Teaching the Fruit of the Spirit to Kids

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22

It’s incredibly valuable for the next generation to learn about the Holy Spirit and how to know if they are walking in step with Jesus! We have provided hands-on activities that will help children understand what the fruits of the spirit are and how they can only come from a relationship with Jesus. Let’s take a look at some awesome ways to engage kids in this lesson!

Lesson: What are the Fruits of the Spirit?

Scripture: Galatians 5:22-26

Read aloud our passage from Galatians. Be sure to highlight verse 22. Discuss with the children how we can not gain the fruits of the spirit in our strength, but they come from a personal relationship with Jesus. 

Hand out The Fruit of the Spirit coloring sheet, and while kids are coloring, use a bowl full of fruit as an object lesson, and talk about each fruit individually. Explain how when we allow Jesus into our hearts to change us to be more like Him, we gain these fruits. You can even use the same fruits from the coloring page to match the fruits of the spirit in your object lesson. 

Pro Tip: Cut up fruit later to use as a healthy snack for the kids!

Juggling Fruit Vs Wearing Fruit Object Lesson

Object Lesson Props Needed

  • Fruit for Juggling
  • Fruit Hat

Object Lesson Steps

  1. Start with one or two people trying to juggle fruit. Use fruit that is easy to juggle such as apples or oranges. Begin with each person juggling well but ultimately dropping their fruit and giving up. 
  2. Next, have someone walk out with a hat made of fruit and balance it on their head successfully. 

Object Lesson Discussion

After this short demonstration, remind the kids that God doesn’t ask us to juggle the fruits of the spirit in our strength. We are all imperfect and it's impossible to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, good, have self-control, and more all at the same time all in our strength. We need Jesus in our hearts to help us. When we try to accomplish these things on our own we become frustrated and defeated like those people who were juggling. 

Instead, we can wear the fruit! When we accept Jesus into our hearts He comes in with the Holy Spirit and changes us from the inside out. As we grow closer in our relationship with Him, relying on Jesus in prayer, and learning from Him by reading His word; we begin to see the fruits of the spirit in us. 

This is evidence that we have Jesus in our hearts. It’s not something we need to try to do on our own. God will give us joy, even in difficult times when we go to Him in prayer. God will give us peace, even when life is challenging when we rely on the Bible to give us wisdom. God will give us love for others, even when they frustrate or bother us when we obey Jesus’ instructions. We will begin wearing the fruit just like the person wore it on their head and were able to balance it all and still walk! 

When we follow Jesus, we can walk with all of those fruits because it is by God’s strength, not our own that we can do it!

Fruit of the Spirit-Themed Games 

Fruit Guessing Game

Next, prepare the class for a game that will help kids put this passage into practice. A great one is this fun guessing game, like this one from Children's Ministry Deals: What's That Fruit? It will get kids thinking about fruit and wondering what it has to do with a relationship with Jesus. 

Discussion

After playing, ask the kids, “What does fruit have to do with a relationship with Jesus?" Explain to them how when we have a close relationship with Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit in us. There are fruits of the Spirit that show evidence that we have Jesus in our hearts! People will be able to see that we have changed because we have Jesus in our hearts. They will know it by our fruit!

Dodge Ball Game

Setup

Using different colored balls to represent colorful fruits, play a game of dodgeball. Split the kids into two teams. If a kid catches a “fruit”, the one who threw it is out. If a kid is hit by a “fruit”, they are out. 

Discussion

After the game is over, talk about how the game of dodgeball is similar to a life without Jesus in our hearts. When we don’t have Jesus in our hearts, we can experience love, joy, peace, patience, and more but only temporarily. Just like we were hit by a ball, we can be hit with just a small amount of patience, but it won’t last. Just like when we catch a ball, we can have a moment where we show love to others, but before we know it, we will be acting selfishly again. This is the difference between trying to gain the fruits of the spirit on our own and receiving them as part of a real relationship with Jesus. 

When we have Jesus’ love in our hearts, His Spirit lives in us. He begins to change us to be more and more like Him. We won’t ever be perfect until heaven, but we will sin less and less because He fills us with the fruits of the spirit! Life doesn’t have to be like a game of dodgeball with just short moments of goodness; life can be full of God’s blessings for us when we decide to let Jesus into our hearts to change us and we invest in a real relationship with Him!

Memory Verse Game

Setup

Using Galatians 5:22, play a memory verse game. Divide the kids into 9 groups and give each of them a poster board. Assign each group to a different fruit of the spirit and ask them to work together to write it in bubble letters and draw a fruit they think represents it well. 

After the posters are completed write the memory verse on a large whiteboard for everyone to see.  Next, explain the rules of the game.

How to Play

  1. Number each small group in order of the verse with love being number 1, joy being number 2, peace being number 3, and so on. 
  2. Roll a large pair of dice and whatever number it lands on, that group will have to stand holding up their poster and read the memory verse from the whiteboard to earn a point. 
  3. Since you cannot roll a 1 with a pair of dice, 10 will represent 1. If you roll an 11, it means roll again. If you roll a 12 anyone can raise their hand and take on the challenge of turning their back to the whiteboard and reciting the verse by memory. 
  4. Choose one person at random who has their hand raised. If they get it right, they earn their team a point. If they get it wrong, roll again. Set a time limit for the game so you know when to count up the points. 

Application: Taking it to the Next Level

Challenge kids to take their relationship with Jesus to the next level so they can grow closer to Him and have the fruits of the spirit as evidence of it in their lives! Write a list of ways they can grow closer to God on the whiteboard. Include things like: 

  • Read a new Bible verse every day
  • Take 5 minutes every day to talk and listen to God in prayer
  • Read a daily Bible Devotional or Bible Study
  • Spend time using your gifts to serve others in the church or the community
  • Explore God’s creation with a daily walk in your yard and thank Him for His blessings
  • Join and church club or choir where you can make friends who will encourage you. 

Ask kids to write down one or more commitments on an index card to help their relationship with Jesus grow! Ask them to take it home with them as a reminder of what they have decided to do to get to know Jesus better.

Teaching the Fruit of the Spirit Is an Important Lesson for All

The Fruit of the Spirit is an important lesson for us to teach in kid ministry. We hope these interactive lessons, games, and activities will show children the value of a relationship with Jesus and the amazing fruits that come from it. Have a fruitful day!

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