Games should be a part of every children’s ministry, whether it be a Sunday School class, Children’s Church, or other special event you host. Kids need to move around, they need to be engaged, and they need to have fun. However, games don’t have to be complicated. You can make the simplest, most common games have meaning and value when done correctly. The following list provides six easy Bible games that you can incorporate into your children’s ministry. With a few adjustments, these activities can be easily adapted into just about any lesson or topic you are teaching.
Who doesn’t like a good old-fashioned game of tag? There’s quite possibly nothing simpler. You don’t need any supplies, just some space. It’s a great way for kids to get their wiggles and energy out. But don’t just run around without any point. Adapt it to whatever topic you’re teaching about. You need one person to be the tagger, and the other children to be the runners.
Here are a few ways to turn tag into a teaching opportunity. Most lessons have to do with good vs. bad (David vs Goliath, Esther vs Haman, Moses Vs Pharaoh). The tagger can represent the bad guy in the story. The other kids need to try not to get tagged. The tagger can also be a positive character. Teaching a lesson about Jesus as The Good Shepherd? Make the tagger be the shepherd, and the runners be sheep he is trying to catch. How about Noah’s ark? The tagger can be Noah, and the runners can all be the animals he is trying to wrangle onto the boat.
Simon Says is another very easy game that many kids will have already learned how to play. It takes one leader and as many followers as you want. No supplies are needed, and you don’t even need very much space. Just have kids stand facing you so they can listen and watch for your instructions. Simon Says can be a quick activity when you need a time filler or are waiting for parents to pick up.
Just as with Tag, turn this simple game into a meaningful one. Simply change the leader’s name from Simon, to the name of the Bible character you are studying. If you’re teaching about one of Paul’s missionary journeys, make the game Paul Says. Learning about how Moses was a leader? Use Moses Says for the title. Teaching that the prophets that had messages for God’s people to listen to and obey lends itself to a good game of Elijah Says.
The classic game Telephone has been around for years, but always a good one to pull out. It brings fun and laughter with usually goofy and hilarious messed up messages. Keeping with the simplicity factor, there are no supplies needed. This activity can be adapted to play with any teaching topic. Come up with some phrases ahead of time that you want to stick with the kids. Line them up and whisper a phrase into the first child’s ear. That child will then whisper what they heard to the next child. The passing along of the message will continue until finally the last person speaks the message aloud. You could add the option of saying “operator” if a child needs the message repeated. It’s fun to see if and how the message changes from the beginning to the end.
Telephone lends itself nicely to lessons on the prophets or stories of messages being delivered. Jonah had a message for the people of Nineveh that had to be shared. When kids are learning about the angels bringing the announcement to Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus or when they tell the shepherds the Savior has been born, those are other great times to play this game. Generically speaking, you could lead this activity when you want to work on the memory verse or just pass along some basic truths you want kids to remember. Some examples are: God loves me no matter what, Jesus came to die for me, or I can choose to do the right thing.
Kids like the thrill of a race or competition. Relays can accomplish this during your Children’s Ministry time. Once again, this can be a very versatile activity. Normally, you would divide kids into two teams. Put the teams on one side of the room and put whatever their goal is on the opposite side of the room. The first child from each team will run down, do whatever they are supposed to do at the opposite end, and run back, tagging the next child in line. The team that finishes first wins. You could also make a relay with just one team so everyone is working together to accomplish the goal. Another fun component to add is to time the team(s) to see how quickly they can finish the task.
If you’re teaching about the Armor of God, make the goal for each child to put on a piece of armor or clothing when they run to the opposite side of the room. If you’re teaching about Jesus calming the storm, have each child bring a cup of water down to the other end to fill up a bucket. Palm Sunday would be a good time to have a horse relay by having kids pretend to be Jesus riding on a stick horse down to the other side of the room and back.
The Floor is Lava
For years, kids have played some version of this game. Move off the floor because the ground is hot, or something is going to get you. Recently, The Floor is Lava has even been made into a TV game show. This activity uses no supplies and can be changed up in a lot of different ways. All you need is some space and a safe spot. Basically, the kids will be walking or running around (or skipping or jumping or whatever action you decide to have them do). As soon as the leader shouts, “The floor is lava!” kids will run to the designated safe spot. This might be a taped off area in your room, carpet squares, or chairs.
Turn this hyped-up game into a Biblical one by focusing on the idea of turning to God for safety. More specifically, you could use this game when talking about the temptations that Jesus endured. Every time Satan tried to lure Him Jesus went to the safe spot of scripture. So the safe spot could be Scripture and when the leader shouts “temptation!” the kids run to Scripture. This can also really reinforce the lesson of building on a firm foundation. When the leader shouts “a storm is coming!” kids have to run to the firm foundation for safety. You could also incorporate this game when teaching about the 10 Plagues. Shout out a plague like “locusts” or “frogs” and have kids run to the designated area.
Popcorn is an easy game to play for a little or a long while. It can be done anywhere and with any lesson. Figure out your topic and announce it to your group of kids. They will then take turns listing words or names that go along with that topic. There’s no specific order; kids will just randomly call out answers. That’s why it’s called popcorn. You could change it up and sit in a circle, making kids go in order. If they can’t come up with an answer within three seconds, they are out of the game.
Here are some examples for further explanation. Your topic could be “Books of the Bible.” So, kids would shout those out one at a time, “Genesis, Isaiah, John, Titus…” until no one else can come up with an answer. Some more topical ideas are women in the Bible, the 10 commandments, Jesus’ disciples, and the miracles of Jesus.
If you have a big enough space and enough kids, you could have teams compete to see who could come up with the most answers in a designated time period. This game is helpful to have a whiteboard or at least a piece of paper to write down the answers on.
Keep the Game Room Stocked
Games are a necessary part of lessons. You can’t expect kids to sit and listen to you talk for an hour. Keep it fun! Let them get up and move around. When you take a simple game with few or no supplies and easy instructions, and give it meaning, it can become a part of the lesson that will help kids remember the bottom line and basic points of your teaching.
These six games are meant to be flexible. You can use them for a variety group sizes. They can be adapted to just about any topic you are teaching on. They involve thinking and movement and fun. So, be sure to include Bible games in all of your Children’s Ministry lessons. Having easy activities like these in your back pocket can liven up your time, get heart-rates up, and help your students better remember the main point you’re trying to get across.