I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the clearance aisles at my local stores. You can find great things for so many aspects of ministry. This time of year, I stock up on beach balls. There are so many ways to use them in classes of all ages. Here are some of my favorites:
1) For preschoolers, use clear packing tape to attach pictures of things God made to the ball. As you roll the ball back and forth, talk about the pictures and offer simple prayers of thanks to God.
2) Make a “My Favorites” ball-this is great for getting to know new students. Choose from the following and use a permanent marker to write one of these on each section of the ball: movie, food, book of the Bible, color, room of my house, school subject, animal. Have the children toss the ball and tell their favorite ___________________. They have to tell the subject that corresponds to where their left thumb lands on the ball.
3) Create a game to help with learning different books in the Bible by using a permanent marker to create different sections on the ball then write any combination of these letters in the spaces (these are all letters that books in the Bible start with–you can make it as easy or difficult as you chose based on your class): A, C, D, E, G, H, I , J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T , Z. For younger children, a child can pick a letter and tell you a book of the Bible that starts with the letter. For older children, you can put all the letters and have children find the letter for the book of the Bible that comes next as they say them in order and pass the ball.
4) Make a Bible story review ball by writing each of these questions in a different color section of the ball:
Who was in today’s lesson?
What book of the Bible was today’s lesson from?
Where did the story take place?
What is an important word from the lesson?
What do I need to remember?
5) Use a beach ball to assign prayer partners for the week. Write the name of a different child on each section of the ball and they pray for the person whose name their hand lands on when they catch the ball. This same principle can be applied to praying for different missionaries, church staff members, community leaders…let your setting help determine the possibilities.
6) Another idea for using a ball to develop Bible skills is to write the books of either the old or new testament on the ball. Then when the ball is tossed to a student they have to look at the book their thumb is closest to and tell what book comes after it. You cam also develop other skills by having them tell the division the book is in. This can be simplified by writing a mix of old and new testament books on the ball and the students has to identify which testament the book is from.