“Simply put, children learn from the people they love. And love is the result of getting to know one another—it’s the result of relationship. Before our kids come to know Jesus, they just might need to know us first.”David Rausch
It’s true—education research has shown that when kids have a relational connection to their teachers and peers, they listen and learn better. So let me ask you a question: Do you want for the kids in your children’s church to listen and learn better?
Here are 9 get-to-know-you activities you can use in Sunday School to help preschool-aged children build relationships with their teachers and peers. Last week I posted 9 get-to-know-you-games for elementary kids. But why should they have all of the relationship building fun?!? Here are 7 more Sunday School games for preschoolers:
7 Sunday School Game Ideas for Preschool & Toddlers
1. Toss Across
Have the preschool children sit in a circle. Toss a stuffed animal to one of the children, then ask them to share their name and a favorite thing (food, animal, TV show, etc.) When finished, that child can toss the stuffed animal across to another child. Repeat until everyone has shared. To add an element of imagination, replace the stuffed animal with an imaginary object like a feather, a full-grown elephant, or a piece of hot lava. Tell the children to react as if they are tossing and catching that object.
2. Name Chase
This is a good game for helping children learn names. It works just like Duck, Duck, Goose. Have the children sit in a circle. Choose one child to walk around the outside of the circle while lightly tapping each child on the head or shoulder. Instead of saying “Duck,” though, they have to say the name of the person they are tapping. When they say “Goose,” the child who was tapped must chase them around the circle before they take their spot. Have the child who is now “it” share their favorite game before resuming play.
3. My Memory Match
Give each child 2 notecards and tell them to draw a picture of themselves on each card. Tell them to make the pictures look as similar as possible. When finished, collect the cards, mix them up, and place them face down on the floor. Allow the children to take turns flipping over two cards at a time in search of a match. When a child finds two matching cards, have them guess who it is. When the artist has been identified, ask them “What makes you feel loved?”
4. Funny Face
This one is on the list for elementary kids, but it works just as well for preschoolers. Have the kids sit in a circle and choose someone to start the game. That person must make a funny face in an attempt to make the other children smile. They may not make any sounds though. The person making faces receives one point for anyone they make smile. When they’re finished making their face, they must “wipe” it off with their hand and pass it to the next kid in the group who will then make a different funny face.
5. Balloon Bop
Toss an inflated balloon to the children while playing music. While the music is playing, the children must continually bop the balloon in the air, but when you stop the music, they must race to grab and hold the balloon. Have the child who is holding the balloon talk about their best friend, then continue with the game until everyone has had a turn.
6. Animal Charade
Tell the children to think of their favorite animal. Have them take turns silently acting like that animal while the other children guess what it is. When the animal has been guessed correctly, have the child share why they like that animal so much.
7. Who’s Shoes
Have each child take off one of their shoes and place them in a bag. Mix the shoes up, then spread them around the room. Tell the children to go find one shoe (not their own), then search for the owner. When they find the owner of the shoe, they must give them a hug and say one nice thing about them.
Share Your Favorite Preschool Games
We’d love to hear your ideas for game time in Sunday School. What fun ways have you found to help younger children connect and build friendships?