Early and Mid Adolescents

Cross Of Tiles

We have a local pottery store where you can get 4″ x 4″ tiles ready to paint. I plan to have the Sr. High Youth each “paint” a tile and then have them fired (the store will charge us $5 per tile for this). Then we will put the tiles together to make a cross on one of the walls in our youth room (and do so in a way that we may add more tiles each year). Another less expensive way to do this is to make tiles out of colorful paper with smaller white squares on them. The youth can then decorate their “square”. Use all of the decorated squares to make a cross.

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Cross-Over Dodge Ball

Best played with about 20 kids and 3 or 4 balls.
Draw a midline in your field and split into two teams, each with at least one ball. I like to tell the kids that the winning team will get a piece of candy each. Let them throw balls at the opposing team. When you are hit with a ball, you must cross to the other side of the midline. Usually there is great enthusiasm and energy put into getting people on to the team. It is fun to see how long it takes before the team either “wins”, or everyone realizes that, in the end, everyone is on the same team! Of course, everyone also ends up with a piece of candy!

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Cup Madness

This can also be done indoors if big enough space. Get 3 chairs. Space them in a straight line, approx 20M from each other. Place 5 plastic cups on the middle chair (could also be tennis balls etc. there are 2 teams, each team has their people numbered. Each team sits near a chair of the line, at each end. (Ie. Team A sits next to the chair at this end of the line, and Team B sits next to the chair at the far end.) The aim of the game is that when the boss shouts 2 numbers, those people get up from each team, and sprint to their chair, and then set off to the middle chair. They are ONLY allowed to carry 1 cup at a time. they then carry it back to their chair at their teams end. The 1st team to get 3 cups on their chair is the winner, and as there are only 5 cups, there can only be 1 winner. What makes this interesting is that the person who is running collecting the cups from the middle and returning it to their teams chair, and running back again to the middle, can also collect cups from the other teams chair (also only 1 at a time). The winning team is the first to have 3 cups on their chair.

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David And Goliath (Summer)

We started out our lesson with the story of David and Goliath read from the Bible. With, of course, some explanation for the younger crowd. Then we proceeded to go outside and utilize a water balloon launcher which I made from surgical tubing and a funnel to launch balloons at a small dot on a pole that was about 9 feet high. Explaining to the kids that without out God’s help (like the help David had) it is impossible to hit it on the first time. The kids had a blast and learned a lesson.

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Disruptive Listeners

Split the group into two equal teams . Have three blown up balloons tied up above each team. Say there is a sweet / chocolate for everyone that listens well , if anyone doesn’t listen you will burst a balloon from their side if all the balloons are popped that team forfeits their rewards they are given to the other side. You rarely have to burst more than one balloon. There is a lot of peer presure on the usually disruptive children. At the end of the meeting say they can take their reward IF they feel they have deserved it. You will be surprised at the honesty from those you would least expect to be honest. You can then call that person back and reward their honesty.

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Dodge the Inner Tube

Set up a play area into 3 sections. Two parallel lines approximately 20 feet apart. Everyone in the middle, in the area between the two lines. Two other people (1 on each side of the other lines) begin rolling the inner tube back and forth to one another, through the middle area. As each child is hit by the inner tube, they are not out of the game, they simply join the other team in rolling the inner tube to tag the others.
The faster the inner tube is rolled back and forth, the more fun we have.

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Dollar Night At The Mall

This one is requested again and again — especially by the girls! Divide the group into groups of 3-4 and give each group $1. The object of the hunt is to purchase as many items as possible at the mall for under $1.
The group must have a receipt for each item, and there can be no two items the same. For example: a person might get a dead cricket from the pet store for a nickel, one jelly bean for a penny, etc. Catch is that they have to get a receipt. After a set amount of time (45 minutes is good), all teams meet at a designated spot in the mall. The groups show their purchases, receipts, and change to an impartial judge, and the winner declared. The winner is determined as the group with the most purchases for their money, and the entire dollar must be used. It’s fun!

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Don’t Be Full of Hot Air!

Supplies: Two balloons, string, and a party size tank of helium.

Invite one student to help you by blowing up one balloon. After he/she has blown up their balloon, tie off the balloon and attach a long string to it. Then use the helium tank to blow up the second balloon, tie it off and attach a long string to it as well.

On the count of three, ask the student to throw the first balloon up in the air while you throw the second balloon in the air as well. As you do, the one with hot air will fall to the ground, while the one with helium will rise to the sky (that is why it is important to tie a string to it).

Ask the students why the two balloons, which appear on the outside to be the same, reacted so differently when tossed into the air.

Read Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Explain that salvation is like these two balloons. If we want to rise to Heaven (Helium balloon) rather than fall into the depths of Hell, we need something special on the inside. If we try to save ourselves, (example: the balloon with the hot air) we will fail and spend eternity separated from God. However, if we accept the free gift of salvation through faith in Christ, (example: the balloon with helium – special air) we will spend an eternity with Christ in Heaven.

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Split the group into two parts. Get them into line and have them wrap their arms around the waist of the person in front of them forming a long chain. Stick a rag or handkerchief in the back pocket of the last person. The goal is for the front person of one group to get the “tail” of the other, while the tail of the group tries to avoid getting caught. Can be done indoors as well if you have enough room.

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Drive-In Movie

Provide your youth group with large cardboard boxes collected from grocery & appliance stores. Then they construct & decorate their own ‘vehicles’ from these before settling down to watch the video you have chosen for the evening! Prizes can be awarded for best construction or best decorated ‘car’, and it sure makes video night something to remember!

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