Manoah and his wife are an important part of Samson’s story, the Nazirite vow is made in conception, formed before the child is born. For some this is a strange concept, that Samson had no choice, that he is a hero we can’t hope to imitate. These activities play with the concepts of being a Nazirite, and the idea of angelic messengers.
That looks like a… – The idea of this game is to identify a picture while only being able to see a small amount. Take a large envelope and cut a small hole in the side (a hole punch will do this neatly, don’t worry about having holes on both sides). slip a picture into the envelope and give it to the children. The children will probably try and more the picture about to see as much as possible. Have the last picture be one of an Angel.
Samson flip cards – Print and play with your Samson cards. Lay out the cards face down and have the youngsters take turns to look for pairs. If using before the story then have the children hold up each card as the person/symbol is mentioned in the story. If using after the story, when a pair is found, have the child say how the character / symbol appeared in the story.
I would always be… – This activity is to looks at what things we chose and what things were decided for us. Sit the children in a circle and make sure there is an odd number of players by adding or subtracting a leader. Take turns to give a fact about yourself with one being predetermined (family name, first name, hair colour, gender, language spoken etc) and the next being something chosen (favourite food, dress sense, friends etc), don’t let children repeat the same fact about themselves, or for older groups a fact that’s already been mentioned. when someone repeats they are out of the game.
Chinese whispers – This classic game is a great way to talk about how Manoah wanted to hear the news himself.
Lost in the flames – For this activity you will need to print out some pictures of flames. Do an online image search for ‘flames’, if you are low on ink then try adding ‘white background’. Hand out the pictures and ask the children if they can see any pictures in the shapes of the flames. This sounds difficult but will probably be easier than you imagine. Budding artists may even like to draw on the picture, use a plastic overlay of laminate if you want to sue again. at the end talk about how people used to offer things to God by burning them.
Messenger relay – Set up a little relay race with one side of the room being Earth and the other side being heaven. Have each team take turns to transport part of the message from heaven to Earth. This message is taken from verse 5 of Judges 13 – “You will have a son, he will be a Nazirite. He will take the lead in delivering Israel.” Once they have the pieces, arrange the parts to discover the message.