Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Windows and Mirrors: A Program about Diversity for Grades 4-5

Activity 3: Jelly Bean Trade

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Jelly beans, in a variety of colors, at least ten for each participant
  • 5x7-inch manila envelopes with clasps for all participants

Preparation for Activity

  • Purchase jelly beans that come in multiple colors-at least as many colors as the group has participants.
  • Fill envelopes (5x7-inch with clasps work best) with ten different colored jellybeans. If the group is typically larger than ten, plan to have the children trade within two smaller groups.

Description of Activity

Have envelopes in hand. Ask everyone who wanted to come to church today to put his or her thumbs up. Ask those who didn't want to come to church to put their thumbs down. Ask those who indicate that they didn't want to attend: What would you be doing instead?"

After everyone has shared, ask: Who thinks it is important to come to church?

Choose one or two children to tell you why. Thank them and explain that we are now going to play a game.

Pass out the envelopes. Explain that each envelope has ten differently colored jelly beans. The object of the game is to try and get ten jelly beans of the same color by trading with other people, one at a time. The game ends when one person gets ten of a single color. Tell them that before trading, they must exchange names.

At the end of the game invite everyone into the circle to eat jelly beans and discuss the game. Have extra in case some participants don't end up with ten.

Allow trading of favorite colors.

Ask if participants enjoyed the jelly bean trade. Pay particular attention to participants who did not want to be at church today and ask them if they would have wanted to miss playing the game. Receive their answers with appreciation.

Some children may say that they attend because their parents make them. Affirm their feelings, and tell them you are really glad they are here. Thank everyone for their observations and sharing.

Including All Participants

Some children may have restricted sugar, allergies, or vegan diets that exclude items made with gelatin, an animal by-product. Check with parents or your religious education director to make sure all the children can eat jelly beans. If necessary, use another colorful treat or paper cut-outs of jelly beans instead.