Early and Mid Adolescents

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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The Story of Esther

You will need yourself plus six volunteers. The following action words are to be printed in large print, one word/words per page: way to go, aah!, ooh!, boo!, clap, uh-oh!, yum-yum!. Each person needs a copy of the story plus the action word/words they will be holding. The volunteer will be holding the story (so they can follow along) with their action word on the back facing the floor until your clue word is spoken. When your clue word is spoken hold your action word up so the audience will respond. The clue word will appear just before the action word in the story:

Read the story

Many years ago, in the kingdom of Persia, a beautiful young Jewish orphan named Esther (AAH!)was raised by her cousin Mordecai (WAY TO GO!). When Esther(AAH!) was a young woman, King Xerxes needed a new wife (OOH!). The king had removed Vashti as queen because she refused to be displayed in front of a lot of drunken men at a party (BOO!). To find a new wife, Xerxes held a kingdom-wide beauty contest (OOH!). Esther (AAH!) was pretty enough to be a part of the contest. In fact, Esther won (WAY TO GO!). She became the new queen (OOH!).

Now Esther’s cousin Mordecai (CLAP) worked in the king’s palace. Haman (BOO!) also worked in the palace. Hamam (BOO!) was promoted by the king to a high position, and the king wanted everybody to bow down to Haman (BOO!). Mordecai (CLAP) was a Jew who did not believe in bowing down to men. (WAY TO GO!) So he refused to honor Haman (BOO!) that way. (UH-OH!) Haman (BOO!) was not very happy about that (UH-OH!) and decided that he would get even with Mordecai (CLAP) and all the Jews. He wanted tham all dead. (UH-OH!) He tricked King Xerxes into signing an order allowing all the Jews to be killed on a certain day. (UH-OH!) When Mordecai, (CLAP) heard about Haman’s plan (BOO!) he and all the other Jews were very upset. Esther (AAH!) did not know about Haman’s plan, (BOO!) but she did find out that Mordecai (CLAP) was very upset about something. She sent a messenger to find out what the problem was. (WAY TO GO) Mordecai (CLAP) sent the messenger back with details of Haman’s evil plan. (BOO!) He also urged Esther (AAH!) to go to the king to try to stop Haman’s plan. (BOO!)

Esther (AAH!) had a difficult choice. (UH-OH!) The king had a rule: no one was allowed to come see him unless he invited him or her to come. Anyone who came without being asked was subject to be executed (UH-OH!) unless the King held out his scepter to show that he accepted the visitor. He had not asked to see Queen Esther (AAH!) for a long time. (UH-OH!) Esther (AAH!) sent word back to Mordecai (CLAP) reminding him of this law. He anwsered back that the situation was life or death for her anyway because she was just as Jewish as the rest of them. (UH-OH!) Mordecai (CLAP) told Esther (AAH!) that he believed God had allowed her to become queen, so she could help save her people. (OOH!) Esther (AAH!) knew what she needed to do, but she was still very scared.

She asked Mordecai (CLAP) and all the Jews to join her in three days of fasting and praying about the situation. (WAY TO GO!) After three days, Esther (AAH!) was ready to act. She boldly went to the king (WAY TO GO!) and knelt anxiously before him. Would he ignore her? (UH-OH) Would he hold out his secpter to accept her? She looked up and saw the king’s hand slowly reach out and extend the scepter to her. (OOH!)

Esther (AAH!) invited the king and Haman (BOO!) to a fine banquet (YUM-YUM!). Then, she held a second banquet for them (YUM-YUM!). By this time, the king was feeling pretty good about Esther (AAH!). He sat back and offered to give Esther (AAH!) anything she wanted. That was her chance. She revealed the plot against her people, and asked the king if he could stop it (WAY TO GO!). He asked, “Who would do such a thing?” (UH-OH!) She told him it was Haman (BOO!).

The king did not like someone messing with his queen, (UH-OH!) so he had Haman (BOO!) executed (WAY TO GO!) and signed a new order allowing all the Jews to defend themselves from any attack.

Because Esther (AAH!) allowed God to use her, her people were saved. (CLAP)

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Crazy Chairs

This is a variation of musical chairs. Instead of a circle, put the chairs at random around the room, facing different directions. The only new rules you have to add are: No running. Who’s ever bottom is in the chair first gets it. If you hit a chair hard enough to knock it over, you’re out and finally, no guarding chairs. For large groups, I take two chairs at a time out. I designate two kids to do that every time. I’ve played this in my classroom for 20 years with all sizes and ages of kids. It’s always a winner.

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Animal Farm

In this game the more people the better. We played this with over 20 people and it was so much fun.

First you need to have an even amount of people. Then you write down the name of animals on pieces of paper. (Eg. Duck, cow, camel) Write each animal twice on two separate slips of paper. Then hand out to each person a piece of paper with the name of an animal on it. They then have to find the other person in the group who has the same animal as theirs. Here’s the catch; it must be done in *utter silence*. A lot harder than it sounds (try acting like a pig in complete silence!) It’s hilarious to watch and so much fun to participate in. What once was a youth group turns into literally a pack of animals. It’s a great ice breaker and a favourite with us.

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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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On The Wall Twister

Instead of using a Twister board, use pieces of construction paper in the same colors. Tape two of each color on the floor near a wall, in rows, just like on the Twister board. Tape the other two of each color on the wall above the floor to complete each row of colors. Then play just like regular Twister! It’s fun to watch the kids try to contort themselves with a new challenge on the old game!

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Birth Of A New Year Party

The New Year is typically characterized by the exit of Father Time and the entrance of Baby New Year. This event is based on babies. Everyone should come dressed like a baby. The following games can be played. 1.) Best Dressed Baby 2.) Baby Picture Guess: pictures are brought and put on a wall and people are a piece of paper with the corresponding numbers and must match them up for points. 3.) Baby Buggy Race: get an old buggy or stroller for each team and have a race, relay style with each person pushing the carriage around a goal and back with a teammate riding on it. 4.) Bottle Drinking Race: fill a bottle with juice and have races.

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Four Corners

Must have a room with 4 corners. Someone is “it” & stands in the middle of the room. Everyone else, while the “it” person is counting to 10, everyone else runs to one of the 4 corners. At 10, the “it” person pics a corner. 1,2,3 or 4. Who ever is in the corner picked is out, & must sit in the designated “jail” area. It will wind down to 2 people- the last person standing, wins.

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Giving Good Gifts

You need a paper sack, a big and bright gift bag, a large and rough rock, and a soft blanket. Ahead of time put the rock in the sack and the blanket in the gift bag.

First bring the rock out and ask the kids if this would be something good to give to someone. Ask if you could hold onto this, if you could sleep with this at night, etc. The rock is like “Hate” and it isn’t something nice to give someone or hold onto. Then bring out the blanket and ask the same questions. The blanket is like love. It can surround you and make you feel warm all over. It is nice to give to someone else (wrap it around someone’s shoulders as you say this) to let them know that you care. Jesus said that we are to love not only the people that we like, but also our enemies and pray for those who try to hurt us. Since Jesus died to save EVERYONE, then I think we should listen to Him!

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Clothespeg Game

While the music is playing, everyone runs around with clothespegs on the back of their shirts and tries to grab other people’s pegs. When the music stops, whoever does not have a peg is out and the space to run around gets smaller every time the music stops.

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