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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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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Paper Shoot

Divide into teams of 4-8 kids each. Set up a garbage can in the middle of the room (about three feet high) and prepare ahead of time several paper batons and a lot of wadded up paper balls. One team lies down around the garbage can with their heads toward the can (on their backs). Each of these players has a paper baton and the opposing team stands around the trash can behind a line about 10 feet or so away from the can. The line can be a large circle drawn around the can. The opposing teams tries to throw the balls into the can while the defending team tries to hit the balls away with their batons. 2 mins are allowed to try to get as many in as possible. Each team gets a chance in both positions. Winner is the team who gets the most in.

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Fruit Feast

Good as a Bible Study. On a predetermined evening ask kids to come to the church for a fruit feast. Have kids each bring a different kind of fruit (the more variety the better). Purchase a watermelon and cut it in half using a jagged line. Use a small scoop to make melon balls as you empty out the inside of the watermelon. This will be your fruit bowl for the feast. As kids arrive have them each cut up their fruit and place it in the feast bowl. Mix in each new fruit with the others to create a giant fruit salad. If possible, provide drinks, yogurt, or ice cream to go along with the feast. While they’re eating read Romans 12:4-8 or 1 Cor 12:12-27. Ask: How is the Body of Christ like this fruit salad? How do we each add a different and unique flavour to Christ’s body? What kind of fruit are you most like? Explain. What role do you often play in Christ’s body? Why is that role important?

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Choo Choo Train

Make two lines of horizontal strips of masking tape each exactly one foot apart from the other. This is good in a standard size classroom. Divide into two teams, and have each person stand between one of the strips at the back of the room, with no gaps. Take turns asking each team a Bible question. If anyone answers correctly, they move to the front of the line, and anyone behind them moves up to fill the empty space. Continue in this manner until one team has moved to the front of the room. Variation: the person who answered the previous question correctly (the one in the front) cannot answer the next question. This helps even things out if one person is a Bible whiz.

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Inductive Bible Study

Even elementary age children can learn the principles of inductive Bible study. Narratives are a good place to start. Begin by making a copy of the passage for each student as well as an overhead transparency of the passage. Orally read the passage or have the students take turn reading it. Go through the passage picking out WHO is is the story, WHERE the story takes place, WHAT is going on in the story, WHEN events in the story occur, WHY the characters did what they did, and HOW the story concludes. Be working toward the end result the information gleaned into a classroom play or a TV newscast of events that tell the story in another form. For example, divide the passage into episodes of events that happened. This will help the student to see how the story flows and will help set the framework for the play or newscast. Once the passage is segmented into episodes, read the passage in episodic parts, allowing the actors to display the action and adding dialogue. Once the creative part is done, you are ready to discuss the interpretation and application. Ask what they thought God wanted the actual characters in the story to know about Him. Then ask what God wants US to know about Him.
This process can be varied with different creative expressions so that your classroom can have a lot of variety.

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Watergun Commander

This is a watergun game. If you have kids with waterguns that would like something more structured than randomly spraying each other, tell them about this game. There are two teams, and on each team is a “commander” without a watergun that must be protected by the rest of the team with waterguns. Each team starts at opposite ends of the field and when the game starts, each team must try to shoot the opposing team’s commander, but if anyone gets shot, s/he must return to his/her own commander who resides at home base (the team’s side of the field) and start advancing from there. Once a commander has been shot by an opponent, the game is over.

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Coin Flip Derby

This game is a favorite in our class. Set up 2 rows of about 5 chairs. Have 2 boys and 2 girls come up. One girl and one boy each get a coin. The other two players sit at one end of each row. The player with the coins flip them. If it is heads, the player of that team moves up one chair. If it is tails, the players of that team moves back one chair. For example Bill and Frank are playing Abigal and Gertie. Bill and Gertie are the flippers. Frank and Abigal sit in the seats. If Bill flips and gets heads, Frank moves up one seat. If Gertie flips and gets tails, Abigal moves back one seat. Whoever gets to the other end of the row first wins.

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With God’s Help It’s Easy

Materials needed: 1 12 foot long 1″ x 12″ board. 2 stands with slots cut so the board can be stood on its edge.

I start by laying the board flat with the 2 stands out of sight. Begin by offering a challenge to any child that if they can walk across the board they’ll get a piece of candy. Really talk it up as being very difficult. Of course as each child tries they succeed easily and with each success you get more bewildered and shocked. Then you realize you forgot something and go get the stands and stand the board up on its edge. Now re-offer the challenge and be sure to walk beside the child as they try. The board is so flimsy they all naturally reached out to me for balance.

I then was able to relate Matthew 7:13-14. Walking the broad way is easy but leads to destruction. Though the narrow way seems hard, God is always there to help.

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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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