Early and Mid Adolescents

Sundae School

On the last day of our Vacation Bible School (VBS), we had each child write down five (5) things that they learned during VBS. Then, we presented each child with a pass to go to “Sundae School”. Each child was allowed to make their own ice cream sundaes in “Sundae School”. We had ice cream, fruit, marshmallows, gummy bear, nuts, M&M’s, chocolate syrup, strawberry syrup, caramel, whipped cream, and sprinkles.

It was a fun way to end VBS and we were able to relate it to the Bible.

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Crayon Creations

Gather old broken crayons for this art project. Before the meeting, separate the crayons by colour. Use a knife to make shavings out of them. You also will need scissors, wax paper, newspapers, newsprint, markers and an iron. Place several newspapers in the table to protect it. Start the meeting by discussing Christian symbols. On the newsprint, have the kids draw as many Christian symbols as they can think of (cross, fish, chalice, etc). Ask why they think these symbols are used by Christians and why they are important. Ask everyone to choose a symbol that has special meaning for him/her. Give each kid two 7″x7″ sheets of wax paper. Then place one piece of wax paper wax side up in the for of your chosen symbol. Be sure you leave a 1″ border. The final step is to place the other sheet of wax paper, wax side down, in top and seal it with a warm iron. The crayons will melt and create a stained glass symbol.

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Honey If You Love Me

The group sits in a circle facing inward. One member of the group is “it.” The objective is for this person to make another smile. He goes around the circle, picks a person, kneels, and asks him/her, “Honey, if you love me, won’t you please, please smile?” The person must respond with, “Honey, you know I love you, but I just can’t smile,” without smiling. If he/she smiles, that person becomes “it,” replacing the first. If the person “it” does not convince a person to smile, he/she must approach another until he/she does. The person “it” may do any gestures he/she wants to make the person smile (e.g. make funny faces, do a stunt), but cannot touch the person. This is a circular game, meaning it does not end. A good length for this game would be 20 minutes, or when most of the group has been “it.”

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Who Sir? Me Sir?

Have the kids sit in one row containing just enough chairs for everyone. Have the kids number off, then say, “I’m looking for the one who stole my cookie jar and I believe it was number seven”. You can say any number, but the corresponding kid has to say “Who sir, me sir?” to which you reply “Yes sir, you sir”. The student then says, “No sir, not I sir”, and the leader asks, “Then who sir?” and the student replies, “Number two, sir”. Then the second students says, “Who sir, me sir?” and the leader says “Yes sir, you sir” and the game continues like this until a student messes up by saying the wrong word, hesitating too long, or answering to the wrong number. The student who messes up goes to the end of the line, and many students will have a new number. The point is to get to the front of the line, so the kids will want to keep returning the “questioning” to a person sitting closer to the front of the line to give them more opportunities to mess up so that the students can move up. The leader can add to the confusion after the kids understand how to play by talking very fast or by talking directly to one student while saying another’s number. Our kids love this game and the leader doesn’t have to worry about what to do with kids who are “out” of the game because they are never out.

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Faith in a Box

Scripture verse used: “So don’t throw away your bold faith: it will bring you rich rewards.” Hebrews 10:35

Items needed: a small box, something to put in it (candy, etc.), lots of wraping paper.

You put an item in the box and wrap it in many layers of paper. You tell the group, “There is something in this box you will enjoy.” You ask, “Do you have faith there is something in this box?” Faith is something that you hope for, but can’t see. “Can you see what’s in this box? Throw the box in the trash can and watch reaction. Will I ever know what’s in the box if I throw it away?”

As long as we don’t throw it away we are going to eventually know what’s in it. As long as we don’t throw away faith in God and his plan, there is a reward in the end which is heaven. The group moves to a circle on the floor. Talk about how it takes patience to receive God’s promises. Take turns giving each child a turn at ripping off a layer of paper until the gift is revealed.

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Musical Chairs Variation

Another version of the Musical Chairs game is to put out a chair after every round, but still all players can continue. It’s great fun when 20 people have to share one chair at the end.

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Soul-diers

Based on the simple game of “hangman” but using small plastic soldiers. Instead of drawing the traditional lines of the gallows each time a letter is wrong, the teams were allowed to “shoot” a soldier by flicking him away. Teams then counted up how many they had lost. We made sure the winning team had lost some too by making the phrase very hard. We then used this illustration in a series on “spiritual warfare” to discuss the fact that although God has the victory, individual souls are still at risk.

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Anger

Anger: Bible Base: John 2 13-22 Jesus Cleanses the Temple

Way in:
Demonstrate what pent up anger can do to us.
Give each member of the group a plastic 35mm film canister and a piece (about one third of a tablet) of Alka-Seltzer. They half fill the canister with water, then, all together, drop the Alka Seltzer in and push on the lid. Place all canisters on a tray. Explain that sometimes, when we get angry, the feelings inside of us well up, until….
After 20-30 secs each canister should then “blow their top” giving an impressive display.
Today we will be looking at anger, what it does to us, how we cope, and how Jesus displayed his anger.

Introduction of Anger.
Draw up Four Faces of Anger
(For illustrations I used pictures of faces showing the kind of anger – Clipart on Windows2000/XP has some, search on “anger”)

INJUSTICE
A rule, a belief, or an objective is being threatened or abused. Unfairness.

INJURY
You are disrespected, rejected, or ignored. Sense of insult or humiliation. Can be physical or psychological.

INVASION
Your freedom or personal space is being restricted or violated. Your identity is being attacked.

INTENTION
You have energy and determination to do something about injustices, injuries, and invasions. You challenge the status-quo.

– Get group to suggest situations that give rise to each facet.
– Which one, mostly, causes them to get angry?

Bible: John 2 13-22 read together as group.
– What was Jesus angry about?
– Did he direct his anger at certain people, or what they were doing?
– What “face of anger” was Jesus displaying.
– What does this reading tell us about getting angry and being a Christian?

Drama
First explain that when we get angry, we react in two different ways:
– Purposeful – showing self-control, and a degree of consideration for others.
– Spontaneous – Unplanned with little or no self-control.

Also our anger expressed can be:
– Constructive – where we respect other peoples’ feelings and boundaries, and don’t threaten either.
– Destructive – where you protect your own identity and violate other peoples’ feelings and identity, deliberately or unconsciously.

Hand out drama pieces to four pairs and give them a chance to rehearse.
Each drama piece shows an angry parent confronting a teenager who has come home late. Get them to work out whether this is on the doorstep when the teenager comes home, or the next morning. Each drama will portray one box in the matrix.


Draw matrix :
ððððððððððððððððPurposefulððððSpontaneous
ððððððððððððððð|————|————-|
ððððððððððððððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
Constructiveððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
ððððððððððððððð|————|————-|
ððððððððððððððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
Destructiveðððð|ðððððððððððð|ððððððððððððð|
ððððððððððððððð|————|————-|

Drama Pieces

Purposeful and Constructive Anger……….
I’m angry. I let you go out on Friday night with the understanding you’d be home by eleven o’clock. Or, if you were going to be late, we agreed you’d call beforehand. When I didn’t hear from you, I was very worried. What happened? I want to talk to you about you going out, and the consequences if this happens again.

Purposeful and Destructive Anger……….
I can’t believe how irresponsible you were last night. You didn’t call. You made me sick with worry. Do you expect me to trust you with going out late at night now? We’ll have to see when you can go out like that again.

Spontaneous and Constructive Anger……….
What the heck has happened! I was expecting a call. I’m really angry. I stayed up because I couldn’t sleep. (Teenager tries to explain, but parent is not really listening and interrupts with emotional voice) I’m too upset to talk about this now. I’m going to bed. We’ll discuss this incident, and the rules for you going out, later on in the morning.

Spontaneous and Destructive Anger…………
(In a rage) You inconsiderate idiot! I should slap you! You silly, stupid… I’m here, scared to death, not knowing what has happened to you. You could have had an accident, been raped… How should I know! Do you call? No, you couldn’t care less. You just think about yourself, self, self… I’ll give you something to think about! You’ll never ever go out late again, d’you hear! Get out of my sight!

Get each pair to present their drama.

After each piece ask the group what word would best describe how the parent behaved. (Write it in the matrix).
Tips:
Purposeful and Constructive – Assertion
Purposeful and Destructive – Hostility
Spontaneous and Constructive – Passion, Suffering.
Spontaneous and Destructive – Rage

– How did Jesus behave?
– Why?
– What would be different if Jesus had behaved differently?
– How do they behave when they get angry?
– Does the Bible story teach them anything about how to behave when you get angry?

Quiet Time.
(Play some relaxing classical music and light a candle)
Think about the times people have got angry with us, and why.
Think about the times we got angry with someone and how we behaved.
Share with God any hurt you have inside
Admit to God where you think you might have done wrong.

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Breaking Down the Partition

Materials needed: 20 or more empty cardboard boxes

I first used the text from Ephesians 2:13-17 and explained that Jesus broke down the wall between God and us that was created by sin. We took empty cardboard boxes and stacked them up in the hallway to form a “wall” and then took turns breaking through it. Kids from ages 6 to 14 really enjoyed it and made the connection.

*Be sure to use heavy cardboard boxes because the kids really hit them hard!

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The Jesus Bracelet

This is a simple way to remember all that Jesus has done in and through the cross! We will be making a bracelet that tells a story through colour.

Materials Needed:

Elastic
Coloured beads

Get the children to make the bracelet for themselves. (Simply put enough beads onto the elastic string and tie the ends together, as fits the wrist!)

You will need 6 different colours. Here is the order of the colours and what each colour means:

Black – Everyone has Sinned!
Red – The Blood of Jesus!
White – Cleansed White as Snow!
Green – Grow like a tree! (Be Fruitful)
Blue – Holy Spirit is the Water
that makes the Tree Grow!
Gold – Home is Heaven, where
there are streets of Gold!

(Teach them this story, getting them to repeat what the colours mean.)

Lastly, let the children take home their own bracelets. This will be very special to them and each time they look at their bracelets they will be reminded of what Jesus has done.

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