**This is a guest post from Nick Diliberto from PreteenMinistry.net
Beach Ball Stories is designed specifically for preteens and is a great ice-breaker or review activity. If you are using it as an ice-breaker, then have preteens come up with a story on a random subject that you give them. If you are using it to review a Bible lesson, then have preteens paraphrase the Bible story as if it happened in modern times. This game is a great way to get older children engaged in the group – especially important in Sunday School or at church camp. Enjoy!
Supplies: Beach ball for every 6-10 students, permanent markers, masking or electrical tape
Setup Prior To Activity: Inflate each beach ball to maximum size. Beginning at the top of the beach ball, spiral the tape down the beach ball until it reaches the other end. This should look similar to a “candy cane” style stripe.
How To Play: Divide preteens into groups of 6-10 (smaller groups are also fine). Instruct the groups to sit down in circles apart from other groups. Give each group a permanent marker and a pre-taped beach ball. Assign groups a story idea. Explain that the group will create their story one word at a time. A group member must only write one word on the beach ball and then pass it to the next team member. The game continues until no space is left on the beach ball or until the group feels that their story is finished. Give groups 10 minutes to create their stories on the lines created on the beach ball. At the end of the activity, have a member from each group read their stories to all the other groups.
- Be careful not to make the spiral too tight. There must be enough room between rows for students to write.
- Be available to help groups, as needed, write their story.
- If you want to make it more complicated & challenging, call out switch in the middle of the activity. Then, make the groups switch beach balls with another group.