Recently I was watching some clips from the movie "Matilda."
In one scene, her school headmaster, Agatha Trunchbull says, "If you are having fun, you are not learning."
Actually nothing could be further from the truth. One of the best ways to transfer truth to children is through fun play.
Out of your rooms should come the sounds of kids playing games. Kids laughing. Kids talking. Kids participating in fun activities.
For many of us who attended school in the 80's and 90's, we were programmed that learning is best done in a classroom with a teacher who is lecturing us. But actually the opposite is true. The learning pyramid shows that lecturing is the least effective way to learn.
Now does that mean you should just let the kids randomly play the entire time you are with them in class? No. The key is to blend fun and learning. This means every game and fun activity has a purpose. One way this can be done is by adding discussion questions at the end of every game or activity. Here's an example.
You are teaching the kids a truth found in Romans 3:23 that says "Everyone has sinned and come short of the glory of God."
Read the verse and then use this game to explain it.
Divide the kids into groups of 4-5.
Give each group a ping pong ball and an empty cup.
Set the empty cup on the ground or on a table.
Have each group of kids back away 4-5 feet from their cup.
Have the kids try to bounce the ball into the cup.
Give each person 2-3 turns to get the ball in the cup.
If a child does make the ball into the cup on the first try, give them some more tries until they miss.
Have each group sit down and discuss these questions:
How is this game like our verse today? The verse says, "Everyone has sinned
and fallen short of God's perfection." Romans 3:23
Is anyone perfect besides Jesus? What does this mean for us
Just like we fell short of the ball going into the cup, we have missed the mark of never sinning. Everyone has done wrong. Everyone has messed up.
The only person who has never sinned is Jesus. That's why we need His forgiveness. And we can experience His love and forgiveness when we admit to Him that we have fallen short of being perfect like Him.
No matter what verse or Biblical truth you are trying to teach the kids, games are extremely beneficial for this. You can find games related to what you are teaching with a quick Google search or you can make up your own game.
Here are a few more articles about kids having fun at church.
This weekend play some games with the kids that emphasize the truth you are teaching. Have fun. Laugh loud and often. And when that happens, you'll begin connecting kids and parents to God's Word in a more effective way.