Since Monday was Halloween I made sure to bring a load of candy (thank you Costco) to fulfill my duty as the American teacher at Ichikashi. Halloween, over the last few years, has started to pick up in Japan but it still hasn't made its way into the school system yet (no costumes allowed!). I told all the teachers in the English department to announce to their classes that if the students came to our office and said "trick or treat" they would get a candy. And sure enough...
A lot of them came!
Then after school, we had an ECC (English Conversation Club) Halloween Party in the 3A classroom, which is the nicest classroom at school! We told all the kids to bring some snacks and drinks and we kicked off the party at 4:00pm...
Riho, our club president, quickly found the Honey Dijon chips I brought from Costco haha. Smart girl.
Japanese snacks are the best.
So...my duty was to plan a bunch of games for the students to play. Thankfully, I grew up going to Church summer camp every year, then worked at Forest Home for two summers, and was an RA at APU so you can imagine how many church-friendly-crazy-games I have in my repertoire. (I had to look up how to spell that word)
Game 1: M&M Elevator.
I tied string to some hashis and made the kids put the string behind their ears and pull up an M&M to their mouths without it falling off. They all kept saying "this is impossible!!" but they made it work and it was hilarious to watch how focused they got!
Game 2: Throw the Mallow
I bought this bag of ridiculously large marshmallows from, you guessed it, Costco. At the last minute I was thinking of how to use them for a game and thought to myself, "hmmm...marshmallows are soft, so why not throw them at peoples' faces?" classic. I printed out these Pumpkin masks and gave each team three big marshmallows each. Every time they hit the pumpkin they got one point. No one was injured in this game so I call that a success!
Game 3: Find the candy
I played this game so many times growing up...blindfold one person, have their teammate shout directions at them to find whatever object is on the floor. This time it was a bunch of individually wrapped Haribo gummies.
Game 4: pass the pumpkin
They loved this one, simply for the fact that everyone loves a good relay race! These pumpkins were only $1 each at Costco. Over under, behind the back, eyes closed, I tried to mix it up to make each round a little more difficult. They were so loud during this one!
One of the students, Tats, made his own game by eating far too many gummie bears. His entire mouth was full and he kept shoving them in while his two friends kept cheering him on...boys will be boys!
After playing the games, the winning team got to be first in line for some cheesecake. We spent the rest of the party listening to American music on youtube and dancing to all the hip hop songs that are going viral haha!
These girls are awesome!
The students stayed around until 6pm when we told them it was time to clean up and head home. I loved spending time with them, playing a bunch of silly games, and seeing their happy faces eating candy and enjoying each others' company. I feel so very blessed to call this "work."
Another though: how cool is God to give us experiences in life to build on one another and help us later down the road?! For example, six years ago when I was a summer camp leader at Forest Home planning weeks of games and activities with my coworkers, I would have never imagined that I would use those ideas again as a teacher in Japan. One of the English teachers here said to me, "Amie how do you think of all these games?" and I laughed because I told her it just comes from all the things I grew up with and it doesn't stress me out one bit to plan them! God sets things up so far in advance, we can't imagine how things will come back into our lives or how two jobs will connect... but after all, God is the one who created us so He knows exactly how our various skills, talents, passions, hobbies will all fit in together to make us the most effective for His kingdom. I love that about God, and I am so blessed by His guidance and wisdom in my life.
Thank you Lord for bringing me here and giving me an outlet for all my icebreaker games and extrovert tendencies haha!