“Fathers, do not POKE your children!”
That’s what my 4 year old said when I asked what her new memory verse was. My wife has recently been teaching Ephesians 6:1-4 to our little ones bit by bit and apparently when they started verse 4, my Party Girl thought “provoke” sounded a lot like “poke.” This made me chuckle, but it also highlighted the importance of regularly memorizing and reviewing Scripture with our children. Because we were reviewing her brand new verse, we caught and corrected her mistake…but even more than that, she KNEW most of a brand new verse by heart and WANTED to talk about it!
Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified”
Fantastic! What Christian parent wouldn’t want these benefits for their kids!? I’ve personally experienced these benefits. I’ve felt the comfort of God’s promises in long seasons of inescapable pain. I’ve embraced the hope of God’s Word during bouts of depression. I’ve whispered his living Words as I marvel at the tiny beauty of butterfly scales and the massive teeth of T-rex. I want my kids to experience this too! I don’t just want them to know Bible verses. I want them to enjoy and treasure God’s living Word in their hearts so that it pours out in their thoughts, words, and actions during all seasons of life.
One early step in helping our children learn and love the Bible is to intentionally encourage and equip our kids to memorize and meditate on God’s Word. The most important way to do this is to first model Scripture memory for our kids by doing it ourselves, but another tool we’ve often use in our home and church is Bible memory verse games. Memory verse games are a fun and sometimes silly way to help kids WANT to say a verse over and over so that it gets stuck in their head and heart. These games are ways we enjoy memorizing and practicing God’s Word together. I’ve compiled a list below of some of my favorite Bible memory verse games for kids. Some of these games require minimal prep and some require no prep at all so you can instantly play them on a car ride or in a classroom.
My hope and prayer is for these games to inspire and encourage families to hide God’s Word in their heart together. Enjoy!
10 Bible Memory Verse Games for Kids
BIG Sheep/Little Sheep Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, pictures of a big sheep and little sheep or toy sheep of different sizes
Say: Ouessant (WEH-sahnt) sheep are the smallest kind of sheep in the world. What do you think a little sheep sounds like? Lincoln sheep are one of the largest kinds of sheep in the world. What do you think a big sheep sounds like? Sheep come in many sizes. The Bible says we are like sheep and we need God to be our good shepherd. God has given us his Word, the Bible, to help us know how to listen and follow him like sheep follow their shepherd. We’re going to use big and little sheep to help us remember our verse.
Do: Read and explain the memory verse from the Bible. Hold a sheep picture in each hand behind your back. Let a child choose a hand. If they choose the hand with the BIG sheep, have everyone make a BIG sheep noise and say the verse together in a BIG voice. If they choose the hand with the little sheep, have everyone make a little sheep noise and say the verse together in a little voice.
Respond: God’s Word helps you listen to God and follow him like a sheep follows its shepherd. Maybe you could draw a sheep on a small piece of paper and write this verse on the back of it to carry in your pocket so you can pull it out at mealtime to review and remember this verse.
Animal Actions! Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, Animal Action Action cards (printable) , container or bag
(FREE printable cards for this Bible verse memory game are available on our resource page.)
Say: What’s your favorite animal? God made such amazing creatures! The incredible animals God made remind us how awesome, wise, powerful, and wonderful God is. He is even more amazing than the things he has made and he has given us the Bible to helps us get to know him better. We’re going to learn about some incredible animals God made while we practice a verse from God’s Word.
Do: Write the amazing animal actions below on pieces of paper. Put the papers in a container or bag ahead of time. Read and explain the verse from God’s Word then play a game to showcase God’s creativity while you repeat the verse! Have children take turns grabbing a paper, reading the animal action, and leading everyone in that action while saying the verse together.
▶ Pistol shrimp CLAP their claw to shoot bubbles!
▶ Sloths move so SLOWLY that plants grow on them!
▶ Secretary birds STOMP on dangerous snakes!
▶ Barbastelle bats can WHISPER to sneak up on moths!
▶ Kangaroos can’t walk. Their legs are made to HOP!
▶ Flamingos can STAND ON ONE FOOT when they’re asleep!
▶ Some frogs can FREEZE solid without dying!
▶ Spinner dolphins can SPIN around in the air!
Respond: God is WAY more amazing than any of the animals he made. The next time you see an animal, pause and say this verse to help you think about our awesome God who made all the animals.
Remote Control Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, remote control
Do: In this game you use a remote control to pause the kids (or let them pause you) as you repeat the verse together. You can even fast-forward the verse and control the volume! Check out our video to learn how.
Up & Down! Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, chair to use as throne
(This game is adapted from our FREE activity guide, Enjoying God My King!, which includes instructions for teaching several verses about God the King.)
Say: What does a king sit on? A throne is a large, decorated chair. It might be covered in gold or other sparkling jewels. God is the greatest king ever and he’s given us the Bible as his message to us. When we learn part of the Bible by heart we’re learning a message from our awesome king! We’re going to pretend this chair is a throne while we practice our verse together.
Do: Read and explain the memory verse from the Bible. Have one child pretend to be a king or queen sitting on the “throne” while everyone says the verse together. If the king stands up, everyone must follow the king and stand up while they say the verse. If the king sits back down, everyone must follow the king and sit back down as they continue saying the verse. Let children take turns being the king on the throne choosing when everyone stands up and sits down as they say the verse together.
Respond: Whisper this verse to yourself this week whenever you feel like doing something wrong. It can help you remember that God the King has given you the Bible to help you love and obey him.
Treasure Hunt Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, shiny object to represent treasure
Say: What’s the most expensive and valuable thing you can think of? God’s Word is worth way more than all the expensive treasures of the world put together because it tells us about God and how we can be with him forever! The Bible is God’s message to us and we can treasure it in our hearts (Read Psalm 119:11.) We’re going to pretend to search for a valuable treasure while we say our verse.
Do: Read and explain the memory verse from the Bible. Have one child close their eyes while another child hides the “treasure” somewhere in the room. After the object is hidden, the rest of the children can say the verse together and guide the treasure hunter to the treasure by saying the verse louder when he moves closer to the treasure and softer when he moves further from it. When he finds the treasure, hide it again and keep playing.
Respond: God’s Word is more wonderful than any treasure you can imagine! When you see money or maybe a fancy car or something else that’s valuable, think about how precious and valuable God’s Word is. Say this verse or another verse you’ve learned and ask God to help you treasure his message to you.
King’s Order’s! Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, King’s Orders! Action Cards, shiny gift bag or box, pretend scepter or crown (optional)
(FREE printable cards for this game are available in our lesson, “The Savior King!”)
Say: Kings, queens, and other leaders often give orders (instructions) for other people to obey. God is the King of all the earth. All the kings, queens, prime ministers, governors and other leaders on earth are all under God’s command and authority. God is the highest King of all!
Do: Make King’s Orders! Action Cards by writing/printing the actions below on crown shapes. Put these cards in a shiny “royal” gift bag or box. Read and explain the memory verse from the Bible. Have children take turns pretending to be the king (or queen) by holding a pretend scepter, wearing a crown, or sitting on a chair designated as the throne as they grab a paper from the container and “order” everyone else to say the verse in the manner written on the card.
Ideas: Clap behind your back while saying the verse! Close one eye and hop while saying the verse! Tiptoe and whisper while saying the verse! Take a deep breath then say the verse! Stand on one foot and nod while saying the verse! Speak deeply and slowly while saying the verse! Stomp like a dinosaur while saying the verse! March in place while saying the verse!
Respond: God is the greatest king of all time. He has given you the Bible to help you know and obey his commands. In our town we have STOP signs that command the driver to stop the car. Maybe those STOP signs can remind you to STOP and say this verse and remember how important and wonderful God’s commands for you are. When you see a STOP sign, you can STOP and say this verse and ask God to help you keep his commands.
Back & Forth Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, pointer (optional)
Do: In this game you simply take turns going back and forth saying pieces of the verse or passage until you finish saying it. You can play this game while you’re driving in the car, grabbing a snack, or even when you’re holding guinea pigs with your Princess! To prove it, we’ve made a video showing several ways to play this game with kids (and guinea pigs) of all ages. Check it out!
Joy, Joy, Joy! Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, verse about joy printed or written on a whiteboard (Habakkuk 3:17, Philippians 4:4, Luke 2:20, etc.) dice, jingle bells
(A FREE Habakkuk 3:17 visual and coloring page is available in the JOY theme of our Enjoying Advent! Activity Guide for Kids.)
Say: Have you ever felt really, really happy? One word for that is joy. Joy is gladness and delight you feel deep down inside. The Bible tells us true joy comes from God. He has given us his promises in the Bible to help us trust him and have joy even when life is difficult. We’re going to play a game by ringing jingle bells each time we say the word “joy” (or rejoice) while we say this verse together.
Do: Read and explain the verse from the Bible. Let children take turns rolling dice and then leading everyone in saying the verse together, pausing at the word “joy” to repeat it and ring the jingle bell the number of times shown on the rolled dice. (Example: If the number 5 is showing on the rolled dice, everyone would say “I will take joy, joy, joy, joy, joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18” with the child jingling the bells each time the word “joy” is said.)
Respond: We can have joy, even in very difficult times when when we’ve trusted God’s promise to save us from sin. The next time you feel sad or frustrated, pause and say this verse to help you remember God’s good promises. Ask him to help you have joy by trusting his promises.
Idea: This game can also work for verses that don’t include the word “joy”, just choose a different key word in the verse to repeat as the children shake the bell.
Wonderfully Made! Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, verse about God the Creator printed or written on a whiteboard (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 139:14, Exodus 20:11, etc.) Wonderfully Made facts and motions written on cards and put in a bag
(FREE printable cards for this game are available on our resource page.)
Say: God created you in a wonderful and fascinating way! Your entire body is a reminder that he is your Creator and you should praise Him. We’re going to learn about our amazing bodies while we practice our verse about God the Creator.
Do: Write or print fascinating facts about the human body on pieces of paper and put them in a container ahead of time. Read and explain the verse about God the Creator from the Bible. Let children take turns grabbing a paper and reading the fact. Then you can lead everyone in saying the verse while doing the motion that corresponds to that fact.
▶ You have a tongue print that’s one of a kind. (Hold your tongue.)
▶ Your eyeball has over 2 million tiny parts. (Blink your eyes.)
▶ You breathe over 20,000 times every day! (Take one breath.)
▶ Half of all your bones are in your hands and feet. (Clap and stomp.)
▶ Your smallest bones are in your ear. (Wiggle your ears.)
▶ Your toenails grow more slowly than fingernails. (Wiggle your toes.)
Respond: Think about this verse whenever you see yourself in a mirror. Thank God for making you in a wonderful way
Crazy Hearts! Bible Memory Verse Game
Prepare: Bible, memory verse printed out or written on a whiteboard, crazy hearts instruction cards.
(FREE printable cards for this game are available on our resource page.)
Idea: Scripture repeatedly emphasizes that a transformed life flows from a transformed heart. This game is a fun way to repeat memory verses about hearts while reinforcing the truth that what’s in our heart overflows into what we think, say, and do. We need to have a heart that loves God. Write/print crazy instructions on paper hearts for kids to follow while they say the verse together. Check out our video to see the game in action!
Scripture memory is an important and fun way for families to grow in their love and enjoyment of God’s Word.
Many of the memory verse games I’ve shared in this article are adapted from our activity guides and resource bundles: Enjoying God My Creator!, Enjoying God My King!, Enjoying Advent!, and The Savior King! If you’re looking for more ideas to help you memorize Bible verses with your kids, you’ll find teaching suggestions, memory verse coloring pages, and more game ideas in these resources. If you’d like more ideas to help your kids learn and love the Bible, I also recommend checking out the book, “Help Your Kids Learn & Love the Bible” (appropriate title, don’t you think?) for more ideas and inspiration.