Sunday School Games for Preschoolers

4 Easy & Fun Games for Preschool Children

Preschoolers have a bit of energy, shall we say?  Plus, they’re creative, they’ve got incredible imaginations, and they like to have fun.  Since children learn through play, here are four of my favorite preschool games that can be used as an outlet for energy, to help teach a concept, and/or to engage students in active learning about the Bible.  Enjoy!

1.  Train Ride

Option A.  The Traditional Train: Have each child stand in a hula hoop, which is their pretend boxcar.  Children can also hold onto a rope train or each other’s shoulders.  If their hands are free, they can move them in a circular motion.  Invite one child to be the conductor (line leader) and one child to be the caboose.  Travel around the room chanting, “Chugga chugga chugga choo-choo!”  You may also want to pick up a wooden train whistle for effect.

Use this activity to get from one place to another, as a transition, or as a creative addition to a lesson plan (Let’s take a train ride to Israel.)

Option B.  The “I Spy” Train: Invite the children on board the “I Spy Train.”  This train can be set up as a number of chairs in one or two straight lines.  The children won’t officially travel anywhere, but you’ll still pretend with tickets, sounds, the movement of their arms, and a conductor.

Have them look for particular theme related items that you have pre-arranged to be in the room.  For example:  I Spy… Fruits of the Spirit (with the qualities written on pieces of fruit), I Spy… Easter (with a cross, a tomb, a palm leaf, a donkey, etc.), I Spy… Thankfulness (with items children can be thankful for:  water, food, the Bible, friends, teachers, etc.)

2.  Hide and Seek (Whatever!)

Hide multiple theme related items around your space and have the children search for them.  (It’s like Easter egg hunts all year round!)  Have fun, be creative, and use your children’s symbolic thinking skills (if you don’t have a particular item available!)

If you’re talking about Noah and the flood, hide animals.  If it’s the fifth day of Creation or a lesson on Jonah, hide fish (plastic fish, goldfish, or paper cutouts.)  If you’re talking about a wall like Jericho or a building project in the Bible, hide bricks or building materials.

If your lesson is on sin, hide “dirty” socks, because sin likes to hide.  Explain that sin stinks and brainstorm ways that we all fall short of the glory of God.

3.  Let’s Freeze

Play praise music and lead the children in movements (stepping side to side, clapping their hands, stomping their feet, tiptoeing, following the teacher in a circle, slapping their legs, doing jump and jacks, reaching up high and down low, etc).

Have an assistant shut the worship music off and have the students freeze, standing completely still.  Play the music again and repeat multiple times.  For an added challenge, while students are freezing, recite a memory verse and begin again.

4.  Create Your Own Obstacle Course

Make a simple obstacle course out of anything:  furniture pieces, masking tape on the floor (a straight line can be a balance beam, a circle a tube to jump in, a triangle a piece of pizza to squash), cushions, sheets over tables, etc.

Have the course made prior to the children’s arrival.  While constructing the course, it is imperative to ensure that it is safe for your students.  If it can be hazardous, it will be, so don’t take the chance.  Preschoolers do not have great gross motor skills anyway, so the easier the course, the better!

Always demonstrate how to go through the course first (expect a few giggles if you’re going to try to squeeze into a tight spot!)  Use the obstacle course simply as a fun activity to get the kids moving.  Or draw parallels with faith.  Is it easy to get to God?  How do we find Him?  What gets in the way sometimes?  Are there instructions we can use to get through life easier?

What preschool games have you used in your ministry setting that you have found to be effective?  Please share your thoughts and suggestions below!


Comments

  1. Sydney says

    We like to play “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?”. This works best in a gym or large classroom. It’s almost identical to Red light/Green light if you’ve ever played that. One student/adult stands at one end of the room and everyone else is lined up at the other end. The students lined up yell “What time is it, Mr. Wolf?” and the “wolf” at the other end yells a certain time (three o’clock, ten o’clock, seven o’clock, etc) and the kids get to take that number of steps toward the wolf. The first one to cross the line where the wolf is gets to be the wolf next. Be prepared for your show-off kids to take waaaay too many steps. If they do, I always send them back to the start just to make it interesting :) Have fun!

  2. Tina Allen says

    When I had a mixed age group, we liked to the play The Big Board Game. Usually during a review of the month type lesson. I would write questions down on pieces of construction paper. Black pieces of constuction paper were sin squares, which was a lose a turn. Red pieces of construction paper were Jesus died for your sin squares, and you got an extra turn. I also turned a square box into a die. Then I would place the construction papers in a trail around the room, like a big board game. I used chairs & tables as obstacles to go around and under. The kids have a blast with the game! And they learn by answering the questions.

  3. kitty says

    awesome ideas!!!! i’m a teen teacher so i love creativity! for my obstacle course… well i kind of turned it into pac-man! i made paths to follow w/ masking tape and shut the lights off. one helper teacher will hold a turned on flashlight (pretending to be the devil) and will try to make the kids not follow ‘God’s paths’ (the tape) by tapping their shoulder. well hope i helped ya! oh and giving kids points for good work is definitely helpful

  4. Cindy says

    I love this idea, I plan to use it for my lesson tomorrow.
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Courtney says

    I only have 2 kids in my Sunday School class, but we play a game called “Popcorn!” The kids squat down and pretend they are a popcorn kernal, then, I ask a question about the lesson. If they know the answer, they “pop” up and shout out the answer! They love it because they get to jump, and after about 10 or so rounds, they’re tired and sit still during church service ;)

  6. Nellie Walker says

    Oh how much I appreciate all these ideas, especially with the smaller pre school children. That is my group (actually 2-4). Thanks for the help and fun stuff you give to us. May God richly bless.

  7. Janice says

    For David and Goliath I drew a good size Goliath on a big piece of cardboard with all his armor and a bulls eye on his forehead. Tape it to the wall. Wet down cotton balls and have the kids line up to see if they can “take down Goliath” like David did with his stone. The cotton balls stick to the cardboard really well. The kids LOVE it.

  8. Beth Jensen says

    I play kind of a “Doggie Doggie where is your bone?” It went along with the women who had ten coins and lost one. One child sits in a chair and closes their eyes. The rest sit on the floor. Give a child on the floor a coin. The child in the chair has to look for the coin. Asking each child who has the coin. When they get the right person. They trade spots.

  9. Karen says

    Another fun game/activity when you have a few moments in between things…or if the one leading has to step out…or if you have wiggly kids waiting for others to finish in the rest room, is to get kids to follow your movements…can we touch the ceiling (everyone stretches), no, but can we touch the floor, etc. That followed by where’s your nose, where’s your elbow, etc.

  10. carla mccoy says

    I just wanted to let you know that I used the idea of making an obstacle course, but I decided to add my own spin to it. Since the Devil is always trying to attack us and sneaky, I turned off all of the lights and asked the kids to find their way around in the dark and when I pretended to be the devil, lurking in the dark to attack the chlidren, and when I touched them or jumped out in front of them, they had to speak the word, and yell I am a child of God, no weapon formed against me shall prosper and if I believed them, I fled from them, if not I didnt give up until they believed it themselves. Since we are in a spiritual battle, we have to learn to stand on our own and know who we are and who’s we are…so the children have to learn to remember they are loved and are protected by God but they have to continue to speak his word, not their own… :) so thank you very much I enjoy reading this website very much.

  11. cat says

    A game that our K-1 st graders love is called Ten. We hide 10 multi colored straws in the classroom and the children have to find them. This is fun for the teacher and student. We had to call the game 10 because I kept forgetting how many straws I hid. This way I did not forget. :) We hide them under tables, in jacket pockets, under books and sometimes we tape them to the wall or to a poster that is a similar color (blue straw on our 80/20’s ocean section). Sometimes we let the children take turns hiding them ( with the teacher) in the class room while the helper takes the children to the restroom.

  12. Jessi says

    I have found that doing musical chairs has been a big hit with the preschoolers.. I have used our VBS songs from previous summers and they work the best. kids seem to like the more lively music better. Also, Simone says is another great game, have different kids be simone says they love it.

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