I currently am working on several different decorations for a wedding reception, three half-done sewing projects, two painting projects for my kids to do, a couple of posts for the fabulous websites I contribute to, plus the fact that I'm trying get everything ready for a kid-less vacation (including painting my luggage) and everything that's involved in having things ready for grandma to stay with them.
Until I do get some of those other things done and ready to post, I'm going to share a few of the things we've done lately at church for mutual activities. I don't have many pictures because I didn't ask parents if I could include their kids. Also, I wasn't doing any of these activities with a blog post in mind--but if you have any questions, let me know!
If you're in a position where you need some activity ideas, maybe you can use one of these!
Family Feud (girls 12-18)
Create your own "survey" questions, or pick from these two great lists. I used a combination of church-related questions and regular ones. I just picked 4 answers for each question to keep them consistent.
Family feud questions 1
Family feud questions 2
To make a game board, cut 3 sides of a square in a piece of posterboard. Fold back the large square flap and cut into 4 strips. Line the edges of the "hole" with duct tape and attach small piece of tape on the end of each flap. This will keep the flaps closed, but the tape will pull off each time you need to reveal an answer.
Write all your answers on a long roll of paper
Pull the paper down so you can see it through your posterboard "window" Write each answer where it will be covered by one of the flaps.
Pull the paper down more and do the answers for the next question. Make sure you do this in the same order that you have your questions/ answers written out!
Set the board up on a table or something where it can hang down and the answer roll can be pulled down behind it, revealing the answers when you pull back the flaps. Cover the rest of the roll of answers with another piece of posterboard or sheet or something so they can't be seen beforehand.
Recycled Arts Contest (boys and girls 12-18)
Collect lots of boxes, cans, bottles and containers (rinsed and dried) and separate them out into several trash bags. Divide kids into groups of 4-6 and give them at least 2 bags, a pair of scissors and a roll of masking tape. Also have available other items like addition boxes, construction paper, markers, etc.
Give each team an envelope with a famous movie title in it the hopefully most people have seen. (we did things like Harry Potter, Elf, Wall-E, Finding Nemo) Then they are supposed to use their items to create characters or a scene, or something that represents that movie.
Provide silly prizes and awards if you want.
Cupcake Decorating (girls 14-15)
There are tons of easy ideas online, but this can be a great activity to bring in an outside expert to come teach! We had frosting, cupcakes and several kinds of candies and other toppings and we learned how to make apples, snowmen, grass, different bugs and animals, and then everyone got to make a few too.
Chopped (girls 12-18)
This "mystery box" cooking competition doesn't actually eliminate any teams....or involve any cooking. But we had a blast! Teams were assigned to create one dessert and one non-dessert with their items. When asked if they had to use every item, we said it could be worth extra points (but then we actually didn't do any points!)
We had 3 teams of 5 girls each, and they got the following food items:
Box 1--Strawberries, banana bread, 1 can beans, 1 can corn, mint patties, animal crackers, string cheese, tortilla chips
Box 2--Strawberries, banana bread, tomatoes, cream cheese, cucumber, spinach, graham crackers, chopped chocolate
Box 3--Strawberries, banana bread, chocolate pudding, coconut, refried beans, tortillas, Oreos, cheddar cheese
They all got a cutting board, 2 steak knives (I didn't want anyone brandishing giant cleavers :) 2 bowls and 2 plates.
Then everyone had access to: salt, pepper, sugar, butter, olive oil, utencils, a can opener, the microwave and a blender.
Want to know what they all came up with? I really wish I'd gotten pictures of all their creations, but I just wasn't thinking of that at the time!
Box 1--They made a dip by blending then microwaving their beans and string cheese together and adding the corn. They melted the mint patties, dipped the strawberries in it and covered them with crushed animal crackers.
Box 2--They cut the tops of their tomatoes, scooped them out to make a little cup and filled it with a salad of spinach, strawberries and cucumber. They mixed cream cheese with sugar, formed it into a ball and rolled it in chopped chocolate to serve with banana bread slices and graham cracker pieces.
Box 3--They made a bean and cheese burrito with spinach on the side and a chilled pie where the crust was made from banana bread crumbs, butter and coconut, and the filling was pudding with crushed oreos mixed in.
Leaders were able to sample all the items and we said what we loved about each one...no actual judging.
Girls were able to then eat their own creations. The rest of the time was used for cleaning up, and then we closed with a message about making our activity an analogy for life. We can look at the different ingredients as blessings and gifts (or challenges in some cases) that we've been given, and God can help us combine those into something wonderful. Ingredients can also represent people who may not seem to "go together" but often in unexpected ways we end up better because of each other.
Clothing Swap (girls 14-15)
Girls brought all kind of clothing and accessories...jewelry, scarves, even shoes that they (or sisters or even moms) weren't using any more and we set everything out on tables.
Girls drew numbers to determine who would get first pick. We did a few different rounds: 1 through 8 pick one item, then go backwards, 8 through 1 pick 2 items, etc. Then everyone got to pick 2 things, then 2 more, and then...grab whatever you want.
This way I think everyone got a few things that they really wanted. It was fun to watch them offering suggestions to each other on what might fit or look good, or how to alter something a little so that it could fit them.
And there you have it, a bit of what I've been up to lately. Now tell me some of your great youth activity ideas!