374. The letter to the Philippians - the parachute game


What does it mean to be united by the Holy Spirit?

In Philippians 2:2, Paul writes about how are are united by the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to be united? Does it mean that we are all the same? Or is is alright to be different?

Themes: 

Letters in the New Testament, The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul, unity, united by the Holy Spirit

Ask the children to stand in a large circle and give them the parachute to hold. Practise holding the parachute in the air together and bringing it down to the ground together.

parachute game

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371. Letters of Paul - what are people called?


What are people called who live in ……?

You can do a quiz with the children in which you name various towns and countries and the children have to guess what the inhabitants are called.

To take some British examples ( you can find examples that are relevant to your children): 

London – Londoners
Glasgow – Glaswegians
Birmingham – Brummies

Finish up with the ancient city of Philippi. This will bring us to Philippians, and is a fun way to start looking at Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Of course you can play this game with Paul’s other letters as well.

apostle Paul writes a letter

Themes: 

Letters in the New Testament, The Pauline epistles, Epistles of Paul, or Letters of Paul,

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, Sunday school lesson, children's ministry, kid's time, children's moment in church, Messy church, youth work

331. The power of a quiz - part 19 of the Christmas show that you can do!


Four good reasons why you could do a quiz in your Christmas show

If there is time left you could do a quiz with the children. I always find that doing a quiz gives me four specific benefits:

1. If you tell the children you are going to do a quiz before you tell the story and that you are going to ask questions about the story during the quiz the children will listen more attentively to your Bible story.

2. During the quiz I tell the story again, so the children hear the story twice.

3. During the quiz I ask the children questions about the most important teaching points in the story. Even some questions that will start with a 'why'. By doing this children will have to think about the teaching point in the story and communicate this back to me. 

4. Kids love playing quizzes and games and this brings an element of fun to your story telling.

Watch the video:

In the video below I will show you how you can use a very easy quiz during your Christmas service, school assembly or in your Sunday school lesson.

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276. Make a good shepherd's crook - part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


Your rod and your staff they comfort me

This is a fun activity in which every child makes a shepherd's crook.

Take the children to the park to look for suitable sticks to make a shepherd’s crook. With the help of sandpaper and (under supervision) a penknife, they can prepare their sticks and make them smooth.   (You can always collect the sticks beforehand! That saves a trip with the kids...)

You can ask someone if they want to teach the children something about wood carving.

You can decorate the crook with ribbons, stickers and flowers.

The aim is that every child has his or hers own shepherd's crook.

236

Themes:

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the church as a flock

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

 

275. In search of the lost sheep - part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


96, 97, 98, 99... We're missing a sheep!

Set up a game in which the children can search for a lost sheep. You can do this in several different ways:

235

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272. The door of a sheep pen - part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


What kind of door is Jesus?

This is a activity where we're going to think about the words of Jesus: "I am the door for the sheep".

The door of a sheep pen

Themes:

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the church as a flock

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

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271. Shooting at wolves - part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


A crafts and game  that especially boys in your children's ministry will like.

This activity fits well with the story of David the shepherd or with the story of the good Shepherd. 

wolf

Themes:

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the church as a flock

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

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269. Discover the wolf - part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


A fun game wherein children try to discover who the wolf is

In this game we're going to think about Jesus' words that a real shepherd doesn't run away from  the wolves, but protects the herd.

sheepwolf

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260. Find the lost sheep - part of a sunday school lesson about the Good shepherd


A fun game wherein children or adults go searching for a sheep that's lost.

Are you a good shepherd? Will you notice which sheep is missing? Or will you not see it and lose one of their precious sheep?

This game is part of a Sunday school lesson about the Good Shepherd. Once you have played this game, you can use the sheep as a creative prayer idea as shown in idea 261.

227

Themes:

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the church as a flock

Setting:

Children's Sunday School, children's ministry, kids ministry, Messy church, youth work, youth group, teenagers, small church, RE lessons

Scripture reference:

Psalm 100:3, Luke 15:4-7, Matthew 9:36, John 10:1-16, Matthew 7:15, Jeremiah 50:6, Isaiah 53:6, Matthew 10:16, Ezekiel 34:1-31, John 21:17, Psalm 23:1-6, Isaiah 53:7, Matthew 26:31, Ezekiel 34:17-22, Micah 2:12, Mark 14:27, Matthew 10:6, Matthew 18:10-13

Age:

4-88 years old

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228. Forgiveness – the rubbish fight


Play a fun game about rubbish, tidying up and maybe even about forgiveness…

rubbish

Themes:

Tidying, forgiveness

To be used for:

A fun addition to your children’s work or youth work

Scripture reference:

Mark 11:25, Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 6:15, 1 John 1:9, Matthew 18:21-22, Matthew 6:14-15, James 5:16, Luke 6:27, Luke 6:37, Colossians 3:13, Psalm 103:10-14, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Proverbs 10:12, Romans 3:23, 1 John 1:9-10, Ecclesiastes 7:20, Luke 7:44-50, Proverbs 25:21, John 13:34, 1 John 1:8, Psalm 32:5

Age:

6 - 12 years.

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225. Sharing – Give it away!


A fun game that you can use around the theme of giving things away

You can use this either as an introduction or as an end to your Sunday School programme. It’s really quite silly but fun!


balls1

Themes:

Sharing, giving away, games

To be used for:

A fun creative moment in your children’s work

Scripture reference:

Hebrews 13:16, 1 Timothy 6:18, Luke 3:11, Luke 6:38, Isaiah 58:7, Galatians 6:6, Luke 6:29-30, 1 Kings 17:8-16, Acts 4:32, Romans 12:13, Matthew 25:31-46

Age:

6 - 12 years

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212. The call of Abram (25) - Let’s travel to Canaan – Bible quiz

Introduction:
With this quiz you can act out the journey of Abram and go through the story again by asking the children different questions.

Children love quizzes. They are also very helpful as teaching tools. Three quick benefits that a quiz will bring you:
1. If you tell the children beforehand that you are going to do a quiz and that you are going to ask questions about the Bible story that you are going to tell, they will listen more attentively to the story.
2. As you go through the quiz questions you are really telling the story a second time without the children noticing it. This reinforces the teaching in the story.
3. As the children answer the questions they will explain the teaching points in the story to you. Because the children talk about the important elements of the story they understand them better and will remember them longer.

abram2

The quiz:
You will find the quiz and all the question below…

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209. The call of Abram (22) - Too many to count?

Introduction:
It is hard to place an exact amount on something that is too big or has too many of something to be counted. Maybe Abram struggled as well to get his head around the number of descendants that God was promising. How many men, women and children make a great nation? What number is God talking about when He talks about all of Abram’s  descendants?


jar

 


In the activity below we give children the opportunity to try it for themselves
in a fun way. Can you put a number on something that is really too big to be counted?

Themes:
God’s promises, Abram’s offspring, stars in the sky

Bible verse:
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore.” Genesis 22:17

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193. The camel race - The Rich Young Ruler

Introduction:
This is a series of ten ideas about the Bible story of the encounter between Jesus and the rich youngster that you can use. These ideas come from Martine Versteeg from www.kliederkerk.nl (the Dutch version of Messy Church). Messy church is a new form of being a church for children and the people around them. It's inspired by the English Messy Church.

In this story Jesus says that it's really hard for a rich person to be part of Gods new world. You'll have a bigger chance of seeing a camel go through the eye of a needle. Pooh, that seems impossible!

An explanation that gets used often, is that there's a small gate in the city wall of Jerusalem (where this story got told) that got called: 'the eye of the needle'. When the big gates were closed, people could still go through that small gate. A camel had a hard time going through it, but it was possible if you would take off all it's luggage and if he'd walk on his knees.

In this idea we're going to find out how it is to crawl through the eye of the needle as a camel.

kameel


Themes:

The rich young ruler, camel through the eye of the needle

Messy Church program:
188.  The treasure chest - the Rich Young Ruler
189.  Make your own rules? - the Rich Young Ruler
190.  Jesus turns everything upside down - the Rich Young Ruler
191.  Give something away! - the Rich Young Ruler
192.  Shuffleboard with money! - the Rich Young Ruler
193.  The camel race - The Rich Young Ruler
194.  Crawling through the eye of a needle - The Rich Young Ruler
195.  Pimp your own camel - The Rich Young Ruler
196.  Looking through Jesus' eyes at the world - The Rich Young Ruler
197.  Praying with a needle and a thread - The Rich Young Ruler

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192. Shuffleboard with money! - the Rich Young Ruler

Introduction:
This is a series of ten ideas about the Bible story of the encounter between Jesus and the rich young man that you can use. These ideas come from Martine Versteeg from www.kliederkerk.nl (the Dutch version of Messy Church). Messy church is a new form of being church for children and the people around them. It's inspired by the English Messy Church.

Are you allowed to play with money? Or is money too sacred for that?

spaarpot


Themes:

The rich young ruler, is money sacred?, playing with money

Messy Church program:
188.  The treasure chest - the Rich Young Ruler
189.  Make your own rules? - the Rich Young Ruler
190.  Jesus turns everything upside down - the Rich Young Ruler
191.  Give something away! - the Rich Young Ruler
192.  Shuffleboard with money! - the Rich Young Ruler
193.  The camel race - The Rich Young Ruler
194.  Crawling through the eye of a needle - The Rich Young Ruler
195.  Pimp your own camel - The Rich Young Ruler
196.  Looking through Jesus' eyes at the world - The Rich Young Ruler
197.  Praying with a needle and a thread - The Rich Young Ruler

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145. The call of Abram (19) - The promise of a great nation

Introduction:
How can we help the children think about the amazing promise that God makes to Abram?

God promised him that he would have more descendants than stars in the sky or sand on the beach. These are great numbers and such a large promise. Will God fulfill his promise? And how big is the promise that has been made?

We thought it would be fun to use dominoes to help children reflect on this. 

dominoes

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142. The call of Abram (16) - What do you hear?

Introduction:
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The last of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice calling him to move with his family.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

circle

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140. The call of Abram (14) - I know that sound!

Introduction:
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The second of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice calling him to move with his family.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

Sound wave

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139. The call of Abram (13) - Make some noise!

Introduction: 
It is not always easy to listen well. “Did I really hear that?”, is a logical question. Do you think Abram sometimes wondered if he had really heard God speaking? How did Abram know that it was God calling him, and how do you think he heard God?

The first of four short activities that you can use to help the children reflect on the story of Abram hearing God’s voice for the first time.

The four reflection ideas:
1. Make some noise!
2. I know that sound!
3. Let’s build our own old fashioned phone 
4. What do you hear?

fietsbel

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128. Spider’s web

Introduction:
An idea from the programme KrachtKanjers by Marjolein Goedegebuur & Hanneke Schuit:

The children get to think about their personality traits, they become aware of their personal characteristics.

Themes:
Each child is unique

kind11

To be used for:
Creative moments during children’s work

Bible verse:
"I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb, Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Age:
4 - 12 years

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121. Guide Dog:

Short introduction:
An idea from the program 'KrachtKanjers' by Marjolein Goedegebuur & Hanneke Schuit:

The children learn that it is important to help those around you. Sometimes there are other people/children who find things difficult because they find things difficult.  It is important to someone to help and support them so that they can keep going.

Themes:
A child and his/her surroundings

blinddoek


To be used for:

Creative moments during children’s work

Bible verse: 
"Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptised.He brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and he and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God.” (Acts 16: 32-34)

Age:
4 -12 years

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119. Newspaper Swatter

Short description:
An idea from the program 'KrachtKanjers' by Marjolein Goedegebuur & Hanneke Schuit:

The children get to know each others' names very well.

Theme:
A child has talent and purpose.

krant

Used for :
Creative times during children’s work.

Bijbeltekst:
"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Ephesians 2:10 

Ages:
4 -12 years

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118. Who is it?

Short introduction:
An idea from the program 'KrachtKanjers' by Marjolein Goedegebuur & Hanneke Schuit:

The children learn to define themselves on the basis of certain characteristics. In addition the children learn that everyone has a specific characteristics and everyone is unique.

Theme:
Every child is unique.

child1

To be used for:
Children’s moments during the service, creative moments during children’s work

Bible Verse:
"Before I formed you in your mother's womb I knew you; before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5)

Ages:
4-12 years

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117. Sharing – don’t let the penny drop!

Introduction: 
This is a fun game that allows children to practice fair sharing. 

Themes:
Sharing, games

To be used for:
-A fun creative moment in your youth work

125

Bible text:
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” (Luke 3:11)

Age:
6 - 12 years.

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76. Trustworthy… or not?

Introduction:
This is a fun game which introduces the themes of trust and trustworthiness.

Themes:
Trusting God, people in the Bible who are facing difficulties or challenging situations.

101

To be used for:
Creative children’s work

Bible text:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding."(Proverbs 3:5)

Age:
4 – 12 years

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74. Playing with a ball of wool

Introduction:
This game is a fun way to encourage children to think about their group, about thankfulness, unity and the fact that we need each other.

Themes:
The body of Christ, believers need each other, thankfulness, unity.

64


To be used for:
An illustration in children’s work.

Bible text:
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

Age:
8 – 12 years

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72. Build a tower of newspaper

Short explanation:
This game is a fun way to encourage children to work together. You can use it to talk to the children about truth, the difference between a newspaper and the Bible, and the differences in how we read a newspaper and how we read the Bible.

Themes:
Teambuilding, the body of Christ, truth or lie, the Bible and the newspaper

44


To be used for:

A fun game for your children’s work

Bible text:
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

Age:
8 – 12 years

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71. Save the egg!

Short explanation:
This game is a fun way to encourage children to work together.

Themes:
Teambuilding, the body of Christ, believers need one another, working together

41

To be used for:
A fun addition to your children’s work.

Bible text:
“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:12)

Age:
8 – 88 years

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57. The call of Abram (8) - Paper sandals

Introduction:
Abram had to travel 700 kilometres or 440 miles to go from Haran to Canaan. He didn’t have a car, a train or a plane. He would probably walked this distance. How hard is this?

In this activity we are going to make paper sandals and wonder: “How far can we walk on these?”

voet2

Ages:
8 - 12 years

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56. The call of Abram (7) - A suitcase race

Introduction:
Abram had to travel 700 kilometres or 440 miles to go from Haran to Canaan. He didn’t travel alone. He went together with his family, servants and all his animals. It must have been quite a sight! How fast do you think they travelled? In this game we are going to race with suitcases.

suitcase1

Ages:
8 - 12 years

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54. The call of Abram (5) - I am going on a journey...

Introduction:
Abram is going to leave Haran and never come back. He has to take everything he owns with him on the journey.

Let’s play a fun game about going on a journey without forgetting all the important items that we want to take with us.

suitcase

Ages:
8 - 12 years

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52. The call of Abram (3) - Which countries do you know? (2)

Introduction:
Abram had to travel from Haran to Canaan. Two strange places with strange names. How can we help the children to place this story in some sort of geographical context? 

Maybe we can make a fun start with this game...

letters

Ages:
8 - 12 years

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43. When can you trust someone?

Introduction: 
This is an accessible, interactive way of leading a group discussion about the question: what makes someone trustworthy? 

Themes:
Trusting God, people in the Bible who are facing difficulties or scary situations.

To be used for:
- Creative children work

102

Bible text:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

Age:
4 – 12 years

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42. Trustworthy… Or not?

Introduction: 
This is a fun game which introduces the themes of trust and trustworthiness.

Themes:
Trusting God, people in the Bible who are facing difficulties or scary situations.

101


To be used for:
- Creative children work

Bible text:
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

Age:
4 – 12 years

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26. The call of Abram (1) - Who is Abram?

Introduction:
In this series of creative ideas we are looking at the person of Abram. The first time we read in the Bible about Abram is when God calls him to leave Haran and travel with his family to the promised land. This first idea in the series on Abram is a fun and messy introduction to this remarkable man.

ballon


Ingredients:

- balloons
- shaving foam
- permanent marker pens

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22. Joshua’s defeat at Ai (3) - Let’s build a tower with plastic cups

Introduction:
You are going to tell the children the Bible story of Joshua who, after the amazing victory at Jericho, now wants to defeat the small village of Ai, Instead of being obedient and trusting in God, Joshua decides to trust in his own strength. How do you help children think through the different issues of pride, trusting, and doing it your own way in this Bible story?

cups

Maybe you can use the following game...

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21. Joshua’s defeat at Ai (2) - It is hard to humble yourself

Introduction:
You are going to tell the children the Bible story of Joshua who, after the amazing victory at Jericho, now wants to defeat the small village of Ai. Instead of being obedient and trusting in God, Joshua decides to trust in his own strength. He struggles with constantly being reliant on God. He wants to stretch himself instead of humbling himself before God.

rope

How does it feel to humble yourself? 

Using a rope and a game we can look with the children at what is means to bow before God and rely on Him instead of our own strength.

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18. Super heroes?!

Short explanation:
This game is a fun way to illustrate themes such as ‘inside and outside’, image, being cool, being yourself.

Themes:
You are fine as you are, be yourself, image and identity, being cool.

25.1

To be used for:
A fun addition to your children’s work, Sunday school

Bible text:
“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Age:
8 – 12 years

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17. Catch the shoplifter

Short explanation:
This game is a fun and entertaining way to enhance a theme such as giving, and handling money. In this game the children have to discover what has been stolen.

Themes:
How do we treat our possessions, how do we handle money, swapping, giving, stealing

To be used for:
A fun addition to your children’s work, Sunday school, an RE lesson

24.1

Bible text:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”.  (Matthew 6:19)

Age:
8 – 12 years

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16. Let’s swap!

Short explanation:
This game is a fun way to illustrate and enhance a theme such as giving and handling money.  In the game children have to swap with each other and try to keep as much as possible.

Themes:
How do we treat our possessions, how do we handle money, swapping, giving.

23

To be used for:
A fun addition to your children’s work

Bible text:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal”.  (Matthew 6:19)

Age:
8 – 12 years

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