The account of Young Jesus in the temple is a well loved account of youthful contribution, but when it comes to games and activities a question and answer session may not grab the kids attention so much – here are a few activities that may let them get the wiggles out a bit more effectively.
Finding Jesus – A ‘hide the thimble’ alternative. Using the hero’s post, print a small picture of the Jesus graphic and hide it in the room. Variants – play as rounds where Jesus is re-hidden, or you can print multiple copies and have each child find one. Link to Mary and Joseph searching the city.
Shadow monsters – For this game you need a setup that allows you to make shadows, a bright bulb at waist height etc and a camera. Have the kids team up with a partner and cast a shadow. create monsters, kids with extra limbs or heads, antenna etc. Take a picture of each creation as it’s made. Talk about how we see shadows as both a sign of what is and what is to come.
Treasure hunt – Having a treasure hunt with clues links really well to this story. Jesus leaves a lot of clue as to what he is an will become, plus Mary and Joseph miss the obvious and spend days searching the city rather than recognise where a child of the divine would run to.
I’m coming to listen… – A variant of when I go to grandma’s this memory game is about asking Jesus questions. sit in a circle and the first person says “I am going to listen to Jesus and ask him (insert question)” remembering Jesus was a child the questions can be as deep as ‘why do people suffer’ or as frivolous as ‘what is your favourite colour’. The second person then repeats “I am going to listen to Jesus and ask him (insert first persons question) AND (insert their question)” This continues with the question list growing. Talk about how Jesus often used questions to get people to search deeper and while we don’t know all the answers now one day the bible tells us that we will. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
One day I’ll be… – have the kids take turns to stand and say, “one day I’ll be…” and then have everybody do actions to represent their chosen thing. For example a fireman may mine hosing down a building, a chef could mix some batter etc. Remember this is a game and rules of logic don’t apply, one day the child could be a lion or a tiny baby! Talk about how each child used their platform moment to influence the crowd.