Create a throwing competition, like the cornhole game, where each child has their own item to throw. If you don’t have different colored bean bags, find a small toy such as different colored Legos. The target can be a laundry basket, bucket, Hoola hoop, or simply a line of tape on the floor or a chalk mark on the driveway. Have only 1 of each color item and assign a value to each color after they have chosen. For example, yellow toys get 2 points for everyone that makes it in the target. Red is 1, blue is 1 and green is 3. Assign the values to make the game as unfair as possible. The child who is the oldest, tallest, or most athletic should get the 3 point color. Identify the line behind which they have to throw from. All children will throw from the same line. Each family member will get 1 throw per round. Keep a tally of the points. The person who is throwing for 1 point per throw is probably the first one to complain that the game is not fair. After a few rounds, ask how to make the game more fair. Make any changes that they can all agree on and play a few more rounds. If they want to make any more changes, you can do that and play a few more rounds. Are they making changes to make the gameplay fair or even? Will everyone always score a point so that the game always ends in a tie score across all players? If they make those types of changes, it’s okay. In fact, you could encourage them. It will highlight the difference between fair and equal (and create a rather boring game!)
Process the activity with these or similar questions:
Did the tossing game sound fun at first?
Did you like the point value that your color was assigned?
Did you like the idea of being able to make changes to the game to make it more fair?
Was it easy to see how to make it more fair right away or did you have to try a few things first?
Did you take fairness so far that it came out equal?
Can you see the difference between fair and equal?
How does this activity tell us about God’s love for us?
How does this activity tell us how to love others?
The next time you have to decide fairness, will you remember this game and be fair?
How did this activity go when you used it with your group? Did you make any modifications that worked better for you? Share your experience below!