And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. -Colossians 3:17
It could be a break from school, a rainy day, a sick day, or just a general period of doldrums. Kids often experience frustration when they feel that they’ve run out of exciting activities or tasks, especially in modern times of continual entertainment and over-stimulation. We want to keep children engaged and occupied, but we don’t need them to be constantly glued to a screen. Here are some creative ideas to get kids physically, creatively, spiritually, compassionately, or academically active:
Act out a Bible story: Consider some fun ways to bring the Word to life!
- Noah’s Ark: count how many stuffed animals can fit in one space (on a bed, a table, in a box or bathtub, etc.). Create a mini-zoo with the animals, and help them “walk” into the designated “ark” space. Feel free to re-enact the storm and flood, too!
- Tower of Babel Jenga: play a round of Jenga, or take some basic blocks and see how high you can stack them before they fall over. Find some words in another language, and practice them as you stack the tower.
- Wilderness wandering: re-create the Israelite wandering in the wilderness. Make a fort in the living room, or pop up a tent in the backyard. Remember the desert experience of the people of God. You can even recall the provision of manna by enjoying a rice cake snack. Consider how it might be to eat the same thing every meal, every day.
- Jump around Jericho: pile up as many boxes as you can find to make a “Jericho” wall. Walk around the wall, make some noise, and topple the boxes down!
- Make David’s slingshot: experiment with different methods of creating slingshots. Use cloth, rubber bands, branches, or other materials to make a flinging instrument. Test the slingshots OUTSIDE and see which make things fly the farthest.
- Make some royal adornments: there are plenty of great Bible stories centered on kings and queens. Celebrate by making a crown out of paper, cardboard, glitter, or other decorative materials. Add a regal “robe” or jewelry for a fun fashion show.
- Have a sheep search (try to say that five times fast). The Bible gives us lots of great sheep and shepherd analogies. Hide cotton balls around the house or the yard. Have kids hunt for them and count them as they go to see if all have been found (great for young kids and counting practice!).
- Wisdom calligraphy: select a verse from the book of Proverbs. Re-write the verse on special paper, with fancy decorative writing and color.
- Be still and listen: light a candle, and practice being silent and still. Take a few minutes to sit quietly and observe the candle, thinking about God and His presence.
- Fishers of men: Several disciples were fishermen. If you have a wading pool, put some water in it and walk around “fishing” small toys or rocks. For extra fun, place some marbles or small items in the pool, and use toes to scoop them out!
- Sensational miracles: Jesus did a lot of healing for people who could not use all of their senses (blind, deaf, lame). To appreciate our senses, have kids randomly draw a sense to temporarily lose, and go through some daily activities without that sense. For example, how will they get around without the ability to walk? (Okay, walking isn’t a sense, but it still works). How hard is it to make a sandwich with a blindfold? If you plug your nose, can you still taste? Consider how marvelous God has made us, and what a blessing it is to be alive.
- Write some epistles! Just like the Apostle Paul, we can encourage others through the written word. Have kids write cards or letters to people and send them via “snail mail.” Younger children can draw or color pictures to send.
- Fruit of the spirit fruit stamping: Cut several fruits in half, and have kids make art by sticking the fruit in paint and “stamping” it onto paper. See which fruits work best for this, and practice writing and memorizing the fruits of the spirit.
- Celebrate God’s creation: go outside for a mini nature walk. Try to find as many living things as possible. Maybe you can even catch some bugs in a jar!
- Plant something: it might be a full garden or a seed in a paper cup. Talk about how things grow, and how our life in Christ can grow with prayer and reading the Bible. Talk about how we can “plant seeds” in friends, too.
Bible Snacks: Make a fun treat, or sample something you don’t normally have…
- What’s a fig? There are several times the Bible mentions figs. Try one, if you haven’t!
- Make resurrection rolls: wrap crescent roll dough around a cinnamon sugar-coated marshmallow. When the rolls bake, the middle will be empty, just like Jesus’ tomb!
- Make some “sheep”! Attach pretzel sticks to large and small marshmallows to look like “sheep”.
- Make a tasty “tent”: spread frosting or peanut butter on an ice cream cone. Cover with raisins or mini chocolate chips.
- Fruity animals: Use animal-shaped cookie cutters and cut fun shapes out of fruit roll-ups.
Neighborly or at Home “Just for Fun” Activities:
- Blow off some stress: go outside and blow some bubbles. See if you can catch them! Then come inside and blow some balloons. Hop on them to pop!
- Doorbell delivery: make special gift baskets for neighbors. Drop them off in secret for neighbors to brighten their day!
- Move what God made! Have a dance party or see how well you can bend and flex your muscles.
- Volunteer to help: what needs done around the house? Identify and do some fun cleaning or organizing activities.
- Plan a dream vacation: cut pictures out of magazines, brochures, or printed from the internet. Play “travel agent” and plan things that sound fun for a trip abroad.
- Chalk it up: turn the sidewalk or driveway into a canvas and make some chalk drawings.
- What’s in a name? Names are special. Learn the story behind your name, and/or family members’ names. Write an acrostic poem with the letters in your name.
- Strike up a band! Music plays a large role in worship. Use household materials to make your own musical instruments. Have a concert!
- Play with your food: use edible items like Peeps marshmallows, goldfish or animal crackers, or fruit snacks to make a Bible story scene. Get creative!
- Prayer chain: the best thing you can do is PRAY! Create a paper chain, and write prayer requests or names of people on each link. Don’t forget to pray for them!