Games for Kids
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Making Scripture Stick
Our aim is to help children enjoy learning God’s Word and to be able to apply it to their lives.
- God’s Word commands it! Deuteronomy 6:6,7
These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
- It’s valuable. Psalm 119:9,11
“How can a young man live a pure life? By living according to God’s Word…I have hidden Your Word in my heart so that I might not sin against You.”
- They will guide and give direction to a child’s life. Psalm 119:105
“Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.”
- Be thoroughly prepared and know how to use your materials/visuals.
- Always have your materials made before class.
- Use a variety of methods. Surprise adds excitement.
- The activities should be fun and fairly easy, not overly challenging.
- Be enthusiastic.
- Use lower case letters for young children.
- Emphasise the central theme of the verse.
- Use a Bible so that the children associate the verse with the Bible.
- Repetition is essential. Repeat verse at least 6 times throughout the meeting.
- Stress the doing, not just the knowing of the verse.
- Give them something to take home to remind them, e.g. fridge magnet
- Take no longer than 8 minutes to teach the verse.
- Always encourage the children.
- Use both audience participations and competition.
- Provide mental relaxation after learning the verse, e.g. sing a familiar song
- Question all children, not just the “brighter” ones.
- Treat all answers seriously
- Ask children to repeat the verse the following week as they come into Sabbath School. This will encourage long term rather than short term memorizing.
Praise the child for whatever response he or she makes. Some children may not be ready yet to try memorizing in class. Spend one month on one verse.
Reading from the Bible. The child “helps” an adult read the verse from the Bible, exaggerating emphasis on key words.
Echoes. The child echoes each phrase right after the adult says it.
Bible verse songs. Sing the song often in class until the children pick it up. The music aids memorization.
Action songs. Make up actions to sing with the song and the children will enjoy the verse more and learn it sooner.
Reading from the Bible. The child holds the Bible while the adult points to the words and reads, even though she cannot read. Do this after each activity and story throughout the entire program. Soon, the child will complete the verse after hearing the first couple of words. Prompt as necessary. Praise extravagantly.
Tell Your Arms. After the children begin to learn the verse, ask them to tell their arms. As they say each word, they pat alternate arms with the opposite hands. When they get the hang of this, speed it up. Vary it with “tell your shoulders” (tap alternate shoulders), “tell your head” (nod head from side to side), “tell your knees” (tap alternate knees), and “tell your feet” (stand up and tap alternate feet).
Rhythm Band. Kids tap rhythm instruments as they say the verse. They may even march as they play and say.
Memory Lane. Cut out colourful foot prints and laminate them. Tape footprints on the floor, one for each word of the Bible verse, spaced to form a pathway for one child at a time to walk. Kids line up and take turns to say the verse, taking a footstep for each word they say. If they miss a word prompt them and then let them start over.
Actions. Make up actions to go with the words of the memory verse.
Flash Card Games. Flash cards are index cards with a single, different word of te text written on each. [The larger the group, the larger the cards need to be and the thicker the marker that you write with.]
Scrambled Verse. Hand out flash cards in random order. Kids arrange themselves in order of the verse and say the verse, each child saying the word they hold, and then say the verse all together.
Bible Search. Give kids the flash cards and the reference. They look up their Bibles and then assemble the verse.
Missing Words. The flash cards are in order where everyone can see them. Have everyone read the verse, and then remove one card. Everyone reads the verse, supplying the missing word. Repeat, each time removing one more card until there are no cards and kids can say the whole verse by themselves.
Bible Stepping Stones. You need the memory verse on flash cards, one word per card. Arrange the words upside down on the floor, in order and only a step apart. The kids say the word and then step on the flash card before saying the next word of the verse. You can mix it up with the trail from the previous memory verse crisscrossing today’s trail. The kids then have to recognise today’s verse.
Memory Toss. To review the memory verse for the quarter, you need an egg carton and a button. In each of the hollows place a slip of paper with the reference for a memory verse, for example, John 3:16. The kids toss the button into the carton and say the memory verse that goes with the reference that the button lands on.
Bible Relay. Two teams form two lines, players standing side by side with their Bibles. The teacher calls a Bible text. The person at one end of the team finds the verse and raises one hand. Nly then may the next person start searching, and so on down the line. The last person to find the text runs to the front and the team starts saying the verse.
Echo Canyon. Stand in a circle. The leader reads the whole verse and then shouts the first phrase. Each successive person echoes the person before them, but less loudly. The leader follows on quickly with the next phrase which is echoed down the line, and so on, ending with the Bible reference.
Jigsaw Puzzle. Write the verse on a black jigsaw puzzle. Mix up the pieces and time kids as they try to put it back together.
Two Team Echo. Divide up a short memory verse into two sections. Half of the class takes the first part, and the rest, the last part of the verse. Give the two teams two minutes to learn their part of the text. One team says their part of the verse and the other group follows with theirs. Do this several times and then challenge someone to stand up and repeat the whole verse.
Add One. The kids stand or sit in a circle. The teacher says the first word of the verse, the person to her left says the next and so on around the circle, every person adding one more word until the verse is done.
Materials – long piece of rope, pegs, large sticky notes, cardboard clothes shapes, washing basket, peg container.
Write words from the verse on the sticky notes and attach to the cardboard clothes shapes.
Divide children into two teams. One child from each team is selected to race to a washing basket, grab one piece of clothing each, then race to a box and grab two pegs. The first team to hang their pieces of clothing on the line in the correct order is the winner.
Materials – flashcards, pins, pin board (or blue tack)
Write words of Bible text on flashcards. After going over the text a few times give each child a flashcard and on the “go” signal children race to put their flashcards in order. Tim them. Read it through together. Keep trying to improve time.
Bean Bag Verse
Sit the children in a circle and practice saying the memory verse together. Explain the rules of the bean bag game once the children are familiar with the verse. Begin the game by throwing the bean bag to someone. The child with the bean bag has to say the first word, before throwing it on to another child. Whoever the bean bag is thrown at is who says the next word in the verse. The bean bag can be thrown to anyone in the group. See how quickly they can throw the bean bag and say the verse as it is thrown around the group.
Buy some plain coloured balloons, one for each child; tie it to some string or ribbon. Give each child a copy of the verse to be learned. Once they know the verse, give them their balloon and let them use the markers to write the verse onto the balloon. Decorate the balloons to suit the passage. Make sure there are plenty of craft items; for example some folded paper, ribbons and card shapes. Give each child the opportunity to say the verse out loud and show off his or her balloon.
Buy some multi coloured beach balls. The following statements can be written on the sections to help you with your memory verses.
- When can you use this verse in your life?
- Say any part of the verse.
- What does this verse tell you about God?
- Where is the verse found in the Bible?
- Act out the verse.
- Put this verse in your own words.
- When you have written those statements on the ball, throw it around the group and get them to answer the statement their thumb is touching.
Use a puppet each memory verse time – the puppet gains the attention, not you. Give your puppet a definite name and character – essential for success. Give it a definite role to perform and use it regularly in this.
The Victorian Children’s Ministry Department aims to train, resource and empower parents and church leaders to disciple their children for Jesus. Child safety is one of our core values. We aim to ensure the physcial and emotional safety of every child in any of our programmes.