I had an idea I wanted to share. When I was a youth (I’m now almost 40 so this was many moons ago lol) we did a “Handcuff Dinner” as a joint YW/YM activity. When I was newly married, I was in the YW Presidency and I suggested that we do it in our ward, and it was one of the funnest activities we’d ever done!
The basic idea is that the youth are all seated boy/girl/boy/girl and so on, and then thier hands were tied together while they eat dinner. The idea is for them to work together to pass dishes of food, salad dressing, etc, without making a huge mess (the mess of course being part of the fun). At first all of them tried really hard to coordinate, but you know there were some that “forgot” and as soon as they moved their hand, the person they were tied to had thier hand go flying….you can picture the rest! Just trying to eat was messy! Here is what we did:
We set out the long tables into a big square in the gym. This way all of the kids could see everyone…that made it super fun! We lined the tables with one of those big roles of brown paper…or maybe it was white? Anyway, we drew a circle to represent a plate at each place (one less thing to fall on the ground) and set out silverware, plastic cups, etc. You could certainly use paper plates.
We then blindfolded each youth so they didn’t know what was going on. We just asked them to come in grubby clothes and told them they were likely to get dirty, and to come hungry. We led them all in and sat them down and then took the blindfolds off and explained what we were doing. All of us leaders were “servers”.
We had spaghetti, bread, salad, water and dessert. We asked them to raise thier hands if they needed something (to add to the fun and possibility of making a mess), and we would bring more. I think we had bibs for them as well. It was a hit! The kids loved it, the adults loved watching it. It was easy cleanup because we used plastic ware, and for the tables we just had to roll up the paper and toss it. The floor wasn’t all that bad, surprisingly. You could have something other than what we had for dinner, you could to it outside….do it anyway you want….just don’t forget to “handcuff” them!!