Ascension Day marks the day Jesus rose to Heaven and takes place 40 days after the Easter holiday. Since this special day does not receive as much attention as the Easter holiday, children can easily forget its special meaning. However, by incorporating games relating to Ascension Day in the celebration, you can help children better understand and appreciate this important day on the Christian calendar.
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40 Day Relay
The Bible states that Jesus remained on earth for 40 days before ascending to Heaven. Create a relay game that will remind the children exactly how many days Jesus spent on earth. Break the group into two teams and give each team 40 eggs. Place a basket at least 10 feet in front of each team. Instruct the teams to, one at a time, roll the eggs across the ground without using their hands, for example, by using their nose. When the egg touches the basket, they can pick it up, place it in the basket then run back and tag their teammate, who then rolls his egg. The first team to fill the basket with 40 eggs wins the game.
To both show the definition of ascension, rising up, as well as reiterate the fact that it took 40 days, challenge the children to build an ascending tower. Give each player 40 sugar cubes. Instruct them to build a tower out of all of the 40 cubes. The tallest tower that stands upright for at least 40 seconds wins the game. Set a time limit on the building process, such as 30 minutes.
Give each player a non-helium filled balloon. Instruct the children that they must keep their balloon in the air for 40 seconds by hitting it up each time it falls. If the balloon falls to the ground, they are disqualified. If they maintain contact with the balloon, such as holding it, they are also disqualified. At the end of the first 40 seconds, if more than one player kept their balloon in the air for 40 seconds, they move onto the next round. Keep repeating the game until there is one winner.
Design a board game that relates the final journey of Jesus. Create a winding path across the board that shows these events in chronological order. Start the game with the Last Supper, progress to the Crucifixion, then the three days in which Jesus was in the tomb, the Resurrection and finally his Ascension to Heaven. The Ascension can mark the finishing point of the game. Work in pitfalls and challenges to the game, for example, if you land on the space decorated like the tomb, you must lose three turns as Jesus spent three days there. The first player to reach the Ascension wins.