Ruth was poor and a foreigner but she had strength and God’s blessing on her side. These games look at her strength and the practice of gleaning. Some are best as introductory games and others are better used after the story.
To hunt to Glean – Grab a few big tubs and fill them with brown or yellow tissue paper. This is a hunt for the grain in the sheaf and mud. Use real grain or small objects like craft gems. Give each team a minute to find as much grain as they can. Talk about how gleaning was a hunt, and one that was often messy.
Stranger – Give one group of children the following instructions – you must only speak using the letter ‘h and p’, you must bow before you talk, you must not touch anything’. Tell the other children that they are going to meet a new group of people, they should welcome them and try and find out their customs. Give the 2 groups 5 minutes maximum to meet. At the end ask the two groups how they felt and what obstacles they found to being together. Talk about Ruth being a foreigner in Bethlehem and how life must have felt strange to her.
Make a Bushel – A bushel is about 36 litres in volume. It’s a huge amount for one woman to pick in a day. Use any containers you can find to measure out a bushel with the children. Talk about how huge a blessing it was that God sent Ruth to Boaz’s field and how this amount of gleaning is astounding.
That’s the Limit – Ask for a strong volunteer. Tell the group you are going to test how strong this person is by asking them to carry something. Give the volunteer a box to hold and congratulate them on their strength. Then add a coat on top of the box, then shoes and so forth until the person can’t carry any more. older children can have things balanced on their head and draped over their shoulders. After the game talk about weights we carry, weights we can see and weights we can’t see like poverty. Link to the weights Ruth may have carried at this point in the story.
Puzzle pieces – Print out the images of Ruth and Boaz then snip them into puzzle pieces. Have the children make the puzzle before the story to introduce the characters. Want a longer game – hide the piece s round the room!