Learning Activity for Grades 6 – 8

Expected Outcome:

Young people will identify a variety of activities that are fun, safe, and legal which do not involve drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.

Focus Scripture: Matthew 6:33 (NRSV)

“But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Materials Needed:

Chalk board, white board, or flip chart with markers

Tips for Youth Leaders

Whether you live in a large city, a suburb, or a small rural town, you have probably heard the complaint, “There’s nothing to do around here on weekends but drink or get high.” Sometimes it might sound different, “If you don’t like to drink, you end up home alone watching TV on Saturday night.” Whatever the words, the question is the same, what is there to do around here that is fun?

Almost any activity can be done with or without using drugs or alcohol. Young people need to explore what makes the activity fun itself so that they can discern that drugs and alcohol aren’t needed. The fun may be because the activity is done with friends, because it is active, because it feels a little risky, because it makes you feel good and because of many other possible reasons. It is important for youth leaders to keep asking the question, “Is the activity fun, safe, and legal?”

Activity Directions

Step 1 - Gather the youth into small groups. Provide each group with a flip chart or large sheet of paper. Ask them to generate a list of activities that are fun, safe, legal, and do not involve the use of drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. Ask them to think about:

Games to play – Things to do

Places to go – Items to collect

Things to make – Ways to volunteer

Step 2 – Bring everyone back together and display all the lists. The group may even come up with new ones as you discuss them. (While it’s most effective if your group comes up with its own list of activities, there are many ideas on the following page for you to try that were suggested by a group of young people.) Encourage the youth to circle the ones they think would be most fun to do and plan some activities for the next few weeks.

Step 3 – Conclusion
Many times young people feel that adults in general or those within the church are opposed to fun, pleasure, or a good time. This is an opportunity to answer the question “What does our Faith tell us about having fun?”

Games to Play

Cards
Trivial Pursuit
Darts
Dominoes
Charades
Skating
Chess
Video Games
Hockey
Backgammon
Badminton
Ping-pong
Monopoly
Volleyball
Racquetball
Yahtzee
Basketball
Soccer
Pictionary
Broomball
Softball
Scrabble
Bocce ball
Tennis
Bingo
Bowling
Touch football

Places To Go

Art gallery
Baseball game
Museum
Park
Library
Beach
Zoo
Picnic
Amusement park
Church
Movies

Things To Do

Go camping
Go canoeing
Go horseback riding
Talk to friends
Go fishing
Take a bike ride
Go bird-watching
Play with a pet
Star gaze
Do aerobics
Draw or paint
Put together a hobby kit
Organize a progressive party
Write and film a video
Call a relative
Clean your room
Grow plants
Go to church activities
Meet with your youth group
Learn a language
Lift weights
Listen to music
Go roller blading/skating
Go an a photography hike
Play a musical instrument
Play miniature golf
Go boating
Practice skateboarding
Meditate
Take a nature walk
Wash someone’s car
Write a letter to a friend or relative
Go swiming
Read a book
Organize a group sing
Pray
Plan a scavenger hunt
Watch the sun rise or set
Write a poem or story
Take a hike
Build and fly a kite

Items To Collect

Sports cards
Coins
Dolls
Stamps
Tropical fish
Rocks
Wood carvings
Antiques

Things to Make

Scrapbook
Put together a puzzle
Dinner for the family
Assemble a hobby model
Home made pizza
Legos creation
Cookies or a cake

Volunteer Opportunities

Church nursery
Work on a Habitat for Humanity project
Day care center
Adopt a grandparent
Senior citizen center
Community food banks
Tutor younger students