Animal Match-Up Relay

Monday: Animal Match-Up Relay
Bible Lesson (elementary and teens): God created the world and deserves our worship. (Genesis 1, Acts 17)
Bible Lesson (preschool): Noah and the Big Flood
Memory Verse: Acts 17:24
Age Groups:
  • elementary
  • teens
  • preschool
Equipment Needed:
  • 3x5 cards
  • animal pictures (from the internet)
  • clear Contact (laminant)
Print pictures (from the internet) of male and female animals of various kinds. You need two male and two female of each animal. Try to get a mix of animals with obvious gender differences (e.g., peacock/peahen, bull/cow, lion/lioness, cardinals) and ones that look pretty similar (e.g., dog, elephant, horse, squirrel). Cut these out and glue them onto 3x5 (or 4x6) cards, and laminate the cards using the clear Contact.
If you use two colors of cards, you can make one whole deck (one male and one female of each kind of animal) on each color. Better yet, use four colors so each deck can have one color for male and the other color for female animals. (Color-coding the cards isn't necessary for playing the game, but it makes it easier for the game leader to get the decks sorted out between times.)
Divide into two teams. One deck of the cards is used for each team. Hand out the animal cards of one gender to the team members, and set out the cards of the other-gender animals at the far end of the lawn, face down. Each team member in turn runs the course carrying one card from the deck and selects one of the face-down cards at the end of the lawn. If it matches the card they are carrying, they get to keep the pair. If not, they must return the card to its face-down position and return with just the card they brought with them and tag the next team member. Play is finished when one team has all their matches. If enough time is available, you can play it again.
For preschool, dispense with teams and the relay aspect: when you blow the whistle, they all run down, grab a card, run back, and match it up with one of the cards at the near end. Have them show a friend their matching pair of animals and name them (e.g., These are lions.). Repeat as necessary to fill available time.
To make the game more difficult (e.g., for teens), you can introduce obstacles for them to overcome, require them to run blindfolded or balancing a cup of water on their forehead, or anything else you feel would make it more "interesting" (i.e., more challenging).
If it's a bazillion degrees out, you can turn this into a water game simply by replacing the run-across-the-field portion with some kind of water-based obstacle or feature (sprinkler to run through, Slip-N-Slide to slide down, wading pool to splash through, etc.).

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