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 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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Pass The Scissors

Have everyone sit in a circle. The first person to start the game knows how to play, and the object is to figure out how to correctly pass the scissors from one person to the next. The first person passes the scissors to the person next to him/her, explaining that this is the correct way to pass the scissors. The next person then attempts to pass the scissors correctly, while those who know how to play let him/her know if they did. The trick? The scissors must be passed open if the person’s legs are crossed, and closed if the person’s legs are uncrossed. Continue at least once around the circle.

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Oreo Sculptures

Give teams of equal size several Oreo cookies (or have the kids bring their own). Also give each team two serrated knives, two spoons, a box of toothpicks, and a 4-foot-square piece of posterboard. They have 20 minutes to create a sculpture using the cookies the tools they’ve been given. The sculpture is to be built on the posterboard to control the mess. The filling in the Oreo’s makes great “”glue”” or “mortar.” The sculptures are judged and the winning team receives a couple of litres of milk.

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Who Do I Listen To?

Have one student sit in a chair at the front of the room. Gather 7-10 other students and instruct them to yell simple commands at the other student that is seated in the chair. For example, have one student yell to lift his/her left arm up and another student yelling at the same time to put his/her left arm down. The more commands that are yelled at the same time, the better. Needless to say, the student that is sitting down will get so frustrated that they do not know what to do.
This illustrates that in our daily life, we have so many different influences affecting our lives that it is important that we learn to listen only to Jesus… “the sheep know his voice.”

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Pong Wars

Two or more teams, lots of ping pong balls with as many colors as their are teams. Small trash cans approximately 12 to 15 feet between the teams. The object is to get as many of your teams colored balls into the opposing teams can. If your team smashes a ball from the opposing team, then one of yours comes out of their can and does not count. With tons of ping pong balls flying through the air, it is a total riot and everyone has a blast. Ping Pong balls can be purchased very cheap through a wholesale toy company, then they can be dyed with easter egg colors, or whatever way you desire. The losers must either sing a silly song, do a 5 minute silly skit or whatever you feel they should do. The teams will have a blast not to get out of doing something silly, but to make someone else do something silly.

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Name Game

This is a variation on the Animalz! game you can find in the Indoor Games section. Early on in the year when we have a lot of new kids who don’t know each other, we will play this game to help everyone learn each others names.

We prefer a balled up tube sock at the end of another tube sock. All of the kids “line up” in a circle. There is one person who is ‘it” in the center of the circle. Choose a person to lead off. They must say their own name, and then the name of another person in the circle. The person in the center must attempt to tag the second named person before they can say their own name and another name. If the person in the center ever succeeds in tagging the speaker, they trade places.

Once the group starts to get the hang of it, occassionally say one name, but point at a different person.

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I’m Taller Than You

I am 5’3″ and many of the middle school youth love trying to get taller than me. I finally remembered a friend of mines family tradition, which was when the kids get taller than the mom, they have to buy her dinner. So I created the knew rule for youth group. Now, when they get taller than me, they have to bring breakfast. I also give them a certificate that says: “I’m finally taller than my youth leader”. They love being taller than me, it makes them feel so special, but at least I get breakfast out of it! 🙂

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The Recipe for a Disciple

This was originally used with K-5th grade but can easily be adapted to all ages. Best played outside in an open grassy area.

Talk about themes in the Great Commission and how Jesus wants us all to be disciples. Say there is a mission for the group today. Not all groups have achieved this mission. It can be quite hard at times. Use other examples to describe how its sometimes very hard to be a good disciple of Jesus Christ.

There are five games for the group to play to illustrate five ingredients for making a disciple. (These can be adapted in any way, shape, or form.)

Ingredient #1: Quick feet – spread message to lots of people

Running Relay: Break into two teams and create any kind of relay (running, skipping, crawling, etc.). Anything using quick feet.

Ingredient #2: Bold voice – can’t be too shy

Sing Jesus Loves Me (or other appropriate-age group song) at the top of their lungs

Ingredient #3: Helping hands – help others

Use the classis “Pretzel” team-building game. Small groups cross arms and grab hands across the circle. The group must then work together to untangle without dropping hands.

Ingredient #4: Humility – put others first

Create any kind of normal race. At the end recognize the person who came in last. Cheer for them, lift them up on shoulders, etc. Celebrate that we don’t need to be first at everything in life.

Ingredient #5: Love – love people and meet new ones

Hook-On Tag: Entire group splits into pairs in wide open space. Each pair hooks arms. One pair is the chaser and the chasee. Student #1 chases Student #2. Student #1 hooks onto one person in a pair. The person on the other side (Student #3) has to unhook arms and is now being chased by Student #2. If Student #2 tags Student #3 then #3 is now it. The game continues until you choose to stop!

Hook-On Tag is a great time-filler and it releases a lot of energy!

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Rollercoaster Game

Line up 3 or 4 rows of 4 chairs, fill up all spots with kids and tell them that they are about to pretend to be on a rollercoaster and that they have to act out everything you tell them to do.

So you start off the rollercoaster with a bump and then it starts to go up and up and up an up, (exaggerating that is a huge coaster) then you level out a bit, cruising you can see the beach on your right, and the city on your left, (pause for dramatic effect), the roller coaster plunges incredibly fast straight down, it throws you left, then right, down again, up, down, left, right. It’s really speeding up now, oh no! The track is out ahead! You’re flying towards it at high speed! HOLD ON and you hit the jump, your all air born flying through the air, you’re really high up just cruising, there’s a flock of birds on your right, and you’re able to touch the clouds! Now you’re slowly starting to fall back to earth, picking up speed, getting faster, really flying now! One of the kids in the back row falls out! Falling really fast now, you can see the ground launching up towards you! And you hit the rails and your back on the coaster, well all except for one of you! Still traveling fast! Left turn, right, left, straight, and it’s slowing, slowing, and it comes to a halt…

Variations are only limited by your imagination, try placing in kids to do random entertaining stunts during the ride, make it crash, make them switch direction.

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