(Thanks to Elisabeth J. for game ideas!)
Two times a year our ecclesia hosts an ecclesial study weekend. On one of the evenings we plan an ecclesial family night and try to match the theme of the study day with the games planned.
The activities below were all developed around the theme of the life of David. Most of the activities could be done from children as young as 2-3 years old. We split family groups up to allow an opportunity to get to know different members of the ecclesia.
Break ecclesia into smaller groups and rotate through locations with a theme from the life of David. Each location will have a verse(s) that go(es) along with its theme. 7 locations with approximately 8 minutes in each which will include transition and explanation. Name of each smaller group based off of one of David’s Mighty Men (1 Samuel 23).
1. David and Goliath
Purpose: How many small balls can hit Goliath’s head?
Instructions: Set up large picture of Goliath (or draw one on banner paper). Tape two lines to the ground. One for younger children to stand behind, and one further back for everyone older than 10. Have the group stand in a line and take turns trying to throw a ball at Goliath’s forehead. Every time they hit the head it is worth one point.
2. Verses and Puzzles on Life of David
Purpose: How many verses can the group put together based on objects from the life of David?
Instructions: The younger ones do puzzles from the life of David (colored pictures printed off from www.freebibleimages.com, glued onto cardstock and cut into large random pieces. Put pieces from one puzzle in each plastic freezer bag).
Have objects from the life of David and beside each object have a Bible verse scrambled on little pieces of paper. You can use discretion whether the group can use their Bible to unscramble the verses or not. 10 points for each verse unscrambled, and 5 points for each puzzle.
3. David in the Wilderness
Purpose: Help David get through the wilderness with tape on the ground and hidden pattern.
Instructions: Tape a grid onto the floor. Create a secret maze through the grid pattern. The group takes turns having each member take one step further into the grid. If they choose the wrong square their turn is over and the next team member can go. If they get it correct they can choose the next square to proceed. Maze can go forward, backwards, left, right and diagonal in any direction. 25 points if the team successfully gets a team member through the maze.
4. Life of David Mini Jeopardy Game
Purpose: Answer questions based on the life of David to earn points.
Instructions: Use dry erase board and clue/answer sheet written out. Re-write numbers on board for each group.
5. David and Abigail
Purpose: Play pin the tail on the donkey with blind fold.
Instructions: Have a donkey set up on the wall. Blindfold the team member, rotate them three times and then send them in the general direction of the donkey. The first part of the donkey they touch is where they need to put the tail.
6. David and Jonathan
Purpose: Help Jonathan shoot arrows to warn David of Saul’s anger.
Instructions: Use dry erase board to aim arrow at target. Use bow and suction cup arrows from dollar store.
7. Building David a House
Purpose: To work as a group to hit nails into a log.
Instructions: Set up a log on the ground and have a couple of hammers available and nails. Line group up and each member gets one hit to hit a nail into a log. Once they’ve hit once, pass the hammer on to the next person in the line to let them have their one hit.
8. David and Israel played before Yahweh on all manner of instruments (optional craft if additional games needed)
Purpose: Make out of craft supplies and cardboard, specifically adults helping younger children in the group, “…instruments made of fir wood even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.” 2 Samuel 6:5
You can either do this as a resting stop during the activity, or afterwards for fellowship as a group. Eat refreshments based on the food Abigail brings David in 1 Samuel 25: 18 (loaves, grape juice, parched corn, raisins, and figs)
Here is a printable document with the ideas listed in this post – PDF and WORD
“For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7