Type/Purpose: Food/Messy, Obstacle Course/Race/Relay, Seasonal–Winter

Materials: For this, you will need teams of 6. When figuring out supplies, multiply accordingly for each team. For larger groups, this may be 1 of a number of games, and you may choose to have half play, and half watch/cheer.

  • Large pot filled with water. (You may choose to warm this water up to get more hot-chocolate-y, but if you deem your group may need more safety in place, go with normal tap water. Even if warming, stick with a medium hot, just in case.)
  • Empty tub for clean-up.
  • For each team:
    • 1 coffee vessel (preference is with a cup and saucer, but thermal mug would be fine)
    • Turkey baster
    • Small dish filled with cocoa powder
    • Clean clothespin (the kind with the spring that opens and closes)
    • Whole cinnamon stick
    • Small dish filled with mini marshmallows
    • Chopsticks


  • Use an open room with enough space to stage a relay.
  • In the center, place a table with the pot in the middle and the empty tub behind it.
  • Arrange a station for each team a couple of feet away from the pot with:
    • Cocoa powder, clothespin, marshmallows and chopsticks
  • 7 to 10 feet behind the table with the pots, set down the cups and saucers (or thermal cups).


  • Split the group into equal teams of 6, and place each 1 behind a starting point a short distance from the pots.
  • Have each group line up and number themselves 1 to 6 (if the groups are smaller, some participants might have multiple jobs). Each group has a job as follows:
    • Bunny hops towards the cup, selects the one they want (or the one that’s left), runs to one of the open stations, sets down their cup and runs to the group.
    • Runs to their station, and using the turkey baster, suctions the water into the device and into the cup. Fills the cup 2/3 full, and runs back to group.
    • Runs to their station, and using the clothespin, empties 5 clothespins full of cocoa powder into the cup, and runs back to group.
    • Runs to station, grabs cinnamon stick and stirs chocolate into water until diluted. If ANY chocolate spills out of the cup, they must dump their cup into the empty tub, and restart with #2. When finished, runs back to group.
    • Runs to station, and using chopsticks, transfers 6 mini marshmallows into cup, runs back to group.
    • Runs to station, cautiously picks up cup by handle, with pinky finger extended. Takes small slurp and utters appropriate comment.

Extra Ideas:

  • Adapt this tradition-deconstruction idea to other fall/winter activities–decorating cookies, assembling a tree, getting dressed for outside, etc.
  • After the relay, make real hot chocolate. Check online for different hot chocolate variations, and use hot-pots, etc. to get at least three different versions. Then have a tasting.
  • Invite the congregation to a hot chocolate and cookie potluck.

Teachable Moment: Ask about some popular fall/winter traditions in various families. Explore some Thanksgiving/Christmas traditions that Americans celebrate. Then explore some Christian traditions around the world.