Games

You can use games to teach Bible stories and truths to children in your Christian Preschool or Children's Ministry Sunday School class.  Games are also a good way to learn the Memory Verse or Challenge Activity.

General Guidelines for Playing Games.

The reason for playing the game is to help all the children learn about God and the Christian way of life, not to identify the smartest, most outgoing, most aggressive, or most competitive child in the class.
Be sensitive to newcomers that do not know the materials.
Be sensitive to shy children that know the material but are too shy to try.
Do not tolerate children criticizing or making fun of a child that does not know the answer or is too shy to say what they know.
It is the teacher's responsibility to ensure that each game builds the self-confidence and knowledge of each child in the class.
The children face competitive pressures every day in school, sports, etc.  Children should learn in Sunday School that in God's eyes, everyone is equal.  Use your time with them to build their self-confidence.
Repetition is good.  Use games that give each child an opportunity to repeat the verse a number of times.
Show the Memory Verse or Challenge until all children have taken one turn.  The next turn, they say it from memory.
Rewards, such as candy are not necessary.  Play for points or just for fun.
Avoid playing games which are designed to make children feel left out, such as musical chairs.

The Games

Games appropriate for all ages are described below.  The difficulty level of the games increases as you go down the list.

Musical Colors.

Arrange a chair for each child in a circle.  Each child will have a chair throughout the entire game.
Cut up pieces of different colored paper and tape the pieces to the back of the chairs.  Each color should be taped to at least three chairs.
Start the music and the children walk around the chairs.
Stop the music and the children stop and sit down.
The teacher names a color.  Everyone sitting in a chair that has that color of paper taped to it stands up and recites the Memory Verse or Challenge activity.  For example, if the teacher names red, everyone with red paper taped to their chair stands up and recites the verse.
Repeat several times.

Bible Bingo.

Or you can create your own bingo game using the Clip Art found on this site or clip art from a CD you can buy in a store.  Put six different pictures on each card.  You can also find Bible based bingo games in religious bookstores.
You need a card for each child, beans or small squares of paper, and an individual picture of each image that appears on the cards.
Ask the children to find the picture on the bingo cards as you hold up the individual picture.
The children use the beans or squares of paper to cover the picture on the card if it matches the picture you hold up.
Play until a child covers the pictures on all four corners, or all the pictures in a row, or all the pictures on the card.  You decide.
As you hold up the picture, ask a question or remind the children about the story the picture portrays.

Name That Animal.

Print pictures of animals using the Clip Art found on this site or cut out pictures from a magazine.
Mix up the pictures and put them in a hat or a bowl or something.
Ask a child to draw a picture from the hat and act like the animal on the picture.
Ask the rest of the class to Name that Animal.

Disappearing Words.

Write the Memory Verse or Challenge activity on the chalk board.
Have the children recite the verse.
Ask a child to erase a word and ask the children to repeat the verse.
Continue until all the words have disappeared and the children are saying the verse from memory.
If a chalk board is not available, write each word of the verse on a different piece of paper and ask the children to remove one word at a time.

Verse Hunt.

Write each word of the Memory Verse on a separate piece of paper.
Hide the individual words around the room.
Ask the children to find the words and lay them out in the correct order.
Recite the Memory Verse.
Repeat several times.

Matching Game.

Variation 1.
Print two copies of the Clip Art and cut out the individual pictures.
Mix up the pictures and place them face down in several rows.
A child turns over two cards.  If the cards match, the child takes the cards and takes another turn.  If the cards do not match, return the cards to a face down position.
Another child takes a turn.  Continue until all cards have been taken.
The child with the most cards wins.
Variation 2.
The whole class can play at one time as a review game.
This is the same as Variation 1 except the cards serve as a review of lessons or Memory Verses or Challenge activities learned.  For example, write a question on one letter size sheet of paper.  Write the answer on another sheet of paper.  Or write the first half of a verse on one piece of paper and the second half of the verse on another piece of paper.
Variation 3.
This is the same as Variation 2 except write the things to be matched on a chalk board instead of separate sheets of paper.

Feather Relay.

Divide the class into two or three groups.
Have the groups stand in lines at one end of the room.  A teacher will stand at the other end of the room.
Give the first child in each line a paper plate holding a feather or die-cut shape made from tissue paper.
When the teacher says Go!, the children with the plates walk to the other side of the room, recite the Memory Verse to the teacher, return to the original line, and pass the plate to the next child.  If the feather or shape falls off the plate, the child starts over.
Continue until all have learned the Memory Verse.

Heir to a Christian Fortune.

Use a spin board to play this game.
Divide the class into two or three teams.
Select a Bible verse, a key word or definition from the lesson, or a phrase.
On a chalk board, draw a blank for each letter of each word in your selection.
Below the blanks, write the alphabet.  Cross out each letter as it is guessed by a team.
A team spins and guesses a consonant or a vowel.  Fill in the blanks if the guessed letter appears in the selection.  The team gets points equal to the number of points spun multiplied by the number of times the guessed letter appeared in the selection.  If the guessed letter does not appear, the team gets no points.
A team can also "Lose a Turn" or "Lose All Points".
A team can choose to solve the puzzle any time during its turn.  The team solving the puzzle keeps its points.  The points for the other team go to zero.
Each team gets only one spin and then the next team takes a turn.
The team with the most points after all games is the winner.

Quick Draw.

You will need a dry erase or chalk board or large pieces of butcher paper and chalk or markers.
Make cards with subjects you want the children to draw.
Divide the class into two or three groups.
Have one child from Group 1 select a card and draw the picture.
As the child draws the picture, Group 1 tries to guess what the picture is portraying.
You may want to set a time limit for drawing the picture and guessing what it is.
If Group 1 cannot guess what the drawing is before time expires, another group can guess.
Rotate so each child in each group has an opportunity to draw.

Alphabet Cereal Scrabble.

Divide the class into two or three groups.
Give each group a cup of alphabet cereal.
Ask the children to use the letters in the cereal to make words from the story, Memory Verse or Challenge activity.
The group that makes the most words wins.

Word Scramble.

Divide the class into two or three groups.
Write each word of the Memory Verse or Challenge activity on a separate piece of paper.
Mix up the words and ask the children to put the words in order.
First group finished wins.

Mancala.

Mancala is a board game that was played during biblical times.
Use plastic bowls (or masking tape) to set up a large Mancala board on the floor.  The board is divided into two rows of 6 bowls each with two large bowls on each end.  You will need 48 rocks or marbles to use for stones.
Divide the class into two teams.
Each team has one row of 6 bowls with the larger bowl to the right of the row serving as that team's mancala or scoring bowl.
The game begins with 4 stones in each of the 12 small bowls.
Ask a team to recite a Memory Verse, or Challenge, or answer a review question.
If the team answers correctly, that team, or an individual on that team, can take a turn.
To take a turn, pick up all the stones from one of the bowls.  Put one stone in each bowl, including your mancala but not the other team's mancala, going in a counter-clockwise direction.
If you put the last stone in your mancala, take another turn.  If not, the other team takes a turn.
If you put the last stone in one of your bowls that is empty, take all the stones from the other team's bowl that is directly across from that bowl.  Put the stones in your mancala.
When a team has no more stones left in its bowls, the game is over.  The team with stones left in its bowls moves the stones to its mancala.
The team with the most stones in its mancala wins.

And the Question Is.

Arrange 25 small envelopes (can be found in a teacher supply store) in 5 columns of 5 envelopes each.  Number the envelopes in each column from top to bottom as 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25.
Each column is a different category, such as angels, prophets, Old Testaments, etc.  Or you could make it a review, with the categories being the last 5 stories you have discussed.
Write 5 questions of increasing difficulty for each category.  Put the least difficult question for the category in the envelope numbered 5, the next hardest question for that category in the number 10 envelope and so on, with the most difficult question being placed in the number 25 envelope.
Divide the children into two or three teams.
Have the children pick a category and the number of points they want to go for.  Explain that the difficulty of the question increases as the points increase.
If the team answers correctly, they get the points.
If the team answers incorrectly, the other team gets a chance to answer the question and get the points.
The team that accumulates the most points wins.

Ring the Bell.

Prepare a list of review questions and divide the class into two or three teams.  Give each team a bell.
Ask a question.  The first team to ring the bell (or clap their hands, etc.) answers the question.
Award points for a correct answer, deduct points for an incorrect answer.
If a team gives an incorrect answer, let another team answer before moving to another question.
Give the team an opportunity to look up the answer in the Bible, but reduce the number of points awarded.

Who Wants to be a Christian Heir?

Good for a monthly review.
Divide the class into two or three groups.
Ask a team a question about a lesson studied earlier in the month or year and give four possible answers.
The team selects an answer from memory.
Award points for correct answers.  No points for incorrect answers.
Start with easy questions.  As the questions get harder, the points awarded for a correct answer should also increase.
If the team does not know the answer, it can use one of three lifelines.
Use the Bible.  Give the students a scripture reference and let them look up the answer.
Take away two of the incorrect answers.
Ask the teacher for a clue.
Ask one team one question, then ask another team one question and go until the review is complete.

Who Am I?

Print the fact sheets from People of the Bible.
Divide the class into two groups and give each group a fact sheet for a different person.
A team reads the facts for their person one at a time.  The other team tries to guess the identity of the person after each fact is read.
The number of points to be awarded declines with each incorrect guess.
Read all the facts even if the person's identity is guessed after the first clue.

I'll Give You a Hint.

Divide the class into two or three groups.
Select one person from the first group to be a "Hinter" and one person from the first group to be a "Guesser."
The Guesser will try to guess the "Key Word or Phrase" based on hints given by the Hinter.  The Hinter can use motions, draw pictures, give word clues, etc. as hints.  The Hinter cannot use the exact words in the Key Word or Phrase.
Give a Key Word or Phrase to the Hinter and give the Hinter a few minutes to think of good hints.  You may give the Hinter the opportunity to ask teammates for help.
When the Hinter is ready, start the clock and let the hinting and guessing begin.
The object is for the Guesser to guess the Key Word or Phrase as quickly as possible.  You may set a maximum time limit.  Award points based on the time it takes to make a correct guess.  The shorter the time, the more points awarded.
After the first group finishes, select a Hinter and Guesser from another group and repeat the process.  Give all the students an opportunity to be a Hinter and a Guesser.
If a Guesser does not guess the Key Word or Phrase within the time limit, let another group try to make a correct guess.
Example Key Words or Phrases:  Reasons and ways to honor and praise Jesus.

Top Five Countdown.

Select a category, such as "Times to Pray."
Then write the top five choices for that category on separate pieces of paper.  For example, the top five choices for the category "Times to Pray" could be morning, bedtime, before meals, before a trip, before a test.
Tape the top five choices to the wall, with the writing facing the wall.
Assign points to each of the choices, with the top choice being assigned the most points.  For example, the fifth choice could be assigned five points while the first choice could be assigned twenty-five points.
Divide the class into two groups.
Ask one of the groups to name a choice they believe would be in the Top Five.  If the group guesses correctly, turn the paper around to show the choice and the points assigned to that choice.  That group gets the points assigned to that choice and continues to guess until it guesses wrong three times.  Then the other group takes a turn.
Use several different categories.
Examples include - Names to call God when you pray, Good things to say about God when you pray, Times to pray, Places to pray, Positions for prayer, Things to ask for in prayer, Ways to honor Jesus, Reasons to honor Jesus, Foods or Drinks of the Bible, Places Jesus visited.

Match My Answer.

Select two to four contestants from the class.  The rest of the class will serve as the Matching Panel.
Ask Contestant 1 to choose between Envelope A or Envelope B, both of which will contain a question.  After the contestant chooses, open the envelope and read the question.
Each member of the Matching Panel will write his or her answer on a piece of paper.  Give scripture references for possible answers and encourage the children to use their bibles to choose an answer.
After the Matching Panel has written their answers, ask the contestant for an answer.
Then ask the Matching Panel to reveal their answers.
Award the contestant points each time the contestant's answer matches an answer of the Matching Panel.
For example, a question could be 'Name one of the twelve apostles.'  The contestant could say 'Peter.'  If the Matching Panel had answered 'Peter, Matthew, Andrew, Peter,' the contestant would receive points for two matches.
Ask the next contestant to select a new question and repeat the steps in the game.
For special occasions you might ask the church staff or Sunday School Teachers to serve as the Matching Panel.
Example questions include:  Name one of the twelve apostles (Matthew 10:2-4), name a time you pray, name one quality of God, and more.

Pizza Frisbee.

You need paper plates to use for frisbees and clean pizza boxes.
Divide the class into as many groups as you have frisbees and pizza boxes.
One student holds the pizza box and while another student tries to throw the frisbee into the box.  
The thrower must correctly recite the Memory Verse before throwing.  After throwing, the thrower holds the pizza box for another thrower.
The team with the most throws in the box wins.
You can also use this for a Challenge or review activity.

Baseball.

Put masking tape or paper on the floor for the bases.
Divide the class into two teams.
The teacher pitches a student a Memory Verse, Challenge, or review question to recite or answer.
The student that answers correctly rolls the dice to bat.  If the question is tough, let the student get help from a teammate.
1 is a single.
2 is a double.
3 is a triple.
4 is a home run.
5 is a foul ball.
6 is an out.
If they get a hit, they run the bases.
You could also use a spinning wheel to bat.
After a team makes three outs or gets nine runs in an inning, the other team gets to bat.

Basketball.

Use a clean trash can for a basket or hang a hoop from the wall.  Use a tennis or nerf ball for the basketball.  Use masking tape to mark the free throw line.
Divide the class into two teams.
When a student comes to the free throw line, ask the student to recite a Memory Verse, or Challenge, or answer a review question.
A student that answers correctly takes two shots.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Home | What's New | About Us
Planning Ideas
The Book List | Choosing a Bible  | Teaching Techniques
Preschool Ministry  Schedule | Children's Ministry  Schedule | Crowd Control | Outreach

Teaching Ideas

Bible Truths | Bible Story Activities | Brain Teasers | Games | Clip Art & Coloring Pages | Timeline of the Bible
Life in Biblical Times | Places of the Bible | Beginning and Ending Activities | People of the Bible | Memory Verse | Challenge

 

Copyright 2000-2002 SundaySchoolResources.com  Copyright Information

SundaySchoolResources.com uses a shared web hosting solution from DellHost.