These are some of the guidelines I use in no particular order.
The games are to attract children to the program. They should be fun. And, if the kids can learn something about God and the Bible then great! But don’t let the fact that a game like Human Foosball doesn’t contain any Bible references stop you from playing it. Get the kids interested in coming to your program with some cool games and they will still be able to hear the Good News during the rest of the time in your program.
No Relays. Unless it is a very quick relay the children standing in line waiting for a turn get bored and quickly find something else to do while waiting. Usually, this is not a desirable situation.
Avoid turn based games. Again, unless the turns are very quick and involve everyone the children will find some way to entertain themselves.
Watch what children naturally like to do. I came up with the game “Dangerous River” by giving my own kids some of the new scooters we had just purchased and observed what they did with them.
Blindfolds take too much time to exchange between children and make a lot of parents cringe at the thought of head lice (I do). Unless every child has their own blindfold, avoid them.
Marshmallows and carpet don’t mix. Enough said.
No uncontrolled running. Games like soccer in our game room with the bricks just isn’t a good idea.
Don’t get too hung up on the rules. If you see that the children aren’t playing the game by the rules think about why they are doing it that way. Maybe they have a better angle on it than you do. I have found myself more than once saying “Nathan, that’s not the way we are supposed to play this game. But, you know what? I like your way better!” And then I go on to incorporate Nathan’s idea into the game.
I know I have more guidelines than that but this is the first time I ever tried to actually put them in written form. I’ll add to this list as they come to me.
So, check out the games and activities and let me know how they go.
Thank you and God Bless,