Play jail-bird tag

For example, one child could wear work boots, another a heavy backpack, and another could have their legs loosely tied together with a nylon stocking.

Pray before you play to encourage good sportsmanship. For the first round, you will be “it.” Chase your kids around until you have caught them all. Each time all the players have been tagged, switch roles.

Relevant Scripture

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Plan an egg hunt

To make your Easter story eggs, follow the instructions in the Bible story “the story of Jesus and forgiveness” from the Kids of Integrity lesson on forgiveness. Or, if you prefer, you can purchase a commercial set of “resurrection eggs.”

Treasure hunt

Special clues leading to “noisy” appliances and other items in your home are the basis for this treasure hunt. Place the clues (provided below) and hide the “treasure” before beginning your hunt. The treasure can be anything you choose, but hide it with a Bible to illustrate that the treasure represents wisdom. Explain to your children that in order to find the treasure, they must listen to each clue carefully.

To begin, read the “fridge” clue aloud. When the hunters arrive at the fridge, they should find the “washing machine” clue hidden on the fridge and so on. The hunt should eventually end up at the final destination where the treasure is hidden. If you have younger children, you may choose to give then a hint by telling them that all the clues are hidden on things that make noise.

Use these clues, or make up your own:

  • Fridge: “I might buzz, but I'm not a bee. I keep your food fresh and cool, you see.”
  • Washing machine: “Swish, swirl, swish. I use water for cleaning clothes, not fish.”
  • Family pet: “My friendly bark means, ‘Please take me to the park!’ ” or, “My friendly ‘Meow’ means ‘Please play with me now!’ ”
  • TV / VCR: “People moving on my screen, talking, laughing – it’s a scene.”
  • Computer: “Whirs and hums my sounds might be; I can say anything, just program me.”
  • Toilet: “Swish and swirl, but there’s no rush – my water is new with every flush.”
  • Furnace: “Sometimes I grumble and sometimes I moan, but really I’m happy heating your home.”
  • Dishwasher: “I make splishes, splashes and some swishes. My job is washing dirty dishes.”
  • Stereo / CD player: “Playing tunes is the name of my game, loud or soft and wild or tame.”

After your children have found the treasure, take time to review the concept that wisdom is the treasure God offers to all who will listen to Him.

Questions for discussion
  • What were you searching for with such passion?
  • What special treasure does the Bible talk about?
  • Will you listen for advice and instruction from God as carefully as you listened to your treasure hunt clues?
Relevant Scripture

Proverbs 2:1-6 “My son, if you accept My words and store up My commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Animal Hide and Seek

Have your children cover their eyes. Instruct them not to open their eyes until they hear you making an animal noise. Explain that you will make the animal noise very quietly at first. Hide somewhere and make your peep/squeak/whine/bark softly, gradually becoming louder. Reverse roles and play until everyone has had a turn to hide.

Your children may wish to wear the animal hats described in the kick-off craft.

Freeze-frame game

To play this game, invite your children run and dance around until you call “Freeze-frame.” They must immediately stop what they are doing, freeze in position and listen to you. Have some fun two-liner jokes ready to tell them each time they stop and listen. If you play this game often, your children will be prepared to stop what they are doing and listen whenever you call “Freeze frame!”

Pass it on game

To play the game Pass It On, stand or sit in a circle. One person begins the game by thinking of a short phrase, then whispering the phrase into the ear of the person standing or sitting beside him/her. That person then whispers it to the next person and so on. The last person says aloud what they heard whispered into their ear. Finally, the first person tells what he/she whispered in the first place.

Play for as long as you like. If you have a small group of only a few players, repeat the phrase around the circle several times before sharing it aloud.

For a more energetic game, have the players run a certain distance or complete a physical challenge before they whisper to the next person. This adds a memory component to the game as well.

Feed a greedy fire

Make a bonfire or watch a movie of a fire burning. As you watch the bonfire, ask the questions below. Help your children understand that when we eat sweets or get new toys, it is not long before we will want more. People are born selfish by nature and the only way to get rid of this selfish nature is to ask God to fill our hearts with His love instead of the selfishness that is already there. The only way to stop a fire from consuming more wood is to dump water on it. Similarly, the only way to get rid of our sinful human nature is to dump the power of God through the Holy Spirit into our lives.

If you build a real fire, allow your children to extinguish it with a bucket of water. Then pray together and ask God to douse the greed in your hearts. If it is not a suitable season to build a fire outdoors, you can light a candle and use a spritzer to put it out.

Questions for discussion
  • Does a fire ever get enough wood?
  • What happens on special occasions when there is a lot of candy around the house?
  • Which child would want more toys? The one with many toys, or a few?
Relevant Scripture

Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?”

Take your crew to a petting zoo

A great way to practice gentleness is to visit a petting zoo or a pet store where you can practice “hands on” gentleness. Prior to touching the animals, explain that animals are like people in that they don’t like to be around people who are loud, aggressive or mean. Ask your children to observe the way animals respond when they are handled gently. Refer to Proverbs 12:10 (below) and explain that every animal needs to be treated with gentleness.

Questions for discussion
  • Did the animals like you?
  • Did any of them seem scared?
  • Why do you think that the ________ enjoyed being petted?
  • What did the fur feel like?
  • Which fruit of the Spirit does soft fur remind you of?
Relevant Scripture

Proverbs 12:10 “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but even the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Harmony hop

You will need at least two children to complete this activity. You may choose to incorporate it into a playdate with another family.

Take two children to a large room or outdoors if possible. Put a treat or an appealing toy an appropriate distance away from them. Tie their legs together three-legged-race style and tell them they need to work together to reach the treat. If they succeed without discord, they get to enjoy the treat after you have prayed and thanked God for the blessing of friends and harmony.

If they experience conflict, tell them they can try again after they have prayed. Pray, requesting that God would send His Holy Spirit to enable them to work together cooperatively. Try the three-legged approach to the toy or treat again. Celebrate by saying Psalm 133:1 or the memory verse they are learning.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!”

Psalm 29:11 “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.”

Walking in the light

This activity is based on 1 John 2:9-11. Go for a walk on a dark night or allow your children to walk with you in a dark room. Ask if they are walking in the light or in the dark. If they say they are walking in the light, ask if they are trying to fool you.

Read 1 John 2:9-11. Explain that anyone who says they love God, but doesn’t love their brother is fooling himself or lying, just like the person who walks in the dark and says he is in the light.

Also, read 1 John 1:5-7. Finish by praying together, asking God to remove any darkness and sin and to fill your hearts and home with His love and light.

Relevant Scripture

1 John 2:9-11 “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness; he does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded him.”

1 John 1:5-7 “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”