Jacob and Esau may not be the best picture of brotherly love but rash decisions, silly tricks and family promises make this story utterly believable. These games will work for one child or many. Use the key to identify the best game for your group.
Under the stew – stick some pictures to the inside base of some bowls. Using dry goods like beans, corn, or flour cover the picture. Have the child move the ‘stew’ around to guess what picture it hides.
Divide and share – 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?
Gifts – wrap 3 small gifts, one much better than the others. Have the children choose 1 to unwrap. How do they feel about their choice. Unwrap the other two. How do they feel now?
Unequal compensation – Split the group into sets. Explain to each set that they will have to complete a challenge to get a reward. Set each group the same challenge but offer then different rewards – ie one group gets a single sweet and one group gets 3 each. Have the challenge be something small like a relay race round the room. Once everyone has completed the challange have a rewards session so each group sees what the other group got. Talk about how they all got exactly what they had agreed to, but still it wasn’t fair.
Stew relay – This silly relay race ties into the idea of Jacob rushing to get food ready to taunt Esau with (totally apocryphal). Set out ingredients one side of the room, these can be photographs/images or empty boxes and containers. Give each team a recipe and a large saucepan. have them run one at a time to get the ingredients. They need to recreate the recipie, so you can include multiples of one item and ‘red herring’ items that nobody will need.