Children need fun activities during their day, but “fun” doesn’t have to mean “secular” or otherwise un-Christian. There are lots of activities for kids in Christian daycare that are both fun and educational in the ways of Christ.
We looked around for the best activities for kids in Christian daycare and developed a list of nine: Five games and four crafts. All of them do something to engage children in play while also teaching them about their faith.
These games are excellent for most children who attend Christian daycare, although some are more appropriate for older kids than others.
The Good Samaritan
Make a figure of a person out of paper or cardboard and let the children put tiny Band-Aids on it. Have them start in places where kids usually need Band-Aids (elbows, knees, shins) and go from there.
While they’re doing this, ask them how they’re helping this person, and discuss other ways children can help people. They start learning that they don’t need to be big kids or adults before to help those who are hurt.
This is excellent for children of any age who can walk. Take them outside and point at things like trees, rocks, sand, grass, flowers, the sky, clouds, weeds, whatever you see, and talk about how God made it. Let them point things out and ask whether God made that, too.
If you have a mix of older and younger children in the group, let the older kids ask the younger kids why they think God made that object. This gets them talking about how God created the universe and everything in it.
Tower of Babel: Genesis 11
You might find this game better suited to older children rather than toddlers. Gather blocks together, ideally, cardboard or other lightweight blocks, divide the kids into groups, and have them build towers.
While everyone is seeing which group can build the tallest tower, discuss different languages spoken around the world and what that has to do with Genesis 11 and the Tower of Babel. Whoever builds the tallest tower and gets the relationship to Genesis 11 correct, wins.
Angry Ping Pong
Anger doesn’t have to be a “bad” emotion, but children young enough to be in Christian daycare don’t yet know how to express it or deal with it as a Christian adult would.
Get a bunch of soft foam balls, slingshots, fine-tipped markers, and large cardboard blocks. Hand out the foam balls to the kids and have them write something on them that makes them angry. Then divide the children into two groups and have them build protective walls with their blocks at least 15 feet apart.
Tell them to slingshot the balls at each other’s walls (not each other) and pay attention to what happens to the walls. When it’s over, talk with them about what their anger has “knocked down” in their lives. Then read Ephesians 4:26-27 and discuss what those two verses say about anger.
You need a beach towel and ten balloons for this. Inflate the balloons and tell the kids to pretend each balloon represents one of the Ten Commandments. Then have children take turns holding the corners of the towel and shaking it while you add balloons one by one.
The goal is to keep all ten balloons bouncing on the towel, so you’ll need to pick up balloons as they fall. Do this for about 30 seconds at a time, and when everyone’s had a turn, ask them how hard it was to keep all the balloons on the towel.
Then ask if they think keeping God’s commandments is as hard as keeping all the balloons in the air over the towel and discuss why it’s difficult.
Not everything has to be a game. Children need individual things to do, too. Here are some great crafts they can do at Christian daycare.
This is a two-parter that works well for children who can walk and is more for fun than anything. Jacob sleeps using a rock for a pillow on his journey from Beersheba to Harran. Take the children outside to find rocks that could be Jacob’s pillow.
When you come back in, have them build “Jacob’s Ladder,” referencing his dream, out of popsicle sticks.
I Can Pray When…
Children need to learn that they can pray whenever, that they don’t have to save it for meals or bedtime, and what the power of prayer is.
Give them paper plates to draw figures in positions of prayer on the front with “I can pray when…” underneath. Then have them finish the sentence with when they can pray on the back of the plate. For instance, “…I’m doing my chores.”
Or you can print out these templates and have the kids color them in.
Rocking Noah’s Ark
This is an excellent way to teach children about Noah, the flood, and his ark. You need paper plates, construction paper, googly eyes, crayons, and glue. Have the kids fold the paper plates in half and then cut pairs of animals out of the construction paper.
They can glue the animals, in their pairs, to the folded paper plate. As you talk about Noah’s story, they can continue to cut out animals and glue them to their “arks.”
For templates, click here.
Ten Commandments iPhone
Would kids be more likely to carry the Ten Commandments with them if they came on a smartphone? Not young kids, but you know they see those phones everywhere. For this, you’ll need cardstock, coloring pencils or crayons, scissors, and glue sticks.
Have the kids cut out the phones’ shapes and the Ten Commandments in such a way that they can lift each number on the phone and reveal a commandment underneath? Check out the full instructions and templates here.
There’s no reason Bible lessons and Christianity have to be boring for children. The best activities for kids in Christian daycare will let them have a lot of fun while engaging them and teaching them Bible lessons. Perhaps, though, it is that they’ll learn how to apply some of their Bible lessons to their lives, helping them grow in Christ.