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Suggestions for Scripture Memory Games

Add your scripture memory idea to this topic by using the "Post Reply" button below.

If your suggestion is for a specific story, you can also post it in that Bible story's Game  Workshop topic.

You can find story-specific ideas for games, including some memory verse games, listed BY BIBLE STORY. Just go into the Lesson Forums to look up your story, and when you get into that story's forum, look up the Bible Skills and Games Workshop topic.

A Note from the Rotation.org Writing Team

When we write our lesson plans for Rotation.org's supporting members, we often include a quick way to remember the verses or key verse as part of the scripture reading section of the lesson plan.

Usually, we don't spend a great deal of time on it because "memorizing" isn't as important as understanding and applying that understanding to your life, and because in the Rotation Model, regular attenders will be learning the same passage for several weeks in a row. (So if you really like scripture memory, you should be Rotating!)

Where we DO spend extra time on memorizing (always in a fun way) is when the scripture passage is a "major" memory verse, like Psalm 23 or The Lord's Prayer.

A couple of quick thoughts about memorizing scripture

  • Good memory verse activities should not penalize children who have poor memories, poor reading and listening skills, or haven't yet figured out why they should care to learn a verse.
  • Good memory verse activities create mini-teaching opportunities to quickly share important information or ask a follow-up question.
  • Good memory verse activities don't just rely on games, but take into account all the ways memorizies can be formed, including through visuals, music, art, movement, and drama. That's why Rotation Modelers don't blow through a new scripture every week. It takes time and variety to build lasting a memory and understanding of a verse.
Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Lots of ideas! One good book with Memory Verse games is the Big Book of Bible Games by Gospel Light Publishers. I think they have a second one out now also, though I haven't seen it.

Relay games- write the verse out on index cards, one word per card. Make 2 sets. Divide kids into teams and have them hop, skip, jump, etc. to one end of the room and get one card. Repeat until they have all the cards, then put in order.

Dozens of variations: use clothespins to carry the cards. Put on slips of paper and insert into balloons -- pop the balloon to get the part of the verse. Just shuffle the cards and race to see which team can put in order first.

Aerobic Verse Review! Write sections of the verse on sheets of paper and attach to wall. Divide kids up so some are standing at each section. Everyone squat down. As you say the verse the kids standing at that section jump up to say it, then squat back down. Once it's all been said, each section rotates to the next section and repeat. VERY invigorating!

Hide the Verse: Copy the verse onto cards, 1-2 per card. Make two sets. Hide around the room. Have the kids find the cards and put the verses in order. It helps to write one set with a different color pen.

Erase the verse: Write the verse on the blackboard or white board. Say it together a few times. Erase one word -- say it again. continue erasing one word at a time until all the words are erased and kids say it from memory.

Circle Verse: Review the verse a few times. Stand in a circle and go around the circle having each child say one word of the verse.

Puzzle Verse: Take old puzzles with the pieces all intact. Paint the puzzle using spray paint. Once dry, use paint markers to write the memory verse onto the puzzle. Illustrate with appropriate pictures if desired. Let the kids put the puzzle together. Good arrival or finishing up activity. Good stewardship of supplies too!

Even more fun! Use big floor puzzles and you can hide the pieces around the room and have the kids find them first then put together.

Sing the verse. (may not work with all) Find a tune that fits the rhythm of your verse and sing the verse to it.

Have fun!

Blessings,
Jaymie

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Cal and Marty's Scripture Memory Game CD by Sunday Software.

Kids edit in their verses, add questions and comments to them, then play an unscramble game with the verse(s) they created.

<>< Neil

Standard Note: Neil is the author of this CD.

Cal and Marty software is now a free download for supporting members. Learn more here!

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Beach Ball

Fun resource:  I found a package of Teach and Toss beach balls at a local Christian supply store. There are two balls in the package. One is to reinforce the Bible story, one is for the memory verse. Each ball has seven questions or actions.

The balls are also colored to teach the salvation message. The package included other instructions for ways to use the balls.

Blessings!
Julie Burton

Update: Teach and Toss Beach Balls were made by Carson Dellosa have since been discontinued. The same style balls can be made using regular multi-colored beach balls and writing the below questions on them in permanent marker.

Memory Verse Ball, possible questions/actions are:
Where is this verse found in the Bible?
Act out the verse.
Put this verse in your own words
Say the entire verse.
When can you use this verse in your life?
Say any part of the verse.
What does this verse tell you about the Lord?

The Bible Story ball, possible questions are:
What happens at the beginning of the story?
Where is this story found in the Bible?
Name the people in the story.
What is your favorite part of the story
What lesson is God teaching us with this story?
What does this Bible story mean to you?
How does the story end?

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Cool idea.
Sounds very similar to the old "throw the cardboard box dice" game I've used/seen over the years. You can make your own Q's/comments on the sides of the dice. Also: give "points" for quality of answer which then translates into 'spaces' along a giant game board on the floor.

Also... How about making your OWN Beachball scripture/discussion helpers. Do games with them. Let kids decorate according to the story, and TAKE HOME.

<>< Neil

Last edited by Luanne Payne

OTHER MEMORY TECHNIQUES provided by various users (names noted)....


ECHO VERSES

Divide a memory verse into 3 or more short phrases and divide the kids into the same number of groups. Tell them they're going to make it sound like an echo with each group saying its phrase a little softer than the first. Do it several times and change parts each time.
(Group 1) [And Jesus said] (Group 2) I am with you always,(Group 3) to the end of the age. This came from a book of memorization ideas called "Hiding God's Word," but I don't have it here and can't remember the author.

from Cindy Merten


SIGN LANGUAGE

Another variation is "artistic signing" -- using American sign language for the key words. "The Joy of Signing" by Lottie Riekehof is the resource we use. Signing all the words is too much and very distracting. However, just signing the key words involves the body in the memory work.

from Anne Camp


MAKE A PUZZLE

Take an old puzzle, assemble, and glue a new puzzle image to it using quick setting spray glue. Recut the pieces.

You can also BUY blank puzzles from various teaching supplies sites. Kids assemble, turn into a memory verse, then take home.

 from Neil

Last edited by Luanne Payne

This post moved here from another location by Kim Trimboli, Games Forum Moderator.

Memory Ideas for Pre-Readers


Verse in Pictures

The first thing that comes to mind for me would be trying to put the verse with pictures.

Example: Jesus loves us.
Picture of Jesus, a heart, a picture of a lot of people.

Example: Mary sat at Jesus feet.
Picture of a women (call her Mary) sitting, a picture of Jesus, a picture of feet.

from Wendy In Roch


Games for Pre-Readers

Or think of some of the favorite games (Red light/Green light, Red Rover, Simon Says, Hide & Seek, Follow the Leader, Doggie Doggie Where's Your Bone, etc) and see if you can think of a way to adapt one to the story...We did a musical chairs variation during our Sabbath rotation where we played music and the kids did "work" and then they froze when we turned off the music and yelled "REST!" We've had the most success with active games that burn off some energy.

Use Music

For pre-readers, music is usually a good way to memorize scriptures.

from JaneJane


Take a look at the games methods listed in one of the topics in this forum. You'll find lots of ideas.

from Phyllis Wezeman

Last edited by Luanne Payne

This post moved here from another location by Kim Trimboli, Games Forum Moderator.


Bible Games - "Memory Cards"

Memory Card Directions:

  • The size of the Memory Cards should be about 2x2 inches – give or take.
  • Copy pictures (2 of everything) of the Bible story on “card stock” paper.
    • Shrink the size of the pictures so several pictures can fit on one page.
      • Pictures may need a word written in also – ex. Picture of “Ruth” may need the word Ruth written at the bottom so we can tell its Ruth and not Naomi.
    • Make sure that the same paper is used for all the Memory Cards so the kids can’t tell them apart from the backside.
    • Then cut the pictures into squares – make sure they are all the same size and shape.
    • Can also have words (2 of everything) – example, you could have 2 cards with a picture of “Ruth” and 2 cards with “Ruth” written on them.
  • If you could come up with 40 pairs, that would be good. You could always use nature scenes, words, memory verses, or “God”.
  • Laminate the cards.

Rules for Playing:

  • Mix up the Memory cards and lay them face down in front of you.
  • The person who gets to start the game is the person with the closest birthday to today’s date (Or to Christmas or Easter or whatever you want)
  • Take turns turning over a card, followed by a second card.
  • If they match, that child will tell something they know about the card.
    • Example – Pick matching “Ruth cards” – the child can say, Ruth is Naomi’s daughter-in-law, or Ruth followed Naomi into a strange land or Ruth married Boaz.
    • If they get stuck, they can look it up in the Bible or ask one buddy to help.
    • If they can’t say how the card relates to the story, they have to return the cards to the playing pile – face down.
  • If they do match and they successfully say a fact about the card, that child keeps the cards and play goes to the left. (Can also give out a Starburst as a reward)
  • If they do not match, the cards are turned face down in the same place and the child to the left gets a turn.
  • Turns continue to the left until all cards are “won”.
  • Winner is the one with the most pairs of cards. (You can give out a sticker or another Starburst)

Have Fun!

By Rachel Haugland – for non-profit use only.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

When I taught S.S. and had a table, I used a number of memory verse games.

(1) I always like the tried-and-true memory verse scramble, where you put one or more words of the verse on each card and turn them over. You can make one or two sets, depending upon how big your class is.

2) Another card game, Memory Verse Match-Up, is where you print the verse on four cards (1/4th of the verse on each card). You make many sets like this and turn them over. It's like memory, only for older kids (grades 4-6). The idea is to get a complete set of 4 cards, or to get the most sets of 4 cards.

(3) Verse Catch: I also take a ball, a bean bag, or a frisbee, say one word of a verse and throw the item to a child. That child says the next word and throws it to someone else. Repeat the process until everyone knows the verse.

(4) Fill-in-the-blank: Sometimes I write blanks on the whiteboard, a blank for each letter of each word in the verse. The kids form teams and take turns guessing letters.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Here's an idea... use cup-stacking to teach a memory verse.

For an example of this used in a lesson, see the end of this Psalm 8 Creative writing/art lesson This is using 6 cups in a 3-2-1 cup stacking formation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWNtCCUsTd8

And recently added... a lesson which teaches Psalm 119:105  ("Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path") using cup-stacking in the 3-6-3 method (12 cups).

--Carol

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Found some ideas online, unfortunately the site is no longer available, below is a brief overview of each.

Echo Mountain -- Various groups echo the words of the verse.

Guess Who -- Be "it" and guess which word of a verse is missing.

Crazy Voices -- Use different voices to say the verse.

Memory Verse Meltdown -- make it a contest between two kids - who will forget a word?

Last edited by Luanne Payne

A Scripture Memory Fishing Game

The following fishing pole graphic was created for the Rotation.org Writing Team's "Jesus Feeds the 5000" Bible Skills and Games lesson (open to supporting members).

In the Team's lesson, they created a "scripture memory fishing game" that uses a homemade fishing pole to catch scripture "fish" that have magnets attached to them and are scattered in the "pond" (a blue tarp). The kids cast the line to catch parts of the verse and assemble it.

You can adjust the game rules to let kids only catch "the next correct word" in the memory verse, or any word they can catch they can keep until they get them all and assemble them in the right order. You can adjust the game to have two poles and make it a team race to cast and assemble the verse parts.  You can also have them "catch questions to answer" which you have written on fish.

Fish can be made out of paper to which you have attached a magnet, or plastic fish to which you have attached a magnet.

Magnet.Fishing.Pole-Rotation

Alternately, tie a weight at the end of the line, then you can put verses/words/phrases/questions in various buckets or baskets for the kids to "cast into."

Browse the Writing Team's menu of extra creative lesson!

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Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Here are five Bible verse memory games; some are similar to ones described above, but the article has nice graphics/PDFs explaining the games: Five Brilliant Bible Verse Memory Games for Kids from Anna Lowell, KidsBibleTeacher.com.

  1. Dry erase memory verse game - write the words on a board and point to each word as everyone reads the verse together. Then begin to erase one word after each time you read the verse (including the missing words), until all are gone and everyone can still say the verse together.
  2. Hidden words memory verse game - a team game. Use a different color paper for each team; write the verse out on each piece of paper, cut the words apart, and hide the words around the room. Each team has to find their color slips of paper and put the verse together in order.
  3. Sticky note memory verse game - another team game. Write the verse twice, each word on a separate sticky note. Put the sticky notes in random order on the back of one person from each team. Another person from each team rearranges the notes into the correct order on another person's back while teammates shout out instructions. [This could be done from one table to another instead of on backs - it seems to me that sticky notes may not stick well to fabric shirts.]
  4. Wacky bean bag paper plate toss - write each word of the verse on a separate paper plate. Put them in random order on the floor. (You can do two sets if you want teams to race.) Object is to throw beanbag on the words in order. As a word is hit, it is picked up and words are stacked in order until all are collected.
  5. Dartless balloon board memory verse game - a bit more setup, but a creative way to add a bit of excitement to the memory verse activity. Use foam board (or cardboard) with about 14 clothespins hot glued on in two rows. Write the verse with a Sharpie a word or phrase at a time on 14 balloons. Glue two tacks under and to the the sides of each clothes pin, point up, so that a balloon that is clipped to the clothes pin will touch one of the tacks if the balloon is pressed back. Read the verse together a few times. Then the first student is given three beanbags to toss and try to pop a balloon. After a balloon is popped the class reads the verse together, including the "missing" words. The students take turns tossing beanbags to pop balloons and reading the verse until all the balloons are gone and they can recite the entire verse.

Bible-Verse-Memory-Games-for-Kids-Pin-2-683x1024

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Last edited by Amy Crane

I found these two great "scripture memory games" at a teacher's resource blog that Luanne Payne called my attention to. It's called Vibrant Christian Living. It's full of ads (aren't they all) and had many memory ideas mentioned at other sites too. Here are two unique ones I liked from their site with my own twists added:

Word Wipe Out. Write your memory verse on a chalkboard or dry erase board. Read it together. Then erase one word and read the verse again --filling in the missing word(s) as you go. Keep going until the whole verse is erased and you can remember it. Then pass the dry erase pen and have the kids add the ones back in one or two or three at a time (depending on how long the verse is).

Gotcha! Quote a verse incorrectly to your kids, omitting or changing an important word. Ask them to shout, “Gotcha!” when the moment they catch the mistake. Then have them quote the correct word to you before you continue.

You can also do a version of this by writing out the verse with some wrong words in it, and have each of them secretly write down the right words --then see how many they got right.

You can use funny wrong words like "then Godzilla..," and "then Jesus laughed out loud and said" and "Petunia said..."

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