Bible games are a valuable tool in teaching children about God. Here are some principles to keep in mind when selecting and using games:
• A good Bible game reinforces important ideas. The emphasis should be on the concepts, not on winning the game.
• A good Bible game does not embarrass anyone. If answering questions is involved, the players could be given an opportunity to look up the answers in the Bible, or they could play as teams so that individuals are not put on the spot.
• A good Bible game does not need prizes in order to be fun. In my experience, children are motivated to learn by fun activities, and prizes are not necessary.
Thanksgiving Bingo and Simple Thanksgiving Bingo use repetition to remind kids what we should be thankful for. So that the game is not just about pictures of a church, a house, and a pet, the leader can read a sentence such as “Thank you, God, for my home and family” while holding up each card. A bingo game avoids embarrassment because the players do not have to answer questions.
Does the Bible Say That? (a new Christmas game) asks players to identify whether the statement on each card is true according to the Bible. For example, “Three wise men visited baby Jesus.” (The Bible does not say how many wise men there were.) While this game calls on the player for an answer, each card includes a Bible verse reference 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 collect four cards first is actually secondary to the learning.
Bible games are valuable when used along with Bible stories, crafts, and whatever learning activities your particular group enjoys. A game is a good 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.