Early and Mid Adolescents

Armor of God – Silly Version

When teaching Kids about the Armor of God, it’s always good to use an illustration. My fiancé and I try to take a less traditional approach on Bible lessons, so they children don’t get bored or tune us out because they are so familiar with it. So on this particular lesson we brought in a bunch of old goofy items and had each child wear a different piece or “armor.”
Helmet of Salvation: crazy “cat in the hat” type hat with wild colors and stripes (then we taped a cross on it)
Breast plate of Righteousness: an old velvet vest turned around (so the buttons are in the back) with a cross tapped on it
Shield of Faith: a large pillow (a sham works better so they can put their arm inside to hold it more like a shield)
Belt of Truth: an old “cowboy belt” w/ a large buckle
“Feet fitted w/ the Gospel of truth”: Large house shoes
Sword of the Spirit: a large roll from wrapping paper and a paper towel roll that we cut and glued and made into the form of a sword.
Afterwards the children went into the main sanctuary and told the adults what each piece meant. It was not only a chance for the kids to learn and have fun, but also for the adults to see what their children were doing.

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Balloon Balloza

The kids will love this game!

You will need a lot of blown up balloons, and flashlights.

Split the group into 4 to 6 teams. You need at least 2 kids on each team. Assign the teams a balloon color. (The more kids you have the more interesting is gets.) Make sure the teams have a station and at least 2 flashlights per team. (We put the stations in the fellowship hall.)

Close the doors to the room the kids are in and have a few other youth leaders hide all the balloons wherever they want around your church. When the balloons are hidden make sure all the lights are turned off in the building. The teams can go out searching for balloons, but they have to find their teams’ color. They can pop other teams balloons. After they can’t find anymore balloons, have them return to their station. Whichever team has the most balloons is the winner.

After you determine the winner, you can tell the kids whoever picks up the most balloon pieces is the 2nd place winner. (It’s a good way to clean up.)

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Balloon Bop

First thing you need to have is balloons filled with air.
Have the kids line-up all in a line and the Youth Pastor says Ready, Set, BOP! Then the kids run after each other and start bopping other kids on the head! Then who ever gets bopped 10 times is out!!!

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Banana Rumble

Give everyone a banana. Everyone puts a mark on their banana to be able to identify their’s. All the bananas are put in the middle of the room in a big pile. Everyone is in chairs in a square around the room around the pile. Be sure to be in a square shape because each side of the square is a team…4 sides–4 groups.
When a signal is given, everyone rushes to find their banana. The team that has their bananas and is sitting down first wins. [Doing this game several times is likely to get a few squished bananas out of it so make sure you have quite a few extras.]

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Banana Showdown

Everyone has a banana in good enough condition to eat. 2 teams face each other in parallel lines. The people have to put their banana in a pocket. When the signal is given, the people must draw their bananas like guns and instantly peel it and eat it as fast as they can. Whoever has their banana eaten first wins.

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Banana Tag

Divide up into two teams. Sit in parallel lines across from each other. Make sure the 2 lines are about 15 feet apart. Put a banana in the middle. Number the people off.
One line: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9…
Other line: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1…
So that the same numbered people are diagonal from each other.
The leader will call out a number. The two people with that number run up to the banana. The object is for one of the people to get the banana and get back to his/her seat without being tagged by the other person. [This is very hard, since both people are standing right next to each other.] Once one of the players picks up the banana the other player can tag him/her. If a person is tagged, the banana must be put down and another number called. Whoever tags earns a point for the team. Whoever gets to his/her seat without being tagged earns a point for his/her team.

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Beautiful Feet

Materials needed: Various colors of washable paints (Tempora or finger paints work well). small paint brushes, small plastic wash tubs (one for each pair or they can share), liquid detergent, washcloths, and towels.

Divide your group into pairs. Have one of each pair sit on a table and the other sit on a chair in front of their partner. Then read Isaiah 52:6-7 and/or Romans 10:13-15. Talk a moment about the importance of speading the Word of God to others, describing various ways of doing so. At some point your group may begin to wonder why they are divided as they are. Say, “Now we are going to have a ‘beautiful feet’ contest.” Have the youth sitting on the tables take off their shoes and socks. Give their partners in the chairs the paints and brushes. Then have the seated youth decorate their partners bare feet with the paint; tops, bottoms, toes, up to their ankles. Those who are extremely ticklish will have a hard time holding still. It is a blast to watch. Have a judge determine who has the most ‘beautiful feet’ and award prizes.

Then read John 13:3-5 and 12-15, emphasizing verse 15. (The youth will begin to get the picture real quick.) Then give the seated partners each a small wash tub with warm water, a squirt of detergent, a washcloth and towel. Then… well you get the idea. The seated partners may get a kick out of painting their partners feet, but they may not be as anxious to wash them afterward.
You could talk about how Jesus washes us clean of our sin by His being a servant to us.

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Bible Basketball

Get all the teens in your meeting to put the chairs into a square with an equal number of chairs on all four sides. Place a large garbage can in the center of the room with the chairs around the can and facing the can. Ask them Bible related a question, the first one to raise their hand gets to answer the question. If they are right they get to shoot at the can with a basketball. If they miss, the ball can roll until another person gets it. While the ball is rolling no one can leave their seat. This is a good way to review the previous week’s lesson. Hint: give the four teams NBA names to add to the fun.

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Bible Verse Hunt

This is a neat game to play after the Youth service although you can play it anytime. Usually I choose Bible verses that pertain to the lesson/service for that particular day. This way it ties it in with the service. First, count the # of pews in your sanctuary, this is the # of verses you will need. Choose your verses carefully. Don’t choose them all in the same place of the Bible. Ask you youth group to bring their bibles or provide them with one if they don’t have one. You can play this in 2 different ways: 1- one big group or 2 – split into 2 teams. Have the players sit on the very back pew. You read out the Bible verse (Psalms 4:2) The first one to stand and read it correctly (to your discretion) moves up a pew. This continues until the first person reaches the first pew. If splitting into teams, you could have the winner be the first team with all its members to reach the first pew.

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Big Girl/Little Girl SleepOver

My husband and I work with the junior high kids at our church. We to offer activities that build relationships with each other and within the church body as much as possible. I think junior high kids are often mis-labeled as having bad attitudes and being difficult to work with. We believe this age group is the best age to set a foundation of what real friendships are, how to encourage each other, how to build others up, how to look at other’s needs, etc. That’s how
this idea began.

The Big Girl/Little Girl Sleep Over was an overnight at the church where each girl in the youth group requested a younger girl in the church to ‘buddy up’ with for an overnight event. The girls who didn’t know any little girls or who didn’t go to our church regularly, I assigned a little girl to them. First I got a definite list of Big Girls for the night. Then I personally called the mothers of the little girls to explain what we were doing and to invite them. That way, it came from one adult to another and if a little girl wasn’t available, I could substitute a new little girl with no hurt feelings.

The event went from 7pm until 10am the next morning. We held it at the church because there was more room for everyone! All the girls brought the regular stuff for a sleepover. The big girls brought their makeup and hair stuff. The little girls brought their favorite board games and favorite book to be read aloud and videos.

We made sure it was 1 big girl to 1 specific little girl. The big girl took complete charge of the little girl the whole time. We had a couple little games to help them get to know each other, then snack time, then we turned them loose to do the make up stuff! First the big girls did the little girls make up and hair and fingernails and toes. Then the little girls did the same for their big girls! We took videos and pictures of each pair. They surprised us and spent about 2 hours doing that! And they ALL loved it!

Then the big girls played the little girls’ board games. It was wonderful to watch the junior high girls playing “Pretty Pretty Princess” or “Clue Jr.” and interacting with these little girls (all about 4-6 years old). Big girls were in charge of getting little girls in PJ’s and getting sleeping stuff all ready. The girls even slept by each other.

Video time got most of the girls quieted down and ready to sleep. Then we let the big girls enjoy some time together after the little girls were all tucked in and asleep. In the morning the big girls got little girls fed and dressed and packed up and ready to go.

Both big girls and little girls loved it. It taught the big girls about mentoring and the little girls were enthralled that a teenager gave her so much attention. The parents of the little girls were thrilled with the junior high girls and the parents of the junior high girls were so proud of them. It was a positive experience that really touched a lot more lives than I expected.

We’ve decided to make it an annual event and the girls are already talking about next year!

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