Using Games in Bible Class

Most children enjoy playing games and if used correctly, it is a great way to review the lesson or memory work in Bible class.

Sometimes when you mention Bible games, a teacher may not know of a “Bible” game.  However, I am here to say that nearly anything can become a game.  What makes it a “Bible” game is all up to the questions that you are asking.  If I divide the class into teams, ask a Bible review question, and when correctly answered give the team a chance earn a point for the team, by  throwing a ring on a bottle, a Nerf ball into a basketball hoop, or dropping a pin into a jar, I have created a “Bible” game.

Something that I have always done with my Bible lesson, is to keep a list of key questions or facts that I want children to remember.  For example if teaching a lesson on Noah, here is what a few of my list of questions might look like:

  • What did God tell Noah to do?  Build an ark
  • What type of wood was used in building the ark?  Gopher wood
  • How many people went on the ark?  8
  • How long did it rain?  40 days & 40 nights
  • What did God use to show his promise of not flooding the earth again?  Rainbow

While it is not necessary to have every possible detail from the story, I do want key pieces of information included.  By having this list and by keeping lists for every lesson, I have an automatic review sheet that is ready to go for game time.  I also use questions based on the drills/skills that I am teaching.  For example:

  • How many books are in the whole Bible? 66
  • What are the divisions of the Old Testament? Law, History, Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets
  • Can you name the New Testament writers?  Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter, James, Jude

I have found that elementary age children tend to be very competitive.  Working together as a group in  game playing often works better than playing as individuals.

As for creating teams, please use caution so that feelings are not hurt.  Do you remember being in school when teams were picked in gym class?  My experience would be that the two most athletic boys would be captains of the team and get to choose their teams.  Naturally, their best friends and the most athletic kids would be chosen first.  By the end, the only kids left to be chosen were the social outcasts or kids that were so non-athletic that they might as well have had two broken legs & arms!

You as the teacher should be in charge of the teams, not the children.  You can divide randomly like the kids on this half of the room vs kids on the other half of the room.  You might have boys against the girls.  You might just let them count off and put even numbers on a team and odd numbers on another team.  However you choose to do it, just be sure that teams aren’t unevenly stacked.  You would not want a team with all you top Bible students on one side with your part time attendees and visitors on the other team.

Remember to be sensitive with a child who struggles or with a visitor when playing games.  Give hints to the correct answer if you need to do so or ask the easiest questions, but make sure that each child can be successful and not embarrassed in front of their peers.

Most anything can become a Bible game if you are asking questions that is teaching or reinforcing the lesson.   In future posts, I will give you more ideas on how to create simple games that will do just that!