All kids love board games, and all teachers love Bible games. Combining the two may be an inexpensive and fun way to enhance learning in Sunday school. You can take regular board games and make them into fun Bible games with a few pieces of masking tape, a marker pen, and a few creative instructions!
Let’s start with the easy ones: Parcheesi and its American compatriot, Sorry. Parcheesi is known as the national game of India, though it was designed during the Depression in the United Kingdom. Parcheesi likenesses such as Sorry are often the first games of strategy that kids are introduced to. After rolling the dice, kids’ pieces may “slide” across a number of squares at once, and the idea is to get back to the starting point.
Introducing the Bible via Sorry or Parcheesi will bring kids into a new version of fun with a game with which they are already familiar. To combine it with the Bible, tape certain Bible verses onto the board, verses that you’ve been studying in class. Just tape the book, chapter and number, such as John 3:16. Have kids guess the words, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son…” If they need help, put all the verses and their contents on a companion piece that you tape up to the wall or lay on the table. Kids should be able to match up the verse they land on with the wording. Suddenly Parcheesi and its likenesses can help kids memorize scripture!
Monopoly is another board game kids have loved for decades. This time, use your masking tape to cover names like Connecticut Avenue, and put down places like Nineveh of Jonah’s ilk or Canaan, where Abraham settled. Visit sites listing “places of the Bible.” Instead of buying them for outright money kids must guess who lived there. Again, wall charts can help them by providing needed clues. Since the Community Chest and Chance cards teach charity as well as business principles, you can leave them as they are. Free Parking can become “Free Salvation,” and “Go to Jail” and “Jail” can become “Prison of Your Own Sins.”
Scrabble is great for Biblical studies, as kids can spell out the names of places or people of the Bible. Provide a Master List on the wall—words with 3, 4, 5 letters, all the way up to 10 letters. You can find lists of “places in the Bible” or “people in the Bible” by surfing.
Bible Trivia is easy and relevant to any Sunday school lesson. You can use your own games of just by putting your own questions and answers on index cards, and having kids earn points by answering correctly! No board needed! Apply this to any Sunday school lesson if you want to fill time and reinforce information afterward.
Barrel of Monkeys will increase dexterity while reinforcing Bible knowledge. One way to use the monkey is to give children a verse from the Bible to memorize. As they say each word, they then qualify themselves to pick up a monkey. Example: God. So. Loved. The. World. He. Gave. His. Only. Begotten. Son. John. 3. 16. All the children can chant the words while each takes a turn stringing monkeys.
Dominoes is also great for teaching Bible verses—given a few strips of masking tape. Cover the dots with one word of a Bible verse such as Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the way of the ungodly, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit where the scornful and mockers gather.” Throw all the taped dominoes into a basket, then spread it out on the table after repeating the verse a few times. Have the kids connect the words in the proper order.
Games such as these have lasted the decades because they are inherently fun, and no amount of electronic games and sophisticated new additions are introduced to the world of “play.” By using them in Sunday school classes, you are promoting an important message: Christianity also lasts the ages and stays fun, no matter how much sophistication is added to the world. Though he adapts to the times, Jesus is fun and relevant yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).