Going Bananas: A Game That Teaches Patience

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Use this warm-up game when teaching kids about patience.

Time: (10 minutes)

Have kids stand in a straight line. Say: Let’s see how fast we can pass a banana up and back down the line. Here is the catch: You can’t use your hands. You must hold the banana with your chin. Pass the banana, chin to chin, up and down the line. If someone drops the banana, you must start over.

Place the banana beneath the chin of the child in front of the line. Show that child how to hold the banana between his or her chin and chest. Odds are that the banana will drop to the floor a few times during the game. Allow children to express frustration, but redirect unkind words. If children have an especially difficult time, modify the rules so kids can restart the game with the same partner who dropped the banana.

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When kids have finished, gather them around you in a circle. Ask: • Was this game easy or difficult for you? Why? • How did you feel when someone dropped the banana? Why? • If you dropped the banana, how did you feel when you heard the group’s reaction?

Say: It’s easy to feel impatient when things don’t go your way. Sometimes people do things that make it hard for you to get what you want. When we get impatient, we’re tempted to say things that aren’t nice. We can make others feel bad. But we can learn patience. The Bible says that he gives us the power to be patient with others in the same way that he’s patient with us. Show kids that patience is a fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.

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