Here are 4 quick attention-getters that serve well as fidget busters for kids of all ages.
It seems children never stop wiggling, giggling, whispering or looking around.
So be prepared. Before a lesson, have a fidget buster ready to go. When the fidgeting starts, stop what you’re doing and try it. Then return to your learning activity.
4 Children’s Ministry Fidget Busters for All Ages
Preschoolers: Bellybutton Buddies
Say: Let’s run off some energy and play a silly game. Have children run around the room. When you yell “Bellybuttons,” children must each quickly find a partner and point their finger to their partner’s bellybutton.
Repeat this activity several times. Then say: Now let’s all point to our bellybuttons before getting back to our lesson.
Grades K-3: Sock Rob
Have children take off their shoes so everyone is stocking-footed. Supply extra socks in case some kids aren’t wearing any. Then have everyone sit on the floor. Tell children that the goal is to scoot on their bottoms and pull off as many socks as they can while keeping their own on.
When everyone is “sockless,” say: Now that we’ve knocked our socks off, let’s sock it to our lesson.
Grades 4-6: The Samaritan Shuffle
On slips of paper, write events from the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). For example, write:
- A man walks from Jerusalem to Jericho.
- Robbers attack and beat up the man.
- A priest walks past the wounded man.
- A Levite walks past the wounded man.
- A Samaritan stops to bandage the man’s wounds.
- A Samaritan puts the wounded man onto an animal.
- A Samaritan takes the wounded man to a motel.
- A Samaritan pays the motel manager to take care of the hurt man.
Put each slip of paper into a different balloon. Inflate and tie off the balloons. Have children form a circle and bat the balloons around. When you yell, “Stop and pop,” have the children grab a balloon, pop it and retrieve the slip of paper. Have children figure out the correct sequence of the parable without looking at the Bible. Then read aloud Luke 10:30-37 to see how they did.
Say: It’s time to be good Samaritans, so let’s help each other back to our lesson.
Fidget Buster for All Ages: Magnetic Force
Tell kids they’re going to play a game and act like magnets. If you do this with preschoolers, bring a magnet and paper clips to demonstrate what a magnet does.
When you shout an instruction, all the children who fit that description must act like magnets and race together to form a tight bunch. Have the rest of the children jump up and down and cheer for the “magnetic” group. The group disbands when you call out another instruction, and a new magnetic force comes together. Call out descriptions, such as:
- everyone who’s wearing blue socks
- everyone who’s wearing jeans
- everyone who’s got two eyes
- everyone who watched television last night
- everyone who has a dog
- everyone who likes pizza
Then say: I feel something pulling me back to the lesson. Let’s all stick together in a group and inch our way back to our seats.
Jolene Roehlkepartain is the author of 25 books including Parenting Preschoolers with a Purpose (Search Institute). She’s active in children’s ministry in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.