That's what they do.
They play and play and play until they are worn out for the day.
They go to sleep and wake up...ready to play some more.
Have you thought about this?
Kids love recess time.
Because they get to play.
Kids sit and listen to lectures and they get bored.
Kids watch a video and don't get to interact with it.
Kids are told to be quiet and so they shut down (except 3rd grade boys).
They learn some things through these methods but I want to propose something that can be life-changing for your ministry.
What if you combined play and spiritual education?
What if you encouraged kids to learn through play?
What would it look like if you gave kids lots of opportunities to put the lesson into play format?
Here's an example I jut thought of.
What if you are teaching the kids about Jesus and Lazarus and you let them wrap up someone with toilet paper to be Lazarus? What if you then let them play act out the story? What if you had a couple of games that tie into the lesson and would also be used for discussion starters?
No matter what your teaching situation is now or how far removed you are from the real world where children play, you can add more play into your lesson.
You can do this. You can add play into your lessons.
Some curriculums will do the work for you and provide games, activities, etc. in the lesson so kids can play.
But you can also take it to another level, by brainstorming and coming up with ways to incorporate more games and activities that will get kids moving, moving and moving some more.
It comes down to this.
When kids play. Kids learn.
How much of your lesson time reflects this?
Yes, it will get noisy at times.
Yes, at times you will feel like you are losing control of the group.
Yes, kids will move around a lot.
But trust me...it will work. When kids play, kids learn.
Studies show that trying to get kids to learn through lecturing is the worst way to help kids learn.
Do this. Take out your lesson. Look at it and determine this. How much time is devoted to play vs. lecturing and listening? If you're heavy on the lecture side, it's time to make some changes.
If you are hesitant about doing this, remember this. The kind of play opportunities you are going to give the kids is not just playing for fun. It is play with a purpose. Each part of your play should teach and reinforce the main point of the lesson. There should be discussion questions attached to the end of each game or activity.
Also understand this. Play should never be just about play. Play should be a tool you use to help kids learn more about Jesus.
You can read more about that in these articles:
Can Kids Have Fun and Learn at the Same Time?
Why Kids Are Misbehaving in Your Class (and how to fix it)
Why Nothing Should Ever Be "Just For Fun" at Church
Why Kids Are Saying Your Lesson is Boring
Sunday is coming. Make it a play day!
How do you make play a part of your lessons? Share your thoughts, insight and ideas in the comment section below.