Read in 9 mins Bible Activities and Sermons » Activity Type » Craft Print / Download Article Facebook Twitter Pinterest Email Bible Activities for All Ages: Projects From Around The Globe These activities will launch your kids into thinking about how their world compares and contrasts to their brothers’ and sisters’ world around the globe. Through games, crafts, and snacks, you can start your kids on an adventure that teaches them about the depths of God’s love for people of all nations. Activities from Hawaii: The Island People The eight Hawaiian islands are dotted with large cities and small towns, sandy beaches and steamy forests, and even a smoking volcano. Right now, God is using rainfall to wear down the oldest island and fire to build a brand-new one. Hawaiin Quilt Designs Hawaiian women are famous for sewing beautiful quilts. A Hawaiian quilt has two colors-a background color and another cut-out-design color sewn on top. The cut-out patterns are based on fruits and flowers, and they’re cut in the same way we cut paper snowflakes. Each Project Requires two sheets of construction paper in contrasting colors white glue in applicator- tip bottle a pencil an unruled sheet of plain paper scissors Fold the plain paper to form a wedge shape. Use the pencil to draw any design. With the paper still folded, cut along the design. Unfold the cutout and trace its outline on a sheet of construction paper. Cut out the traced design and glue it to the top of the contrasting paper. Have children use their quilt designs as greeting cards. Read aloud Philippians 2:3-4. Ask: What does our Bible say about being friendly to other people? How do you feel when someone treats you kindly? Suggest that children write to friends who are sick at home or first-time visitors to your children’s program. Hawaiian Kapus Lead children in this discussion related to the Hawaiian tradition of kapus. Say: The traditional Hawaiians had many kapus (KAH-pooz). These were laws against certain kinds of behavior, such as against walking on the king’s royal shadow. For a woman, eating a banana was kapu. The missionaries thought the kapus were ridiculous, but the missionaries had their odd kapus too. The missionaries had come from places where the weather got cold. Even though the Islands are very warm, the missionaries continued to cover themselves from head to toe in heavy clothing. They told the Hawaiians that it was kapu to come to church unless you were all covered up. The natives thought this kapu was ridiculous. Form groups of four. Say: In your group, answer these questions: What kapus do you think we have today? What kapus do you think we should have? Does the Bible have any kapus? Have groups compare their answers. Activities from India: The Jewel India is both ancient and modern. It has towering, snowcapped mountains and flat, dusty deserts. There are green rice fields and forests bright with wild animals. While the caste system is officially forbidden, most Indian people consider themselves members of a particular caste-or a class that determines their social position. Mehndi People from India create Mehndi (MEN-dee) with a dye called henna. They paint these fancy designs on their hands and feet for special occasions. Each Project Requires one sheet of flesh- colored construction paper fine-point markers in red, brown, or black a pencil scissors Using a pencil, trace the outline of your hand on the paper. Use the sample as a guide to fill the paper hand with a swirly design, or create your own design using the markers. Cut out the finished hand. Have the children tell all the things they can do with their hands. Ask: What are some things you can do with your hands that will please God? Have the children keep their paper hands where they can be reminders to use their hands to do beautiful things. Remind children that the marks in Jesus’ hands were from the nails that held him to the cross. Indian-Style Hopscotch Lead your children in this fun game from India. Make a three-tiered box pattern on the ground. To avoid long waits for turns, play separate games with no more than three children. Each player needs a flat, smooth stone to toss and kick. Play begins with the first player tossing his stone into the first square. He hops on one foot into the first square and uses his “hopping” foot to kick his stone into the second square. Hopping to the second square, the same player tries to kick his stone in the same way into the third square, hopping in that square and picking up the stone. The first player to successfully hop through the squares in progression and pick up his stone in the third square is the winner. If a player fails to toss or kick his stone all the way into the correct square, uses his other foot to regain his balance, or steps on a line, the turn passes to the next player. Each new turn means a return to the first square. Activity from Japan: The Rising Sun Japan is a fascinating island nation whose ancient beginnings go back hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. Gyotaku Gyotaku (G-YO-TAH-KOO) was originally used to record the catch of an unusually large or rare fish. Each Project Requires a fresh, flat fish (many children can use one fish) newspapers straight pins paint and paintbrushes rice paper (available at art stores) Wash and dry the fish. Lay the fish on a stack of newspapers and use pins to fan the fins outward from the body. You’ll need to push the pins all the way into the newspaper stack. Brush a coat of paint on the fish, including fins but avoiding the eye. Carefully lay the rice paper over the fish and press down gently until the entire fish has been imprinted on the rice paper. Peel off the rice paper and set it aside, face up. After the paint has dried, use dark paint to add an eye to your fish. You may also use fabric paint to print a gyotaku T-shirt. Say: The fish is a traditional Christian symbol. If you spell the word “fish” using Greek letters, each letter is the beginning letter for the Greek word for “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior.” When people ask about your gyotaku, tell them about Jesus. Ask: Where have you seen a Christian fish symbol? What do you think when you see it? How could you use your gyotaku to share the good news of God’s love? Activity from Amazonia The Amazon rain forest stretches almost three million miles across Brazil and reaches into eight of Brazil’s neighboring countries. Two hundred forty thousand Amerindians share the forest with about half the different kinds of plants and animals God has created for our world. The Wolf Play this game in a field or gym. Designate lines to indicate a safe area called home base for “lambs,” an open area called the pasture, and an area called home base for the “Wolf.” One player is the Wolf. He waits behind the line of his home base. The other players are lambs. They wander around the pasture. From time to time, a lamb asks, “Are you ready, Wolf?” The Wolf answers either, “I’m getting ready” or “Here I come!” If he answers, “Here I come!” the Wolf can run over the line into the pasture and tag as many lambs as he can before they reach the safety of their home base. Tagged lambs are out and must wait behind the Wolf’s home-base line. The chase is repeated until only one lamb is left. That person becomes the new Wolf and the game begins again. Activity from Australia Australia is an interesting mixture of seeming contradictions. Penguins live in the cold areas in the south, and it’s much warmer in the north. Christmas comes in the “summer,” the “Outback” is on the inside of the continent, and koala bears aren’t really bears at all. Bush Tucker For Aborigines, food gathered or hunted along the trail is called bush tucker. It includes such munchies as snakes, lizards, and bugs. To most Americans, these are unavailable and unappetizing. So let’s just pretend. You’ll need: gummy worms crispy chocolate cookies small, resealable plastic bags individual serving cups Put the cookies into plastic bags and smash them into crumbs. Put the gummy worms and cookie crumbs into the serving cups. Eat with your fingers. Mention to your children that there is a famous Bible person who ate bugs. Help them look in a Bible concordance under the word “locust” to discover who the person is. After they read the Scripture (Matthew 3:4), ask: What did John do for Jesus? How does his ministry compare with today’s missionary work? What missionary- message could you deliver? Activities from Nigeria’s Golden Kingdom Nigeria is the home of one of Africa’s richest and most ancient kingdoms. Four hundred different tribes now share the savannas and rain forests of this nation. Kente Cloth Kente (KEN-tay) cloth is woven in squares. The squares are attached to make long strips, the strips are sewn together into wide panels, and the panels are wrapped around the body to make beautiful clothing. Each weaving pattern has a name, and one pattern is so special it can be worn only by royalty. Each Project Requires yarn in different colors (not multicolored skeins) a sheet of heavy cardboard scissors a ruler a comb or plastic fork Measure and cut a row of notches about 1/2-inch apart and 1/2-inch deep into each edge of the cardboard. Wrap one color of yarn across the front of the cardboard, looping it across the notches on two opposite edges (see illustration). Using a variety of yarn colors, weave over and under these threads across the cardboard in the opposite direction of the first yarn. To keep the piece square, loop the yarn through the notches on opposite edges. To push threads together, use a comb or fork. When the pattern is completed, tie off the yarn ends and remove the weaving from the cardboard loom. Nomads of North Africa The thunder of charging horses, the sparkle of a jeweled dagger, the spicy aroma of exotic food, and the mystery of a veiled face — all these are part of the romance of the nomads. Along with the romance goes the reality of the constant search for fresh grazing land, the lure of city life, and government pressure to settle down. Kanya Kanya (CAN-yah) is a popular candy treat sold by young street peddlers. Ingredients and Utensils peanut butter uncooked cream of rice cereal a pan a knife Mix together equal amounts of peanut butter and sugar. Add an equal amount of cereal to make a firm dough. Press this mixture into a pan and chill. Cut into bars and serve. Explain to your class that peanuts can be found in many African dishes. An African-American scientist, George Washington Carver, discovered many uses for the peanut. When asked the secret of his great success, Carver quoted Proverbs 3:6. Have your class read this verse and discuss how they Activity from Mexico Mexico has sparkling beaches, smoking volcanoes, forests, ancient ruins, and the biggest city in the world for its capital. Cascarones Just before the Christian season of Lent that leads to Easter, many Central and South American countries have carnivals. Part of the fun is making (and breaking) a cascarone (cass-kah-ROW-nay). Friends smash these confetti-filled eggshells over each other’s heads. Nobody gets mad, because they’re having too much fun. Each Project Requires a clean, dry, empty eggshell for each child, with a hole about the size of a nickel in the small end scissors confetti squares of tissue paper big enough to cover the holes in the eggs white glue in applicator-tip bottle a bowl Using scissors, gently tap and trim a nickel-size opening at the small end of an uncooked egg. Drain the egg out of the shell into a bowl and wash the shell. Let the shell dry thoroughly. Save the eggs for cooking. Fill the egg with confetti. Glue a tissue paper square onto the end of the egg to cover the opening. To be fair, every child should make the same number of cascarones. Have children chase each other and gently crush a cascarone on top of the head of anybody they catch. Caution children not to throw the cascarones or smash them into anyone’s face. When all the cascarones are broken, everyone can help sweep up. Activities from Native Americans When Christopher Columbus reached the shores of the New World, he believed he had landed on the east coast of India. That’s why he called the people he met Indian Northwest Tribal Blanket Art The tribes of the American Northwest are known for their beautiful red and black blankets decorated with white shell buttons. These blankets are still made and worn today, but only on special occasions. Each Project Requires sheets of red and black construction paper small, white, round adhesive stickers from an office supply store or white paper dots cut with a hole punch white glue in applicator-tip bottle a pencil scissors Use the black paper as the background. Draw a simple design on the red paper, cut it out, and glue it to the center of the black background. These designs are usually animals, but you can make any design. Use the white dots or stickers to outline the design and highlight any features such as eyes. Consider adding a red border to the design to frame it. Say: The Native Americans who create these designs are the same cultural group that carve totem poles. A totem is an animal that has special meaning for the people who include it in the design of their blankets, jewelry, and other artwork. The writers of the Bible used animals as. Have children read Proverbs 6:6. Then have them choose an animal that represents a good character trait, such as an ant for being a hard worker. If children want, they can make another blanket design for their animal. Popcorn Native Americans knew about corn (maize) long before Columbus’ visit. Corn is so important to Native American culture that it’s even part of their religious rituals. The Hurons of the Northeast made popcorn by laying dried ears of corn on hot rocks around the campfire. For an extra treat, they poured on maple syrup tapped from trees. Ingredients and Utensils hot, popped popcorn maple syrup individual serving bowls napkins or baby wipes Pour the hot popcorn into individual serving bowls. Dribble maple syrup over the hot popcorn. Eat and don’t worry about sticky fingers! Use wipes for easy hand-cleanup. Ask your children to imagine the very first time anyone popped corn. Say: Popcorn was probably an accident, but once someone tasted the result, they decided it was worth repeating. Corn is important to many Native American religious concepts just as bread is an important food in the Bible. Look in a Bible concordance to see how often “bread” is mentioned. Have children work in groups to find the references to bread and especially to find out what Jesus said about bread. Jane Choun is the author of the new book Round-the-World Crafts, Games & Activities (Group Publishing, Inc.). Looking for more ideas? Check out these posts! © Group Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No unauthorized use or duplication permitted. 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