This passage can feel a little abstract as it relies on symbolism so the activities suggested here stick pretty solidly with exploring bread. For the older kids we can spread out to the ideas of symbolism and the confusion of the crowd. There are some printable ideas here as well to try and give you variety without moving away on a tangent.
Bread dominoes – Print this sheet of dominoes and play a round. It’s a small set so double up if you have extra kids. Grab the printout by clicking on the picture.
Crumbs – Jesus teaching was full of really obvious hints about his future but the disciples didn’t see it. Set up a treasure to find crumbs (words) that make up the phrase – I am the bread of life (6 words)
I give, you ask – this is an association word game that you take turns playing. the first person says “I give you…” followed by an object, the next one replies “I ask for…” followed by a slightly different object. The objects must be linked but not the same, you also can’t repeat an object. Play in pairs or a large circle.
example : I give you bread, I ask for butter, I give you jam, I ask for fruit, I give you salad, I ask for meat…
Bread buddies – bread is amazing and can be used to sculpt shapes out of, cut with cookie cutters and stick together. Use a few slices to bread to make a bread character.
Craft puzzle – one of the crafts for this lesson would also make a good icebreaker game. Split the kids into sets and give them the bread slices without the template and ask them to solve the puzzle. (Image linked)
Whispers – (also known as Chinese whispers) The crowd in the story went off on a tangent by discussing and arguing among themselves rather than listening to what Jesus was really saying. this classic game of passing along whispered messages illustrated that perfectly.