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Step up in the New Year
A person’s feet tell us two very important facts about someone: where one’s standing and which way someone is going. A firm stand and a consistent walk are both traits we admire in others. During the New Year we often look back at the journey that has brought us to where we are now as well as make decisions about where we want to go in the upcoming year.

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Games using Feet

  • Identify the Footprint – As the youth arrive, collect their footprints. My personal preference is to have sheets of colored paper – the type that does not leave a stain when wet. (Test it first so you don’t have permanent footprints across your carpet!). Have the participants remove their shooes and socks, then step on a damp towel and then finally step on the paper. A wet footprint will be left behind. Quickly trace it with a dark colored marker and let it dry! You might also want to number the prints and have a numbered name list so that you can correctly identify the prints later. Go through the numbered prints and have youth match the print with the person who made it. Can you even identify your own footprint? Award the person who correctly identifies the most feet! With the Incredible FEAT award!
  • Foot Tag – Two players hold hands with both hands. On “go” both players try and tap the top of their opponents foot with their own foot. First to do so wins. Winners then play winners until there is a top winner.
  • Whose feet – 5-8 members of the group sit behind a curtain. Only the bare feet are peeking out from under the curtain. Can a player (or the rest of the group) work out whose feet they are?
  • Fewest feet – Each team tries to stand on as few feet as possible. For example, 5 players have 10 feet and try to only have 3-4 feet on the ground.
  • Coaster discus – A coaster or plastic lid is clamped between the toes and is thrown like a Frisbee as far as possible. Farthest throw wins.
  • Foot relay – Divide your group into teams of 6-8. Each team then lines up and sits on the floor. The object of the game is to pass a lemon along the line and back again using only their feet. If the lemon touches the floor the team have to start again at the beginning.
  • Footsies – This game is similar to twister but without the game props. Begin the game with all players standing in a circle about a shoulder-width apart. Select one youth to be the first striker and have him or her start the game by moving one of his or her feet (this foot is called the striking foot) to touch one of the feet of the person to the left of them. Once the striker decides which foot he or she wants to move while striking foot the other foot becomes the pivot foot. The pivot foot cannot be lifted off the ground. Once the first striker has made his or her move, he or she has to freeze both feet in the position in which he or she came in contact with the other person and must remain frozen until his or her next turn. The foot of the person who was struck becomes the next person’s striking foot for his or her turn. The game progresses by going around the circle in a clockwise motion (to the left), having each player take his or her striking foot and striking the next player. As the game progresses, players will begin to find themselves in positions that make it hard to remain balanced so people will begin to be eliminated. Players are eliminated if they touch the ground with anything other than their feet, if they lose their balance, if they try to catch their balance by grabbing another person, if it is their turn and by mistake move the foot that was not touched by the previous striker’s foot or if they move their feet out of turn. If someone is eliminated, the next person in the circle continues on with the game choosing which ever foot he or she wishes to use as the striking foot. As youth are eliminated, there will be gaps in the circle making it harder for strikers to reach the foot of the person next in the circle. If while attempting to reach the foot of the person next in the circle the strikers loses his or her balance or breaks any of the other rules, he or she is eliminated. Note that strikers don’t necessarily have to lift their striking foot when striking, but also can scoot a foot across the ground in order to remain balanced; once contact is made with the other person’s foot, the striker’s feet must freeze. As the game goes on, players will find they are getting very close to each other and it becomes harder to remain balanced. Players are allowed to touch each other, but they cannot grab, push, bump or brace other players to try and make them loose their balance.
  • Foot Pictionary – This is like standard pictionary but the artist instead of drawing with their hands will draw with their feet, by having the marker tied to one of their feet with the bandana. On “Go” the player will try their best to draw the assigned picture, while the rest of their team tries to guess the picture. Keep the assigned pictures simple, as it will be difficult to even draw the simplest things and make them recognizable. Maybe even purchase and use “Junior Pictionary” for suggested words and categories.
  • Banana Foot Peel – Bring up about 4 students, have them take off their shoes and socks, and hand each of them a banana. When the leader says go, the contestants are supposed to peel the banana with their feet as quickly as they can. They can use both feet to do so. Judge the winner by speed and final condition of the banana.
  • Foot Signing Contest – Have 5 students come to the front of the room and remove their shoes and socks. Give each a felt-tipped or ball point pen. On the signal, they run out into the crowd and see who can get the most signatures on the bottom of their feet in the time limit. No one person can sign more than three feet. Can use both feet. Signatures must be legible.
  • Balancing foot balloons – Only using the feet, one or more balloons must be kept up in the air without the balloon touching the ground. This can also be timed.
  • Spell My Feet – Take 5 people and have them take off their shoes and socks. Take a marker and write a large letter on the bottom of each of their feet so if they sit facing you and hold their feet in the air, you can read the letters. On the first person put an A and an N (one letter on each foot), on the next an E and a T, then GR, OM, and SP. You will call out different words for them to spell and they have to cross legs, stretch, and situate themselves in a position so that the bottom of their feet spell the word you called. You can do this with two teams of five if you want and see who spells the word first. Use these words: master, roast, smear, togas, snore, ten proms, get spam, great son

TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Today’s games all involved feet. A lot of our English idioms and common sayings refer to “feet”. Share a few appropriate idioms or the entire list of idoms with the group. Which of these idioms best describes you? Why?

  • Idioms referring to feet
  • back on your feet again
  • dip your toes in the water
  • drag one’s feet
  • fall at his feet
  • find your feet
  • fleet of foot
  • foot the bill
  • get a foot in the door
  • get cold feet
  • get off on the wrong foot
  • get to one’s feet
  • get your feet wet
  • has two left feet
  • have a foot in both camps
  • have feet of clay
  • have one foot in the grave
  • have your feet on the ground
  • hold someone’s feet to the fire
  • hot foot out of here
  • land on your feet
  • make an about face
  • My foot!
  • on foot
  • on your back foot
  • pussyfoot around
  • put a foot wrong
  • put your best foot forward
  • put your feet up
  • put your foot down
  • put your foot in it
  • put your foot in your mouth
  • shoot yourself in the foot
  • sit at the foot of a teacher
  • stand on your own two feet
  • step on another person’s foot
  • step on the gas
  • stop dead in your tracks
  • sweep someone off his/her feet
  • take a load off your feet
  • take a stand
  • take steps toward something
  • the ball is at your feet
  • thinking on your feet
  • throw yourself at someone’s feet
  • tiptoe through it
  • to get under foot
  • vote with your feet
  • watch your step
  • world’s at your feet

MAKE IT SPIRITUAL

  1. Sure footed – Many of the proverbs talk about making our paths straight, about stumbling, about watching our step, about our walk with God. Proverbs 4:26 – “Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established.”
  2. God’s Protection – “. . . unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24, KJV).
    Hab 3:19; 2 Sam 22:34; Ps 18:33 – “The Lord God [is] my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.”
  3. Evangelism – Romans 10:15 – “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
    Ephesians 6:15 – “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace”
  4. Servanthood – John 13 – Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

MAKE IT PRACTICAL

  • What is something that you have taken a stand for in the past year? What are some things that you need to take a stronger stand on in the upcoming year?
  • What are some steps that you have taken in the right direction with your life? The wrong direction?
  • What are some areas in which you have stumbled along the way in your journey?
  • What are some ways that we can make our walk sure? How can you get back on your feet and take a new step in the right direction with your life? In what areas do you need to watch your step?
  • Taking a stand and finding your footing in life isn’t always easy – especially when you might need to step on a few toes to do so. How can you find the balance between taking a stand on things that are important to you without stepping on too many toes? Should you worry about stepping on toes? Why or why not?

MAKE IT PERSONAL

  • As a footnote to this lesson, identify at least one area of your life where you need to get back on your feet! How can you take a new step in the right direction with your life beginning today? In what areas do you need to watch your step in the journey ahead?

(As a meaningful reminder, give the participants the piece of paper with their footprint on it to write the answer to the questions above. Encourage them to place it on the door of their room as a reminder that every day they step outside that door they need to also take a step in the right direction for their life in the New Year!)

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