This passage is sometimes called the 10 virgins or the 10 bridesmaids – what we know about this is that they were young girls. A gaggle of girls waiting with the bride would probably be quite a fun, if not exhausting, way to spend an evening, it’s not surprising they fell asleep. Here is a selection of games that tie into various elements of the story, choose the one that would best suit your group, age range and setup.
Hidden light – play hide the object with use a torch of glow stick. How easy was it to find? Was it easier to find when the room was brighter? Did it’s light make it easier to discover?
This passage about the religious hypocrites holds such a lot of symbols but all of them have at their root the idea of pride. This is reflected in these games, each taking the ideas from a slightly different angle.
Inverted Mirror – this mirroring game takes two people facing each other but they are going to copy each others actions in reverse – ie if one moves left the other will move right. Have both people start by sitting down on chairs. As one person moves to become bigger/taller, the other moves to become smaller/shorter – generally this if one person leads at first. Talk about how Jesus reversed the importance we place of people in this passage.
The question about taxes isn’t really asking Jesus’s opinion on economic systems, it’s trying to trap him. These games play with the idea of questions, the odd pairing of the Herodians and the Pharisees and even give a nudge to what taxes are because sometimes kids get confused on this passage simply by this unknown word.
Tricky questions – have two hoops or marked spaces and ask the kid(s) a question they may know the answer to and assign two possible answers, one to each marked area. Have the kids run to the answer they think was right. At the end explain that Jesus managed to stand in both hoops in today’s story.
The parable of the Banquet guests is a strange one, on the one hand you have the amazing generosity of the banquet host, of king as he’s referred to in Matthews passage, but on the other hand you have the blatant failure of friendship from the invited guests. these games look at the idea of invitation, the roller coaster of emotions, and the idea of a party Here is a selection of games to suit a wide range of ages and set-ups. choose the game you would most like playing and your youngsters would respond to best.
Wipe that smile off your face – The first person pulls their silliest smile and directs it at each child in the circle, trying to make someone giggle or laugh. On the leaders mark they uses one hand to literally “wipe” the smile off their face, and hand it to the next person, and on it goes. This can get silly really quickly but shows how much infectious smiles and excitement can be.
The parable of the bad tenants is all about consequences, about unheeded messengers, about responses that should never have been an option. Jesus may be seem to be teasing the religious leaders with such a brash tale but the truth is that we all too easily forget that our actions send ripples into the future. Here is a selection of games to suit a wide range of ages and set-ups. choose the game you would most like playing and your youngsters would respond to best.
How many does it take – Cut up on magazine picture per child / team and place each picture into a separate bag. Have a child randomly pick one piece and try to guess what the whole picture is. Repeat until they guess or reconstruct the picture. Link this game to the idea of how many servants/prophets were sent.
This parable talks about the two sons and encourages us to reassess, to be willing to change your mind, to question our answers. The games therefore link to these key ideas and sprinkled in there is the idea of two, matching two, and counting.
Yes/No – Ask the youngster(s) if they can…(insert action) and have them shout out yes or no then as a single child specifically if they will….(insert action demonstrate or mime). examples – Can you do a star jump? Can you whistle? Can you tidy your room? Saying you can/will and doing are different things.
Within the parable of the vineyard owner there are two distinct themes you can pull out for games, that of the grape gathers task and that of the fairness of the wages, I’ve tried to give you a selection of games to represent both and that can also suit a variety of setups and spaces.
Grape toss – basically a beanbag toss game. You can use grapes or other small items and you need to toss them into various containers. For one child have them try and reach every container, for groups have each group assigned a different container to fill.
The Parable Jesus tells here is super simple and yet very deep. We all expect the senior servant to forgive the debt of the lower servant because we expect him to continue passing on the blessings, it jars at us that he would not do so. These games tie into that idea of flowing from one to another and the key theme of forgiveness.
Dominoes fall – This story shows how mercy, forgiveness and compassion should follow down from our heavenly father through us and to those we meet. Use dominoes, blocks, cardboard boxes or whatever you have on hand.
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