Bible-Based, Valentine Escape Room Relief Society Activity
I belong to a woman's church organization called Relief Society. Within, this organization there is also a Activities Committee in charge of monthly activities. We have to come up with a variety of things and since it's the month of love, it only seemed appropriate (and fun) to stick with the theme and come up with something around that.
I call this activity, "Unlock my Language and Escape with me, Galentine!"
It is a combination of sharing each other's love languages and participating in a VALENTINE ESCAPE ROOM challenge! With a talk on Sisterhood to bring it all together.
I found a talk given by Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson called, "Sisterhood: Oh, How We Need Each Other." I led a small discussion with that and concluded by reading the invitation that Sister Oscarson extends to the woman, “I invite you to not only love each other more but love each other better.”
How can we love each other better? This question perfectly transitioned into the second part of the night. It turned out that everyone present was already familiar with Dr. Gary Chapman's, "The Five Love Languages" book, so we summarized them briefly and each sister took turns sharing their love language (Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Acts of Service or Gifts.)
I love the Five Languages because they are astoundingly valuable in understanding, building and strengthening relationships. So much better than surface questions like, "what's your favorite color?" I felt this was practical information that we could use on each other as we feel prompted to show love to one another. I was also prepared for sisters who had not heard of them and was ready to have them take a free online quiz on my phone to discover how they receive and express love. We then moved on to the third part of the night, Heavenly Father's love for us: Enter the Escape Room.
The Escape Room challenge was not only Valentine based, but also Bible based. What! I know! So perfect for this activity! The focus of the mysteries in the Escape Room challenge is to solve what Heavenly Father's love is according to scripture. The best part was that I did not have to create it from scratch. I came across it online. It comes with teacher instructions, student instructions, the whole activity planned for you. All you have to do is print it (after you buy it and download it of course), pass them to your sisters, read the instructions and give them thirty minutes or a hour to complete their mission. This challenge is advertised for ages 8 and up, so I figured it would take about ten minutes to crack the codes, but to my pleasant surprise, most of the ladies took the whole half an hour I gave them to complete the task. It was awesome to see them so involved. I was afraid it would be too easy and therefore bleh, but it ended up being a fantastic challenge even for adults. I had an answer key with me and when they solved the mysteries correctly, I rewarded them with a key to escape.
Now, this was no ordinary key. I found beautiful and bedazzled heart shaped key pendants, the kind that has a bezel on the heart shape so you can place a tiny photo and cover it with a clear heart shaped glass over it. They were so fun and gorgeous! The ladies loved working hard for those!
And of course, you gotta have a photo station with props that read statements like, "We cracked the code." Is any Escape Room complete without these? The answer is no :) So, I went ahead and created some really fun ones. For some time I considered buying a backdrop, but then I decided to make one as well, to save more money and because having customized decor for a specific event really adds a lot of fun and uniqueness. So, I made five big Valentine hearts with a picture representing each love language!
So, here is the breakdown and all the links you need to make it happen!
For the opening hymn I chose #310 "A key was turned in Latter Days."
PART 1.) Thirty minutes, give or take, discussion on this talk:
Part 2.) Thirty minutes summarizing and sharing each other's love languages.
Part 3.) Thirty minutes timed on the Valentine Escape Room challenge.
In total this activity only cost us under $25.00! My committee donated paper for all our printing needs and Christmas white lights as well as red lignts from their homes to decorate. Our committee has amazing sisters, I love this team.
So, let's talk about those decorations!
We set up three stations:
1. The Photo Station: I taped the backdrop Valentine Hearts on the wall and put up a table nearby to place our props and keys on.
2. The Heart Station: We set up a table outside the front door and had sisters write their names on a heart. (A committee member then taped up those hearts to our white light display.) On the table I also place a "Love Letter" that was Top Secret and read something like, "Meet me so and so and this letter will self-destruct in three, two..."
Purpose of the white light display- I wanted a display where we can show how many sisters we have in the ward vs how many sisters were present. So we used a string of white lights and each bulb represented one of our 139 sisters in the ward. Then, we placed a heart with the names written on those sisters who showed, over each light bulb.
3. The refreshments station: we just put up a table in a corner for the hot chocolate and cookies.
And we also placed a Decoder (these are given in the Escape Room Printable) on each wall with some purple LED string lights around it to kind of scream at people, "Hey! Look at me! I'm a clue!"
And we placed a few red lights around the room just for fun and wala!
All in all, from the feedback that we received from the attendees, this night was a complete success, so I definitely recommend it :) Happy Valentine's Day Ya'll.