Sunday school games are a great way to help children understand what envy is and how to resist feeling that way. We’ve got an engaging and simple activity to help tackle this tough topic!
Sunday School Games: “ENVIOUS EMILY & THE ELEPHANTS”
Warning: One of our two water games involving water balloons; very fun for a hot day.
What is envy? Take some answers. It means being jealous of what other people have, and it is the Tenth Commandment you don’t hate others for what they have.
But that is NOT the case for Envious Emily the Elephant. Emily was an Indian elephant, and they often took passengers on their backs, sort of like an elephant taxi service. Emily was envious of all the other elephants because they took people places on their backs. She didn’t get it that no people wanted to ride on her back because she was mean and nasty. She thought she had every right to be jealous. Her jealousy put her into a rage where she would sit in the giant mud puddles of India and shoot water at every rider that came past on an elephant. She would try to knock the elephant off. Hold up a water balloon. Or she would try to get them wet. Hold up a water pistol.
You’re all going to be elephants who are taking on “passengers.” Hold up a beanie baby. Here’s what you have to do to protect your riders from Envious Emily.
Materials needed: Water balloons, at least 30, 2 water pistols filled with water, approximate 20 beanie babies (or other small stuffed toys; you should have twice as many as students), 2 boxes or baskets large enough to hold 10 beanie babies, masking tape, mop.
Preparation: Clear the rug area of the floor so that water balloons will not wet the rug. Make a masking tape starting line on one side of your room. Put a basket at the other end. Put half your beanie babies in it and leave the other half at the starting line in one of the two boxes.
Pick a student who will agree to be Envious Emily. Place her in the very center of the playing field. Put in her lap the two water guns and a box containing the 30 water balloons.
Object: To get the beanie babies back to the starting line without being shot by Envious Emily and her water arsenal.
Have the children get down on all fours at the starting line. Have them place a beanie baby on their backs. When you say, “Go!” they must crawl on all fours across the floor to the other side past Emily. There they must take a second beanie baby, pick it up with their lips, put it on their backs (one hand can help with this part), and cross back past Emily to the starting line. Once there, they must dump their beanie babies into the basket, using only their lips and their backs.
Emily must remain seated on the floor and can turn but cannot move around otherwise. She can only shoot with her water guns or take aim with her water balloons.
If Emily knocks a passenger off with a water balloon, or if she shoots it with a water gun so that it leaves a wet mark, that passenger becomes her possession.
If a rider is either shot or blasted with a balloon by Emily, such that his passenger gets wet, he keeps going anyway, hoping to have at least one passenger when he gets back to the starting line.
If a passenger falls off an elephant without being shot by Emily, the elephant may use one hand to put the passenger back on.
The assistant should keep an eye out for passengers that Emily has either shot with the water gun or dislodged with a water balloon. She should take them away from the elephants, give them to Emily, and encourage the elephants to keep to the race.
At the end of the game, count how many passengers Emily collected. Count how many passengers the elephants collectively got through the race that weren’t shot or blasted by Emily. If the class has more, then they win over envy. If not…better luck next time!
Repeat the game, using different students as Emily until your water and balloons run out.
Closing: It’s fun to play with water and try to shoot Envious Emily. Sometimes when people get jealous in school, it’s not so fun. Let’s remember to be happy for others when they get something we don’t. God rewards those who don’t get envious!