Awana Games for Children's Ministry: The M&M's Gauntlet

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Here is a fun game we played on a Wednesday night during our AWANA large group game time.  It is equal parts road race, dodge ball and American Gladiators.  I originally envisioned this game without the M&Ms, but then we had a chocolate themed night for AWANA, and it just seemed like a natural fit!  This game was fun for both third through sixth grade boys and third through sixth grade girls.   I did not try it with the younger kids for logistical reasons.  It worked well for groups of approximately 30-50.
Here’s how it works.  We had two or three teams (depending on the number of teams we had) line up on one side of the auditorium.  Each team was given a bowl, a plastic spoon, and a scooter board (we use the ones sold through Awana, but you can find them elsewhere if you search for term “scooter board” on Google).  On the other end of the auditorium, we placed several bowls of M&M’s.  The point of the game is for one team member to go from one end of the auditorium to the other while sitting on the scooter board, pick up one of the M&M’s on their spoon (without using their hands) and scoot back to the other end of the auditorium without dropping the M&M.
Here’s the catch!  Standing on the sidelines are all the players from the teams not running the race.  Their role is to throw balls at the contestants on the scooter boards to try to knock the M&M’s off of their spoons. This is the gauntlet part of the game!  If the player drops their M&M before they get back and place it in their team’s bowl, they pick up their scooter boards, and run back to the start line, and give another player on their team a chance to go retrieve an M&M.  The first team to accumulate a predetermined number of M&M’s wins the round.
We had a lot of fun playing this game and the kids almost universally asked to play it again.  Here are a couple of things I learned while playing.  One, make sure you use soft cushy balls rather than the hard rubber balls for this game.  Given that the kids are sitting on the scooter boards, there is a high probability that they will get hit in the head.  The softer balls mean a lot fewer injuries.  Secondly, don’t utilize too many balls in the game.  We started with twelve balls and only two teams on scooters.  This meant six balls flying at each contestant at any given time.  That made it virtually impossible for them to get back with an M&M.  I would suggest no more than three balls for each team on a scooter (two may actually be better).  This gives the teams on the scooters a fighting chance.
This basic concept could also easily be adapted for other situations.  I think it would be fun to try the game with marbles instead of M&M’s or use M&M’s but give the kids a plastic knife or a ruler rather than a plastic spoon.  I also think this would make a great outdoor water game if you used wet super soaker balls rather than the soft foam balls.  We also tried the game with one person riding the scooter and another pushing.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Need More Ideas? Then browse our list of Sunday School games for kids.

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