I don’t know about you, but I’ve been starting to have a case of the “blahs” this week (if you’re an extrovert you probably reached this point long before now!). Mostly-introvert that I am, even I’m getting weary of sameness. Maybe these play-based Bible activities will add some pizzazz to your days! We tried to think of things you might readily have on hand and don’t require a trip to the store.
1. Just Add Water!
What you need: water, shaving cream, food coloring (optional), paintbrushes, cups, spoons, bowls, etc.
What to do: This idea isn’t at all original with me, but when things get cranky, add water! Take a deep breath and let your kids go to town. They’ll love it and it will most likely reset any bored or bad attitudes! You could put your kids in the tub and give them cups (or a muffin tin) filled with colored shaving cream and let them paint away! Or let them outside to paint and then wash off their artwork. Or there’s always the kitchen sink, a pool in the backyard… so many options!
2. Thankful Book
What you need: paper, stapler, magazines or ads to cut out, crayons or markers, scissors, tape, or glue
What to do: Cut and staple the paper into a book, one per child. Have children look at the magazines or ads and cut out things they’re thankful for (or have them draw pictures), then glue the pictures into the book. You could categorize things by color or by starting letter for some extra educational mileage. When you’re done, thank Jesus for his kindness in providing all those things. Read Phil 4:19.
3. Moon Sand
What you need: 8 cups flour, 1 cup baby oil, large bin, cups and bowls
What to do: Mix the flour and oil together in a large pan or bin. This will mold and hold together for kids to build and design with. You could challenge them to see if they could build a pyramid and talk about Moses in Egypt. Since most of the Bible occurs in a sandy environment, you could imagine together what it would be like to live in Bible times.
4. Encourage a friend!
What you need: card making supplies
What to do: Think about who you miss seeing and who you could encourage. You could share a verse like Philippians 2:1-4 or 1 Thessalonians 5:11 and talk about the importance of encouragement. Make some cards (we usually just use construction paper and long letter envelopes… easy peasy!) and write an encouraging note. Maybe you could write out a Bible verse you’re learning. You could even color a picture of a parasaurolophus to encourage a missionary/dinosaur enthusiast who is not feeling well! (That’s my son’s dinosaur of encouragement masterpiece below….isn’t it beautiful!?) Click here to download your own dinosaur coloring page to encourage that special dinosaur enthusiast in your life!
5. Snack Hunt
What you need: little baggies of snacks hidden around the house
What to do: After you’ve hidden the snacks, tell the kids to go looking for their snack! (You may want to set ground rules for how many each can find, or that you’ll divide them equally later to avoid conflict and sadness.) Once they’ve found all the snacks, sit down and tell one or all of Jesus’ parables from Luke 15 and how the heart of the Father is to seek and find those who are lost in sin.
6. Watch & Learn Games
What you need: A meaningful video and review questions to ask
What to do: Watch a short devotional or Bible related video with your kids and then play a simple review game to ask questions and see what they can remember. You can easily prep for this yourself or Kids Enjoying Jesus has several printable games to go along with videos from our YouTube channel. Click the picture below to check out this fun dinosaur themed game that you can play with kids after watching the accompanying video.
7. Wrapped up books!
What you need: some of your children’s books that maybe they haven’t read in a while (or new ones if you so desire!) wrapped in festive paper
What to do: Wrap up the books and put them in a box or basket. Show the box or basket to your kids and make a big deal out of unwrapping one book a day and reading it together! Maybe you could have a special snack or light candles while you read. This is typically a Christmas or Advent idea, but this could bring some joy and excitement to your days!
8. Tea Time (aka Quaran-TEA!)
What you need: fun snacks or homemade treat, a fun drink (lemonade usually wins in our house), fancy cups, candles, things to make your table look special
What to do: Set up a tea party for your family! Make your table pretty (for our little crew, lighting candles and dimming the lights is magical) and call everyone together. Enjoy your special snack, the lovely dishes, and each other. You could tell the story about the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19)—when everyone will celebrate and when Jesus will make everything right that was ever wrong. What a wonderful thing to talk about and look forward to! You can even play this fantastic song about the wedding banquet to add meaning and ambiance to your “Quaran-Tea”!
What you need: a swing and at least one kid
What to do: Swinging is a great learning time for your child! You can swing and count, learn a Bible verse, or list what you’re thankful for. See Nathan’s post here for other ideas about “pushing” kids to give thanks with a swing!
10. Make Bread Bible Activity
What you need: recipe and ingredients for bread or muffins that your family enjoys
What to do: Work as a family to make the recipe. Either while you’re making the recipe or right after, talk about how you’ll only get an end product that equals what you put into it. The muffins or bread won’t multiply in quantity in the oven. But Jesus defied those rules of physics when he fed over 5,000 people with just five loaves and two fish! He started out with that many but he kept multiplying it until everyone was fed and there were 12 baskets leftover! Just one more way Jesus showed his awesome power! You could also tie this in to how Jesus meets our needs and gives us our daily bread. You could even memorize the Lord’s Prayer together!
11. Stained-glass Mural
We put this idea in our “Easter at Home” packet, but it’s a great idea for a sunny day! Not only can you be outside enjoying the sunshine, but you can talk about God’s creation, the blessings God has given you, or even about what you enjoy about your church (since some churches have stained-glass windows).
12. Handprint Poster Craft
This activity comes from our FREE Enjoying God My Creator! Activity Guide.
What are you doing to break the quarantine blues with kids? Please share your ideas in the comments!