The boy with the picnic in the story of the feeding of the 5000 is just one seemingly insignificant character in a sea of people, but his courage to offer what he could fed everyone. These games link to the story, the idea of sharing and the significance of one.
Falling Dominoes – grab a set of dominoes or jenga blocks or anything you can make a domino tumble line with and give the kids 3 minutes to set out as long a domino tumble as they can make. Split it into teams if you want to make a competition.
Divide and share – Sit the children in a circle or round a table and give each child a piece of paper. Ask them to fold it in half as many times as they can. 8 is the limit. Talk about how small we managed to make the piece of paper by keeping it together. Now get them to open their piece of paper up and tear it in half, placing one half in the middle of the circle. Repeat this until you have just a tiny piece of paper. How many times did they tear their paper when they give it away?
Basket relay – for this game you’ll need objects to represent fish and bread, plus 12 containers to represent baskets. Take the objects and have the children play disciples by carefully placing them around the room as they ‘distribute the food’. When all the objects are distributed they need to collect the ‘leftovers’ in the 12 baskets. Split the group in 2, sending one child from each group out to ‘fill’ a basket at a time. If possible have 5 ‘loaves’ and ‘2 fish’ per basket.
Lean on me – A bit like a human domino tumble this exercise relies on sharing the strength of those next to you so is ideal for a group of kids with a similar build. Have everyone stand in a circle and join hands (hold each others wrists if hands is unsuitable for your group) slowly have the group lean to the right, left, or backwards supporting each others weight.
Below the napkin – This is a beautiful little illustration that you can teach your kids, a sort of magic trick they can try out with their friends. Take a bowl or basket and place in some food to represent the loaves and fishes, crackers work well. Place a napkin over the food and then lay out 5 pieces to represent loaves and 2 fishes too. Show the children the finished setup, saying the lunch looks small but the boy was willing to share. Mimic Jesus by holding up one cracker or other food item and breaking it in half, you’ll probably get crumbs breaking off. Grab the napkin to clean up your crumbs then get the kids to look in the bowl again. Let the children try it out.