Interactive Group Activities

by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Playing for Keeps"

Scripture Reading: Mark 8:31-38

SHOOTING MARBLES: Children can take turns playing any type of marble game that the teacher thinks there is time for and space for, depending whether the game would be played indoors or outside.

MARBLE SCRAMBLE: The teacher will scatter many marbles in one room in a designated area. The children will scramble to get as many marbles as they can in the time allowed. Ask children if they want to play for fun or for keeps. Then the teacher will let them put all of their marbles in a sandwich baggy and will begin telling children what each color marble is worth; ex.. children can see how many red marbles they found (which could be 20 points) and how many blue marbles (worth 30 points) or how many green or yellow or specialized marbles and all worth a certain number of points. Point out to the children after they realize that each marble has a certain worth, that if they were playing for keeps, they might have lost to another player with more points, but if they're just playing for fun, they won't lose anything.

GIVING UP EVERYTHING: The teacher will give each child several slips of paper with a word on each slip of paper (such as giving up games, money, friends, toys, home, bike, books, etc). The children start to follow the leader and as the leader stops the children and asks for the children to give up "something". The children will hand the leader one of the slips of paper and continue to follow the leader... the children will continue to follow the leader but stopping now and then to give up "something" until they have given up everything (all the slips of paper) and then lead the children to a BIBLE and sit in a circle and talk about today's lesson.

BIBLE VERSE BANNER: Give children heavy card stock paper, markers, stickers and glitter, etc, to make a banner with today's Bible verse or words from today's lesson. Hole punch the top of the banner and let the children hang their banners around their neck and march around the room, singing I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS, or another song of the teacher's choice.

PLAYING FOR KEEPS CAP: Each child can be given a moon shaped piece of colorful foam. Children can write words from today's lesson and PLAYING FOR KEEPS, etc. The teacher can hold punch each end and add an elastic string to put the cap on the child's head.

CRISS CROSS: Give children thin pieces of colorful paper to form a cross - while gluing the thin pieces of paper back and forth to criss-cross if desired, or children can just glue strips of paper together in both directions to form a cross on a piece of construction paper. Write today's Bible verse on their cross paper.

GOOD NEWS: Give children sections of a newspaper to find all the words in today's Bible verse or words in today's lesson. The children can each be given a highlighter marker to mark the words that they find. Later, children can share with each other about the words that they have found from today's lesson. Let children read/recite today's Bible verse to find the GOOD NEWS.

GOOD NEWS CROSS: Provide children with a piece of construction paper and a section of the news paper. Children can trace and then cut out a CROSS out of the news print and glue onto the construction paper. Write GOOD NEWS -- TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW ME, etc.

CROSS STICKS: Children can be given a piece of molding clay and make a base. Then the child will tie 2 pieces of craft sticks together to form a cross, or glue the sticks together and then stick/stand the "cross" into the molding clay/play dough.


SHARE A SNACK: If the teacher chooses, a cake can be made and cut out to form a cross - frost and let children enjoy some cake for dessert, after reciting today's Bible verse!

Song:  "Take Up Your Cross"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
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