All posts by Mary Kate

Bible Puzzles

For years, Sunday school teachers have been making their own free Bible puzzles on several easy sites. Granted, Bible puzzles can be bought at very reasonable prices, and programs to design them can be downloaded. The greatest assets of our recommended sites is that Bible puzzles can be created free, without the anxiety of downloading viruses, and they can be tailored to your lesson plans as time fillers and extra activities! Bible puzzles that center around your particular lessons are always great to have on hand.

Armored Penguin is a great place to create easy word searches. Just go to their website with a list of words that go with your lesson. You’ll see a grid of rectangles going across and down. Click in the first rectangle and type your first word. Hit the tab key, which will take you to the second rectangle, and so on. Make sure to use either all caps or all small letters, as the algorithm is case sensitive.

With Armored Penguin, you have the ability to do some fun things, such as name a color and type face. But the word search will size itself, based on how many words you include and how long they are on average. Is that smart, or what?!

Even if you’re plugging in words off the top of your head, the word search only takes a few minutes to complete. Click “Make Puzzle” when finished the page. Alas:  You’ll be looking at your completed word search in about a second! You can print in PDF or HTML, or save in either format. If you want the puzzle larger, simply insert it as an “image” into a Word document, then click and drag until it is as large as you want.

Discovery Education is another miraculous yet easy, free site. Some Sunday school teachers find their specialties to be mazes and cryptograms containing Bible messages. However, the site will do any of the following with ease: word search, criss-cross, double puzzles, fallen phrases, math squares, mazes, letter tiles, cryptograms, number blocks, hidden messages, etc. Just come to their site, http://www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/, with some terminology associated with your particular lesson and carefully follow the prompts (they’re designed for kids to follow, so it shouldn’t be a problem). Once finished, click “create my puzzle!” at the bottom. You will again have your choice of printable or savable formats and can choose colors, fonts, and sometimes other artwork! Just print and bring to class!

Puzzlemaker.com allows you to do easy word searches or crossword puzzles with the same ease as Discovery Ed or Armored Penguin. Its unique feature is that after easily creating your word search, you have the option to “export to Microsoft Excel.” This way, you can open the document in Excel and play around with it quite a bit if you are an Excel-loving artist. The puzzles will appear, one letter in each of the Excel squares. You can then choose from Excel’s two hundred typefaces or insert Microsoft artwork. If you save it as an Excel document, then insert it in a Word program, you can stretch it out to fit on any size piece of paper so that it is centered, balanced, and taking up most of the space on the page.

When creating Bible puzzles, you’re usually in a hurry, and you surely don’t need additional expenses. These three websites for Bible puzzles have been so satisfying the some Sunday school teachers haven’t bought a single program for added materials in years!

Genesis Bible Quiz and Answers

Sunday school teachers looking for fun and exciting fill-in activities can always take students back to Genesis. Genesis is the foundation of recorded history for all those in the Judeo, Christian and Muslim faiths. A Genesis Bible Quiz can help keep the beginnings of mankind fresh, enjoyable and relevant to kids.

Here’s an easy Genesis Bible quiz that can reinforce facts that kids should know and can also help teach those facts!  (Answers are provided after each quiz question.)

 

1. The first life forms mentioned in Genesis were:

A. Adam and Eve

B. God and Jesus

C. Abraham and Moses

D. Sodom and Gomorrah

Answer:  B

God says in 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,”  and He doesn’t create Adam and Eve until 1:27. Church fathers dating back to Christ’s apostles say the “us/our” references are God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

2. In Genesis 3, the fruit Eve ate that caused her to sin was what type?

A. An apple

B. A fig

C. A pomegranate

D. Unknown

Answer:  D

While it is widely thought that Eve ate an apple, the fruit is not named, and it may even be a fruit that ceased to exist after the Garden disappeared.

 

3. The first person to commit murder in the Bible was:

A. Adam

B. Cain

C. Esau

D. Methuselah

Answer:  B

Adam helped commit the first sin, but it was not murder. Cain, his son, murdered his brother Abel over jealousy.

 

4. How long did Adam live?

A. 33 years

B. 100 years

C. 930 years

D. 1000 years

Answer:  C

Genesis 5:5 lists Adam living “930 years, and then he died.”
5. How many sons did Noah have?

A. 3

B. 21

C. 7

D. 9

Answer:  A

Genesis 6:9 first names them:  Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

 

6. The ark was made out of what kind of wood?

A. Teak

B. Oak

C. Cypress

D. Pine

Answer:  C

Many beautiful boats today are made out of teak wood, as it is least porous and quite water resistant; however, the ark was made out of cypress (Genesis 6:14).

 

7. After Noah and his family went into the Ark, waters flooded the earth for how many days?

A. 40

B. 100

C. 150

D. 3

Answer:  C

It rained for 40 days and nights, but it is thought that water also gushed from beneath the earth as well as the sky. The last verse in Genesis 7 states that “the waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days” [24].

 

8. God foiled man’s plans for the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 because:

A. He felt that men would be too smart and use their smarts to stray from Him

B. He felt that men would be too smart and use their smarts to destroy each other

C. He felt that man would be smart enough to compete with Him

D. A and B

Answer:  D

Genesis 11:6-7 shows God saying, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” Man will never compete with God. Frequently God has thwarted man so he wouldn’t injure himself or others or stray from God’s protection.

 

9. From Genesis 12 onward, the Book of Genesis mainly concerns:

A. Four generations of one family

B. Ten sins that men commit frequently

C. Twelve tribes and how they behaved

D.All of the above

Answer:  A

Abraham was the father of Isaac, who was the father of Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, and the rest of Genesis concerns these four generations. Abraham is considered the Father of the Nation of Israel. The ten sins referenced in the Ten Commandments were not introduced until the Book of Exodus (Exodus 20). While the twelve tribes of Israel were born in Genesis, their behavior is not a major issue.

 

10. Which descendant of Abraham was renamed “Israel?”

A. Lot

B. Isaac

C. Jacob

D.Joseph

Answer: C

Jacob, Genesis 32

 

If your students get at least 8 of the 10 questions correct in this Genesis Bible quiz, they know some important and fundamental facts of our faith! If your students were generally scoring lower than 8, that means they could use a refresher course. As some Sunday school teachers have said: “If the Book of Genesis seems real and relevant to a person, he is on his way to Christian maturity.”

Printable Bible Games

If you’re surfing the Internet for fun things to do in Sunday school, printable Bible games is definitely an option.  With so much available these days, you’ve got quite a bit to choose from. In fact, so many printable Bible games will “surf up” that it’s hard to figure out what’s worthy of your time and clicks. 

Here are seven recommendations from us for where to go for printable Bible games.  Some of the sites we’re mentioning have a great wealth of material; others have new and different things that are good if you need a change.  Whether it’s for quality or quantity, the seven sites below should suffice the needs of your students in the area of printable Bible games:

1) DLTK-Bible is part of the massive DLTK-Kid site, featuring thousands of activities for young minds and young hands.  Go and you’ll find everything from coloring pages to crafts to games for Sunday school.  Click on “Puzzles and Games” and you’ll find cutout jigsaw puzzles, anagrams, Bingo, board games, dominos and a host of other things!

2) World Game World started with the mission of expanding minds, both old and young.  Their section on “Free Bible Games” provides mind challenges as well as activity fun.  Their list of nearly a hundred activities features everything from Bible baseball to Bible trivia to Bible crosswords that make learning the Bible fun and easy.

3) Living Water Bible Games started with the mission of “helping busy parents and Sunday school teachers by providing them with ready-made Bible games and activities that make learning fun and easy.”  They have done an amazing job.  Books of the Bible Bingo and Books of the Bible Word Search will help tackle that tough job of getting kids familiar with the layout of God’s word.  Bible lands, the names of kings, and other facts that are not always available as learning tools for kids can be found here.  On their web site, they state that 70,000 of their games have been downloaded in 182 countries.

4) A Kid’s Heart Bible Resources offers many activities, but one of their specialties is a Bible verse memorization program broken down into seasons.  Each season is represented by twenty cute cards designed with artwork and containing a scripture verse that is important to Christian basics.  Students can take one at the end of every class or use them in all sorts of games including matching, chronicling, fill-ins and memorization relays.

Paying a moderate fee opens up whole new worlds.  Many sites offer a plethora of games and tools for either a small fee per item or a moderate annual membership fee.

5) Danielle’s Place tops the list for originality.  Printable board games are available to members, and these are well designed and thought out.  Some games are for young children such as The Dinosaur Game, which involves collecting pieces of a Bible verse until it can be spelled out.  A Fruit of the Spirit Matching Game goes with a lesson on the fruits of the Spirit, and many games come with matching lessons!  While the site does not contain a thousand and one items, what’s there will surely be original and bring new fun to the classroom.

6) Printable Games A to Z will meet any need in any age group.  On the homepage, follow the “Christian” link.”  There you’ll find 25 games ready to be downloaded for as low as 6.99 a game.  Also available are game collections with up to 40 games included for the low price of $19.99!  As well, all the games can be personalized with the name of your church or youth ministry program and come with unlimited downloads.

7) Footsteps of Jesus Board Game is a fabulous “large scale” board game that you can print off and use over and over with your Sunday School class, family, etc.  Return to the era when Jesus walked the earth and go with him as he heals the sick, raises the dead, speaks his most famous words, and arises after his own brutal crucifixion.  This exciting, fast-paced game blends memory proficiency, a mind for small details, and skill with multiple choice answering, all the while creating great fun for Sunday School classes, youth groups, or just circles of friends. For 1-6 players ages 8 through adult.

So you know a place to find more printable Bible games?  If so, please let us know by leaving a reply comment below.

 

Christian Party Games for Kids

Christian party games provide a great deal of help to parents these days!  Say your daughter is having her first sleep-over and everyone is so excited!  Problem:  Most slumber parties of the secular world involve horror movies, occult tricks and scary games that can produce nightmares for several nights after!  Christian party games will not only entertain Christian kids, but they can also help turn lives around. 

You don’t need a huge budget or even a great number of supplies to create your own Christian party games.  A little imagination and/or surfing the Internet will do!  Here are some ideas:

Find the Verse Treasure Hunts—Place Bible verses in strategic places on bright colored post-it notes.  Recite one verse that gets the grand prize, then have everyone hunt down the post-its.  Because of the grand prize verse, kids will be reading the verses carefully to see if theirs wins.  Also give a prize for the person who collected the most verses.

Fruits of the Spirit Hopscotch—Create a hopscotch board with the fruits of the spirit printed on masking tape, one fruit in each square.  (Note:   There are nine fruits mentioned in Galatians 5 and only eight squares, so put the final fruit, self-control at the top.  Have girls recite the fruits as they step in that box. You can follow that up with some Fruit of the Spirit crafts to double the fun.

Dance Contests to Christian Music—All little girls love dance contests!  Christian music is so diverse these days that you can find many songs to which girls can play games including freeze dance to wacky dance to line dancing to best dancer.

1 Corinthians Tag—It’s like a regular game of tag, only to keep from being tagged, a player only has to blurt out one of the definitions of love named in 1 Corinthians 13.  Place the list of the 16 descriptions of love somewhere that all can see.  Set a rule that no one can shout the same description twice, which will have everyone glancing constantly at the list:

  1. love is patient
  2. love is kind
  3. does not envy
  4. does not boast
  5. is not proud
  6. does not dishonor others
  7. is not self-seeking
  8. is not easily angered
  9. keeps no record of wrongs.
  10. does not delight in evil
  11. rejoices with the truth
  12. always protects
  13. always trusts
  14. always hopes
  15. always perseveres
  16. love never fails

Friendship crafts–Friendship beads and bracelets are a great activity for winding excited bodies down to eventual sleep.  Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Jesus set a great store in friendship, and one’s Christian friends should be celebrated.  Friendship bracelets are easy and can be made with yarn, craft thread, or twine.  Most girls know how to braid, and by simply placing beads in the braid now and again, they can come up with an unusual design.  Have them design bracelets for a name they pull out of a hat and be prepared to say nice things about that person when presenting it.

Apocalypse Story Telling—Talking about the interpretations of Revelation and how they might relate to today’s society will nicely replace any scary movie that is making its way around kid slumber parties.  The apocalypse is totally scary, but it’s also coming true.  If you have an adult available—friend, neighbor, relative, youth minister—who can tell the stories of the end of time with gusto and conviction, you will never have a kid complaining that this party isn’t scary enough.   It also generates great discussions about Jesus and what he should mean to us today.

Kids will attend many slumber parties before they’re done.  But the ones offering Christian party games will be those that they remember long into adulthood—with fondness and gratitude!  If you have another fun idea to add, please leave a reply!

Top Five Popular Bible Stories for Kids—Old and New Testament

If you’re looking for the top Bible stories for kids, that’s a smart way to design lessons!   Bible stories are often most popular for kids because they are essential to the foundations of understanding Christianity.  But kids need more than morals and doctrine.  They need action, adventure, and heroic characters, and Bible stories are full of them!

Top 5
Top 5 Bible Stories for Kids from Old and New Testaments

So, what tops the list of the most popular Bible stories for kids?  Our findings come from surfing, researching, and our own gut instincts as Sunday school teachers of many years.  Here are five top stories from the Old Testament and five from the New Testament.  They do not include the Christmas and Easter stories found in the Gospels, which would probably top any list of most popular Bible stories.

Best Bible Stories for Children from the Old Testament: 

Noah’s Ark (Genesis 5-8, intermittent passages) Kids love the ark because they are fascinated by the idea of God covering the earth with water, and being on a boat with animals that dips and sways, yet manages to stay afloat!  Teachers love the ark because it shows Noah having the courage to go against the crowd.  Surely all the soon-to-be drowned popular people were laughing their sides off at Noah!  Teachers also love how the story shows God’s love of both family and animals as he gives detailed instructions to Noah.  God assures that Noah’s family and all the earth’s species would dwell in safety during the flood.

David & Goliath (1 Samuel 17):  With bullying as such a huge issue in these times, the story of David and Goliath shows the ultimate bully attack and how a shepherd boy solved it.  Kids love the idea that a normal kid like David can beat a nine-foot giant like Goliath.  Teachers love how David’s faith in God was what beat Goliath, and they love sending home the message that “faith conquers all.”

Ezekiel saw the wheel (Ezekiel 1: 15-20):  Ezekiel’s wheel does look very much like a UFO, and this feeds contemporary kids’ love of flying saucers and the possibility of life elsewhere.  Teachers love the discussion Ezekiel’s wheel can generate about whether angels might be slightly mechanical—and if heaven might be somewhere in this very universe!

Daniel in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:16-24):   Daniel refused to succumb to a serious amount of peer pressure.  It’s always good to show kids heroic young people who refused to go with the crowd—especially when the crowd is bowing down to other gods and disgusting our God!  Teachers love to show the ultimate pressure situation:  People weren’t just laughing at Daniel; they were conniving to have him ripped to shreds!    His faith in God carried him through a night with lions, and your students’ faith can carry them through anything they have to face!

Jonah and the whale (Book of Jonah):  Kids just love water stories, and Jonah is a favorite Bible story for kids second perhaps only to Noah and the Ark.  Kids love giant fish (they’re sort of like dinosaurs), and the idea a man could exist for three days inside of one is mind-blowing!  Teachers love to show how God saved Jonah from drowning, brought him to the shores of Ninevah, and worked as a sign that Jonah shouldn’t be a scaredy cat about preaching God’s word!  If he can do it, so can we.

Top Bible Stories for Kids from the New Testament: 

Jesus as a child  (Luke 2:40-52):  When Jesus was 12, his parents accidentally left him in a temple in Jersusalem, and it took them three days to find Him!  Kids are often afraid of being lost from parents or abducted.  This story will help reinforce that parents would look for lost children to the ends of the earth.  Teachers love that it is the only story we know of Jesus as an adolescent.  They love to teach that Jesus was already very busy studying God’s word and should serve as the best example ever!

 Jesus meets the children  (Mark 10:13-16):  All kids in Sunday school dream at one point or another of meeting Jesus face to face.  Here’s the chance for them to imagine some children who actually did it here on earth!  Teachers love to show the kindness of Jesus—who had lame people to heal and dead folks to raise and a lot of preaching to do. But he put it all on pause to meet kids like yours.

Jesus brings Jairus’ daughter back from death  (Mark 5:35-43):  Kids can be deeply saddened by the death of a child, and Jairus’ daughter was only twelve.  This story gives them a chance to understand that if Jesus raised a girl from the dead, he can certainly raise them too in His kingdom—and their parents and grandparents and we can spend eternity together!

Jesus walks on water  (Matthew 14:22-43):  Every kid would love to walk on water.  And kids also love to ponder just how Jesus did this.  Did he turn the water to something like jello?  Did he build up a sand dune?  Did he become lighter than air?  While we don’t have any answers, teachers love some of the speculations their kids come up with while discussing miracles like this!

Jesus feeds the 5,000  (Matthew 14:13-21):  Everyone likes to eat and nobody likes to go hungry.  Teachers love this story to show the great lengths people who loved Jesus would go to stay by him.  Kids love the story because food is an essential.  It shows them that God will provide all the needs of people who are following him, so it’s okay to quit worrying!

So, the top five Bible stories for kids is really a top ten, counting the Old and New Testaments.  Any of these wonderful Bible tales will help kids understand how much God cares about us and how far He is willing to go to protect those who love Him.

Do you have any favorites we should add to the list?  Please feel free to add to our listing in the comment section below!  We love hearing your thoughts and ideas.