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The Christmas season is packed full of parties and events designed to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Here are some games to spice up your party!
You will need: gingerbread people (bought or homemade); icing in different colours and piping bags (or bought letter icing); other cake decorations, such as chocolate chips, sugar strands or metallic balls
Give each child and young person a gingerbread person and show them the decorating materials you have brought with you. Challenge them to decorate their biscuit as best they can within a certain time limit.
Once everyone has finished, have a gingerbread parade and judge which should be the winners. You could have different categories, such as ‘Best use of icing’, ‘Most ingenious hat decoration’ or ‘Most likely to be sold in a bake sale’.
You will need: lots of boxes; Christmas wrapping paper; sticky tape; scissors; paper; marker pens
Before the session, write out the words: “A Saviour has been born to you” on a sheet of paper and cut the sentence up into individual words. Put each word in a box and then wrap each box with Christmas wrapping paper.
Place the presents at one end of the room and line the children up at the other. One child runs to the pile of presents, brings it back to the group, unwraps it and finds the word. Then the next player brings back another present, and so on. The team then has to work together to put the words of the verse in the right order.
If you have a large group, create more than one set of presents using a different pattern of paper for each set. Split the group into smaller teams and play against each other. You could adapt the game for older age groups by including presents that contain forfeits or other challenges, such as “Do ten press-ups”, “Tear up one of the words you have already collected”, “Blindfold the next player and direct them using only your voice”.
CHRISTMAS KARAOKE CHALLENGE
You will need: a karaoke machine or microphones and a PA; a laptop or tablet; access to the internet
Hold your own Stars in their Eyes or X Factor challenge. Invite the children or young people to select a Christmas song and prepare it for a performance. Karaoke tracks are widely available on music streaming services or YouTube. Once everyone is ready, ask the performers to sing their songs in turn.
You could make this a competitive event with X Factor judging or Eurovision Song Contest voting. Alternatively, you could simply enjoy the performances!
You will need: chairs
Create a Christmas version of the game ‘Fruit salad’. Set out a circle of chairs, providing a chair for all but one player. Everyone should sit down except for the player without a chair, who stands in the middle of the circle. Choose four or five Christmas-related foods, such as turkey, mince pies, satsumas, roast potatoes or stollen and assign them to members of the group (including the player standing in the middle).
The player in the middle should shout out one of these foods, and all the players who were given it should stand up and run to an empty chair. The person in the middle should also try to sit in an empty chair. The person left without a chair shouts out another Christmas food, and so on. The player on the middle can also shout out ‘Christmas pudding’, at which point everyone should get up and find a new seat. Keep playing until the group runs out of steam.
You will need: a list of items to photograph; cameras or smart- phones
Before the session, devise a list of items the young people or children have to photograph. Make sure they can find or create them all at the place you’re playing. You could include things such as a mince pie, a Nativity set or a Christmas tree. To make it more imaginative, add in a few more abstract things, such as surprise, celebration or goodwill to all people.
Split the group into smaller teams and make sure everyone has a camera or smartphone. The teams should take photographs of the different items on the list. For the more abstract ideas they might have to create a tableau or scene they can photograph. (Make sure you follow your church’s safeguarding policy when taking photos of children or young people.)
When everyone has finished, show the different teams’ photos and, if you’d like to, choose a winner.
Don’t forget all the classic party games, such as pass the parcel, musical chairs, musical statues, pin the tail on the donkey (or reindeer), blind man’s buff, the chocolate game and more. No matter how old-fashioned they seem, it’s more than likely that children and even young people will be happy to play them!
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