Scripture Songs Kids Love!

I believe that Bible memory is important in the life of a Christ-follower. But Bible memory is not easy! Putting Bible verses to music is a great way to help us memorize Scripture!

Kids need motivation and encouragement as well. There is a lot of great Bible verse songs available. One recent group doing a phenomenal job is The Rizers.

The Rizers have put out 2 albums and are starting to make some really great videos as well. Their music will appeal to kids. It’s fun, pop-rock music.

If you are looking for some ideas for freshening up your Bible memory program check out The Rizers!

Activity and Game Ideas to Teach the Books of the Bible

In my post Teaching Bible Skills – Finding Books of the Bible, I said that I would give you some ideas for activities and games that will encourage kids to learn the books of the Bible and become familiar with the order of books in the Bible.

Here are some of my favorite activity and game ideas:

1. Games With Popsicle Sticks

Write the books of the Bible on popsicle sticks, one on each.

Pile them on the table and tell your class that they have 1 minute to find as many New Testament (or Old Testament) books as they can.

Separate New Testament from Old Testament and have your class put the popsicle sticks in order.

Have a relay. Pile the popsicle sticks on the floor and line the kids up on the other side of the room. Have them race to put the popsicle sticks in order; or find just New (or Old) Testament books and then put them in order. You can also have them looking for boos from certain sections – Pentateuch, History, Epistles, Poetry. Depending on the skill level of your class, you can let the kids use their Bible’s table of contents.

Hide & Seek – let a couple of kids hide some popsicle sticks around the classroom and then have the rest of the class find and put in order.

2. Bible Bingo

This is a fun activity that kids love!

For younger kids (Gr. 1-3)

Print enough copies of the blank Bible Bingo template (pictured at the right) for your class and fill each in with books from the Bible ahead of time. (Make sure each child’s game sheet a little different). You can focus on Old Testament or New Testament or the whole Bible. Make a master copy so that you don’t have to fill in new templates each time you want to play. You can also print a filled-in Bible Bingo template. You can play with bingo dabbers, highlighters, or markers.

Pass out to your class and explain how to play. Tell them that you will call out a book of the Bible – if you are focusing on a certain part of the Bible, make that clear at the beginning. If they have that book on their bingo sheet, highlight it. When they have 5 in a row, tell them to call bingo.

Use your Bible when you play this game. Even if you don’t need to refer to the table of contents, it is good for the kids to see you with the Bible. It helps them make the connection that these book titles (some are unusual and strange) are books from the Bible.

For older kids (Gr. 4-6)

Print enough copies of the blank Bible Bingo template for your class. Gather bingo dabbers, highlighters, or markers.

Pass out the Bible Bingo sheets to your class and explain how to play. Tell them to use their Bible’s table of contents and fill in the bingo sheet. Let them know if you are focusing on Old Testament or New Testament. Tell them that you will call out a book of the Bible. If they have that book on their bingo sheet, highlight it. When they have 5 in a row, tell them to call bingo.

Use your Bible when you play this game. Even if you don’t need to refer to the table of contents, it is good for the kids to see you with the Bible. It helps them make the connection that these book titles (some are unusual and strange) are books from the Bible.

Variation

Here is a Bible Bingo game that adds in the challenge of knowing the divisions of the books. Print enough copies of the blank or filled-in Bible Bingo template for your class. Also print a copy of the Bible Bingo Leader Strips. You may want to print these on card stock and/or laminate them so they last longer.

Pass out Bible Bingo game sheets to your class. Put the leader strips in a basket or just in a pile on the table. Tell the kids that you will choose and read a strip. They can highlight a match on their Bible Bingo sheet. Explain, “If I say ‘Gospels & Acts,’ they you need to look for Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. Those are the books in the Gospels and Acts part of the Bible.”

For a younger class or in order to play a shorter game, you may make a rule that kids can highlight any matches on their sheet to the clue you called out. For an older class or to play a longer game, you may make the rule that kids can only highlight one match to the clue you called out. This rules allows the kids to use some strategy during the game.

So, for example, if you are playing by the first rule, if you call ‘Minor Prophets’ kids can highlight any of the Minor Prophets on their Bible Bingo sheet – Malachi, Haggai, Jonah, etc. If you are playing by the second set of rules, they would have to chose one of those options.

This is a fun way to get kids interacting with the books of the Bible and putting them in context by using the divisions as well.

 

3. Old & New Testament Game

Attach the Old & New Testament signs (print in color or print in black and white) to opposite walls of your classroom or play area. Have the children stand in the middle. Call out a book of the Bible and have the children run to the sign of the testament they think it’s in. This game can be played for points or not; if you want to make it a little more competitive for older kids, you could make it an elimination game if they get it wrong.

Using index cards, print one book of the Bible on each card. Put them in a pile on the floor in the middle of the play area. Attach the Old & New Testament signs to opposite walls of your classroom or play area. Tell the kids, when you say “go” they should grab a card and take it to its correct location. All kids play at once. The goal is to see how fast the class can divide the cards into their correct testaments.

4. Books of the Bible Poster Game

Print off a copy of the books of the Bible strips onto cardstock. Laminate if desired. Cut out and add magnets, tape, sticky tac, paper clips or Velcro to the back of each book. Using a poster board, title it “Books of the Bible.” Add sub-titles, “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” Add numbers 1-66, separating the Old and New Testaments. For a variation, make a poster for Old Testament and a poster for New Testament. For an added challenge add the divisions of the Bible. An option would be to make two identical sets of whichever variation you are using for team play.

Attach the poster to the wall or put it flat on the floor. Lay the books of the Bible strips on the floor. Line the kids up. On go, the player picks up a book and races to the poster and places it wherever they believe it goes. The player returns to the start line and tags off the next player. They take their turn, playing as before. In addition, if a player believes a book placed previously is incorrect, he or she may change it. Play continues until all the books are placed correctly.

Playing in teams and racing to be the first team to place all the answers correctly increases the fun!

Note: You can adjust this game to the skill level of your class. Put some books on the poster ahead of time to give the kids a jump start. If you want to give your class a serious challenge, leave the poster blank.

Note: These pictures are examples of what the posters can look like (The New Testament poster is missing number 19 which should be with General Epistles). The actual posters should be bigger (poster paper size). Have fun making these posters or even better make it a class activity to make posters for Bible games!

For more ideas visit the books of the Bible free resources page.

 

4 Tips for Teaching a Multi-Age Class

Many Sunday School teachers have the responsibility of teaching one class with children of all ages. This is not an easy responsibility, but it can be done.

Here are 4 tips for teachers of multi-age classes:

1. Teach to the middle

For the Bible lesson portion of your Sunday School class, plan and teach for the middle of your age range. If your class is children in grades 1-6, then teach to the grade 3 level. The younger children may find the lesson a bit above their level and the older children may find it does not challenge them enough, but teaching to the middle is the best way to reach all the children in your class. No matter how big of an age gap you have between the kids in your class, teach to the middle of the age range. The other activities you plan will help bring it all together for the kids in your class.

2. Plan application & activities for specific ages

The application and other activities you plan for the Sunday School class will be where you can challenge each age group specifically and make sure that everyone understands the main point of the class.

Application – Split the kids into 2 or 3 age groups for the application time. Give the older kids an assignment that will help them to discover the application in a group. While they are busy, you can discuss the application with the younger kids. You may encourage each group to choose a presenter that will tell the whole group what they discovered during application time. When you have finished with the younger children, get them involved in an activity and then join the older children to find out what they have discovered and encourage them in the right direction if necessary.

Bible memory verse – The younger kids can be given a portion of the verse and the older kids can be challenged to memorize all of it. For example, the younger kids in your class can be given James 1:17a “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” and the older kids can be given the entire verse to memorize, “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Games & Crafts – Plan games and crafts that are appropriate for the different age groups. While the younger kids are working on a coloring picture or simple craft, the older kids can be working on a group assignment. Make sure all games and crafts that you plan are related to the lesson and specifically to the theme of the lesson.

3. Give the older kids responsibility

Giving the older kids some responsibility in your class will challenge them and help them to feel like vital parts of the Sunday School class.

There are many ways the older kids can help with the younger kids:

  • Ask them to sit with the younger kids during the Bible lesson. The big kids can be an example for the younger children of expected behavior.
  • The older kids can also help the younger kids look up the Bible passage. If the younger kids have storybook Bibles, the older kids can help them find the story. Then the older kids can show the younger kids where it is found in their Bibles. This is especially helpful as not all Bible stories will be found in storybook Bibles.
  • Ask the older kids to read Bible passages out loud. Another idea is to have the older kids act out the Bible story.
  • The older kids could help lead a game or craft you have planned for the younger kids. They can also help the younger kids with the memory verse. Encourage them to explain the verse to the younger kids. This will help them in memorizing as well.

4. Teach 1 thing

I have written about teaching one thing before. It is just as important to teach one thing in a mulit-age class as it is in a single-age classroom.

As you are teaching your multi-age class, find different ways to state your theme that will relate to the different age groups.

For example, your theme is “God is the sovereign ruler of all.” The Bible lesson, activities, and memory verse all support and highlight this theme. Repeat it often. If you have preschoolers in your class you could say, “God is the boss,” or “God is the King of everything.” For children in grades 1-3 you could say, “God is sovereign – that means He is in charge of everything. No one is His boss.”

By restating in a few times, you are making sure that all age groups understand and you are explaining the meaning of difficult or new words. All the kids in your class will benefit from that.

 

It is not easy to teach a class with children of all different ages. As a teacher, you want to make sure that all the children in your class are engaged, learning, and being challenged. These tips should help you as you seek to teach children of any age.

Is Scripture Memory still important?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

biblical literacyThis verse is true whether I read it in my hard copy Bible or my digital Bible. All Scripture is useful. We need to teach our kids this truth and pray that they come to love the Bible – because it is the Word of God to us.

We live in an age of unprecedented access to the Bible. I have at least 10 copies of the Bible in my house. The Bible is accessible on the internet, and on our phones. With the Bible being so easy to access, it is still important to memorize Scripture?

I believe there is huge value in memorizing Scripture and encouraging our kids to memorize Scripture. There are a number of reasons why Scripture memory is important, but I want to focus on one:

Scripture memory helps us to avoid sin; to resist temptation.

The Psalmist writes that he memorizes Scripture in order to avoid sin.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Even Jesus, when being tempted in the wilderness, quoted Scripture.

Children will face temptation. Our job as children’s ministry volunteers (and as parents) is to teach our children the value of memorizing Scripture in order resist temptation.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

One piece of the full armor of God that is used to help us stand our ground is the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

But do our kids need to memorize Scripture in order to use it to resist temptation? Maybe not, but in that moment when temptation comes, are they going to ask for a time out so that they can get out their phones and look up something that will help? Having the Bible so accessible is great, but it will not help in that situation if they don’t know what to look up.

However, if our children have memorized a verse that teaches them what to do when tempted, they will always have that knowledge.

“You are tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13),

In that moment when temptation comes, instead of asking for a time-out, our kids will remember that God has promised them a way out and ask Him to show it to them.

Scripture memory is a great tool we can give to our kids. We need to encourage them to memorize Scripture and then tell them why it is important. We need to show them the difference between having the Bible accessible and having it “hidden in our hearts.” Temptation will come – let’s give our kids the tools they need to stand their ground.