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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Sin Burial

Have the kids write down a sin, problem or something preventing them from being close to God. Have a “funeral procession” to a prearranged site, dig a grave (complete with a marker) and have the kids toss their “sins” into the grave with a prayer of commitment. Cover the grave and the marker can remain as a permanent reminder of this commitment.
*** Be sensitive to the youth. If there has been a recent death in the church or the life of a teen it’s obviously better suited for another time.

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Body Part Musical Chairs

Have everyone form a big circle of chairs with the chairs facing outward. Remove one chair. Have music ready. When the music starts everyone must walk around the chairs (again it’s fun if you make them jog). When the music stops, a caller yells out a body part. Then everyone races to touch that body part to a chair, one person per chair only. If they touch a chair before the body part is called, they are out. The one person who doesn’t get a chair is also out. To speed it up, you can remove more chairs. We usually start out simple – nose, hair, left elbow, etc. but towards the end we get more complicated – your bare feet, someone else’s left hand (they must grab one of the people who are already out). The object is to be the last one left.

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Sand Castles

Our youth group had a beach party in the fellowship hall in January–with all the beach gear, music, attire, etc. Most fun was dumping a large load of damp sand in the basement (cement floor) and having a sand castle (team) contest. Not real spiritual but chased away the winter doldrums and was great fun – we gathered 42 youth! We also had boat races in a large wadding pool.

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Bisquick Communion

Try at a retrea. Pass paper cups half-filled with Bisquick during breakfast. Get everyone to mix some liquid with the Bisquick to form a dough (milk, orange juice, coffee, maple syrup, whatever). Get each person to place their lump of dough on a greased cookie sheet. Then the dough is pressed together lightly to form a loaf but not enough to mix the individual lumps together. After the dough is allowed to rise, bake the loaf. At the communion service, the loaf is broken and passed around. Perhaps you can discuss how communion symbolizes that we are all individuals but we become one “mixed up” loaf through Jesus Christ.

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Box Turnover

For this game you will need two tables and two tablecloths that will overlap. Also several assorted cardboard boxes and objects to go in the boxes as well as a scary mask or wig. Select one person (boy works best) and send all others from the room. Place the boxes upside down with the object under them. Have your helper put on the mask or wig and put them under the table with their head between the two tables, arrange the tablecloth so that you can’t see the break in the table or the person under it. Place a box over your helper’s head as well. Bring in the players one at a time and tell them they are being timed. They need to turn over the boxes and put the object under them into the box. Get ready for screams when they come to the head. After they have completed this, they may watch the others. Girls are more frightened than guys, you can let the guys watch and just send the girls out. Also they should be somewhere where they can’t hear the screams.:)

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Trusting Jesus

I read Romans 10:9 and explained briefly that to be saved we must believe in Jesus Christ. Then I read James 2:19 and asked them that since the devil believes does that mean that the devil is saved. I allowed the kids to try to answer the question. I then set a regular folding chair at the front of the room and told the kids to imagine the chair to be Jesus. I explained that what it meant to believe in Jesus was that we had to lean on, depend on and trust in Jesus to get us to Heaven. I then told them that if we pretend this chair is Jesus then I must sit on the Chair to get to heaven. First I sat down on a table near the chair. I then explained although I knew who Jesus (the chair) was, by choosing to sit on the table I would not get to heaven. I then picked up the chair and carried it with me. I explained by going to church or reading my bible I could not get to heaven because I still hadn’t trusted in Jesus(sat in the chair). Finally I sat in the chair (trusted in, leaned on, depended on Jesus)and I was able to get to heaven. I used this illustration with 3rd – 6th graders and it really seemed to make sense to them.

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Feeding 5000

Ask the group who would like some bubble gum (hopefully everyone). Ask one of them to come up and hand them one piece of bubble gum and tell them to give everyone some gum. Of course they will not understand or think it is possible (the disciples reaction to Jesus when he told them the same thing). Then you can say “Let’s Pray”. While you are praying have a bucket of bubble gum hidden and grab it and when you finish the prayer toss out the bubble gum. Its a good parallel and attention getter for the start of a bible study.

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Materials Required:
– rope, and something with significant weight.

Objective: Don’t get hit by the rope or the weighty object on the end of it.

How it works:
Someone in the middle of a circle of people swings the rope around in a circle about ankle height while the youth jump over it.

Ages- pretty much >9 or 10 depending on athletic ability

Numbers if there are much more than 20 the game stops too often, 3-10 is probably ideal(not including swinger)

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Black Ghost

Send one person out of the room. Encourage the rest of the group to pick an object in the room or on somebody’s person. The object can be large like a piece of furniture, or small like a button on a shirt. Once the object has been determined, the person comes in and the leader points to random items in the room while asking if it was the object picked. Here’s the trick, before you point to the object the class picked, point to an object that’s black. When you point to the object the class picked, the person sent outside should guess the object correctly. (It’s good to have the person sent out to know the game in order for it to work.) After you play a few times, invite to some of the group to try and guess an object to see if they’ve figured it out. The group will go nuts trying to figure out how you know what object was picked when you were out of the room.

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