Use this Bible Game: No Room Here! to help elementary-age children experience what it may’ve been like for Mary and Joseph.
Age Level: 5 to 9
Materials: Activity area, masking tape, and a Bible
Time: About 20 minutes
Here’s a high-energy game that’ll give kids a sense of what it was like when Mary and Joseph couldn’t find a place to stay for the night.
Choose one child to be the Traveler. Have the rest of the children form a circle, standing an arm’s length apart. Give the children in the circle each two strips of masking tape and have them create an “X” on the floor beneath their feet. The X represents their inn. To stay at their inn, they must keep their feet on the X. Have the Traveler stand in the center of the circle.
To play, have the Traveler approach a child in the circle and say, “I need a place to sleep tonight.” The child responds, “There’s no room here! Ask (child’s name) and (child’s name).” When two children’s names are called, they must switch places before the Traveler can take a spot. Whoever’s left in the center becomes the Traveler. If the original Traveler is still in the center, he or she claps and says, “I still don’t have a place to stay!” That’s the signal that everyone must run to find a new inn.
Once everyone has been the Traveler at least once, ask: How did it feel to be the Traveler? How did it feel when you found a place in the circle? How did it feel to lose your place? How do you think Mary and Joseph felt when they couldn’t find a place to stay in Bethlehem?