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Two elementary aged girls hugging after racing for a spot on the chairs.
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Thanksgiving Game: Rejoice Race

Use this fun, indoor game to encourage your elementary and preteen classes to rejoice in the Lord. This is a perfect game to use around Thanksgiving! 


Beforehand, form a circle of chairs, with one less chair than the number of kids, and mark 1 Thessalonians
5:16-18 in a Bible.

Have all kids except one sit in the chairs. The standing child is “It” and It will remain standing.

Say: The child who is it may point to any seated child, and say “Rejoice in the Lord,” then quickly count to 10. That person must name one thing he or she is thankful for before “It” reaches 10. If the child cannot think of anything that quickly, he or she becomes the new “It”. If “It” says, “Everyone rejoice in the Lord!” then everyone must quickly stand up and find a new seat while “It” tries to find a seat as well. The player who doesn’t find a seat will become the new “It”.

Play several rounds. Afterward, read aloud 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

At the end of the game, ask:

  • What was easy or hard about thinking of things to rejoice in God about?
  • Why do we sometimes forget to thank God for all he does for us?
  • What’s one way you can show God you’re joyful about what he’s done for you?
  • Why is it important to show thanks to God?

Say: We have so many reasons to thank God and express our joy. This week, take time each day to rejoice in God.

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Thanksgiving Game: Rejoice Race

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