Girls and Boys play differentlyFebruary 12, 2013
It’s not rocket science to come to the conclusion that boys and girls play differenly. The first time it really struck me was when I was running a Sunday school with my wife many years ago – boy that makes me feel old! Anyway, we gave a mixed group of boys and girls (between ages of say 5-9 years) some newspapers and asked them to cut out pictures to make a montage. We left them busy cutting away whilst we set up the next activity.
Within minutes we found that the boys had rolled up their newspapers and started a fantastic ‘sword battle’ chasing each other up and down the hall and smacking their swords as they leapt off chairs and the stage. They were starring in a great movie epic and their imaginations were running wild!
Meanwhile, the girls had formed a den underneath a table and the were looking through the papers and magazines in search of cool pictures. They had pulled out fancy clothes of the very latest fashion trend and pictures of puppies and horses whilst a couple of them cantered playfully around the table pretending to be horses! Need I say more.
Clearly, boys lean towards more boisterous and aggressive play and they like character who are tough looking, dangerous and adventurous – look at Ben 10, Batman or James Bond if you want examples. Boys like to win things! Girls on the otherhand tend to have more nuturing play and they like cute, cuddly and fashion – ok let’s give examples here too – Barbie, My little Pony or Pepper Pig. Girls also like to talk 😉
So, what effect did this revelation have when we designed Testament Trumps? It’s simple, we made the character drawings relevant. Jacob is an armwrestling biker, Elisha is a rapper with his body guard bear, Esau is a hunter, David and Gideon are ready to do battle with swords and slings (especially helpful for fighting a Giant!), Joshua is a builder, Jonah a surfer, Pharaoh is a gangster, Peter is a rock climber, John is a drummer (Son of Thunder) and Timothy is a boxer – the list goes on.
What about the girls – well the same rules apply so that we can reach them too and engage them like Barbie has. Queen Esther is stunning and beautifully dressed, Delilah is a hairdresser, Mary of Bethany works in a Spa, Mary (Jesus mum) is baking a cake for his birthday, Rahab is a cowgirl with her red lassoo and Mary Magdaline is a caver (Ok we need to reach ALL the girls you know!) Then we have the evil Queen Jezabel – brrrr!!!
All our characters bring characteristics which are quirky, funny, daring, exciting and so on. And EVERY SINGLE ONE gives a clue to the characters story in the bible! Even Jesus is depicted as the King of Kings returning in victory with His Sword, Cape, long flowing hair and muscular physique?
Anyway, as you can see, we’ve made a great attempt to reach both boys and girls and we’ve found that as a result, the kids are choosing their own favorite heros and role models from their favorite Bible characters – how cool!
Let me encourage you to try these card games with the kids in your youth work and see them choose their favorite cards. The last letter I received was from a little boys mum who said ‘He just loves Stephen the astronaught – the bible says he looked into the heavens and saw God … so it’s pretty ironic’. And that’s the whole point!