Nothing speaks to a child’s playfulness like a bouncing beach ball. Thankfully, these lightweight toys are inexpensive and easy to find. Shopping clearance beach toys every August is a tradition for me and I use every one I find. Besides tossing beach balls around during the praise service, I’ve found some other ways to use these colorful toys. Find yourself with a stockpile of balls? Use them for your icebreaker, as an object lesson or play some exciting games.
Getting to know you: Integrate new kids into your group quicker with an icebreaker activity using a medium to large beach ball. Before kids arrive, write one of these words in each color segment of the ball: game, Bible character, movie, book, snack. Arrange kids in a circle. Explain to kids how to play the game. Toss the ball and wherever their right pointer finger lands, they have to tell their favorite.
Beach ball prayers: It’s important to teach kids different ways to prayer. Prayers don’t have to be superfluous to reach the ears of God. With this activity, the children once again stand in a circle and toss the ball to one another. They should pray for the person who catches the ball. Set an example by going first!
Spirit object lesson: For this object lesson, you need an inflated beach ball of any size, a fan that swivels vertically. Center the ball on the fan. Explain to kids that the Holy Spirit cannot be seen but He can be felt. Turn the fan on a low setting. When the air begins to circulate the ball will rise higher and higher. It’s a fun and powerful demonstration.
Chair volleyball: When you have a small classroom, you don’t have a lot of room for obstacle races or wacky running games. I can relate to that. I haven’t always conducted kids’ church in a theater/gym facility. Here’s a game you can try with a beach ball. Line up a row of chairs and separate the kids into two teams. Have the kids sit on the floor, one team on each side. They should toss the ball back and forth across the chairs/net to try to win points. Kids can’t stand up or spike.
Move that ball: If you do have some room, try this game. You should use a small or medium-sized ball. You need one ball for every two children. Kids must separate and pair off. Set a start and finish line. Together, the kids must take the ball across the line. For the first round they can use their hands, the second round, they can use their arms but no hands. For the last rounds it’s no hands! The duo that gets back and forth across the line first wins.
Read more from Mimi by visiting her website, Encouragement for Christians.
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