It’s easy to take the story of Tabitha the dressmaker and use it as an excuse to dress up, and while some of these games acknowledge that, the real power in the story is the influence this very ordinary woman had and how her resurrection built a strong local church in a multi ethnic area.
Puzzle Cards – These puzzle cards (click on image for post) are great for introducing the character image and the idea of Tabitha as a dressmaker. There are so many ways to use these cards, as puzzles, as a pairs type game, as a treasure hunt or as a way to identify the real Tabitha by removing one piece from each puzzle except one. If you want a more formal card game try dealing each child 5 cards and have them return 2. Shuffle the returned cards and deal 2 to each child until someone finds a whole set.
Name scramble – Names are important in the bible and characters who have 2 names mentioned like Tabitha (Dorcas) do so for a good reason, it shows that her area was multi ethnic and multi lingual. In this game you are trying to build a name by searching for letters. When the children arrive write their names on small squares of paper, one letter at a time. Drop the letters into a large tub filled with rice or some other filling material like shredded paper. Have the kids dig out the letters until you build a name. Substitute the paper for fridge magnet letters or similar if you are sure of your kids in advance. Talk about how a name is only one way of identifying people.
Costume obstacle race – kids love obstacle races and this one has a Tabitha twist by making them dress up as they go along. After each obstacle place a piece of clothing (hats, gloves and tunics work well) that must be worn. Talk about how we all need clothing and how we choose what we wear to reflect who we are.
Call Peter – Peter was a busy disciple, he had been very close to Jesus and now the new followers of Jesus’ teaching kept calling him to go visit them. This is basically the game better known as ‘stick in the mud’ where one troublemaker tags people and then they can’t move, Peter must come tag them before they can move again.
We love you because – This is a lovely exercise for a more established group. Write each persons name on a piece of paper and put them in a hat (container). Have each child come pull a name from the hat and say something they like / admire / love about that person. Link to looking at why Tabitha had a big influence on the community.