Illustrations & Games


  • Every illustration should teach a point. In children’s ministry, you never fill time–you use every moment to the glory of God.
  • Don’t just say it–Show it. Children are “concrete” thinkers. They respond best when they can see, touch, feel, taste and smell what you are teaching them. Take your point and make it “come alive.”
  • Don’t just show it–Say it. Carefully explain your point to the children. Why did you do this illustration? What does it teach? How does this affect their lives?
  • Don’t lose your point in the package. The best and most memorable illustration is of little use if it doesn’t have an affect. Be careful not to get so wrapped up in the illustration that you neglect to convey your point well.
  • Be brief and clear when explaining an illustration to children. Make your point and move on. One memorable statement that goes home with them is better than a thousand words quickly forgotten.
  • Try to make your point easy to remember: For example, “God’s got a call for us all!” Or, “Of all God’s creatures great and small, God loves you the most of all.” Or, “Keep God first.” (See Control Tools for more ideas and suggestions.)
  • Keep it simple. Instead of doing an illustration and then explaining three things, do a different illustration for each point. Or, take the same illustration and use a different variety of it three times with teaching moments in between.
  • Everything around you can teach a spiritual truth–the ceiling tiles, the floor, the chairs your children are sitting on, the clock on the wall, the door, and so forth. You are always surrounded by illustrations. Choose and use what is most affective in drawing your kids closer to Christ.
  • Games are illustrations too, just a bit more active.
  • Help our Illustration Library grow. Please send us specifics on illustrations that you use to impact the children in your ministry. For more details go to our Submitting Ideas and Materials section.

General Teaching Illustrations

Slime Times

These fast-paced, Nickelodeon-style activities will challenge your students to know and follow Jesus. They are fun and crazy without creating too much of a mess and each of them makes a great point. It’s mess within limits. After all, someone has to clean it up! We first created SlimeTimes as a part of an effort to re-energize a Wednesday evening program called “PrimeTime,” meaning that now is the “prime-time” to know and follow Jesus. Every other week we would have a special Slime Time activity. The volunteers we used were usually students who had memorized verses or had done something else spiritually significant that we wanted to highlight or recognize, as a way of challenging other students to do the same. Slime Times were an immediate hit.

Did you know that many games can be played with marshmallows and that using marshmallows is often a great and affordable alternative to more expensive equipment? For example, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money buying safe balls for indoor Dodge Ball, why not grab a few bags of marshmallows and play Foot-Dodge Ball? You get the idea…Listed here are 45 games that you can play with that great-tasting white bite, the marshmallow. There are enough activities here to have a great theme night or even a Marshmallow Month. So, let the Marshmallow Madness begin! (NOTE: Be careful when using marshmallows on carpet. A good, hard stomp and it might become a long-term sticky spot!)

 Science Illustrations

Everything that surrounds you can be a tool to teach God’s Word, but science illustrations are ones that your students will probably go home talking about. Some set-up and practice might be required, but the life lessons you can pass to your students is well worth it. These do more than just present a point; they are memorable, and your children might want to go home and try the simpler ones on their friends or families. When you do an “amazing” illustration that your kids could do at home, encourage them to pass the challenge along–to find someone else to show and to tell them what the illustration teaches. This is just another way of helping our students remember, review and live out what they have learned.


Give your older children a brain-teaser. Make them think. Give them a challenge and let them chew on it. Then use it to teach a spiritual point. Below are a few examples but the internet is full of good riddles that can be used in the same way to teach great life truths.

Prayer Activities

The Bible never records the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to preach or how to heal, but we do find them asking Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). The following activities been developed to help you teach your students how to pray.

Skits for Kids

The following skits can be done by either adult leaders or older children. Use your judgement on what would work best for your group.

Games with a Point

    Games can be very powerful ministry tools, especially for children who learn best by doing. So play the game, have fun, and use the activity to help your children know and love Jesus more.

    Check out How to Lead Games for instructions on how to be an effective game leader.

    SpyKid Missions

    Use the following code book and coded missions to challenge your students to spy-out what God wants them to do as American missionaries. Help your kids understand that they are already missionaries for Christ and use this resource to show them how they can help others and share Jesus every day. Also, be creative in using the code booklet to create your own coded missions.

    SpyKid Code Book – Use this book to decipher and carry out mission challenges. Accept the mission, if you’re willing! (This message will NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds…)

    Life Mission Challenges
    Coded Challenges
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