Playing games is a commonly used teaching tool to help reinforce a concept or principle in the minds of children. Games can also be adapted for Bible stories. Some ideas or stories presented in the Bible can be complicated or complex for children, so teachers may feel they need to make learning more fun by using games. "Daniel and the Lion's Den" is an exciting Bible story, and using the game-playing approach will help reinforce the points of who, what, when, where, why and how after the story has been told.
Quizzes, Paper Scavenger Hunts and Bingo
You may have to choose games that can be played while children are seated. Paper games such as quizzes, paper scavenger hunts and bingo are easy to play with children who can read and write. Quizzes should be formulated with questions from the Daniel story, such as: What does the Bible say the lions did when Daniel was thrown into their den? Paper scavenger hunts can be as simple as pictures incorporated with images from the story, hidden within the picture itself, and the first person to find them all wins. Bingo boards can be made with words from the Daniel story such as "lion," "king" and "Daniel" and played until a child has five words all in a row.
To incorporate the Daniel story into a relay race game, set up tasks for each child that relate to elements in the story. Creativity is key. Using toys, props, clay, crayons and other types of creative materials, children can do things like mould the figure of a lion, draw a picture of Daniel standing before the king or dig through a pile of toys to find those which best relate to the story. In a relay race, children are placed into teams, and they must accomplish a task before another team member can take their turn. The first team to complete the assigned tasks wins.
Child love to role-play. Studies have shown that pretending helps reinforce ideas and concepts in the minds of children, and using role playing, acting or pretending games to reinforce a Bible story is the same idea. Choose children to play the roles of the characters of the Daniel story (Daniel, lions, king, advisers) and have them act out the story based on what they remember, with the teacher providing guidance and comments for accuracy as needed. Costumes are not necessary, but will help add a feel of authenticity to children's imaginations.
Active Scavenger Hunt
Before any children are in the room, the teacher can hide various objects that pertain to the Daniel story around the room, behind shelves or under baskets. Anything from stuffed lions to a paper crown to dolls to represent the characters from the story can be used. Prior to the game, the teacher can either explain the rules and let the hunting begin or, to make things somewhat more interactive, the teacher can create a series of clues to hand out to the children that will give details from the story and guide the children to the corresponding hiding places.
- lion image by david purday from Fotolia.com