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Creating Oversized Review Games

Review games are an integral part of every classroom setting. Children’s Church especially lends itself to these fun activities as a reinforcement of the service’s theme. There are two commonly used techniques for turning everyday games into review tools. The first is scenario is as follows: when a child answers a question correctly, he/she then gets a turn at the game. For example, a child answers the question and then gets the choice of where to place an X for his team in tic-tac-toe. In the second scenario, completing the task of the game gives the child the opportunity to answer a question. For example, a child hits a balloon with a Nerf bow and arrow and then gets a chance to earn extra points by answering a review question.With that in mind, what types of games are good for use in a classroom setting? Most any game will work, but one thing to keep in mind is to make the game large enough for the class size. In fact, oversized is even better. Let’s share some ideas for some simple but effective games you can make.

Plinko is a popular game on The Price Is Right TV show. A disk is dropped from the top of a board and bounces toward the bottom through a maze of pegs, eventually landing in a slot with a point value assigned to it. This game is a great way to earn points after answering a question or to determine how many ‘Bible Bucks’ a child may receive after answering a question. It’s also a very easy game to make.

Here’s what you’ll need.

1 – 4′ x 4′ sheet of peg board
2 dowel rods that fit securely into the peg board holes
3 – 1 x 2 x 8′ boards
1 wooden ring (curtain rings work well)
2 hinges

Cut the three 8′ boards into 4′ lengths. Frame up the two sides and bottom of the pegboard with 3 of the 4′ pieces. Attach 2 4′ sections to the top, back sides with the hinges, creating legs for the board to stand up at a slight backward tilt. Cut the remaining 4′ piece into 3 strips. If your wooden ring is about 3 across, then place the 3 pieces vertically across the bottom every 3 1/2 to create the slots for the ring to fall into. (Some guesswork is best here to evenly distribute the 3 pieces.) Cut the dowel rods into 2 lengths and randomly insert them into the peg board. Be sure there is plenty of room for the ring to bounce around and make it to the bottom! Now decorate it as you like!

Quarto is another popular game that is easy to create. The object is to get 4 of a kind in a row. The trick is that your opponent chooses which piece you have to play.

Here’s what you need.

1 – 2′ x 2′ piece of plywood
8 square styled post tops
8 round styled post tops
Yellow Paint
Red Paint
Blue Paint
Green Paint

Create a 4 x 4 checker styled playing board by dividing the 2′ x 2′ piece of plywood into 6 squares. Paint every other square blue and every other one green. Paint two round post tops yellow and two round post tops red. Paint two square post tops yellow and two square post tops red. That’s it! The team who gets four of a kind in a straight row horizontally, vertically, or diagonally wins. The combinations can be 4 red, 4 yellow, 4 round, or 4 square!

Mancala is also a fun game kids like to play. How to play can be a little difficult to explain here, so you may want to purchase a smaller version or look up directions on the Internet. For now, let’s describe how to make it.

Here’s what you’ll need.

12 – 5-quart ice cream buckets
2 – 10 gallon Rubbermaid tubs
36 multi-colored 3 foam or plastic balls

Make two rows with 6 buckets in each row, placing 3 balls in each bucket. Place a tub at each end. Follow the Mancala rules!

Tic-Tac-Toe is a favorite stand by.

Here’s what you will need.

1 – 8′ 4 x 4 fence post
red and blue paint

Cut the post into 4 cubes. On one side of the cube paint a large red X. On the opposite side of the cube paint a large blue O. Stack 3 cubes so the X is to the left and the O is to the right with blank sides on the front, back, top, and bottom. Place the next stack several inches to the right of the first stack and the third stack several inches to the right of the second stack. This will give you room to rotate the cubes. When a correct answer is given and a block chosen, that cube is rotated to display the correct emblem, X or O. (Behind the scenes joke. Though the winning team sees their emblems in a row, the other team actually has theirs in a row on the back side. I guess we’re all winners!)

Hope these ideas help stimulate some creativity in using review games!

© by Gary R. Linn
Children’s Ministry Today

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