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Theme Scheme: Creative Ideas, Activities, Games, Puzzles, Quizzes

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By Rosalie Sugrue

Revised and expanded July 2018. 
About this revised and expanded edition:

  • In the first section, months of the year, dates for National Observances and Appeals have been updated, and new entries added.

  • In the Games section, these games have been added: Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?; I wrote a letter to my love; Hunt the Slipper, What’s the Time Mr Wolf, Hide and Seek, Sardines, fun and games in the swimming pool, Oranges and Lemons; Large Ball Relays; Bullrush; Scavenger Hunts and Eating Chocolate off a plate.

  • Other games have been revised to make the instructions clearer and to allow for less mobile participants.

  • In the Quizzes section extensive lists of Words within Words and a selection of Bible riddles have been added.

  • Website links have been checked and updated.

  • Countries statistics have been updated to include the latest population sizes and life expectancy.

  • Māori words now have macrons where needed.


Book Review

“Theme Scheme is packed full of ideas that are, as stated on the cover, fun and practical, requiring minimal equipment, resources and time to prepare. These are commendable qualities for activities and readers will not be disappointed. There are ideas here that could be developed into an evening’s programme or used to help people relax and feel comfortable with each other at the beginning of any meeting. As the author writes, This book has grown out of a philosophy of caring by sharing. Those wishing to shape thoughts or activities around a specific theme will find much on which to draw.

The book begins with the months of the year. The very name of each month may provoke ideas. There follow suggestions suitable for the seasons of nature and church, and for particular anniversaries falling within each month. International commemorations, national days and appeals are included, often with helpful background comment. Many of us know the date of Waitangi Day or Hiroshima Day, or when Mother’s Day or Labour Day fall, but Rosalie draws attention to occasions such as World Health Day or Heart Week that otherwise may pass us by. We may also wish to mark Walk to Work Day, Maori Language Week, Sign Language Week or World Habitat Day. It’s all here.

The months of the year are followed by a section on games. There are parlour games, moving and mixing games, party games for active people, games for young people, large space games and games for Christmas. There are simple instructions for games suitable for everyone regardless of levels of fitness or confidence. There are also quizzes on general topics including New Zealand facts, random items of history and word teasers and a separate section of Bible quizzes. As Theme Scheme was originally compiled for church groups, there is a helpful section on special Sundays and church activities relating to such events as saints days, Bible Sunday and Week of Prayer for World Peace.

For those wanting some new and participative way of marking an occasion or introducing an idea, Theme Scheme has a surfeit of resources. It is a place to begin but, as Rosalie says, use members’ expertise where possible and don’t forget their whanau, free leaflets, libraries and the Internet. She also offers some general pointers and tips for running small group meetings to ensure that meetings are well-organised yet flexible and happy occasions where everyone feels included and valued.
This review scarcely does Theme Scheme justice. It is overflowing with ideas developed from the author’s own experience with groups. It is available in hard copy or as an ebook.” Reviewed by John Meredith, editor in Word & Worship: Winter 2014.


Description

This revised and expanded edition of Theme Scheme offers you a wealth of creative ideas, activities, games, puzzles, plays and quizzes to help plan, organise and lead your group’s programmes. All are fun and practical, requiring minimal equipment, resources and time to prepare.

The first section covers a whole year, month-by-month, to help you celebrate New Zealand and international anniversaries, national days, organisations and causes.
Games are a wonderful way for folk to mix and get to know one another. There are easy instructions for indoor and outdoor games suitable for active, young people, through to less mobile, older people. Great for convenors, leaders, teachers and diversional therapists.

The book also includes sound, straightforward guidelines for running small group meetings, covering rules for happy meetings, an agenda and minutes structure, and the role of the person leading the meeting.

Special Sundays and church related activities through the year are highlighted. This section also notes related plays and readings in Rosalie’s companion book Ten Plays: Short, easy dramas for churches (available in print and as an eBook).

The last two sections of material for themed quizzes and trivia competitions on general and Bible topics will keep your group entertained and interacting with each other throughout the year.


About the Author

Rosalie Reynolds Sugrue is a fifth generation West Coaster. Both her parents being fourth generation Coasters whose forebears came seeking gold. Rosalie’s great grandfather, James Reynolds, was a local preacher from Cornwall who preached to miners on the beaches and helped establish the first Methodist church in Hokitika. His wife, Eliza, signed the petition that gave women the vote.

Rosalie’s mother Elva Reynolds was a Methodist Deacon and also a lay preacher. Rosalie is a past president of the NZ Lay Preachers’ Association, and the inaugural facilitator of the Methodist Lay Preachers Network 2004, serving as a co-facilitator until 2008. She has led hundreds of church services in New Zealand and the UK. She has also led rest home services, family services, cafe style worship, house blessings and devotions in many other situations.

A wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and author now retired Rosalie has worked as a psychiatric nurse, teacher and motellier.

She has been active in Jaycees, the Methodist Women’s Fellowship, the Community of Women and Men in Church and Society, National Council of Women, the Churches’ Agency on Social Issues, Victim Support and U3A.

She continues an active role as a lay preacher leading one to three services every month in a variety of churches.
You will get the following files:
  • PDF (5MB)
  • EPUB (1MB)
  • MOBI (2MB)

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