Run out of ideas for a fun activity for your disability ministry class? Need something that is fun for everyone and won't break the bank?
I was in the same boat this last week for the teen class at Southeast Christian Church. There are many activities we can all participate in that are fun, however, I want to tie in the main point from our lesson so that the group can hopefully take that with them when they leave church. We had a fun video to watch and the lesson covered the widow's offering as told via Mark 12:41-44 (NIVR):
41 Jesus sat down across from the place where people put their temple offerings. He watched the crowd putting their money into the offering boxes. Many rich people threw large amounts into them. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins. They were worth only a few pennies.
43 Jesus asked his disciples to come to him. He said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. That poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. 44 They all gave a lot because they are rich. But she gave even though she is poor. She put in everything she had. That was all she had to live on.”
Our discussion question was pretty deep and I was looking for a simple phrase to tie everything all together. After some looking around, I settled in on "God loves a cheerful giver." One week, our group really enjoyed taking a Bible verse that was scrambled and taping it up on a window. I don't mind repeating ideas that are good, but I am constantly seeking ways to make our class time fun and unique. What I did was adapt the verse scramble into an activity with a little bit of a racing involved. This was a great way to get everyone involved with an activity that does not take a ton of time to prep or even clean up once it is said and done.
- One blank poster for each team
- Pencil & color permanent markers
- Poker chips
- Color Duct tape
I sketched out the words on the poster and then outlined them with a permanent marker.
After I had the outline of the text, I went over all of the pencil marks with an eraser to clean it up. Next, I colored in the text with a highlighter. This doesn't have to be exact, just something to help pull the actual letter off of the background a little bit more will go a long way. Once that was done, I sketched out the puzzle pieces that I planned to cut out. If you plan on having multiple teams, like I did, then I would recommend using a different color for each team to keep them separated as best as possible.
From there, I cut out all of the puzzle pieces. I also used the eraser once more to clean up and additional pencil marks that I found.
With my puzzles ready and mixed up, I knew our group would put these together super fast. I didn't want to break the puzzles out and then 30 seconds later be standing there with nothing to do because they solved the puzzle too quickly. My thought was to add an additional "racing" component before getting to the puzzle.
I took purple Duct tape and made a square on the ground for each group. This was the group's "target" to aim for. I also marked a line on the ground indicating where they should stand to keep teams from walking all the way up to the target. With the poker chips in hand, each team got to toss the "coins" into the target and the team that got more of their stack of coins in their target got to the puzzle first. Now, I have to admit, this is how I envisioned all of it to work. During class, things went a little differently than I had planned, some not wanting to stay behind the taped line, walking all the way up to the target, and a few coordination issues. However, the poker chips were far better than using actual coins because they were softer.
If you have access to buckets or baskets, that might be a great option and keep the "coins" more contained than my square idea.
Since we all loved having these taped up on the big windows, we did that again.
If I am being totally transparent here, I oftentimes beat myself up about these activities. Will the class enjoy them? Will they remember the message? If their parents ask them what they learned in class will they remember our chat about buffalo wings and spiders or will they remember that God loves a cheerful giver? Is my idea too cheesy for my group? Will they hate it? Will they love it?
These are all questions that run through my mind every single week. If you find yourself in a similar situation my best advice to you to do what I have been doing: just keep trying. There have been weeks where everything was such a big hit and other weeks that felt more like a dud. Do your best and give the rest over to God. And don't forget to have fun in the process!