For people like Simon being a Zealot was a big deal, while some have suggested it may have been a mere nickname, this man was obviously full of religious fervour. Unlike the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other religious leaders Jesus’s message hit a note with the Zealots as he talked transformation, but Zealots were ready to use force to get their message across, and Jesus clearly disagreed. Also in this Story we meet the man with the withered hand, his transformation is not ideological but physical. These games look at aspects of the Zealots views, Simon’s commitment to God and transformation in general.
I will fight – for this activity you need a couple of toy swords or newspaper swords. Gather the children in a circle and put the swords in the middle. Remind the children that swords are weapons, and while these are toys, real weapons are not to be played with. Ask the children to come up with reasons why they might fight. This can be silly, I like red better than blue, I prefer apple juice to orange juice… etc. When you find a person on each side of the argument they can have a pretend fight for 30 seconds. Once most of the children have had a go ask for serious reasons, things actually worth getting hurt for. If they come up with a suggestion they can play fight with a friend as a reward. Zealots believed fighting was the way to convince people they needed to change, did fighting make anyone change their minds in this activity?
Foolish leader – play follow the leader, make it fun and interesting my making big shapes and adding sounds. At one point in the game have the leader do something it is either unwise or impossible for everyone to follow. Stop the game and talk about why it’s not always wise to follow everything someone does. start the game again, at the end discuss who would be a good leader to follow in life.
Character voices – This game involves a partial pack of playing cards and transforming your voice in really simple ways. First have the group learn the character voices – the joker (buzzing), the king (low), the queen (high), and the jack(nasal) – then shuffle the cards and hand them out, give them children 1 minute to find a complete set by suit, remember to use your silly voice – if you don’t have enough jokers have them find each other!
Expand – For the more artistic amongst us this guessing game uses some large balloons and a suitable pen – make sure it’s acid free and test beforehand. We’re going to make a shrivelled hand by drawing a hand on the blown up balloon and then deflating the balloon and hence the image. If you can’t find a pen that works then drawing with strips of coloured tape works too. Prepare a few balloons with basic shapes (circle, square, face) and have the kids guess what they are before you inflate them. If you have older kids they can try making their own – please note that balloons are a choking hazard!
The chocolate bar game – This is a traditional game for many involving a bar of chocolate on a plate and a dice. when the child rolls a six they can try and eat the chocolate. to make it harder they first must put on gloves, hat scarf and then only use a knife and fork to eat with. It’s a good game to show how rules can get in the way and also how hard it can be not to have full control of your hands.