Use this Bible Game: Trash Toss to help kids learn why trusting God is important through Jonah’s experience.
Best for: Ages 6 to 9
Scripture reference: Jonah 1:1–2:10
Supplies: Bible; one blanket; one action figure or doll; and one large, empty trash can
Elementary Bible Game: Trash Toss
Summarize Jonah 1:1–2:10. Say: God told Jonah to deliver an important message to the people of Ninevah, but Jonah was scared. So instead, he took off and tried to hide from God. He got on a ship. But a huge storm came up, and the others on the ship figured out that Jonah had disobeyed God and that’s why the storm was so fierce. So the threw him overboard. There in the water, a big fish swallowed him. Jonah was inside the fish’s belly for three days. He prayed to God and asked for forgiveness for not following God’s command. Then the fish spit him out on the beach, and Jonah went and delivered the message to Ninevah.
Help children form a circle around the blanket. Place the trash can in the center somewhere kids have an unobstructed view of the trash can. Your group should be at least six to eight feet away from the trash can.
Say: Imagine that your blanket is the sea, your action figure (or doll) is Jonah, and the trash can is the mouth of the big fish. You’ll use your blanket to get Jonah into the trash can—without getting any closer to it.
Have kids work together to try to launch their action figure or doll into the trash can using the blanket (this will probably work best if the blanket is folded once so it’s not too big). Have kids take as many turns as time allows.
Say: Be careful not to hit anyone with your “Jonah.”
After a couple of minutes, congratulate kids on their efforts.
After the game, discuss:
- Describe what you think it would be like to be thrown into the belly of the fish.
- Why do we sometimes resist God?
- Why is it important to obey God even when we’re afraid of what he’s asking?
Say: Jonah didn’t want to obey God, but after he spent three nights in the belly of the great fish, he realized that he had to listen to God. God wants us to know that obeying him is always right—even when we are afraid—because he’ll be there for us.
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