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preschool boy looking full of joy
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Fruit of the Spirit Game for All Ages: Overflowing Joy

In this game, kids discover how our hearts overflow with joy from God as they experience overflowing sand.

Scripture: Romans 15:13

Although children don’t regularly use the word “joy,” most children understand this word to mean “happiness.” However, to a child, happiness often relates to something tangible, such as ice cream for dessert, a new toy from the store, or a visit from Grandma. This activity helps teach that “joy” is an attitude and a condition of the heart that comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus. Through the workings of the Holy Spirit, we can have joy in our lives and be happy in both good times and difficult times.

Overflowing Joy

You’ll need:

  • Bible
  • wading pool (or large, shallow container)
  • sand
  • plastic measuring cups (one-half cup size)
  • spoons


  • You can use water for this activity if you don’t have access to sand.
  • For extra impact, bring in a microscope and let children look at a small amount of sand. Point out how small the grains are and that a spoonful of sand holds many, many grains of sand. Explain how Jesus blesses our lives with so many wonderful things, both big and little.

Full of Hope

Beforehand, put sand in a wading pool or in a large container. Place measuring cups and spoons in the sand.

Open your Bible to Romans 15:13.

Say: Listen to this verse from Romans: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”


  • What would happen if you left the water running in the bathtub and the plug was in?
  • What does “overflow” mean?
  • Can you tell me how you would feel if your heart was “overflowing with joy”?

Say: The Bible tells us that God will fill us with so much joy when we trust in him that we will overflow with hope. God fills our hearts with such great joy when we believe in Jesus. Jesus just keeps filling our hearts until we are “overflowing” with joy, no matter what!

Overflowing Sand

Say: Let’s play a fun game to remind us of the joy we have in our hearts.

Form groups of three. Have one child in each group hold a measuring cup over a wading pool or a large container of sand. On “Go,” the other children in each team will quickly pour spoonfuls of sand into the cup. See how quickly each group can cause the cup to overflow.


  • What happened to the sand when the cup could no longer hold it?
  • If our hearts are full of joy and Jesus keeps blessing us with more, what do you think will happen?
  • When you are happy and full of joy, how does that make the people around you feel?

Say: God blesses us with so many wonderful things, and he fills our hearts with joy. Even when our hearts are full of joy, he just keeps on giving us good things. In a way, our joy can overflow as our sand did and spill out. When our joy “spills,” it can spill onto other people around us and make them happy, too. We can share our joy and happiness with those around us.

Knowing Jesus gives us joy, and we can especially share our joy when we tell others about Jesus. We want others to know the joy of having Jesus in their hearts.

This game comes from Kids’ Travel Guide to the Fruit of the Spirit. This book contains 13 Scripture-based lessons that help kids discover God’s Spirit and love, and how they can live out the fruit of the Spirit in their daily lives. For even more lesson activities, check out these ideas!

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