This story of Judas is crammed full of symbols, objects, and motivations to bounce off. From the silly to the deep and reflective there is a real mix of ideas here that can be used to springboard your group into one aspect of the story for discussion. One thing the games don’t do is vilify Judas.
The coin hunt – Explain to the children that Judas has lost the 30 pieces of silver and needs to find them all before he can go and give them back! Hide the coins round the room and have the children find them. If you don’t want to use real coins then pictures of circles wrapped in silver foil work well.
No not me – Have all the children sit in a circle, close their eyes and place their hands behind their backs. Walk around the outside of the circle and gently place a token (a sweet works well) in the hands of one child. Go round the circle and allow each child to ask one other child a question – either ‘do you have it?’ or ‘does your neighbour have it?’ the child then needs to either reveal their hands or reach to feel their neighbours hands. Linking into the ideas who would betray Jesus wasn’t obvious to the rest of the group and that Jesus had to be identified by a kiss.
Pin the ear – A silly variation on pin the tail on the donkey but this time with Malchus (the servant) and his ear. I’d recommend sticky tack rather than pins. Click on the small image for the big version
Flip the coins – I love this simple classic idea of tiddlywinks being flipped into a small piece of cloth to represent the coin purse. For those new to the game you have small plastic disks with smooth edges, and a larger squidger used to press the edge of the disk causing it to ‘jump’. The aim is to get your wink (plastic disk) to the correct target. If you have a set of the real things then use them, if not they can be substituted with counter pieces. If your pieces don’t have a smooth edge then you’ll find it easier to play on the carpet.
Not a sword – Try and get hold of a toy sword for this alternative activity. Give the children the toy and ask them what it is, then tell them it’s not a sword! Jesus told Peter to put away his sword so Peter needed to find a different use for it. Challenge the kids to come up with different uses for the object.
Save me, Save me charades – Hand out slips of paper and have the children write the baddies they come across in life, these can be homegrown bullies, wider world wars, natural disasters, lack of or excess things etc. Place the slips in a container and have the children draw one and act it out. link to the theory that Judas wanted Jesus to save the Jewish nation and lands from Roman occupation.