a late night challenge for preteens

9:30pm- snack and “special thing” timekids are invited to bring a “special thing” from home something that allows kids to know more about them. we break fora snack time where kids must serve one another and then we divide them in small groups where they share about their special thing. we then go around in large group and invite kids to share things they have learned about one-another.

10pm– bull ring activity- Gym 
as the night gets later, the activities get harder. we divide them into small groups – different groups from earlier activities.

each group is given a metal ring that has at least 5-7 5-foot yarn pieces attached to it. each person in the group has to hold their yarn piece at the very end of the string. the leader places a tennis ball on the metal ring that the kids are holding steady by each holding their end of the string. the leader takes their group around the gym. some leaders make it more difficult than others making the group walk up stairs under ping-pong tables.

each time the team allows the tennis ball to drop from the ring we pretend there is an explosion and the leader assigns someone in the group to have an injury. (i.e. kid can’t use on
e arm, can’t speak, etc.) this makes the activity more difficult and they have to work together better.

we do this for certain time period and then have kiddos come together to debrief.

theme- body of christ – we have a child read 1 corinthians 12:12-27. we then think back to the bull ring activity and how each person was essential in keeping the tennis ball safe. for the bull ring activity to be successful, all the kids and all their skills were needed. we then remind them as a group of 5th graders it takes many different kinds of people to make up the body of Christ. we talk about how much more successful the group will be if they use their many different gifts instead of all trying to be the same.

clue hidden in gym-

10:30pm– Game time-dice time: this is a just for fun, keep them awake game. we divide kids up into groups of 5-7 with an adult in each group. each group gets one pen and one dice. each player gets one blank sheet of paper.

the goal in this game is to roll a 6, or any other number you choose. when a player rolls a 6 they get possession of the pen. they begin numbering 1-100 writing out each number on their own sheet of paper. they continue to number until someone else rolls a 6 and then they must give up the pen. (the circle continues to pass the dice and roll while the last person to roll a 6 keeps numbering on their page.) the first person in the circle to number all the way to 100, in wiring you can read, wins. (when a player gets the pen a second or third time, they continue numbering where they left off their last turn with the pen.) this game gets extremely competitive and wakes the kiddos up. 

  Clue is hidden in the lower lobby

11pm- ping pong race, boys vs girls on rec center track –this is the most difficult challenge of the night. the group is divided into a girls team and a boys team. each child gets a pvc pipe cut in half to hold open side up. teams line up shoulder to should connecting the half pipe. 

designate an area, a circle/track is best, for the teams to move around. the two main rules are: you cannot move while the ping pong ball is in your half pipe and if they ball touches the ground, there is a 5 second penalty. 

to begin, place a ping pong ball at the start of each teams line. kids are to guide the pong pong ball to roll down their connected half-pipe. once the ball has left the first person they are to run and reconnect at the end of the line to continue to make the line move. the first team back to the starting point wins. 

theme- support –we invite a child look up and read aloud ecclesiastes 4:9-10. we talk about how this group, from now through high school and beyond, will need the support of one another. we explain that their world will have trouble (john 16:33) and they need godly friends to encourage and support them.

clue hidden on the track

11:30pm- time capsule activity- chapel prayer for smash year – we end the night in our chapel for a special prayer time. we explain that although it is hard for them to understand now, the year will fly by. we will have lots of fun and many memories will be made, but the one thing we want most is for them to grow closer to Christ.

we give each of them a piece of smasH stationary and ask them to write a prayer to God about the coming year. we ask them to boldly ask for ways they can grow closer to Him and how they want to grow spiritually. when they finish writing the letter, they turn it in and then we end the night in popcorn prayer for each other. this is usually my favorite part of the night. listening to their prayers and hearing their leaders pray over them — we have church!

the next august, before we welcome a new smasH class, we mail out these letters to each of them.

clue hidden in the chapelthis is a simple clue saying “you made it.” we remind them that the goal of the year is to grow closer to Christ and to each other. we also remind them that they are an example to the younger kids!

Midnight- smasH kids released

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