Games Your Kids Will Never Tire of Playing – Sleeping Pirates

Games Your Kids Will Never Tire of PlayingI love this game! More importantly, kids love this game!

This is a great game to play after more active games or when you want to encourage the kids to start quieting down.

I call this game sleeping pirates, but it could be anything – hedgehogs, cowboys, astronauts, lions, whatever.

This game can be played inside or outside. It requires no equipment.

Here’s How to Play:

In this game, all of the children (except one or two captains) lie down on the floor in sleeping positions. Once they are settled, they are not allowed to move. The captains walk through the room and try to make the sleeping pirates move by making them laugh, telling them jokes, and so on. The captains are not allowed to touch the sleeping pirates. Once the pirates have moved, they get up and join the captains.

Reasons Why I Love this Game:

  1. All children play at the same time. No one is left out.
  2. It is easy to learn and simple to play.
  3. It is extremely versatile – it can be played almost anywhere, requires no equipment, and can be played with almost any number of children.
  4. It is a great way to transition from game time to other activities.
  5. I love the creative way kids will choose to “sleep” and the creative ways kids will choose to try make the other players move.

Don’t miss the opportunity to share the gospel with kids this Easter!

Here are 4 tips for sharing the gospel with kids during Easter:

1. Be intentional about weaving the gospel into the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection

When you tell the story of Jesus death and resurrection to the children in your ministry, include the gospel. Children will not understand why Jesus had to die if we don’t tell them about God’s holiness and people’s sinfulness and Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. When we share the truth of the gospel, we give the kids something to really celebrate Easter morning.

2. Redeem crafts and games

I recently did a craft with my class of preschoolers. The original instructions were to color and glue two popsicle sticks together to make a cross. Stand it in some modeling clay and add a swath of red felt and some flowers at the base. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to tell the kids what the red felt was supposed to be, so I decided not to add it at all. Instead, I printed off small rectangles of card stock that read, “Jesus is our Mighty Savior!” As we were making the craft, we focused on what it means that Jesus is our Savior. Now, when the kids look at their cross crafts, they will hopefully be reminded that Jesus is a mighty Savior.

As you are planning crafts and games to play, take time to think about what the game or craft focuses on. Don’t be afraid to change or refine them to highlight a gospel theme. Redeem the craft or game you are playing by using the opportunity to share the gospel.

3. Use the symbols of Easter

It’s important not to make assumptions about what children understand. Especially when it comes to symbols, it’s important to explain what they mean to children. The cross is probably the biggest symbol of Easter. Children will recognize a cross having seen it in churches, on necklaces, etc, but it is unlikely that children will understand what it symbolizes. Explain simply that a cross helps us to remember that Jesus is our Savior. When you explain what it means that Jesus is our Savior, you are sharing the gospel. Tell children that when we see a cross, it helps us remember that Jesus died to take away our sins. Jesus saved us from our sin. Jesus is our Savior.

I played a game with my preschool class called Hide the Cross. It was a hide and seek game where one child hid the cross and the rest of the class found it. If I had just played the game with the kids without talking about why we were using a cross, we would have had fun, but I would have missed an opportunity to share the gospel with my class. Instead, I told them that we were using a cross because a cross helps us to remember that Jesus is our mighty Savior. Jesus is mighty; that means He is strong! Jesus is our Savior; that means that He died to save us from our sin. Jesus is our Mighty Savior!

4. Gospel-centered activities

There are many activities connected with Easter. Many of these activities do not focus on Jesus or the life-changing message of the gospel. Turn those activities into gospel-centered activities.

At Christmas, it is quite common to see Nativity sets in homes and at churches. Nativity Sets highlight the true meaning of Christmas and if they are child-friendly, allow children to interact with the story. Something similar can be done for Easter.

Make a diorama of the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. There is a great deal to be learned by making the key characters with your children and using them to tell the story over Easter weekend. You may choose how many characters are necessary for your ministry based on your children’s ages and how detailed you want your re-enactment to be. You can create your characters and set with play dough, clay dough, cardboard, etc. A basic set would include Jesus, a cross, a couple of guards, a tomb with stone, and an angel. As you re-enact the story over the actual time frame of the weekend it makes children (and adults) more aware of the hours Jesus suffered and the days his followers waited in fear and confusion. It also highlights the wonderful surprise of the empty tomb.

If you are looking for a snack idea, try Resurrection Buns. Form some dough around a marshmallow. When baked, the marshmallow melts so there is a hollow space in the middle. As you enjoy these snacks with your children, talk about how they remind us of the empty tomb. The empty tomb shows that Jesus is a Mighty Savior! Follow this link for a recipe for Resurrection Buns.

If you choose to have an egg hunt, you could hide plastic eggs with verses or symbols of Easter within them and after they have been found, gather together to read or talk about the significance of each. A few of them could be left empty as well, as a reminder of the empty tomb. A few treats mixed in will also be appreciated.

There are many activities to offer children over Easter. Take the time to plan gospel-centered activities that will provide children with more than just a fun time.

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to share the gospel with kids this Easter! Give them something to celebrate! By being deliberate about sharing the gospel with kid this Easter you are making it all about Jesus, our Mighty Savior.

Christ died for sins once and for all time. The One who did what is right died for those who don’t do right. He died to bring you to God. His body was put to death. But the Holy Spirit brought Him back to life. (1 Peter 3:18 NIrV)

Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15 NIrV)

Curriculum Pick – Discipleland

It can be hard to find good, solid, Biblical curriculum. I spend a lot of time previewing different curriculum and searching for the best-valued and most Biblical curriculum for my readers.

Discipleland is one of my top 3 picks. Here’s a promotional video about their curriculum that highlights one of the reasons why I love Discipleland – their systematic approach to teaching fundamental truths.

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Games Your Kids Will Never Tire of Playing – Fish Gobbler

Games Your Kids Will Never Tire of Playing

I love this game! More importantly, kids love this game!

This game can be played inside or outside. It requires no equipment. And there’s LOTS of running!

You need a big, empty space (like a field or a gymnasium) and basically the children will have to run from one side of the room to the other without getting caught.

Here’s the lay-out of the playing area:

  • On one side of the playing area is the ship.
  • On the opposite side of the playing area is the shore.
  • The space between the ship and the shore is the ocean.
  • Appoint one player or leader to stand in the ocean – they are the Fish Gobbler.
  • Another leader – standing on the sidelines – is the caller
  • All the other players start by touching the ship-side of the playing area.

Here’s how to play:

The caller shouts directions – either “ship” or “shore” – and the children have to run in that direction. The caller can call out either of these directions at any time (even while children are in the middle of the room, running in one direction) and the children have to run in the direction called.

Meanwhile, the Fish Gobbler just stands there and does nothing… until the caller calls out “Fish Gobbler!

At this point, the Fish Gobbler can run around and tag the players. In order for the players to be safe from the Fish Gobbler, they must lie down on the floor and touch another player. Anyone caught by the Fish Gobbler becomes another Fish Gobbler.

Continue play until everyone is a fish gobbler.

Reasons Why I Love this Game:

  1. All children play at the same time. No one is left out.
  2. It is easy to learn and simple to play.
  3. It is easy to include new players into the game, even in the middle of the game.
  4. It is extremely versatile – it can be played almost anywhere, requires no equipment, and can be played with almost any number of children
  5. I love the shrieks of laughter I hear whenever I play this game.

 

MissionFest Winnipeg 2012

MissionFest is an annual event in Winnipeg, which features speakers, music and displays from missions organizations. There is also a children’s program and I was a volunteer this year.

I arrived at 1pm only to find out I wasn’t needed until 2:30pm. I wandered through the exhibits and bought a new copy of Operation World (this is a must have book for anyone working with kids!) At 2:30pm I was thrown into the lion’s den when I was asked to lead an impromptu game for the kids as they arrived…it’s always a good idea to have a game or two up your sleeve for these situations.

After games there was a snack and a presentation and then the kids had their own special speaker…who was not a speaker at all. Greg Wood is a local evangelistic comedy entertainer. He was very good. There were about 100 kids and he had their attention from the beginning. He was engaging and funny. He talked about sharing Jesus with our friends and he told Bible stories, all while doing illusions that had the kids interested.

I was glad to be a part of MissionFest and to see 100 kids encouraged to take an active part in making disciples around the world.

1 12 13 14 15