Communication is a wonderful thing…when it works well. Unfortunately, in families – particularly amongst siblings – there can be communication issues that can damage and eventually sever relationships. There are some fun activities connected to Bible stories that can help you start teaching your kids about communication.
For both activities, you will need materials your kids can use to build something. For older kids you want to make the “building supplies” as unique as possible. Think uncooked pasta, straws, marshmallows, etc. For younger children, blocks or Legos work well.
For the first activity, tell your kids the story of the Tower of Babel found in Genesis 11:1-9. Give your kids the building supplies. Tell them they must build the tallest tower possible without talking. The older your kids are, the more difficult you can make the task…like they need to use all of the supplies or it has to hold a certain amount of weight. Giving older kids a time limit can also up the pressure. Be extremely strict about the no talking rule. No noises, etc.
When time is up, ask your kids the problems they faced because they couldn’t talk. Would it have been easier if they could speak? What if they could speak, but spoke different languages? Why is it difficult to communicate without words? Why do our words sometimes make communicating more complicated?
For the second activity, tell your kids the story of Nehemiah found in the Bible book of the same name. This time, your kids need to build a wall using the materials you provided, but this time they can talk. As soon as they start, starting yelling at them and try to distract them like the people did in the book of Nehemiah. If needed, call their names, ask them questions…anything you can verbally do to distract them from their building before time expires.
Afterwards, discuss how distractions can make communication more complicated. How did it feel when one of their siblings was trying to tell them something, but you kept interrupting the conversation and/or distracting them? How much more difficult did it make their communication? What things distract them when others are trying to communicate with them? Why is it important to minimize possible distractions when having a conversation? With older kids, this is a great time to talk about how devices impact communication.
Have fun with it. Future activities can encourage them to communicate well and handle communicating in godly ways with someone when they are in conflict. For now, just get them thinking about the importance of clear, undistracted communication.