Teach Me Jesus Thursday: Learning Through Play

We all know that children learn best through play and hands on activities. That’s why preschools have centers and special play areas where children can play games, dress up, do arts and crafts, and use their imaginations.

A long time ago, I worked with children in a clinical setting where I often used games to help develop rapport, encourage conversation, or teach a new skill. A few times, I made my own board game out of poster board. I wrote down questions on cards that I wanted the child to answer and when they landed on a certain place on the board, they had to pick a card and answer a question. It was an inexpensive way to individualize a game for each child.

When it comes to learning Biblical truths, games are a fun way to have children practice something they have learned. I’ve made board games a couple of times with my own children. One such game we named, “The Search for the Treasures of Wisdom.”

We drew squares all around the edge of a poster board. One square was designated “start” and one “finish.” On a few squares scattered around the board I wrote “go ahead 3 spaces” “go back 3 spaces” or “lose a turn.”

To play, you first have to answer a question on the card. If answered correctly, you then roll the dice and move ahead the number that you rolled (we used play pieces from another board game, though my kids prefer to use little Lego minifigures). I wrote the questions on 3×5 cards. As for the cards, some of them have questions about the Bible (such as name three books of the Old Testament, how many disciples did Jesus have, define grace, etc.). Some of the cards have the person do something (sing the song “Jesus Loves Me,” hug the person on your right, tell about a time that you were tempted to lie, etc.). Some of the cards also have the person fill in the blanks of a Bible verse they have memorized.

It’s fun for children to make their own board game. The cards can be changed out to fit whatever lesson you want your children to learn. For example, they could be based on learning character lessons. The cards might provide scenarios that a child might face in life and they have to explain how they might use a particular character trait, such as honesty, sharing, forgiving, etc. to handle that problem. The cards could also be used in a Sunday School setting to quiz the class on something they’ve been learning. They could also be designed to fit a particular lesson in homeschool. The possibilities are endless.

It’s also fun for children to design and decorate their own game. My kids enjoyed helping me come up with a name for it. The name we chose fits well with the verse, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:2-3

revised and updated from the archives
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1 Comment on Teach Me Jesus Thursday: Learning Through Play

  1. marlene hibbard
    June 6, 2014 at 12:31 pm (5 months ago)

    Great ideas Christina, I must incorporate these with. My grandkids this week. And I would use these in writing Sunday School lessons. Completely copying you but thanks for the ideas

    Reply

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