The Bible story of David and Goliath ranks as one of the most well-known and oft-retold stories in Sunday school. The "underdog bests arch-enemy" theme sparks kids' hero fantasies and provides all the elements of a well-crafted story to hold their attention. However, David and Goliath activities for kids should highlight not only the actual events but the spiritual significance of the unfolding drama, as David makes no secret of the fact that any victory belongs to God alone and declares boldly that he is doing this, "so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel." (1 Samuel 17:46)
Bag of Stones
1 Samuel 17 records that David "chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in his pouch" and with one small stone slew the Philistine giant, Goliath. Let the kids make their own bag of stones to help them remember that it is by God's power that they can defeat their own "giants". Give each child five smooth, flat stones and let her paint them. After they dry, write scripture references with a permanent marker on them for verses that remind you to trust the Lord to fight your battles, such as 1 Samuel 17:37, 1 Samuel 17:46-47, Exodus 4:13-14, Deuteronomy 20:4 or Joshua 10:24. Use a brown paper lunch sack or a large circular piece of heavy cloth as a pouch. Put your stones inside and tie the top with twine.
David and Goliath Marbles
Kids may enjoy trying to knock out their own Goliath in this simple game. Paint six stones, one larger than the others which should be smooth and flat. Paint or write in permanent marker a "G" for Goliath on the larger stone. Mark the other five stones with the letters D-A-V-I-D, one letter per stone. Mark a play area with tape, string or yarn about 24 inches in diameter. Set the Goliath stone in the centre. Let the children take turns trying to knock Goliath out of the ring with their David stones.
The Battle is the Lord's
A simple wall hanging can serve as a reminder to trust God when facing difficult or impossible situations. Cut two concentric rectangles out of contrasting colours of craft foam. Glue the smaller one in the centre of the larger one leaving at least one inch border on all sides. Use a metallic paint pen or permanent marker to write, "The battle is the Lord's! 1 Samuel 17:47" in large decorative letters. Decorate the plaque by gluing on five small, flat rocks as accent. Punch a hole in the two upper corners and tie twine, string or yarn through both for a hanger.
The Bible recounts David's roots as a shepherd boy and as such, the weapon he used to slay Goliath was likely an ancient shepherd's sling rather than the more modern concept of a Y-shaped slingshot. If you have a large area or can take the kids outdoors, they can try their hand at taking aim at Goliath with a homemade sling. Prepare an oversized cut out of a giant body outline and fasten it to a wall or tree. Give each child a small rectangle or oval of heavy cloth with a hole punched in both ends and two equal length heavy cords. Instruct them to tie the cords through the holes securely. Let them take turns arming their sling with a small bean bag and trying to hit Goliath with their missile. The person who comes closest to hitting dead centre between the eyes, like David did, gets bragging rights.