Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
four friends smiling with backpacks on
Read in
5 mins

3 No-Fail, Super Fun, Befriending Games for Kids

Having friends at church is important to kids! Kids are more likely to enjoy going to church when they are known, befriended, and having a blast. So as you start a new school year of ministry, help kids befriend their leaders and each other with these three super easy and super FUN befriending games.

Ask kids in your church what they like about going back to school and most may say that they like seeing their friends again. That’s because friendship is so important to kids—and it’s important in children’s ministry, too! When kids make meaningful friendships at church, they want to come back week after week to spend more time with each other and with Jesus.

Group’s Notes From Jesus: What Your New Best Friend Wants You to Know book is also great to give kids who are just starting a relationship with Jesus. It has doable, kid-sized ideas for readers to become even better friends with Jesus.

But for some kids, friendships aren’t so easy. They may need a little help to come out of their shell and feel comfortable in a room full of kids and grown-ups they don’t spend a lot of time with throughout the week.

Help elementary and preteen kids at your church get to know each other better with these three kid-tested and leader approved befriending games! They are simple, easy-to-lead, and readily fit into any lesson. Take a look! Which one will you try this week?

1. Befriending Game: Name Game

This game will help children get to know one another and discover that God gives each of us different interests and talents that make us special.

Scripture: Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)

Supplies:

  • none!

Names and Motions

Have all the children stand in a circle.

Say: I’m glad that all of you are here. I’d like to teach you a game that will help us get to know one another.

As the leader, begin the game. Introduce yourself by telling your name and something about yourself (for example, and interest or hobby). You should also choose an action or hand motion that represents that quality. For example, you might say, “I’m Pete and I like to play baseball” while pretending to swing a bat.

The child to your left will be next. She may say, “Pete likes to play baseball” while pretending to swing a bat, then “I’m Jessica, I love to read” while pretending to hold a book.

Play continues around the circle with each child recalling the name, interest, and action of the previous group members, then introducing themselves and choosing an action. The last person will have to recall the whole group! It’s okay for him or her to ask for help.

Be sure to include all adult leaders in this activity. Be prepared to help timid children think of a characteristic and motion. After everyone has had a turn, ask if anyone else would like to attempt to recall the whole group.

Discussion

After playing the game, have kids sit down in the circle and discuss the following:

  • Why do you think God gave each of us different interests and abilities?
  • Proverbs 22:1 says that a good name, or a good reputation, is more valuable than riches. What do you think it means to have a “good name”?
  • How can you make sure that your choices and actions will give you a good name?

Now that the kids know a little more about each other, they’ll feel more comfortable interacting!

2. Befriending Game: One of a Kind

This game will get kids talking to and learning about one another as they work to quickly get the same colors of pompoms.

Scripture: Mark 16:15

Supplies:

  • pompoms, assorted colors (or individually wrapped, colorful candies!) (5 per child)
  • small sandwich bags (1 per child)

Fun Facts and Pompoms

Ask a helper to assist you in quickly distributing five pompoms of assorted colors to each child. Also give each child a small sandwich bag to hold their pompoms.

Say: There are only two rules to this game. First, you will try to get five pompoms that are the same color by trading with others. Second, you can only trade with someone else by telling that person one thing he or she doesn’t know about you. For example, if I was trying to collect yellow, and [name of child] had a yellow pompom to trade with me, I would tell [name of child] something about me, like my favorite sport.

Ask children if there are any questions, then begin the game. When most children have all their pompoms of one color or are getting close, call time. Be careful not to make this game competitive. The goal is to learn about others, not to get the most pieces of like-colored pompoms. One way to stay away from competition is to stop the game before anyone has all one color.

Discussion

After playing this game, ask kids to find a partner who was trying to collect the same color of pompom and discuss the following questions:

  • How did it feel to tell others something they didn’t know? Why?
  • What can we tell others that they might not know about God?
  • Who can we tell about God’s love and forgiveness?

Say: In our game, we went to our friends to tell them something new about us. In the Bible, Jesus told us to go into the world and tell others about God’s love and forgiveness.

3. Befriending Game: Name Freeze

This game will help kids learn that God knows each one of them by name.

Scripture: Psalm 147:4

Supplies:

  • Bible
  • beanbags (1 per child) (If you don’t have beanbags, use resealable snack-size bags filled loosely with dried beans.)
  • book with pictures of stars or galaxies (optional)

Names and Beanbags

Open your Bible and read aloud Psalm 147:4: “He counts the stars and calls them by name.”

Say: Think about a time when you’ve looked at the sky at night. Think about how many stars there are. If you live in a large city, there’s a chance that children may not have had the experience of stargazing, so if you brought in a picture of stars, show it to the children now.

Say: Do you think you could count all the stars? Or memorize all their names even if you could count them? None of us could do that because there are more stars than we can see, even if we had the world’s most powerful telescope! Yet writer of this psalm wanted people to know that God knows everything—including how many stars there are, and he knows the name of each one! That’s because God made them all.

Guess what! God knows your name, too! And he knows everything about you. Let’s play a game to help us learn each other’s names.

Give each child a beanbag. Instruct students to balance the beanbags on their heads without touching them as they move around the room. When a beanbag falls off, that child should stop moving and remain frozen in place. Kids “unfreeze” each other by calling the frozen person by name and placing the beanbag back on his or her head. (If they don’t know someone’s name, they can ask.)

Vary the game by giving directions such as moving around the room by walking fast, twirling, skipping, or hopping (a hard one!).

Discussion

After playing this game, have kids sit in groups of three and discuss:

  • How do you feel when someone calls you by your name? Why?
  • Why is it important for us to know each other’s names?
  • Name one or two people whose names you didn’t know before.
  • How does it feel to know that God knows you by name?

Say: It feels good to know that God knows us by name, and it makes others feel good when we know their names, too.

These befriending games come from The Encyclopedia of Bible Games for Children’s Ministry. In this resource, you’ll find 175 fun games for any occasion, any energy level, and nearly any Bible story! Looking for more games? Check out these posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 No-Fail, Super Fun, Befriending Gam...

Get free weekly resources from us!
Got it! Would you also like offers and promos from Group?
Thanks, you're all set!
Our Pins!
Top Proven Ways to Find & Keep Good Volunteers