks - it is very moving and life changing for sure!
- Stuart Goodall (30 Apr 2017)

It really worked wonders when we played it in our family meeting and it worked.

- Manzi Prince (8 Aug 2017)

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