Bible games are a valuable tool in teaching children about God. Here are some principles to keep in mind when selecting and using games:
1. Bible games should reinforce important ideas.
The emphasis should be on the concepts, not on winning the game. Bingo games, for example, use repetition to help the children learn. So that the object is not just to find a picture of a dog, the leader can make a statement such as “Thank you, God, for pets” while holding up each card.
2. Bible games must not embarrass anyone.
Random games like bingo do not create embarrassment because the players are not expected to have any previous knowledge. But this can be accomplished in other situations too.
Some Bible games call for the children to answer questions to earn points in the game. One solution is to have the children compete as teams so that individuals are not put on the spot.
Another option is including a Bible verse reference with each question so that the facts can be checked before answering the question. This helps avoid embarrassment and has the added benefit of practice in looking up and reading verses. The object of seeing who can earn points or collect cards is secondary to the learning.
3. Bible games can be fun, even without prizes.
In my experience, children are motivated to learn by fun activities, and prizes are not necessary. If prizes are desired, everyone could get a prize, and the winners could pick first. Or the winners could line up first for receiving refreshments or some other purpose. Using rewards are always a debate in ministry circles, but a good game provides its own fun.
Bible games are valuable when used along with Bible stories, crafts, and whatever learning activities your particular group enjoys. A game is a flexible activity to use when the available time is unknown (while waiting for parents to pick up children, for example). I hope you and your students find lots of enjoyment and learning opportunities in Bible games.
You can find dozens of teaching game ideas on our website. You can also browse our latest Bible game ideas.