10-Minute Games That Can Make a Difference
Play-Doh and cookie cutters
Invest in a cheap set of cookie cutters and large tubs of Play-Doh (or make your own). When lag time arrives, simply spread butcher paper onto the floor or tables and let the children “make cookies" or “sandwiches" to practice for real life meal preparation as part of a homeless outreach program. Emphasize how important it is to make them attractive, so that when the time for the real activity arrives, they are ready to help mom and dad.
Musical instruments and noise makers
Relive Miriam’s joyful singing or the procession surrounding King David by letting the children make music or just noise and follow a leader marching around the room or yard. This combines music education with exercise and also serves as a rather audible reminder to parents that it is time to wrap up and get the kids. This activity does not work in a facility that is shared with other groups.
Black construction paper and colored chalk
Illustrate Genesis and the void: the children receive a black piece of construction paper. With the help of colorful chalk, they can now create a world of their own on the paper.
Thank you/promise ball toss
Let the children make a big circle, grab a couple of differently colored beanbags and instruct the kids to think of something for which they are grateful. Toss one bean bag (let’s say a red one) to a child, who will then say one thing for which s/he is grateful. Model the game a couple more times, but now have the child who shared toss the beanbag to another child. Stop the game.
Introduce the other beanbag (maybe this one is blue). Instruct the children to think of a promise they will make. Toss the blue beanbag to a child, who now promises something. An example could be “I promise to help my mom with the dishes." Keep it simple and realistic. Let the child toss the beanbag to another child. Stop the game.
Finally introduce both beanbags into the circle and let the children randomly throw the beanbags back and forth, with each child either saying “thank you" for something or making a promise. As confusing as this might sound, this is a fun activity that captures the children’s attention until the parents get there.