I did this with our group at Christmas time, but this could be a really fun and easy to prepare activity anytime — especially this week if you decide to talk about Shrove Tuesday traditions. This is adapted from an activity posted at YouthMinistry.com.
I took a simple chocolate chip recipe and put each of the ingredients in a ziploc bag. I added to each bag a sticker label with what the ingredient was and why we used it. The labels asked the youth to think about the roles that different people played in our lives — the ones who add flavor, the ones who tempt us, or the ones who encourage us. Then there was a brief prayer for those people in our lives. (Click here for a PDF of the labels I used.)
This activity helped the youth think about all of these various people in their lives — which made it a good reflection at the close of a year. It could be expanded to include Bible passages or other activities.
With this activity, they got to create something together and then reap the delicious rewards. Everyone had a part to play in the process. And at least in this group, none of them had made cookies from scratch before. Some of them marveled on what did or didn’t get added into the mix.
It was a fun activity that helped them reflect on their lives and express that in the group. It’s simple enough, that it could be done for a variety of ages — including an elementary aged group or a mixed group of children and adults.
(Reminder: If you choose to use this activity, follow good food safety practices and make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly and the dough is fully baked before consumed. Also, be mindful of oven temperatures and times being different — try and have one person stay near the oven to make sure they don’t burn.)