Wow your kids and all their friends with backyard Bible games you make yourself. Summer’s the perfect time to get kids outside and moving, building strong, healthy bodies. With these fast-paced games, they’ll learn their Bible stories and have a terrific time doing it. Play the games at Sunday schools and Bible clubs.
Kids will love becoming the game pieces on this giant game board, opposite, fashioned from painter’s cloth. At every role of a big die, players move to a space and follow the instructions—running like a gazelle, cartwheeling like a monkey, flying like a toucan—until they make it to the finish line, symbolized by a dove.
Creating it is an appealing craft project for preteens, teens or women’s groups. The payoff is a sturdy game, designed to last many seasons and fit into a pillowcase. Fashion the squares around the board with narrow strips of fabric, pinked to finish the edges and glued to the painter’s cloth with fabric glue. Then glue easy-to-make symbols in the center of each square. Templates for animals, arrows and other game symbols can be downloaded here. Simply cut 8½×11-inch pieces of freezer paper, and iron them shiny side down to extra pieces of painter’s cloth cut ½-inch smaller. Feed them through an inkjet printer using templates to print symbols. Once dry, glue in place. Or, you could create the whole board using fabric paint and animal templates found online or in children’s coloring books.
The ark is drawn freehand on the game board and painted with fabric paint. To draw the half-circle bottom of the ark, fashion a compass using a dowel and a piece of string. Wooden craft discs, top right, painted in bright colors serve as placeholders when kids step off the board to follow instructions for their squares. The instructions are displayed in a game key printed on iron-on transfer paper and ironed onto a king-size pillowcase. The template can be downloaded from our website. Slit the pillowcase hem and run a cord through it to create the drawstring. The large die is made from colorful duck cloth, stitched into a cube and stuffed with polyester filling. Dots on the die are made from painter’s cloth using the freezer-paper transfer method and glued in place. Paint them on if you prefer. Store the game board, the large die and placeholders in the pillowcase.
Moses’ Kickball Croquet
This is a fast-moving game with tons of excitement. Kids take turns trying to get from Egypt to the Promised Land by kicking a ball through easy-to-make tomato-cage wickets placed around the yard. Wickets are topped with colorful banners printed on a home printer. Banner templates can be downloaded here. Banners recall events surrounding the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, including God’s sending of plagues and His parting of the Red Sea. Though the ball is kicked instead of hit, rules are about the same as croquet. Balls must go through every wicket, with players losing a turn if they miss a wicket. The winner is the child whose ball first reaches the Promised Land of Canaan. To get into the spirit of the story, assign roles and encourage kids to act out parts. Pharaoh can harass the Israelites as they leave. Moses can lead the way. Others can get lost and disheartened but later enjoy pretend manna.
Cana Ring Toss
Kids love ring toss games. Here they compete to see who can throw the most rings onto colorful water bottles, commemorating Jesus’ first miracle when He turned water into wine during the wedding at Cana. Two children play at a time. Soda bottles are painted and held upright in a box. For rings, cut two 6-ring sets from plastic pipe, and cover with papers in two different patterns. Or you can paint the rings. Discuss the meaning of the story with all the children as pairs play the game.