There are so many factors of the prodigal son, the willfulness of youth, the mistakes we all see coming, the journey, the pigs and ‘unfair’ cry of the brother, the acceptance of the father with his loving forgiveness and joyful welcome home. There are so many games that could tie into these themes but here are just a few that should suit a variety of ages and group setups.
Pig food – This game is ideally played small balls, like those you’d find in a ballpit. Pigs naturally root for their food using their snouts (noses) and having kids do this to find hidden objects would imitate that action. Split the teams into 2 and have one from each team root for at object at a time. If you want to incorporate a message in this game I’d recommend laminating words to build it.
A journey to home– Click on the picture for a link to this simple board game. It’s a simple game that quite literally illustrates the journey of the Prodigal.
Munching out / Humans eat last – A silly game suitable for groups able to eat. Designate a ‘human’ (or 2 for large groups) who has to feed the pigs (other member of the team). Each human must fetch a single half biscuit from a plate and give it to a pig until all the pigs are fed, pigs with no food can squeal! Only if all the pigs are silent can the human take a bite of the biscuit. The record for eating a full digestive biscuit is 27.38 seconds.
Obstacle course – The Prodigal son must have returned with many stories of his adventurous travels. Travel your kids though an obstacle course using whatever you have on hand. Which obstacles are hardest? Which prevent you from returning to the start?
Unfair – This is a demonstration game so it works best when you either pull a few volunteers up or work in small teams of 5. Have your 5 volunteers stand up and each will be assigned a task, one at a time. Complete each task before moving onto the next. These are the 5 suggested tasks though you could modify them for your space and group. Have the first person run ten laps of the room. The second person should do 20 jumping jacks. The third person sings a nursery rhyme, the forth person claps three time, have the fifth person simply needs to smile. Award ever volunteer equally. Ask the kids if you think this is a fair reward? Link to the older brother.
Lost son – print a picture of the prodigal or use a small doll and hide it in your room. Have the children search for it. Once they find it ask them how they wish to celebrate. Use the picture or doll and build a small party for it.