Looking for a way to merge the fall season into your Sunday School lesson, Bible club, Christian classroom, or Awana meeting? Here are three age-appropriate game ideas for preschoolers. They are sure to not only engage and entertain the youngest crowd, but also teach them an applicable Biblical truth. Get ready to get out of your seats, laugh, encourage, learn, and wiggle!
Wiggle Those Bones: This game is a perfect way for preschoolers to burn some energy, particularly if you find them losing focus in the middle of a lesson.
Ask them if they have seen any skeletons at this time of year. (Hold up a picture of one if available.) Explain that God uses our skeletons to hold our body together. If we didn’t have skeletons, we would be like a rag doll and flop around. (Show an example, if available.) God formed our bodies so perfectly! He thought of everything! In the Bible, God says, “We are fearfully and wonderfully made.” That is so true!
Let’s play a game called, “Wiggle Those Bones” today! Have your students stand up and lead them in wiggling parts of their body. “Everybody wiggle your nose; your toes; your knees; your elbows; your ears…” There will be a ton of wiggling and a ton of giggling! You could also play an adaptation of Simon says, called “Skeleton Says,” for a greater challenge.
I Spy Thankfulness: Remind the students that Thanksgiving is coming up soon! Lead a short discussion about Thanksgiving, briefly discussing your favorite Thanksgiving traditions and asking the children what their family does to celebrate it. Talk about how great it is to be thankful not only at Thanksgiving, but all the year through!
Colossians 4:2 says to, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” That means that we really need to watch or look for things to thank God for! There are little gifts all around us that we should be thankful for; gifts like our parents, our church, Jesus’ love for us, friends, food, football, etc.
Have the students put on inexpensive sunglasses for this game or pretend binoculars (hands around their eyes.) Look for people and/or items around the room that we can be thankful for. For example, “I spy something cuddly and soft that makes me smile.” Have the students guess the answer, then say, “A teddy bear! You’re right! I am thankful for teddy bears!” Or, “I spy something that tells of Jesus’ love for me.” “That’s right! The cross! I am so thankful that Jesus died on the cross for my sins!” If your venue allows (and if getting your students up and moving is a necessity), take them on a small “I Spy” walk around the church. Have the preschoolers hold onto a rope to keep them together, stop them at certain moments, then have them look around as you describe the clue. (This will hopefully prevent a domino effect of children falling on one another!)
You may also want to utilize the “I Spy” game in the classroom as a time to celebrate your students’ strengths. Provide clues by saying, “I spy someone who is wearing pink and who is really good at sharing” or, “I spy someone with a striped shirt who is good at sports but always plays fair” or, “I spy someone wearing green who is a great listener and friend! When your students guess the correct individual, say, “That’s right! Today I am so thankful for Rebecca!”
The Scarecrow Team Game: For this game, you will need two adult volunteers to be the scarecrows. Divide the students up into two teams. Using various scarecrow clothing items (hats, flannel shirts,bandanas, big sweatpants or overalls, big boots, scarves for straw, silly glasses, etc.), the children will play in a relay to see who can dress the scarecrow the fastest and/or the funniest. Each team should be in one line and take one clothing item to the scarecrow volunteer. (There should be one clothing item for each member of the team.) When the teams are finished dressing the scarecrow, they should sit down and be quiet. When both teams have finished, laugh over the silliness of the scarecrows and celebrate how each team worked together.
Briefly discuss Ephesians 4:16, which states, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Draw a parallel with the students. “Who built our scarecrows today?” (All of us.) “Did one person do all of the work?” (No. We worked together.) “Isn’t it better to work as a team?” (Yes!) “Did you know that God wants us to work as a team too? He wants us to love Jesus and one another. He wants us to grow in love, as each person does his or her part. That might mean that some of you should encourage others, some of you might teach a friend about Jesus, others of you might play with someone who doesn’t have a friend, pray for a missionary, or go visit someone who is sick. How does God want you to be a part of His team of love today?”