Having lessons filled with church games helps kids get the wiggles out and focus during the important parts of the lesson. For young children, you may need to start the lesson with a game, pause for a game break, and end the lesson with a game.
Of course, these games are also great for church activities, Sunday School, or youth ministry. Using church games makes lessons and activities more memorable for children and youth.
Here are the best kids’ church games to get the kids’ fidgets and squirms.
1. Wrapping Lazarus
Wrapping Lazarus is a fun game that pairs well when teaching about the death and life of Lazarus. In the Bible, Jesus wakes Lazarus from death, and Lazarus emerges from the tomb covered in his bandages.
For this activity, you will need several toilet paper rolls. Split the children's ministry group into two teams. Both teams wrap up one of their team members in the toilet paper, from head to toe. The teacher or ministry leader then judges which team did the better job of wrapping
(Spoiler: Both teams win.)
This game does a great job of combining a great game with scripture.
2. Frozen Angels
Frozen Angels reinforces the idea that angels are all around us.
For this game, there is one human, and the rest of the students are angels. The human walks around the room and looks at the angels. The angels can’t move if the human is looking at them. The second the human turns away, they can wiggle, jump, dance, and crawl as much as they want.
If the human catches them moving, they have to sit down.
3. Candy Bar Wall
Candy Bar Wall is a great game for teaching trust and teamwork among younger children. It may not be the best activity for older children who have already hit their growth spurts.
To play this activity, you will need wall-safe tape and candy bars. Tape the candy bars up high on the wall by standing on a chair, table, or short ladder.
When the kids enter the room, tell them to get the candy down, but they can’t use furniture, and they can’t work together as a team. For several minutes, each child will struggle trying to get a piece of candy off the wall.
Then, let them work as a team. Have some of the kids lace their hands together to create a foot ladder for another child to step on. They should be able to reach the candy working together.
Resurrector is the perfect game when teaching lessons about Jesus Christ. It works as an Easter game or as a game to play when reading the new testament.
To play, all kids will sit in the circle. One child will leave the room as the Detective. The other kids decide who will be the Resurrector. When they’ve decided, the Detective comes back into the room and stands in the middle of the circle. Everyone else remains seated.
The Resurrector winks at the kids sitting. When someone gets winked at, they stand briefly and say, “I’m alive!” before sitting back down. The Detective must guess who the Resurrector is.
5. Protect Us From Temptation
Protect Us From Temptation is a great youth group game that encourages teamwork and works as a perfect visual lesson. Because it gives a visual representation of temptation, it will also work as a Sunday School game or as a church game.
To play, one person is the Tempter, and one is the Tempted. All other youth act as the Protectors. The Protectors gather around the Tempted and try to block the Tempter from reaching the Tempted. The Tempter cannot touch the Protectors.
This bible game pairs perfectly with a lesson about avoiding temptation and relying on church leaders and parents to help you make better choices.
6. Sock Battle
Sock Battle is one of the funniest youth group games. It’s irreverent, though, so it won’t work as part of a Sunday School lesson. Instead, use it for a middle-of-the-week youth activity when everyone can play outside on the grass while wearing pants.
To play, everyone needs to be wearing socks. All players get on their knees and shuffle in the grass, staying on their knees for the entire game. Players will try to take off other player’s socks before someone can rip off their own socks.
The last kid still wearing socks wins the game.
7. Caramel Onion
Caramel Onion will be one of the most memorable activities and acts as the perfect visual lesson during children’s church.
Before the activity, make caramel apples. Secretly, decorate several onions as if they were caramel apples, and spend extra time ensuring that the onions look absolutely delicious. Bring the plate of caramel apples and caramel onions to the class.
Let each kid choose their “apple,” and then let them enjoy (make sure that there are extra apples so that the kids who chose onions still walk away with a caramel apple). Several kids will shout in disgust when they bite into a delicious-looking caramel treat, only to find that the pretty coating hides a disgusting center.
Pair this activity with a lesson about sin. Sin may look pretty on the outside, but when you take a bit, it’s nothing but an onion.
8. The Joy of Laughter
One of the best bible games is The Joy of Laughter. Before beginning the activity, have each participant share a bible verse or bible story about how God and Jesus bring joy. Some scripture examples include:
- 1 Chronicles 16:27: Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his place.
- Luke 15:7: I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
- Psalm 16:11: You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
- Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Have all the kids lay on the ground and rest their head on another kid’s belly. Someone starts by saying, “Ha.” The next person says, “Ha, ha.” Soon everyone will be laughing as their heads bob on laughing bellies.
9. Would You Rather?
Would You Rather is the perfect game to pair with a bible lesson. Prepare a list of Would You Rather questions and ask them to the group. Here are some examples.
Would you rather…
- Face Goliath with only a stone and a slingshot or be thrown into a den of lions?
- Be present at Jesus' birth or his resurrection?
- See Jesus heal the sick or watch him walk on water?
- Have Samson’s strength or Solomon’s wisdom?
- Live on Noah's ark taking care of the animals for 150 days or live on mana for 40 years?
- Be thrown into a furnace or swallowed by a whale?
After each question, discuss why the kids chose their answers.
10. Bible Pictionary
This game idea pairs perfectly with any Bible lesson in a classroom. When playing Pictionary, use words that relate directly to the lesson. You can have the kids draw a bible character or an object from the bible story.
Write all of your ideas on a piece of paper and place them in a plastic cup. Split the group into teams and have one team member begin. They stand at the front of the classroom next to a whiteboard or chalkboard. Both players drawing will receive the same word.
On a count of three, they begin drawing, and their teammates try to be the first to guess what they’re drawing.
Some good word ideas include:
- God's word;
- Noah's ark;
- Jonah and the whale;
- The Messiah;
- The golden calf;
- Sermon on the Mount;
- Tower of Babel;
- Solomon’s temple.
The first team to guess the word wins the round.
Finding the right game to pair with your lesson is important. Sometimes, you might want to get the kids laughing and excited, while other times you’ll want them to think deeply about the lesson. Here are several more game ideas to engage the kids in your lesson:
- Gaga Ball : Have the kids set up a Gaga Ball pit and have some fun.
- Draw My Life: Give the kids paper and have them draw how God has changed their lives.
- Charades: Play a simple game of Bible charades where all of the words are related to the Bible.
- Hula hoop race: Place the kids at the start line with a hula hoop and tell them that the hula hoop is their protection from sin. They have to hula hoop to the finish line and start over if the hula hoop falls.
- Life rules: Have the kids craft a list of life rules similar to the 10 Commandments and challenge them to live by those rules.
- Nine Square: Have the kids set up and play a fun game of Nine Square.
Incorporating a Bible lesson into any game is easy. You can teach your students to love church by playing fun, memorable games.