Teach Bible Lessons Through Play
Children with special needs often learn through connections with their interests or through playing, no matter their age. They also often need multiple repetitions to learn Bible lessons. In this blog post, we will discuss reasons to teach Bible lessons through play.
It’s okay to have fun and play!
Children with special needs have a lot of demands put on them because many of our children go from working on IEP goals at school to learning chores at home to following directions in different therapies… You get the idea. Or maybe you live the life. Church is not therapy. Church needs to be a place where we welcome all children and show them love, not demands. And play is a great way to do that!
Sharing fun things helps build relationships
Playing offers children with moderate-to-severe disabilities a reason to come to church. Sunday morning is hard for all families – can we make it a little easier? When children know that someone will honor their interest (i.e., building blocks), they may get ready without fussing. They may come into the church with a good attitude. And building relationships honors the life of Jesus in showing love, compassion, kindness, and patience.
Here is the download for Thumbball Bible Game
- Directions + Color and Black-and-White Versions (PDF)
- Bible Thumbball Game (Member Only PDF)
- All Bible Games (Member Only PDFs)
Volunteers will know what to do
Volunteers have big hearts but sometimes want direct instruction (I’m a volunteer…). Allowing them to play with children with special needs to build relationships makes them feel useful and that they are making a difference – which they are!
Teen buddies often have energy I wish I could channel. The Bible Thumball Game allows for easy prep and an activity that both children and teen buddies love. Just print, get ball with colors (non-affiliate link), and take turns throwing the ball back and forth and into a goal while also getting in repetitions of the Bible lesson.
Reinforce the Bible lesson
If a child loves to build, it’s easy to build something from the lesson – Noah’s ark, the walls of Jericho, or a boat for Jesus and the disciples. If a child likes to draw, it’s easy to draw something from the lesson. The staff/volunteer can reinforce the lessons. For example, “Let’s build an ark for Noah. What animals were on the ark?” BONUS: You already have toys – this is a FREE strategy!
Play time is a valuable tool for teaching Bible lessons to children with special needs. Play can build relationships, make church a positive place to come to, and serve to reinforce Bible lessons.
To gain access to all our games, Join The Adapted Word Club!
Here you will find hundreds of lessons, a community of kidmin leaders for support, and a growing library of resources.