A couple of years ago I had the privilege of teaching the first and second grade at our church Vacation Bible School. What a great bunch of kids! And what a rewarding experience.
After a couple of days I discovered that their schedule of music (a fantastic, high-energy session) followed by reflection and quiet discussion needed a bit of modification. Their little bodies wanted to still be moving and they wanted to be giggling and chatting and playing with their friends some more. I decided to take my lesson plans for discussion and incorporate them into a game.
I opted for a modification of Twister. I ran to the local Wal-Mart and was distressed to see that they did not have any regular Twister games in stock, so quickly put together a plan B… As it turned out Plan B actually worked out better because we had 5 words of the day that the lessons centered around and twister only had 4 different colors.
A quick trip thru the craft and stationary sections and I had everything I needed to get started.
- 1 Con-tact® Brand Clear Multipurpose Vinyl Covering – 54” x 9’
- 1 package of Astrobrights® Paper – 24 lb. 8.5” x 11” – 100 sheets
- 1 package of Avery® Laser Business Cards – 2” x 3.5” #5371™
- 1 can of Elmer’s® Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive – 4 oz.
- Scissors or Circular Cutter
- Cutting Pad (Optional)
- Words on Colored Paper
- Cards on card stock
- Game Instructions
- Preparing the Vinyl – Unfold the Multipupose Vinyl Covering and lay it out on the floor. Count the number of squares you have to work with. I had 50, which worked out great with the 5 words and would give me enough space for 10 or more kids to play at once.
- Create the Color Squares. I took my 5 words and assigned each of them a color. I then used my word processor to divide the page in half and typed each word nice and big on the page at the top and at the bottom. I placed 5 sheets of the color paper for each word into the printer and printed them out. I then cut the pages in half.
- Glue the words to the vinyl. To protect the paper from little feet, I simply sprayed the front of each word with the spray adhesive and attached them face down on the vinyl. I mixed up the direction and the angle of the sheets, for a couple of reasons: First, it would be difficult to line them up exactly both horizontally and vertically. Second, it would be easier for the kids to see at least one of the sheets right side up regardless of the side of the mat they were standing on. Just to make it more interesting looking I also ran mine in a diagonal, as opposed to the standard columns that the real game uses.
- Create the cards. The purpose of my game was to use the things we were learning in Vacation Bible School in context, so I opted to create a deck of cards that contained sentences using the words in context, instead of just the standard Twister spinner. I setup my word processor based on the card size I had and entered the sentences we were to use in our class room discussions. On each of the cards I highlighted the appropriate word. On the back of the cards I printed a body part… left foot, right foot, left hand, right hand. I mixed it up and made plenty of cards using the words we had to discuss each day.
- Rules of the game. The rules are quite simple.
- The leader has the shuffled deck of cards in his/her hands.
- Read the body part the card is for.
- Flip it over and read the discussion sentence on the back.
- The kids put the correct body part on a square that has that word on it.
- If they fall they are out.
- If there are no empty squares left with that word they are out.
- Keep reading cards and moving body parts until there is only 1 child standing.
This game was play tested by the 2-4th graders first and they loved it. I knew it was a hit when the middle schoolers got wind of it and confiscated it for the youth room! They played it over and over and over again.
It would not be hard to adapt the game to any number of themes and it was a great way to get the kids focused on the things we were learning every day.
Have fun with it and let me know what adaptations you come up with!