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8 Exciting Back to School Bible Activities

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8 fun back to school Bible activities to help kids break the ice, build cooperation, sprout friendships, learn compassion, and reach for God!

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Every new school year brings with it excitement and anticipation — as much from the students as the teachers. This year, help your kids prepare for the upcoming school year and for tests they’ll face in life with lessons about God’s amazing love.

We wish you a tremendous year filled with the blessings of teaching and learning — and may God’s gifts be equally bestowed upon you and your students. Read on for great ideas to start your new school year off right!

1. Chain Gang Relay

Theme: Teamwork Scripture: Acts 16:16-31

Age Level: 6 to 12

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Activity Time: 20 minutes

Materials: Crepe paper streamer rolls, obstacle course items, Bible

Use this cooperative relay to build teamwork and coordination in your class. Beforehand, set up an obstacle course using classroom items such as chairs, trash cans, and other items kids will have to maneuver around.

Form relay lines. Give the first person in each line a crepe paper streamer roll. Have the kids on each team tie themselves together by their left ankles. Say, “On go, your team must run through the obstacle course together without breaking your bond. That means you’ll have to work together. If you break the streamer, your team is out of the race.” Once the race is over, ask, “What was difficult about the race? Were you able to work together? Why or why not? What made it easier to maneuver the obstacle course? What made it more difficult?”

Read aloud the Scripture. Ask, “How do you think Paul and Silas felt when they were forced into the jail? How do you think their bond with God helped them through this ordeal? How is that like or unlike the bond you experienced today?”

Geoffrey Allan
Miami, Florida

2. Spider Web Game

Theme: Breaking free from sin Scripture: Hebrews 12:1

Age Level: 6 to 12

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Activity Time: 20 minutes Materials: Ball of yarn, Bible

Use this entangling exercise as a thought-provoking icebreaker.

Have your class form a circle, then read aloud the Scripture. Starting with yourself, pass the ball of yarn to each person in the circle. When kids catch the ball of yarn, they must wrap it around themselves and name something that keeps people from living for Jesus.

Say, “On go, everyone try to get untangled as quickly as possible.”

After everyone is finally untangled, ask, “Why was it so hard to get untangled? How is being tangled in the yarn like or unlike what this Scripture said?”

Reread the Scripture. Ask kids to talk about ways we can keep from getting tangled up in sin and distractions when it comes to our relationship with God.

Tara Sanchez
Grapevine, Texas

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3. Holy Mole-y

Theme: Getting acquainted

Scripture: 1 Timothy 5:24-25

Age Level: 10 to 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Activity Time: Played over several weeks

Materials: Flashlight, class list, score card

Play this version of the popular TV show with your class as a way to help them get to know each other and to build a strong sense of community over four weeks.

Secretly select one child as the “mole.” Explain to the mole that the only way the game works is if he or she keeps the role an absolute secret.

Introduce the game in a dark, mysterious room, and use only a flashlight during the meeting to maintain an atmosphere of mystery. Say, “There’s a mole among us. Over the next four weeks, we’re going to try to figure out who the mole is, based on the clues it leaves behind. A mole usually lives and works in hiding. But it leaves behind evidence of what it’s doing — molehills. During every class, I’ll give you a hint about the mole. Look for the molehills the mole leaves behind, too.”

The mole will leave behind good deeds — or “molehills” — such as leaving candy anonymously outside the door or writing encouraging notes to the class.

All the kids, including the mole, can choose whether to guess the mole’s identity at the beginning of each class. They can write their guess on a piece of paper and give it to the teacher. But if they guess incorrectly, they can’t guess for the remaining weeks. At the end of each meeting, give a hint about the identity of the mole. If someone guesses correctly, tell that person secretly, and encourage him or her to continue playing along.

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Invite an “informant” for two visits. Only let kids see the informant’s shadow profile, and have this person alter his or her voice. The informant can repeat the information from the previous weeks along with some new hints.

Establish these rules for the game.

• Honesty is most important, so no one is allowed to ask anyone else if he or she is the mole. Any questions about the mole must be answered honestly by you.
• At the end of the game, the mole must prove that it left a molehill (good deed) every week.
• Other kids can throw off their classmates by leaving molehills.
• Guesses about the mole’s identity can only be given at the beginning of class, not at any other time.
• Hints about the mole’s identity are given only at the end of class and never outside of class.
• Kids’ guesses must be kept secret, and if they guess correctly, they can’t tell their classmates.
• The person to guess the mole’s identity first wins the game but must keep quiet until the four weeks are up.
• If no one guesses the mole’s identity, the mole wins the game.

Andreas Dyck
Espelkamp, Germany

 

4. Edible Ornaments

Theme: Good judgment

Scripture: Proverbs 3:21-22

Age Level: 6 to 12

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Activity Time: 20 minutes

Materials: Large and small gumdrops, assorted gummy candies, large and small marshmallows, red licorice whips, toothpicks, wooden shish kebab spears, Bible

Kids love to sink their teeth into this lesson.

Read aloud the Scripture. Then ask, “What is good judgment? How do we know if we’re making good decisions?”

Talk about a time you made a bad decision and what the consequences were. Ask, “Did any of you make a bad decision last week? How about a good decision? Explain. Are there ways we can remember to make good decisions? How do you learn to make good decisions? What role does God play in our decision making?”

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Say, “We’re going to make a fun snack that’ll help us remember this Scripture and the value of good, Christlike decisions.”

Give kids an assortment of marshmallows and gummy candies, as well as toothpicks and wooden shish kebab spears. Have kids decorate the toothpicks and spears with the candies to create edible sculptures.

5. Hangin’ on a Prayer

Theme: Answered prayer

Scripture: Psalm 17:6-9

Age Level: 6 to 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Activity Time: 30 minutes or longer

Materials: Small, spiral-bound notebooks; assorted fabric scraps; construction paper; ribbon; scissors; self-adhesive vinyl covering; clothespins; clothesline; pens and pencils

Kids can track God’s responses to their prayers throughout the year with these personalized prayer journals.

Give each child two pieces of clear adhesive vinyl 1 inch larger in length and width than the covers of their notebooks. Have kids peel the backing off each piece and lay them sticky-side up on a work surface. They can place fabric and construction paper cutouts on the plastic to create colorful and unique covers. Have kids leave a ½-inch border without decoration so it will stick to the inside of the notebook covers.

Carefully place each piece of decorated clear self-adhesive vinyl covering on the desired cover. Arrange them so one side of the ½-inch vertical border sticks to the area along the spiral binding. Then fold the remaining three sides around the back of the cover to secure them in place. For a final touch, have kids tie a ribbon around the top three rings of the spiral binding in a loop.

String clothesline in an area within kids’ reach. Distribute clothespins along the line.

Have kids keep track of their prayers by recording the date and their prayer request and leaving a space below each request to record God’s response. Make a point during each class to have kids revisit their journals and add any prayer requests or responses. At the end of each class, have kids hang their journals by the ribbons along the clothesline.

Marlene Zumach
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

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