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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Cross Crafters

This can be for a youth fund raiser or gifts for a special occasion, such as Christmas, or Awards. Buy some 2 inch old fashioned cut nails at the hardware store, some thin copper wire and have youth make crosses out the material. It will take 3 nails per cross and about one foot of wire. Cost, around 5 cents each. You can add a fishing swivel, and lentel material for necklace. Tthis is a great project and can be sold for as much as $10.00 each or can be used as gifts to others for just pennies. They can also be placed in gift boxes (found at your local jeweler) with a little description and explanation of the cross for an added touch.

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Mash The Mush

This is a messy fun game with an ultimate surprise at the end! First you mix up a big pot of green mush. Ingredient: 3 boxes of vanilla instant pudding — 3 big jars of apple sauce — and green food color. You get a friend that knows how to keep a secret and video tape one of you mixing up the mush (Make it fun). After you are done mixing it. Get a close up shot of the large bowl or pot being placed on the ground. Then get a close up shot of your partners (clean feet). After at least 8 seconds of taping the feet still, step into the pot of mush and swoosh around. (The person in the pot need not identified, but if it was the Youth Pastor, and you slowly panned up to his smiling face…. this would be great! Rewind your tape and set up a TV ready to go for youth group.
The game is presented to the youth without telling them about or showing them the video. You get your volunteers from the group… as many as 12. Pair them off, and give one of them a bowl of your green mush and blind fold the other. The object of the game is for the blind folded person to shovel the green mush into the mouth of the other person and for them to eat it the fastest. By the way. This green stuff tastes GREAT. So you will get a lot of your students eating it up. In fact encourage it. When all is done and every one is cleaned up, sit them down in front of the TV and show your video. You can guess the reaction you will get from the kids when they see your Youth Pastor jumping in the green mush they just ate. If you are not as cruel to teenagers as I am…(being involved with youth for over 5 years) you can make a separate batch of green mush to give the kids. But you need to take that secret to your grave.

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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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40 Year Sandals

Used this when we were talking about the Jews wandering for 40 years in the desert.

Items needed:
– Large sheets of cardboard (I used 24 pack soda crates)
– Twine

Have the kids take off their shoes and place them on the cardboard. Then have them trace their shoe’s soles on the cardboard. Cut out the cardboard, so you have the sole of a sandal.

Have the kids place their feet on the sandals. Next take a pen and mark 8 holes in the following places: one hole on both sides of the big toe, one hole on both sides of the widest part of the foot, one hole on both sides of the foot just forward of the ankle, and one hole on both sides of the foot just a little forward of the heel.

Cut two 36-inch pieces of twine for each child. To lace the sandals, start at the big toe; insert one end of twine on one side of big toe, and the other end on the other side of the big toe. Next bring the twine back up through the sandal next to the widest part of the foot, and cross the twine across the top of the foot. Insert the ends of the twine back through the sole and cross under the heel. Finally bring the twine back up through the holes on either side of the heels and wrap twice around the students ankles. Tie in a bow.

These sandals won’t hold up very well outside, but they are fun to wear around the classroom.

Hope these instructions were easy to understand. If not, I can make a jpeg of each step, please use my email address above to let me know if you need me to take this extra “step.”

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Let’s Do Lunch Club

I am a children’s minister and wanted a way for presence to be known at the schools, so I do what I call a Let’s Do Lunch Club. Every Monday and Thursday, during the school year, I put out two notebooks. These two notebooks have the child’s name, the name of the school they attend, the time of their lunch, and the teacher’s name, and all of the dates, all ready printed on the paper, for Mondays and Thursdays of the school year. The kids fill out all the information and I eat lunch with the kids as the dates come up. After I eat lunch with them, I place their names on the ministry board where everyone can see it. The kids can go up to the board and see if their name is on it, who has eaten with me and who hasn’t. This is one of the best things that I have ever done in the program to get to know the kids and the teachers as well. When I come up to the school, the secretary sees me coming, has my pass ready and with a smile says, “So who are you eating with today?”

The only advice I would give is that you ask the principal permission to do this. It is basically an announcement of intentions and they want to make sure that you will not attempt to prosyletize or witness to kids in the school. Make sure you tell the principal that you understand his/her position on the matter and that you will comply completely. Also, let him/her know that you are there to eat lunch with the children only. Because of my involvement in that area, I have been asked to substitute and have been invited to read at schools, attend volunteer recognition meetings, etc, in just one year of doing this.

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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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Have the kids sit in a circle and pick one to be it… The “it” is the Cat and chooses another kid to go up to and Meow at (some do it fancy, some loud, some with eyes crossed). If the person chosen can get out the phrase, “No Kitty, I don’t want you,” with no smiling or no laughing, they are safe and the “it” person has to go to someone else. If they can’t help but laugh, they are now “it” and try to get someone else… This can get pretty hilarious, as the kids will find it hard to laugh having everyone laugh around them.

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Walking like Peter

To illustrate the story of Jesus calling Peter to walk on the water when Peter challenged Christ to call him…
Here is the challenge…
To walk on a “tight rope”
Take a rope and have a volunteer to hold one end, you hold the other. Hold the rope about waist high. Challenge another volunteer to walk on the rope like a trapeze artist. Most of the kids will laugh and no one will attempt it. Talk about how impossible it would be to walk on the rope and relate it to the story of Peter and his losing sight of Jesus (by his own accord) but the catch is, that Jesus make it available to us to stay focused and to not lose faith in Him. At this point, i put the rope on the ground and then ask if they can walk on it. remember, the original task was to walk on the rope, not specifying where it would be when they did, they just assumed because I was holding the rope in the air that they had to walk on it in the air. Once it is laid on the ground, Jesus makes it possible for us to follow him.

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Blinded Wheelbarrow Race

Everyone knows how to play the traditional wheelbarrow game by holding onto a person’s ankles and they walk with their arms. This is the same idea with a couple twists.

Have everyone get a partner, then each team receives a blindfold. In the room place chairs that stagger back and forth for them to go around, for my youth group I set up two sets of staggering chairs that were identical so that two teams could go at the same time and they had the same “course” to go through. Have two teams line up and go when you tell them to, the blindfolded wheelbarrow person has no clue where they are going, so the person holding their ankles has to tell them directions. The first team back across the line wins!

This game was a huge hit for my Sr. High students, it got very funny as they were bumping into each other and into the chairs because their drivers were not very good! Very easy game with little preparation and lots of fun!

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