So . . . are you all gearing up for our Bible Drama Video Contest?
You’re going to have so much fun acting out stories together as a family (this was one of our favorite Sunday afternoon activities when the kids were little), and after all the entries are sent in, we will all have the fun of watching each other’s videos!
It doesn’t have to be complicated. (And you don’t have to have a house full of children! Pull out the Legos, Playmobil, action figures, dolls, and stuffed animals to act out parts, if you’re short on actors!)
- Read a story from the Bible, using a translation your children will understand.
- Then brainstorm with the children about props and costumes. You’ll be amazed how creative your children can be!
- Pull out the video camera or your tablet or phone and catch some of the action when the play begins! Even if you don’t send anything in to the contest (but you should!), everyone will still have fun gathering around to watch themselves after the performance has ended!
Here are some stories to get you started:
- Noah and the ark, Genesis 6-9:17 (pick one portion to focus on if your children are young).
The kids will have a great time gathering pairs of animals for the ark (maybe under the dining room table or in an old appliance box that you all have fun fixing up?) Get everybody drumming their fingers on the floor for rain or find some rain sound effects online to play as you all huddle in the ark. And don’t forget to enjoy the rainbow when it’s time to leave the ark!
- Tower of Babel, Genesis 11:1-9. A natural for the budding engineers in the family.
Get out the blocks or use cardboard boxes, pillows, or even suitcases to build your own Tower of Babel. The kids will enjoy acting out the confusion of different languages, and everyone can grab suitcases or backpacks to load up their belongings and move to different parts of the country with those who speak the same language.
- Israelites crossing the Red Sea, Exodus 12-14.
If you can act out this one outside, find all available wagons, scooters, and wheelbarrows for Egyptian chariots, recruit any stick horses and stuffed animals you can find for horses, add a bit of makeup to the Egyptians’ eyes, and grab anything that’s pointy enough to look like a sword (swords are the best part for the boys).
Send the Israelites on ahead of them to cross the Red Sea between two blue blankets on the ground or an empty wading pool. Then make sure the pursuing Egyptians get covered by the blanket “water” or doused with the hose as they attempt to cross the sea.
Or how about:
- Balaam and his donkey (Numbers 22-23) Everyone will enjoy riding on Daddy’s back.
- Ehud and Eglon (Judges 3:14-29) A gory favorite in our household years ago!
- Jael killing Sisera (Judges 4:6-22) Another one our eager dramatists reveled in!
- David and Jonathan (1 Samuel 20) A great excuse to pull out the archery sets!
- Elijah at Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:17-40) This one has tons of potential!
- Elisha and the youths (2 Kings 2:23-25) A short account that everyone will have fun with!
- The book of Esther will make everyone happy! A beautiful queen, a really bad guy, plenty of suspense! What more could you ask for?
- Jesus’ miracles and parables in the Gospels.
- Paul’s many exciting adventures in the book of Acts.
When you run out of stories (ha!) or just need a change, pick out a proverb from the book of Proverbs and see if you can all act it out! Perform it for some friends and see if they can identify the proverb from the chapter you direct them to.
This is such a fun, hands-on, get-them-involved, hard-to-forget way to help your children become familiar with the great stories and characters of the Bible! Be sure to take time to talk about the stories! What is God teaching us through them? How do they point us to Jesus? (The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones, can help you with this!)
If you need more inspiration, Doorposts’ book, The Mighty Acts of God, will also arm you with ideas and details for acting out fifty different Bible accounts! In addition to ideas for stories, it includes plans, menu ideas, and recipes for four Bible story meals (“Family Reunion in Egypt”, “Passover”, “Farewell to Haman Banquet”, and “Welcome Home Party” for the prodigal son), plus simple instructions for making capes and tunics to add to your costume collection. (Who needs to go out and spend a bunch of money to have fun together?)
We’re looking forward to seeing those videos start rolling in!
(For some added fun, we’ve been digging through our home videos from twenty years ago, looking for the Bible drama videos we made with our kids. Here are a couple short ones
(If embedded video does not work for you, try this link: