Last week in Creating Christian Games for Kids, I detailed how to create game boards that would last and could be used to create multiple games. A reader contacted me wanting to know more details about the types of games I have created over the years that could use the game board.
I am not a huge fan of getting children so focused on the facts of the story, we forget to teach them what they are supposed to learn from it and how to apply it to their lives. It is important though that they remember enough details so they can accurately re-tell the story to someone they meet and with whom they are sharing their faith in a conversation.
If you want to create your own Bible trivia game to use at home, you can cut up one of those inexpensive Bible trivia books you find in Bible bookstores and attach each question to an index card. (It’s up to you whether or not you want to use some of the really obscure questions those books can sometimes contain.) Or if you prefer, you can create your own questions and write them on game cards.
If you want your kids to work on memorizing some scriptures you would like them to always have on their hearts and minds, consider creating game cards that contain the beginning of a verse and the player who draws it has to say the remainder of the verse to advance on the board.
My favorite homemade board games are those that encourage kids to think about and apply godly principles they have learned. I try to think of real life scenarios common to their ages and in which they need to make some sort of decision – particularly ones where kids often get confused.
I just completed one asking children to define whether an incident was a mistake or a sin. The concept is confusing because sometimes a mistake can “feel” like a horrible sin and an actual sin can “feel” like it is just a silly mistake everyone makes. Unfortunately, not being able to accurately access whether or not you have sinned can have major repercussions.
Mistake or Sin: You trip and knock over your mom’s favorite lamp. It breaks and your mom steps on a piece of glass, cutting her foot. (Mistake)
Mistake or Sin: Your dad tells you not to watch a certain program on tv. You are at a friend’s house and agree to watch the show with him. (Sin – Disobeying Parent)
Another game I have used several times is one asking children to choose between several possible options for handling a situation. Some of them are scenarios and others ask them to remember the process for making godly choices.
- You forgot to study for a test at school. Your teacher isn’t in the room for part of the test. You can see the answers on the paper of a student who always gets good grades. What do you do? If you think you should copy a few answers, pick card 1A. If you think you should do the best you can, even if you fail, pick card 1B.
- You have a choice to make. What is the first thing you do? If you think you should just make the choice, choose card 2A. If you think you should say what the problem is that is creating the choice, choose card 2B
There are many other similar types of games you can create. Handling conflict in godly ways – asking kids to map out godly ways to handle specific conflicts they will probably encounter and the steps for handling conflict – is another example of a possible game requiring kids to think through real life situations and how to handle them the way God would want them to do.
The answers can be provided in a couple of different ways. For the mistake/sin game, I wrote the answers and how many spaces to move for right or wrong answers upside down on the card with the question. For the choices game, there were three piles of cards – one set with numbers, a second set with the number and the letter “A” and a third set with the number and the letter “B”. This allowed me to include more information about why the choice was appropriate or inappropriate as well as how many spaces they moved for their answer. At the end of that turn all three cards with that number were set aside.
Keep watching our parent site Teach One Reach One this summer. We will try and post complete game card sets for several games which you can print and glue to index cards or card stock. In the meantime, have some fun with it. You may even want to get your kids to create game card sets and play the game as part of a family devotional. It’s a fun way to reinforce godly principles without lecturing.