Activity time: 10 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Make sure you have a large, open floor space for this game.
- Optional: If you have more time and/or want to try another game, find rules for many simple games which most of the children will already know, on Geof Nieboer's Kids Games website .
Description of Activity
By playing a game they already know, the children experience how a covenant works in an everyday situation.
Gather children to play the game, "Simon Says." Point out to the group that most of them seem to know how to play the game. Explain the rules in case some children do not know them: One player is "Simon." Simon calls out movements for the other players to do. If Simon's directions begin with "Simon says... " the players should do as Simon says. If Simon neglects to say "Simon says" - for example, if Simon says only "Raise your arms over your head" - any player who follows the direction is out. The last successful player becomes Simon in the next round.
Play for a few minutes. Then, stop the game. Say:
That went really well. It seemed like everyone agreed to play by the rules. What would have happened if I was trying to be Simon, and everyone ran around in circles or did the opposite of what Simon said?
If you are comfortable, while the game is underway, join in as if you do not know any of the rules. (For example, if you are called out, jump back in.) This way, you help illustrate the disruption to a community that can occur when members break a covenant - in this case, the rules of a simple game. Children may comment that you do not know the rules or are not "playing fair." Allow their comments. Then, step out of the game and let the group resume play.
Including All Participants
Be mindful of individual participants' mobility issues. As "Simon," make sure the directions you give can be followed by all children.