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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Treasure Hunt Lesson

This lesson is to encourage pre-teen to teenage kids to find the treasures in the Bible for themselves. It involves the use of concordances, bibles, encyclopedias, and will require the design of a game board that looks like a treasure map.
Start the class off in Matthew 13: 44-45, and discuss how the Kingdom of God is like a treasure, and that we can use the Bible to find treasures that God wants us to have.
For the first activity, we bring a group of encyclopedias into the middle of the room. Break the group into teams of two or three. Give each of the teams an index card with a specific subject on it. i.e. names of different animals, names of different countries, names of different states. (Make sure that you check in the encyclopedias to make sure that the words you are giving them to look up are in there.) Give them a list of questions that they need to find the answers to about the subject that you give them. (If your using a grouping of animals you can ask: “What does your animal like to eat?”, “Where does your animal live?”.) Give the teams 5-10 minutes to look up the answers in the encyclopedias. When the time is up ask the group questions about what they learned that they didn’t know before the activity.
Discuss with the group the purpose of concordances, and how they can be used, like the encyclopedia, to find out where to get information in the Bible about a subject. Have a map designed large enough so that all the kids can see the different places. You can name the places after biblical events, with a treasure chest at the end. Design questions that will make them look up the answers in the concordances. (i.e. How many times is the word “Christian” found in the bible? What scripture(s) talk about loving your enemies? What is the only book in the Bible that does not have the word/name God in it?) Divide the class into reasonably sized teams. Each team gets their own concordance. Read a question, and the first team to have the correct answer gets to move to the next place on the “treasure map” closer to the treasure at the end.
This activity was a huge success in our preteen class. They learned that there was more in the Bible than they knew about, and that they were capable of finding these things if they looked for them.

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Goin’ On A Picnic

The leader explains to the group that he is going on a picnic, and any of them can come along with him…provided they bring the something appropriate with them. The leader starts by saying his name and one thing he will bring…for example, my name is Tim and I’m bringing some tea to the picnic. Each person playing the game must then do the same thing, and the leader will tell him or her whether or not he or she can come. The trick is, a person can only come if the thing they are bringing begins with the same first letter as their name. Go around the circle until everyone has figured it out.

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Toe Fencing

Cool game and if set to music, looks like a new kind of dance. All players pair off and lock hands and try to tap the top of one of their partner’s feet with their own feet. Players hop around trying to avoid being stomped on. After being tapped 3 times, that player is out and the winning partner challenges another winner. The game continues till only one player is left. Lots of fun!

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Chinese Pillow Tag

Remember Chinese Tag? Well we had a “Pillow Night” that required some ingenuity. You play it just like freeze tag. There are 1-3 taggers depending on how many people you have with pillows. The non-taggers have pillows as well. Taggers can freeze people by hitting the non-taggers with the pillow. The only way to un-freeze them is by passing your pillow and the tagged persons pillows underneath the tagged persons legs. We had a blast with this. If you are in a wide area, section it off with boundries and have fun!

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Big Girl/Little Girl SleepOver

My husband and I work with the junior high kids at our church. We to offer activities that build relationships with each other and within the church body as much as possible. I think junior high kids are often mis-labeled as having bad attitudes and being difficult to work with. We believe this age group is the best age to set a foundation of what real friendships are, how to encourage each other, how to build others up, how to look at other’s needs, etc. That’s how
this idea began.

The Big Girl/Little Girl Sleep Over was an overnight at the church where each girl in the youth group requested a younger girl in the church to ‘buddy up’ with for an overnight event. The girls who didn’t know any little girls or who didn’t go to our church regularly, I assigned a little girl to them. First I got a definite list of Big Girls for the night. Then I personally called the mothers of the little girls to explain what we were doing and to invite them. That way, it came from one adult to another and if a little girl wasn’t available, I could substitute a new little girl with no hurt feelings.

The event went from 7pm until 10am the next morning. We held it at the church because there was more room for everyone! All the girls brought the regular stuff for a sleepover. The big girls brought their makeup and hair stuff. The little girls brought their favorite board games and favorite book to be read aloud and videos.

We made sure it was 1 big girl to 1 specific little girl. The big girl took complete charge of the little girl the whole time. We had a couple little games to help them get to know each other, then snack time, then we turned them loose to do the make up stuff! First the big girls did the little girls make up and hair and fingernails and toes. Then the little girls did the same for their big girls! We took videos and pictures of each pair. They surprised us and spent about 2 hours doing that! And they ALL loved it!

Then the big girls played the little girls’ board games. It was wonderful to watch the junior high girls playing “Pretty Pretty Princess” or “Clue Jr.” and interacting with these little girls (all about 4-6 years old). Big girls were in charge of getting little girls in PJ’s and getting sleeping stuff all ready. The girls even slept by each other.

Video time got most of the girls quieted down and ready to sleep. Then we let the big girls enjoy some time together after the little girls were all tucked in and asleep. In the morning the big girls got little girls fed and dressed and packed up and ready to go.

Both big girls and little girls loved it. It taught the big girls about mentoring and the little girls were enthralled that a teenager gave her so much attention. The parents of the little girls were thrilled with the junior high girls and the parents of the junior high girls were so proud of them. It was a positive experience that really touched a lot more lives than I expected.

We’ve decided to make it an annual event and the girls are already talking about next year!

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Hot Potato Keep Away

This is a very fun, active game that a lot of kids seem to really like. It works best with 5-15 kids, but if you have more kids you can have more than one game going at a time.
Start out by getting everyone in a circle about arms length apart or more. Start by having someone pass the ball to anyone he chooses. The person needs to catch the ball and pass it quickly to someone else. If the ball is dropped or the player holds the ball too long before passing then that person goes into the middle of the circle. If the pass was not very catchable and was not caught than the thrower must go into the middle. Once someone is in the middle things get more fun. The person in the middle can intercept a pass to get out of the middle. If he knocks a pass down than the thrower is in the middle along with him. The final player not in the middle is the winner. I usually say that the “potato” is no longer hot when there is only a few players left so that they can run around everyone and try to pass it to each other. There is no contact between players. I also try not to let players stand in front of one person the whole time to try to intercept the ball, or get so close to the thrower that he has no room to pass the ball or can’t see. The only problem with this game is I get into it too much and try too hard to win. Have fun!

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Parable of the Sower

To make the parable of the sower more exciting, I made it edible. I made a dirt cake from pudding and crushed Oreos, which served as the ground. For the thorny ground I added stick pretzels. For the rocks I scooped out most of the pudding and filled the space with peanut M&Ms. For the path I cleared a, well, path, of Oreos and left it plain pudding. The seeds were candy corn. I told the story, and then the kids each took a candy corn. We prayed that we would be fertile ground for God’s word, and then we ate our lesson! Anything with food always works…

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Red Rover!

I used to play this is primary school. I think this is an oldie!

Two large even teams separate and stand in a line and link arms. the two teams stand at opposite ends of the ‘field’ facing each other. One team starts and shouts ‘red rover, red rover, we call ‘Helen’ over’.

Helen the has to run over to the other team and has one try to break one of the linked arms! If she is unsuccessful then she has to join that team, if she is successful then the 2 people who’s link was broken must join her team. the other team does the same.

The winning team is the one that has the most people.

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Everyday Thanksgiving

At the end of each day, think about all that your family did for you.
Take the time to thank them for each thing you can remember. If this is done daily, how much thanksgiving will your family offer to God by the end of the week? It would then be a joy to offer that sacrifice of praise in His sanctuary on Sunday morning!

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