Back in the day, I taught Bible clubs for several summers in Michigan. Occasionally, the following scenario would play out:
CHILD. Teacher, can we play that game we played yesterday?
ME. What game? We didn’t play a game yesterday.
CHILD. You know, the _________ game!
ME. Oh! The game we played to review the memory verse!
Have you ever had a child in your class enjoy your memory verse time so much that they wanted to keep playing the game you were using to learn the verse? It’s exciting when it happens. I wish I could claim credit for the times when it happened to me, but none of my verse games were original. Others had taught them to me at the beginning of each summer.
If you’re interested, these games can be yours for the low, low price of…nothing.
The Volume Game
To play this game, stick your arms out in front of you as if you were imitating a crocodile mouth chomping something. Your hands are the volume control. The closer your hands are to each other, the lower the volume level. When your hands are spread far apart, the volume level should be about 1,000 decibels! Have fun saying the verse with the kids this way, and then, if they’re behaving well, let a few children be the volume control (you might need to instruct them not to go crazy with the volume so that no one can follow them).
The Broken Record Game
You’ll first have to explain to the kids what a record was! Then hold out your left hand, palm up. Your palm is the center of the turntable. Next, move your right hand in circles around the turntable. When you drop the pointer finger of your right hand onto your palm, the “needle” is “stuck.” Now say the verse.
As long as the record is spinning (i.e., your right hand is circling the left), you say the verse normally, but as soon as your finger touches your palm, the class must repeat whatever word they were saying when the needle got stuck. The verse might sound like… “For God so loved-loved-loved-loved the world that He gave-gave-gave…” You get the idea.
The Clap-a-Word Game
Use some sort of visual to display the verse. After saying the verse as a group several times, have one volunteer(ed) child leave the room (or turn his back). Have another volunteer point to a word on the visual. Make sure everyone in the class sees the word that has been selected. The first volunteer then comes back into the classroom, but is not allowed to look at the visual. The class then says the verse, but claps on the selected word without saying it. The first volunteer must then guess which word was skipped. If he is stumped, you can allow him to look at the visual. Once the class has said the verse enough, cover the visual when the class says it.
The Jump-Up Game
Display the verse visually somehow. Have a child point to a word in the verse. Now point out every other word in the verse that starts with the same letter as the word the child pointed to.
For example, if Bobby selects the word “the,” then have the class note every word in the verse that starts with a “t.” As the class says the verse, every time they come to one of those words, they have to jump up from their chairs or from a crouching position on the floor. Have another student pick another word and repeat the process!
PLEASE NOTE: If these ideas don’t work, remember that I gave them to you for a low, low price.