Invite children and families to experience this exciting
Halloween alternative as they explore the Old Testament.
Ignite kids' and families' love for learning and for God with
this unique fall festival, designed to educate, entertain, and
enlighten. People will join you on a journey unlike anything
they've experienced as Moses leads them on a walk of faith through
the devastating plagues, the perils of the desert, and finally to
the Promised Land.
Kids and adults will learn about the Exodus, the Israelites'
experience, and God's amazing glory as they embark on this
multisensory -- and multi-fun -- trip back in time.
Preparing for Exodus
You'll need preplanning and plenty of adult volunteers to make this
event a success. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Space -- This event can be held outdoors or
indoors. If you choose to keep it outside, you'll need a path to
follow where stations are out of sight of each other. For example,
follow a meandering path around your church property rather than
setting up all the stations in the parking lot. If you stay
indoors, consider setting up stations throughout your church
building that'll lead people on a pathway through most of the
People -- You'll need plenty of volunteers to help
guide people, to oversee crafts and games, to decorate, and to
greet people. Depending on the number of people, you should aim for
one volunteer per eight to 10 children. One volunteer per group
will need to dress as Moses.
Preparation -- Decorate, gather craft materials, and recruit extra
help. For a preparation timeline, go to Web Extras at
Publicity -- Publicity can make or break your
event. Recent statistics indicate that more and more families are
abandoning trick-or-treating for contained events such as the
Exodus Event -- so use this trend to your advantage. Publicize the
event well in advance throughout your church and community. Fliers,
posters, and mailers are great ways to get the word out. For
creative publicity ideas, go to Web Extras at www.cmmag.com.
Logistics -- Each of these groups will need a
guide dressed as Moses to walk through the journey you've prepared
and to enthusiastically narrate what happened.
Station 1: Who Were They?
Preparation: You'll need old sheets thrown over chairs for tents;
images of pyramids, Moses, Aaron, the Red Sea, the tabernacle,
maps, Israelites, Pharaoh, and other figures; and costume-making
materials such as paper bags, fake fur, old sheets, twine,
scissors, and tape. You'll also need someone dressed as Aaron who
can tell the group about the Israelites in a narrative style.
How It Works: This beginning activity is designed to help people
understand who the Israelites were and how they may've lived, and
it also gives groups something to do as they wait for their turn to
begin the journey. Groups will spend about 10 minutes learning
about the Israelites' daily lives and making Israelite costumes.
For information about Israelites, go to Web Extras at
Station 2: The 10
Preparation: For each plague, you'll need to gather the appropriate
supplies. This portion of the journey can take place in a wide open
activity area and works best indoors. Have Moses introduce each
plague as he retells the events that led to the Exodus. Consider
having "Pharaoh" and Moses act out their parts. You'll also need
volunteers to help with the plagues.
How It Works:
• Plague 1: Blood -- Each participant receives a
paper cup. Have volunteers distribute water with red food coloring
from pitchers labeled "Nile Water." Create "dead fish" using Jell-O
Jigglers gelatin mix (made according to package instructions) and
fish-shaped cookie cutters, or provide Swedish or gummy fish.
• Plague 2: Frogs -- Play the Sticky Frog Game.
Give each participant three sticky frogs (available at www.oriental
trading.com). On "go," people race to stick their frogs to other
people. After three minutes, have people count the number of frogs
stuck to them.
ALERT: Some sticky frogs stain clothing and other surfaces, so
you may want to encourage people to wear old clothing or choose
frogs that won't leave stains.
• Plague 3: Gnats -- Give each participant a Gnat
Sack -- a paper bag with "Gnat Sack" printed on it to hold goodies
throughout the journey. Also, have people play Guessing Gnats by
guessing how many M&M's candies or jelly beans are in a glass
jar. Give each participant a snack-size package of the candy after
you reveal whose guess is closest.
• Plague 4: Flies -- Play a game of Shoo, Fly!
Place chairs for all but one participant in a circle. Have the
person without a chair stand in the center and yell "Shoo, fly!"
Remove a chair as people scramble to find a new seat. Anyone left
without a chair goes to the center. With each round, remove another
• Plague 5: Dead Animals -- Play a game of Deadly
Tag, where those tagged must lie on the floor with feet and hands
raised in the air until everyone is tagged. You can also hand out
animal-wrapped lollipops or animal stickers (both available at
www.orientaltrading.com) to represent the dead animals.
• Plague 6: Boils -- Boils can be symbolically
made using calamine lotion and cotton balls. Give people "boil"
dots and a bandage to emulate the skin disorder.
• Plague 7: Hail and Lightning -- Give each
participant three hard neon bouncy balls (available at www.oriental
trading.com). Have people toss their balls into the air all at
once. As the "hail" falls to the ground, have everyone run to pick
it up and throw it into the air again. Have a volunteer flip the
lights on and off for lightning effect, and if possible, play
sounds of thunder (available at www.sounddog.com). After a couple
of minutes, have kids pick up three balls and place them in their
• Plague 8: Locusts -- Explain that locusts are
veggie eaters. Pass around images of grasshoppers and locusts along
with snack-size portions of bananas, apples, grapes, and raw
• Plague 9: Darkness -- Give each participant a
mini flashlight. Form two groups and have the first group hide in
your activity area with the lights off. The second group should
close their eyes. On "go," the second group opens their eyes and
tries to shine the light on those hiding. If a child is hit by a
flashlight beam, he or she is caught. Have teams switch roles and
• Plague 10: Death of Firstborn -- Mix 2/3 white
marbles to 1/3 red marbles in a cloth bag. Have kids each choose a
marble from the bag. Those who choose a red marble symbolize the
firstborn. Play again. Ask people to describe what it felt like to
choose a red marble.
End the 10 Plagues section by giving people several chocolate coins
to symbolize the Israelites taking riches from the Egyptians as
they left Egypt.
Station 3: Exodus!
Preparation: You'll need to decorate and prepare each station
separately and out of view of other stations. Consider posting
signs along the journey, such as "Thanks for visiting Egypt," "This
way to the Promised Land," "Only 10 miles to the Red Sea," and so
How It Works: Moses leads groups of eight to 10 on a journey from
station to station, representing the Israelites' journey from Egypt
to the Promised Land.
• Return! -- Place items for kids to carry on the
journey, such as small suitcases, stuffed animals, walking sticks,
and dolls. They can return these items once they've completed the
Have Moses lead groups away from the 10 Plagues activity area. Once
groups are about halfway to the next station, have Pharaoh surprise
groups by demanding that they return to the starting place -- not
once, but twice!
Have a volunteer carry a large flashlight and a pillow,
representing the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud the
Israelites followed. This person can walk ahead of Moses.
Have "Pharaoh's Army" ambush the group and make them run until they
reach the Red Sea.
• The Red Sea -- Moses explains that he was sent
by God to lead the group to a land flowing with milk and honey. To
recreate the Red Sea, set up sprinklers shooting water back and
forth or have hiding volunteers ready with water guns. As Moses
strikes the ground with his staff, the Red Sea parts (shooting
water stops, allowing the group to walk through dry). Pharaoh's
Army is overcome as the Red Sea overtakes them.
• Bitter Springs of Marah -- The next obstacle is
the bitter water of Marah. Have your volunteers begin to complain
loudly about how thirsty they are as you walk to the next obstacle,
and encourage the rest of the group to do the same. When you reach
the "springs," have coolers filled with diluted vinegar water and
paper cups. Have everyone taste the bitter water.
• Manna From Heaven -- The next obstacle in the
journey is hunger. Have your volunteers complain about how hungry
they are. Moses prays to God for a solution. As you reach the third
station, have extra-large bowls of popcorn and small paper cups
available for everyone to taste "manna from heaven."
• Mount Sinai -- Beforehand, create a "mountain"
using a ladder and brown paper. Tape the paper in the shape of a
mountainside on each side of the ladder and have Moses ascend the
mountain. On the way to Mount Sinai, have volunteers complain
loudly about their frustration.
While Moses climbs the ladder, have volunteers rally the group into
a rebellion. Moses will come down the mountain, dismayed by the
group's behavior and carrying the 10 Commandments (written on
cardboard), which he shares with the group.
• The Promised Land -- Create the Promised Land
using colorful decorations such as palm trees, plants, fruit,
animals, and a background of joyful singing. Give people milk and
Bit-O-Honey candies (milk and honey).
Station 4: Exodus Museum
Preparation: Invite families to create crafts and
play games to learn more about Moses and the Exodus. You may wish
to have children in your children's ministry prepare special
projects covering different details related to the Exodus, such as
profiles of Moses, Aaron, and Pharaoh; information about ancient
Egypt and the time period; related Scripture; why the Exodus
happened; and so on. Your children will need at least three weeks
to complete their projects. Display their projects around the
station area along with the following multisensory
How It Works:
• Loom -- Have people practice weaving on a loom
to experience what it might've been like to make clothing.
• Dig -- Set up an archeological dig. Bury pottery
in a large, shallow tub filled with sand. Give people old
paintbrushes and trowels to use.
• Grinding -- Create a wheat-grinding station
using a rock on an old tile or another rock.
• Writing -- Using parchment paper, sticks, and
ink, create a hieroglyphics writing station.
• Stayin' Alive -- Provide snacks that represent
what the Israelites may've eaten to stay alive, such as Swedish
fish, gummy worms, gummy insects, grain, dandelion leaves, and
• Artwork -- On stones, have families paint a
symbol of the toughest obstacle the Israelites faced.
• Mount Sinai Experiment -- Have kids build a
miniature Mount Sinai using aluminum foil, tempera paint, cotton
balls, and glue. Kids can shape a mountain out of tin foil and then
glue cotton balls around the top of the mountain to represent the
clouds that descended when God gave the 10 Commandments to
• Exodopoly -- Use a Monopoly game board labeled
with the various obstacles the Israelites faced. Have kids write
their names on plastic frog jump-up toys (available at www.oriental
trading.com) for markers. Create cards with instructions from
Pharaoh, Moses, and the Israelites, and replace the Monopoly money
with food, clothing, and shelter vouchers.
• 3-D Creations -- Have kids illustrate the
plagues or the journey using a variety of craft materials.
• Moses' Rod -- Have kids turn Moses' rod into a
snake by reshaping modeling clay.
Station 5: Journey's End
This miniature disguise party, based on Hebrews 11 and 12, is a fun
way to end your event. Provide plenty of disguise-making materials,
shaped paper masks (available at www.orientaltrading.com), glue,
Say, "Early Christians and Old Testament saints who were tormented
and persecuted used to disguise themselves as other people and
sometimes even as animals." Read aloud Hebrews 11:37.
Have people create disguise masks for themselves -- either as
people or as animals. Once the masks are complete, give groups
handouts with Hebrews 11:32-35; Hebrews 11:36-40; and Hebrews
12:1-3 written on them. For each Scripture, provide the following
Hebrews 11:32-35: Do these kinds of things happen
today? Why or why not? When has God helped you out of a tight
situation? Do you know of an example when God delivered someone
from a bad situation, such as a fire or flood? Explain.
Hebrews 11:36-40: Why were these people willing to
suffer for their faith? How were they like or unlike the Israelites
who left Egypt? How do you think these people remained faithful,
even when they didn't see everything that was promised? Why do you
think they went so far as to use a sheep's skin or goat's skin to
hide? Would you be willing to do that? Why or why not? Do you think
people are suffering for their faith today? Why or why not? Do you
think you might be required to suffer for your faith in your
Hebrews 12:1-3: What does this passage challenge
us to do? How did Jesus remain faithful, even when he was being
tortured? How was the Israelites' suffering like or unlike Jesus'
suffering? How does this passage tell us to respond to pressure
that conflicts with our faith? cm
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