Today we played a variation of “Simon Says” in preparation for our lesson on Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego in the fiery furnace.
- Explain that you are King Nebuchadnezzar & you will call out various commands for the kids to follow
- Tell the kids when you give a command, you expect it to be followed immediately! …after all, you are the KING!
- Warn them that you might throw in a few commands that they should NOT obey…even though the king says to do it! Tell the kids you’ll be watching closely who can figure out which commands God would not want them to obey!
- Begin giving basic commands similar to Simon Says
- Some examples:
-Nebuchadnezzar says touch your nose!
-Nebuchadnezzar says hop on one foot!
-Nebuchadnezzar says cluck like a chicken
– Nebuchadnezzar says waddle like a duck
-Nebuchadnezzar says nod your head
-Nebuchadnezzar says jump up & down
….and so on
***Unlike Simon Says, where some commands begin w/ “Simon Says” & some don’t….in this game, begin EVERY command with “Nebuchadnezzar says….”
- After several routine “Nebuchadnezzar says” commands…add in a command that says: “Nebuchadnezzar says bow down & worship my statue!” (Hopefully the kids will catch themselves & remember they’re only supposed to bow down & worship God!)…if not…be sure to catch them & remind them of Gods command!
- Go back to a few more regular/silly commands & then add: “Nebuchadnezzar says eat the King’s food!” (Again, use this as a teaching moment to share how Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego & Daniel handled that situation!)
- Do a few more silly commands & finish w/ “Nebuchadnezzar says bow down & worship GOD!” (Share with the kids that after Nebuchadnezzar saw God rescue Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego from the fiery furnace, he decreed that no one should speak against their God!)
Lots of laughter today in children’s church as we played a game to help introduce the story of Elijah & the false prophets of Baal on Mt Carmel (1 Kings 18)…
- Plastic tablecloths or disposable drop cloth
- 2 large bowls
- Tall kitchen trash bags (1 per child)
- Headbands or plastic shower caps
- Approx 1 egg/child sitting in an egg crate (approx 1/4 of the eggs should be hard boiled & the rest should be raw)…these should be mixed up so that the kids don’t know which eggs are raw & which are hard boiled.
Instructions & Application:
- Before you begin, place a clean trash bag (cut out a neck hole & arm holes) over each participant’s clothes.
- Explain to the kids that the people of Elijah’s time were worshipping false gods, instead of the One True God. Elijah told the people they could not keep wavering between what they believed/who they believed in! They had to decide who they were going to follow: God or Baal!
- Today many people we know do the same thing! While they may not bow down to statues, many people SAY they believe in God…but they really put their trust in other things like money, jobs or even other people, rather than the One True God! Sometimes when you’re looking at people on the outside, it’s hard to tell the difference between different religions. People may look good on the outside & they may even be a nice person…but unless they put their faith in The One True God who sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, & believe He died, was buried & resurrected from the dead to pay for our sins…their religion is worthless. Jesus is the Way, the Truth & the Life and no one comes to the Father except through Him!
- Say: “Remember the song you probably learned in church as a preschooler about the wise man who built his house upon the rock? When the storms came…his house stood firm! Those who put their trust in the One True God will experience the same thing! When hard times come in life…they’ll stand firm! The opposite is true as well! The song also talked about a foolish man who built his house on the sand…like the people of Elijah’s day, he was placing his confidence in the wrong things! And when the storms of life came…the house on the sand went SPLAT! “
- These eggs on the table represent people who put their trust in God & those who don’t. Some will stay firm when they’re cracked…others will go splat!
- We’re going to have a friendly competition between the boys & the girls to see which team can find the most hard boiled eggs!
- Invite 1 boy & 1 girl from ea team to come to the front. Allow them to choose any egg from the crate. (Pull back any bangs from face w/ a headband or shower cap!)
- You cannot shake or hold the eggs to try to figure out which are raw & which are cooked.
- Once you touch an egg…it’s yours! Pick up that egg & crack it on your forehead (over the bowl) & if it’s a hard boiled egg,it’ll stay firm & your team gets a point! If you don’t choose wisely…you may have a mess to clean up!
- One by one, allow the boys & girls who want to participate to come to the front & take a turn until the eggs are all cracked.
- Team with the most hard boiled eggs wins!
- Have wipes available for clean up!! Remind kids not to let the raw eggs get in their mouths! (Disclaimer: Be mindful of any food allergies in your group!)
- Have fun, laugh a lot…and remember to choose wisely…in eggs & in life! 😊
Before class, prepare 2 batches of index cards. In the first set, make enough so that there will be one for each student. Approximately 2/3 of the cards should say “trembled with fear” and 1/3 should say “not afraid.”
The second set of index cards should match the same number of “not afraid” cards above. The majority should read “got on knees to drink” and approximately 2-3 cards should read “drank from cupped hands, lapping like a dog.” (The actual ratio is .03, but our group was too small to calculate that number, so we improvised a little to make the point!)
Ask all the kids to stand up. Hand each kid a card (facedown) from the first set. Instruct them not to look at the card until you tell them to!
Read Judges 7:2-3 aloud. Instruct the kids to look at their cards. Anyone whose card reads “trembled w/ fear” should sit down.
Pass out the second set of cards to the remaining kids. Again, the cards should stay facedown & no one is to look until you give the “okay.” Read aloud Judges 7:4-8. Invite the kids to look at their cards. Those who have “knelt down to drink” cards should be seated. The few remaining are the “chosen ones.” The lives of everyone in the room will depend on them! 😜
This activity was a great way to help the kids picture the Judges 7 account!