Fruit Basket Upset (Fruit of the Spirit Game)

Fruit of the Spirit GameIn school during the week and at church on Sundays children spend a lot of time sitting and listening, when they would love to be playing and running around.  Anytime teaching Bible concepts with an active game, the children will be interested and welcome the change of activity.  The following is a simple and quick game which can be used along with a series or lesson about the Fruit of the Spirit.  This game will help the children review the list of the Fruit of the Spirit. Try this object lesson in any ministry situation where you need a teaching game about the Fruit of the Spirit. Be sure to browse all our Fruit of the Spirit lessons and resources.

Game Title: Fruit Basket Upset
Target Age Group: 3rd-6th Grade
Target Time: Minimum of 10 minutes to explain and play
Bible Truth Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
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Game Objective: To always find a seat in the circle and to practice memorizing the Fruit of the Spirit.

Game Set-up:

  1. Place chairs in a large circle, so there is one less chair than total number of children participating.
  2. Every child will sit in a chair facing the center of the circle with one child leftover who will begin the game standing in the middle.

How to Play:

  1. Each seated child will silently choose one Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control) without telling anyone else which fruit they have chosen.
  2. The child standing in the middle of the circle will call out one Fruit of the Spirit, such as “kindness”.
  3. The seated children who chose “kindness” will then get up from their chairs and move across the circle to any open chair left by another child.
  4. Meanwhile, the child who called out “kindness” will also try to find an empty seat and sit down.
  5. Most likely a new child will be leftover to call out the next Fruit of the Spirit of their choosing and the game continues.
  6. What ties this game to its title is the child standing in middle of the circle always has the option to call out “fruit basket upset”, which means every seated child no matter their chosen fruit will have to get up from their seat to find a new one.  This can become a bit chaotic, but you are bound to hear some laughter, too.
  7. This game with not end with one winner, but there will be a child in the middle of the circle when you decide the game is finished.

Tips:

  1. To add variety to this game you can change the way the children move across the circle to their new seat.  They could run, which is what they will most naturally do, skip, walk, hop on one foot or two, gallop, side step, bear crawl, or crab walk.  Your choice of movement would need to be based upon the children in your class, their physical abilities, and what they happen to be wearing that Sunday morning.
  2. A game is usually more fun when you stop it before they have grown tired and played it for too long.  If they are having fun when you say time is up and are disappointed it is over, then they will more likely want to play it again in the future.