Do you ever feel like it’s difficult to find active games for Sunday School? Kids need to move around and I’m always scouring the web to find things that get the kids up and out of their seats! Well, I have a very fun game with an Orthodox twist to it. It’s perfect to do with your kids or in the church school classroom!
This game is suitable to many ages from preschool through third grade. The last 2 years I have done this activity with my daughter’s preschool class and they LOVED it. It keeps them busy for so long! Just the other day my daughter was asking me if I was going to do this game with her class again. 🙂
Get a bunch of hearts that you can write on. I had a ton of heart foam stickers and we barely used the white ones, so I found a way to use them up with this activity! Saved my hands from lots of cutting.
Write tasks on the hearts that require the students to do something physical. Such as, Jump up and down 3 times, spin around twice, stretch up to the sky, Flap your arms like a bird, etc. (At the bottom of this activity, I list some tasks you can put on the hearts.)
Make it Orthodox! On some of the hearts put religious tasks on them. It could be to repeat a short scripture or sing a response from the Liturgy, etc. Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I focused on things related to love. Here are some things I thought of:
- Sing Lord have Mercy 3xs
- Recite the Lord’s Prayer
- Do your cross
- Sing Jesus Loves Me
- Recite the Jesus Prayer 3xs
- Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength 3xs (Mark 12:30)
- Love your neighbor as yourself 3xs (Mark 12:31)
- God so loved the world 3xs
- Let us love one another 3xs
- Love is patient, love is kind 3xs
You can either make it into a fishing game or put all the hearts into an opaque bag. In my photos, I did it as a fishing game, but I’ve also used the game with the bag if it’s a large class. If you plan to do the fishing game, put paper clips on the hearts.
For a fishing rod, you can go to the dollar store and get a fishing toy that has the fishing pole with it. I did that a few years ago but the pole broke, so I took some ribbon and hot glued it to a pencil.
Playing the Game – (My example below is using the bag)
Put all of the hearts in the bag. Have the children stand in a circle. You will start the game by taking one heart out and reading it to the class.
Say: “I’m going to pick a heart and it is going to tell us to do something. After I read it, we are all going to do the task together.”
Before I pass the bag to the next person, I like to be very dramatic and silly when I explain how we cannot peek in the bag and the kids have always been very good about it. I remind them to pick only one heart.
After the child reads the task, I usually keep the heart or make a pile in the center of the circle. That way the kids won’t be doing the same tasks over and over again.
(Note: If the children cannot read, you can read the tasks to them.)
When doing the Orthodox tasks, remind the children to do these nicely and not in a silly way. We practice being silly and then how to be serious. I tell them hold in their sillies until I tell them to let the sillies out. When getting the sillies in, I act like I’m taking a huge breath and stand up super straight. If they are too silly during the game, then we have to do the task again until everyone is serious or sit down and revisit what we can do to show that we are serious.
Some tasks you can write on the hearts:
Hug your teacher, blink your eyes 10xs, wiggle your fingers, jump 10xs, shake your whole body, shake your arms, kiss your arms, pretend to play a piano, wiggle your nose, spin around, kiss your knees 10xs, wave to your neighbor, stretch high to the sky, sing twinkle twinkle little star, sit down and stand up 5xs, hop on one leg, play an air guitar, bend at the waist, pat your belly, touch your elbows, shrug your shoulders 10xs, do head shoulders knees and toes, shake your right leg, shake your left leg, jump like a frog, dance, clap 5xs, flap arms like a bird, wiggle your ears, show your muscles, count your fingers, up on your tippy-toes 5xs, say Happy Valentines Day, tap your knees, make circles with your arms, touch your toes 10xs.
This game is simple and so much fun! Let me know if you try it!!