Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Okay, I like games, but I'm not what one could call a devoted game player. That, plus the fact that I was very tired the afternoon of my mother-in-law's birthday picnic, caused my dear family to say, "you could take a nap in the motor home while we play games at the picnic table." I thought that sounded I brought a book and some studying materials with me.

Well, it was cold outside and leftover winter snow had buried any chance of picnic table games (see previous post for details). So the family had game time inside the R.V. Since sleep was impossible (and after a little coaxing), I participated. The game: Charoodles!

I don't know how long this game has been around (knowing how much I follow games, it's probably been blogged about a dozen times in the past decade!), but I was pleasantly surprised. It is played like charades, only the participants are given four objects to use as props: an orange foam ball, a tube like thingy, a cup, and square piece of foam. You announce the category and then you have a short time to act out as many items on the list as possible. For example, the category could be "things to do on the beach". Items would be surfing, volleyball, swimming, eating, etc. Some of the categories require you to use a specific prop, while others are open. But a prop must be used and, just like charades, you cannot say anything.

What I liked most about the game is that it reminded me of and reinforced an activity from a children's workshop I attended; namely that as children's ministers, we can look at ordinary objects in extraordinary ways. A stick becomes a sceptre. A yo-yo becomes a pendulum. A couple of paper tubes becomes a pair of binoculars. Those of us who work with children are used to "thinking on our feet" with this stuff. Of course, there's a larger lesson at work as well: we need to have the imagination and courage to think outside the proverbial box, to see things not as they neccesarily are, but what they may become.

I'm very seriously considering taking Charoodles to our next staff meeting. It'll be fun!

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