Recently I got to participate in a Vacation Bible School. I had always observed their activities from a distance but, I never got involved. Since I am a now retired educator, I thought it was time to get involved. I asked to place in charge of the outdoor games(indoor if it rains).
I wanted to stay away from competitive games as best as I could. I felt that the children get enough of that during the school year. I also tried to relate the games to the Bible as best as I could. Here are the games that I used and what I refereed them to.
Baptism: I divided the children into groups of 5 or 7. Each group had a bucket of water, an empty pitcher, and a large sponge. The buckets and pitcher and sponge should be identical. I line the children up between the bucket and the pitcher. The person closest to the bucket loads the sponge full of water and passes it to the next done the line. The last person unloads it n the pitcher and passes it back to the bucket of water. This goes on until the pitcher is filled to a line or over the top. This works great on a hot day outside.
Resurrection: On this game I use rolls of toilet paper. One child is picked to be wrapped from the bottom to the shoulder area. The person can’t move. they stand perfectly still. The other children will help wrap him. If a roll breaks they start over until they have wrapped the person well. first team done wins. I then say “Arise” and the wrapped child breaks out.
Noah’s Ark: Here Noah has some helpers. Usually 2 or 3. All the other children are animals running in a certain area. Noah and his helpers run out and grab a child who then must help grab another child to bring into the ark. Sometimes you can put small signs on designating Sheep Lions, Elephants etc. Which ever animal they are, they can make that sound. Children can also act like a certain animal. Example: use your arms as an elephant trunk.
Healing the Blind: This game has a child with a blindfold on. Children will give verbal commands or shutouts to get the blindfolded child to successfully navigate to a safe area. Once there, another child is blindfolded an the child who just finished has to give the directions. Key: Proceed slowly.
Trinity; This game is a simple game of tag. However a child is safe if they can join hands with two other children before being tagged. There are no bases(safe). If a child gets tagged before the three can make a triangle, that child is it. The leader can blow a whistle to every few seconds to force the threesome to drop hands and run.
Shepherds Share; The game begins with two children holding hands across from each other. Another child gets in between their arms. Music is played. When the music stops, the child runs to another couple and says something that is related to the Bible. They then change with one of the children there. This is repeated for about five times. At the end, sit the children down and ask them to share what they were told.
Rise and Rejoice: Have the children sit on the ground in a circle. Have four children walk around the outside of the circle. The children sitting down should close their eyes and put their forearm over their eyes, too. The outside children tap those sitting down on the shoulder. That child then rises and keeps their eyes closed. When four have been picked, the leader will ask them to guess who it was that tapped them on the shoulder. If they guess right, they switch places. The children yell “Rise and Rejoice”, if they get one right.
The Jericho Wall: In this game have a group of children stay in a straight line shoulder to shoulder but arms length away. Give each child a number1 -10. When the leader shouts a number, that child jumps out as far as possible without running. When the leader says “GO'”, the rest of the children try to jump as far. The object is to move the wall but keep it as straight as possible. When the line gets crooked refer to the walls falling down in Jericho. You might even let the children tumble to the ground.
Many VBS’s have different themes but, one thing that never changes is the idea of having fun.