MENTAL BIBLE BRAIN BREAKERS
These breaks will turn your mind to a different way of thinking. These breaks will challenge, stimulate, and stretch your child’s thinking.
"The brain cannot comprehend what the fanny cannot endure." ~ Judge in Buffalo, New York.
1. Learning becomes efficient when a new connection is made when the brain is forced to think in different and new paths such as Biblical characters with theme songs.
2. Re-energizing the brains
3. Increase brain fluency by having your non-dominant hand write Scripture. This re-wires the brain.
4. Children remember best when using all their senses: smelling, hearing, tasting, seeing and touching. By utilizing the whole body, the children will internalize the message from the Bible story.
CHARACTER ABC’S (Various Scriptures)
This little exercise re-energizes the brain. Write the letters of the alphabet down the left hand side of a piece of paper. Then give the children three minute to name a Bible character for each letter of the alphabet.
BIBLICAL COUPLES (Various Scriptures)
Give each student a list of names, one-half of a Biblical couple and see if they can name the other half of each couple. For example: Awuila (Priscilla); Elkanah (Hannah); Joseph (Mary); Jacob (Rachel); Adam (Eve); Isaac (Rebekah), etc.
(This is a great activity the week of Valentine’s Day.)
NEW WORDS FROM SCRIPTURE (Various Scripture)
Take a long word from your Bible Study and see how many words can be created out of that word within two minutes. HINT: use the names of the books of the Bible to create many new words.
Sensing the Story (Various Scriptures)
Search the Bible story for sensory experiences that you can share with the children. For example, for the birth of Jesus, put items such as wool, wooden sticks for the stable, hay, and rough cloth for the shepherd’s cloak into separate brown paper bags. Use your imagination. Have the children retell the story represented by the items in the bag by simply touching, smelling and shaking the bags. Try senses first then let them look and retell the story.
Another Bible story is the Easter story. Ideas to include in the bags are jar of incense (room freshener), stone, sand, basket, and linen cloths. Allowing the children to touch and/or smell the different items.
List of additional Bible stories:
Be still (Ps 37:7; 46:10)
Turn out the lights, and have the children lay their head on their hands on the table-top. God tells us to be still and know that He is God. Take three deep cleansing breaths. On the count of three, breathe in deeply and out on the count of six. This isn’t as easy as it sounds. It will take some discipline to manage the breathing pattern of this exercise.
Books of the Torah
Have the children sing to the beat, and clapping one time for each name, except for Deuteronomy. Practice several times for a memory exercise.
Deu (clap) te (clap) ron (clap) o (clap) my (clap)
TIP: Adding rhythm instruments as the children become more familiar with the exercises stimulates the brain and makes learning a lot easier. Include body movement to increase learning as well.
Symbols (current Scripture you are working on)
Have the children try to remember a symbol they see in the Church sanctuary, or even on the bumper of the car in front of you at a red light. Symbols such as fish, rainbow, cross, dove, etc.
Tape a huge piece of paper on the wall. Have the children choose two markers or crayons, one for each hand, and ask them to draw symbols on the paper. Whatever the left hand does, the right hand must do, at the same time. After thirty seconds, have the children criss-cross their arms therefore what the left hand is drawing on the right side of the paper and the right hand drawing on the left side. By crossing the midline of your body, you fully activate both hemispheres of the brain.
Draw the Story (Various Scriptures)
Chose a character or scenery from Scripture that you are studying. Ask the children to draw as much as detail as possible. Be sure to include facial expressions, backgrounds/landscapes, clothing and other items that the character may be carrying.
(This activity is excellent for people of all ages.)
List of Scriptures to use for drawing:
Crossword Puzzles (Various Scriptures)
The following site creates puzzles for your children. Input chosen words from your Bible story and the guidelines for the difficulty of the puzzles. http://www.puzzlemaker.com
Another crossword puzzle activity is to have the children to create their own. Print the familiar words you have chosen from the Bible story. Input one letter for each square. Arrange the words in all directions (up, down, forward, backward, and diagonally). Then, proceed to fill in the empty squares with random letters. Remember to have the children to write the words on the bottom of the sheet. Take the sheet and exchange with a sibling or another child to complete.
Click here for Crossword Puzzle Paper.
Come up with several words from the Bible story you are studying and write them in scrambled order. Have the children to write as many of the words correctly in two minutes. For the younger children, use two, three, and four letter words while the older children can easily scramble five, six or even seven scrambled letters.
Another alternative could be to scramble memory verse. For the younger children, leave the Bible verse in order while the words are scrambled. For the older children, scramble the words and the order of the verse in the Scripture.
BIBLICAL RIDDLES (Various Scripture)
This activity simply helps the children in thinking different ways and to get them onto a new thought pattern. Create a riddle from the Bible story you are currently reading. Be sure to make it simple/challenging enough for the age of the child.
For example: "What Bible-times character gave a fish terrible indigestion?" (Answer: Jonah)
Theme Songs (Various Scriptures)
This activity is geared for older children. Have them come up with theme songs of Biblical characters as they can within a certain time limit. For example, for Noah might be "Raindrops Keeps Falling on My Head."
Suggested characters are David, Esther, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, Mary and Maratha, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, etc…
RIGHT HAND/LEFT HAND (James 5:16)
Challenge your children to write their name or a Bible Verse with their non-dominant hand.
Produce an object from your Bible story and ask the children how many uses they can find for the object within two minutes. Some objects you can use can be a towel, fishing net, coins, water jug, seeds, a shepherd’s crook, etc. The choices are only limited by the Bible Story you are studying.
TOP TEN THINGS
Have the children create list from the following Bible Scriptures:
a. What they are doing to love God with all their heart, mind and soul (Matthew 22:37).
b. What you are doing to show friends you care for (Matthew 22:39).
c. What you are doing to prepare they way of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3).
d. What you are doing to find time to spend with God (Matthew 9:9-13).
e. What you are doing to live the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-18).
Ask the children to open their Bibles and to look up 3:16 Scriptures as they can within three minutes and sixteen seconds.
Ask the children to tell back the Bible story backwards, maintaining the integrity of the story. They must begin at the end of the story and work backwards. Thinking in reverse order forces the brain to focus in a different way.
ANALOGIES (Various Scripture)
Ask the children to chose an object in the room and create an analogy that is like the current Bible story. For example: How are the scissors (rubber bands, calendar, etc) like the woman at the well? How is a box of crayons like the Creation story?
NUMBERS HAVE IT!! (Various Scripture)
Numbers play an important role in the Bible. Write the following numbers on a sheet of paper and fill in the importance of each number.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21,
27, 30, 39, 40, 66
There are many more numbers in Scripture that is significant. Use the concordance for additional numbers.
1 = God
2 = animals on the ark, Jesus sent the disciples out
3 = Trinity, days Jesus was in the tomb
4 = Gospels
5 = books of the Torah, stones that David chose
6 = man created
7 = days of creation
8 = age when Josiah became king
9 = when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples at Pentecost
10 = number of plaques, commandments
11 = number of stars bowing down before Joseph in his dreams
12 = disciples, tribes of Israel
21 = letters in the New Testament
27 = books of the New Testament
30 = age Jesus began His ministry
39 = books of the Old Testament
40 = years the Hebrew people wandered the wilderness
66 = books of the Bible
ADAM OR I
Ask the students to think of at least five reasons why they love their present age. This exercise should make your child think in a positive way.
SCRIPTURE STIMULATION (Matthew 4:18-22)
This exercise can be used for any Bible story you are reading. This activity involves the whole body: seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and hearing. By using all of the senses, the children internalize the message in the Bible story.
Read the Bible story to the children. Ask them to close their eyes and to think about the story they just heard. Stimulate them telling them about a color you see (blue water, grains of golden brown sand); a sound you can hear (blow of the trumpets, sounds of the waves clashing on the sea shore); a smell that is present (fish, ocean, man’s sweat); something that you can reach out and touch (straw baskets, rough rope, rough wood of the boat); a more of a challenge to visualize is the taste of the Bible story (cooked fish, drink of cold water, saltwater)
List of Scriptures to use for drawing:
To print out this list, click here.