For indoors, make a grid/maze like the one below, using masking tape and name tags with the sticky backs to write your numbers, or draw it with chalk for outdoor use. (Make your squares at least 1' x 1'.) On a separate paper draw a miniature diagram of your maze with a "secret pattern" drawn on it. (See solution.)
How To Play
The first player steps onto any square. If s/he is wrong and didn't enter where your diagram indicates, teacher says, "wrong way" and player steps off and sits down. The next person tries. When players step onto the correct square, teacher says, "Now you got it." Players continue, proceeding until they guess wrong. All the other players may help each other remember the solution to the problem as they proceed. Play continues until everyone reaches the end and exits off the maze.
(We played it a second time only this time they could not talk and could only use body language. It was a real success!)
The maze represents the trials and problems of life, and presents a problem for the group to solve together. Likewise, friends can help one another to solve the problems they encounter in their lives. The Bible has much to say about true friendship. Proverbs 18:24 says, "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." A person can have many acquaintances, but few people have many close friends. True friendship takes time and effort. A true friend doesn't give up on you when the bad times come. A true friend helps you through life's problems. Ultimately, there is only one person who will never give up on you, and that is Jesus. He loves you unconditionally. In fact, the Bible tells us that he loved us while we were still in our sin! (Romans 5:8). The Bible also tells us in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." This is exactly what Jesus has done for you and me!
Jesus wants us to show friendship to the unlovely and to those we don't consider our friends. "When you give a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous" (Luke 14:13-14). In other words, don't just be kind to your friends, that's easy! Be kind to those who are not your friends, because in doing this, we may help them to find the best friend they will ever have, JESUS!
Copyright 2000 Deb High
Faith Scott, a regular contributor to the site, wrote in to say, "My church is small. Sometimes I have to go into the sanctuary to play games with the children or outside in the pavilion. I bought a cheap canvas drop-cloth at the paint store, I got a 5' by l5' size. I could make 3 mats or use the left over material for something else. I took a permanent, waterproof marker and made the numbered square on it. Now we can take the canvas where ever we want and play the game without having to tape or draw the squares, thought this might help others."
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