Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Snakes and Ladders
Play a game of snakes and Ladders with your group as a way of introducing that life has many ups and downs. Sometimes when we are the midst of difficulties we might ask where is God. Believing in God doesn’t guarantee that we will avoid hardship – but God is with us to help us keep moving forward.
In what way might the game of snakes and ladders be like life?
Exercise Relay game
Divide your group into teams and see who can complete the exercise course the quickest. EG, 5 sit ups, 5 push ups, 10 star jumps, and lift some not too heavy weights 10 times ETC. Those not running can act as spotters and encourage the team players.
(You will need: four bags of plain flour, plus a few spares in case they burst; a large plastic mat; stopwatch.)
Stand on the mat opposite a friend. Take two bags of flour each, one in each hand. Hold your arms out straight and hold for as long as possible. See who can hold out for the longest. Place the flour down when your arms are too tired. (Smaller bags of sugar could be used for younger children.) After trying to do it on their own offer them help. This should make it much easier to lift.
How did you feel after these two challenges?
What are some things that make you tired?
What are some of the things that make you feel refreshed or energised?
In this game, all of the children (except one or two hunters ) lie down on the floor in sleeping positions. Once they are settled, they are not allowed to move. The hunters walk through the room and try to make the sleeping lions move by making them laugh, telling them jokes, and so on. The hunters are not allowed to touch the lions. Once the lions have moved, they get up and join the hunters.
Decorate a small plant pot and fill with a bit of soil and plant some seeds for herbs or other small plant. Water helps the seeds grow and become stronger, like God can help us when we’re in trouble.
The review can happen at the time or later – it maybe by yourself or with others.
Some useful questions to help volunteers consider and learn from the session include:
- Has each child been able to participate in their own way?
- What went well and why?
- Has each child been able to reflect on what makes them tired and weary?
- What is there for you to learn from this session?
- What might you do differently another time?
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