Back in my seminary days, I was regularly asked to teach a seminar at our regional children’s ministry training conference called ‘Using Games as a Teaching Tool.’ I would come in with some ideas planned to share with the group, but always started the seminar by dividing the class into groups of 3-4, reading a familiar passage of Scripture, giving each group some random items (a couple of dice, duct tape, a beach ball, a bean bag, rubber bands, plastic cups, paint stirrers, etc.) and asking them to come up with a review game using those items. It was a fun test to see how well people could think outside of the box/ or outside of the printed curriculum.
Outside of a love for God and His Word, I think the ability to think outside of the box is one of the most necessary skills in children’s ministry. This game came out of such a moment. I was with a group of kids, we had more time than I had activities for and I saw the ‘Jenga’ game. The first time we played I just made up questions as we went along and the game evolved over time. I’ve found that this is a great game to get kids talking and sharing about themselves and is also a great way to review a passage of Scripture.
“Stack & Tell”.
Target age: 5-11
Time needed: 10-15 minutes
For this game, you’ll need:
- a set of “Jenga” blocks (or a similar block game set)
- a permanent marker or stickers you can write on and stick to the blocks
- if using as an ice breaker: the following question/ activity list with your own ideas added on
- if using as a review game: a list of 20 questions based on the passage
Question/ Activity List If Used as an Ice Breaker:
- What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
- What’s the worst thing that happened to you today?
- If you could have any super power for 1 day only, what would it be and why?
- If you had to give up your sight, your hearing or your taste for a year, what would you choose?
- If you could appear anywhere in the world for 15 minutes, where would you go and what would you do there?
- Who is your greatest hero?
- Who would you like to invite to dinner (anyone in all time)?
- If you could become any animal for a day what would you be?
- If money was no object, what would you go buy right now.
- If you could be instantly famous for doing something what would you be famous for?
- Tell a joke.
- Sing a silly song.
- What is the weirdest thing you saw or heard this week.
- Who is the funniest person you know? What makes them funny?
- Who is the nicest person you know? What makes them so nice?
- If you could only eat one food every day (breakfast, lunch & dinner) for a year, what would it be?
- If you were your teacher (or boss) for a day what would you do differently?
- What is your favorite memory of last year?
- What Bible character would you like to meet and why?
- If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and why?
- Which person from the Bible would you like to be and why?
- If all your clothes were one color, what color would they be?
- What is one thing that scares you?
- If you could ask God 1 question right now, what would it be?
- What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Did you accomplish it?
- If you had $1000 (or large sum of money) and only 5 minutes to spend it, what would you buy and why?
- What’s your favorite song? TV show? Movie? Video game?
- If you could be any movie, book or TV show character, who would you be and why
Question/ Activity List If Used as a Review Game:
(sample questions for the story of the birth of Isaac – Genesis 12, 15 & 21…create your own questions for your passage)
- Where in the Bible would you find today’s story?
- Who wrote the book that this story is in?
- Who was the main character of the story?
- What did this passage teach us about God?
- What do we know about Abraham at the beginning of the story?
- What promise did God make to Abraham in Genesis 15:5?
- Did Abraham believe God’s promise? How do we know this?
- Did Sarah believe God? How do we know?
- What was the name of the promised child?
- What baby born years later would completely fulfill all of God’s promise to Abraham?
- How old was Abraham when Isaac was born?
- How old was Sarah when Isaac was born?
- Explain ‘nothing is impossible with God’ using this story.
- What was our memory verse for this week (if you have one).
– mix blank blocks with the numbered blocks
– build the block tower as you would for the normal game of ‘Jenga’ – rows of 3 alternating directions
– kids will then take turns removing blocks from the tower and adding them to the top of the tower
– If the block they remove has a number on it, they must answer the question before placing it on the top of the tower.
– If the block doesn’t have a number, they can ask anyone else playing any question they would like.