Messy Night is one of my favorite ways to start a new CLUB345 season. CLUB345 is a monthly gathering of 3rd-5th graders. Our CLUB345 time is filled with practicing holy habits, Bible study, and shared developmentally appropriate faith formation experiences which grow our relationship with Jesus AND with one another. The goal of CLUB345 is to set in motion deeper church-friend relationships that remain when they head off to youth. 

Our focus this year will be the Ten Commandments. We started Messy Night with our Bibles and our towels because following Jesus is messy. We chat about the importance of setting clear boundaries in life (house rules; game rules) as we live to please the Lord. When we choose Jesus, we choose to live set apart as different from the world, but in the world. The Ten Commandments, The Lord’s Prayer, and The Apostle’s Creed are critical to the faith development and teachings for upper elementary because they set the stage for living set apart.

Messy Games:

Fruit by the Foot – hang over pvc stands and kids have to eat the whole thing without touching it from the bottom up. Tip: Make it only as tall as the kids can reach when standing upright.

Donut fishing – white donuts are tied onto string tied onto sticks/pole. One friend holds the pole while the other tries to eat the donut without using their hands. Tip: Poke a hole in the middle of the donut (use a pencil if needed) to string it up.

Chubby Bunny – how many white marshmallows/cheese balls can you hold in your mouth and still say, “Chubby Bunny.” It’s a one-on-one game with a friend. Tip: Stay close to guard against choking. 

ABC Soup Spelling – using vegetable soup, spell words using the pasta onto paper plates. Tip: cover the table since the tomato sauce will stain.

Condiment Twister – tape 4-6 Twister game mats together on both sides’ seams with colored duct tape to make a huge mat. Then let the kids use the squirt bottles of each condiment for each color: mustard/yellow, grape jelly/blue, relish/green, ketchup/red. One of our boys suggested Blue Plate Mayo for the blue dots which was brilliant, but plan for mayo to be super greasy. Tip: A spinner is not necessary, just call out the directions. Wash the mat off with a hose and a sponge afterward then set to dry over some bushes for a few days; roll it up for future use.

We book a dual water slide through Jumpy Fun to wash off everything. Tip: The slide is faster when you periodically squirt dishwashing detergent like Joy (lots of bubbles) or Baby Shampoo (easier on the eyes) midway on the slide.

What else would you add to a messy night?

“I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” Psalm 116:1-2