I am the Miamaid Counselor in my ward and we were in charge of the combined YM/YW activity this week. Since I spent so much time scouring the internet and putting all the pieces together for this, I thought I would put it out to Google for some other youth leader to use as needed. I tend to overplan, so you can take or leave all of this information as you wish:
First, I created invites on www.canva.com, which is my all time favorite website for creating invitations or any kind. If you want to download mine, here is the JPG and you can add your text on top however you choose. For what it is worth, I am a FIRM believer that the more hype you put into an activity on the front end, the more the kids make it a priority to come, and also to bring their friends. I handed these out on the Sunday before and told the kids if they were coming to the activity to come find me later at church and tell me they would be there and I would give them a small treat (chocolate, obviously).
Side note: This was a well attended activity!
Budget: I spent close to $80 for this, but I didn’t end up using a large portion of the candy, so you can easily slow down on this cost. I tend to overbuy out of fear of not having enough. I will for sure only turn in receipts for about half of that cost.
I have included links to amazon options for all of these, this is NOT the cheaper way to go necessarily, but just for convenience if you want to get your whole activity done without going to the store.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only included links for your convenience.
Chocolate for the Sunday hand outs.
Candy bars from Costco for prizes.
Box of whoppers (small box is fine)
Graham Cracker Crusts (however many pies you choose to make)
Chocolate Instant Pudding (one per pie you make)
Wet wipes and paper towels (or bring from home)
Hershey Kisses (small bag is fine, I bought WAY too many of these).
Industrial size container of chocolate sprinkles.
Plastic Spoons (or find them from home)
Chocolate Milk to go with chocolate chip cookies after activity (optional but well received!)
Chocolate Pudding Pie. This took me about a half hour to make six pies. Use 1 pkg of Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding. 1 1/2 cups cold milk. Beat for about 2 minutes and then stir in cool whip. Place six gummy worms sporadically in each mixture before spooning into the graham cracker crust. (recipe from this link: Kraft Pudding Pie)
Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Treat after activity (I assigned this out b/c hello, I made pies and all this stuff, have someone else make your chocolate chip cookies!)
50 pens or pencils for the guessing game.
Ziploc bags for M&M’s
Bowls for Sorting M&M’s (I ended up not having enough so I had them just sort the colors in piles on the floor, which was easier but turned out fine).
Masking Tape for Start and Finish Lines on relays and races
Cones for Start and Finish lines (optional but helpful to prevent cheating).
Two sets of oven mitts.
Bowl for Hershey kIsses
Plastic cups for relays and to pass out pens and hold spoons, etc. Also, if you have chocolate milk with your treat at the end you will want plastic cups to drink with for easy clean up.
Slide show computer, if time is available (I didn’t end up doing this b/c I was short on time after opening exercises).
Relay areas with a small table to hold sprinkles, kisses, spoons, etc. If weather permits, this activity might be best outside for easier clean up.
Long table with chairs and plastic table cloth for pie eating contest. I recommend doing this activity outside!! It is messy.
Show Factslides: https://www.factslides.com/s-Chocolate (I did not have time for this, but thought it would have been fun).
Divide into two teams. We went with boys vs girls which is always controversial, but no one could agree on a good way to divide up the teams so it would be fair and everyone would be happy. Feel free to comment below with suggestions for dividing up the teams!
Chocolate War 1:
Handout the Chocolate Candy Bar Guessing Game sheet and pens. Give everyone five minutes or less to fill out. Watch for phones so no one cheats!
When finished, go through answers. See if anyone gets them all right. One of our kids got all 10! He got a full sized candy bar (from costco pack) as a prize and won a point for the boy team.
Chocolate War 2:
Teams of 2+ people compete against each other to see who can sort the M&M’s into separate colors the fastest. Fastest team of 2 earns a point for their whole team and they each get a full sized candy bar.
Chocolate War 3:
Roll your whopper to the finish line WITH YOUR nose, before your opponent. We did this in the Primary Room and used tape for the start and finish line. The boys kept cheating and “blowing” the whopper across the floor. This ended with frustration, but had the potential to be fun! haha
Chocolate War 4:
Whoever gets all 6 of the gummy worms out of the pie and into their cup first, wins. Have even number of people from each team participate. This gets SUPER messy, and other than making me dry heave on the sidelines watching the kids eat the pie, it was a HUGE hit. I gave all participants a large candy bar just for participating b/c EWWWW. I did buy large black garbage bags for the kids to put over their heads to keep their clothes from getting disgusting. I should have also brought headbands for the hair b/c pudding was EVERYWHERE.
Chocolate War 5:
Have each team line up behind a cone. The first person to go was given a cup of chocolate sprinkles and a spoon, and at the cone at the opposite side, there will be an empty cup. The goal is for the teams to transport the sprinkles by spoon from their side to the empty cup at the opposite cone.
When the first team empties their cup, the race is over, but we will are also judging which team has the most sprinkles in the other cup. I modified this game a bit in the moment, but that was my starting point.
Chocolate prizes for the winning team.
Chocolate War 6:
Each team gets a pair of oven mitts. The first person in each team put them on and races down to the table on the other end of the tent, where there is a bowl of Hershey Kisses. With the mitts on, they have to unwrap the Kiss, eat it, throw out the wrapper, then run back to their team and swap mitts with the next person up.
Chocolate War 7:
I ended up not having time for this relay and everyone was SOO hyped up at this point that I didn’t want to do anymore haha, but in case you have a smaller group and things get LESS crazy, here is the final relay:
The first player needed to come down to the table then scoop a Whopper out of a plastic cup with the spoon in their mouth adult leaders will hold the cup of whoppers for them. They then race back to their team, where they pass the Whopper from their spoon to the spoon in the next player's mouth. Then that person runs down and deposits the Whopper into the cup again and so forth until the entire team has participated.
Chocolate War Conclusion:
Once all of the games were completed and winners were awarded, we attempted to come back into the RS room for a brief story and follow up. I had an incredibly difficult time getting everyone’s attention back on me (I also don’t have the most commanding voice), but the story I wanted to tell was the inspiration for the whole activity and tied everything together.
I own the book “The Parable of the Chocolate Chips” though I think you can get the story off Google with a quick search. Super cute story, but much too long to read, so I just paraphrased the whole thing and asked them to think about the kinds of chocolate chips they are letting sneak into their lives with the music choices, Netflix choices, etc. and to protect their spirits, etc.
I am pretty sure the other leaders were deer in the headlights with how loud and excited everyone got over this activity. I have to admit that DURING the activity, I was like “what in the world was I thinking?” b/c it was kind of crazy. A more demanding voice or a whistle or penalties for not listening might have helped. BUT, afterwards I had SOOO many youth come up and thank me and tell me how much fun they had and it was for sure a memorable, not your average combined activity so if you can handle a little chaos, this is for sure the activity for you! ;)
If you have any questions or suggestions for others considering this activity, feel free to comment below!