Creative 10 Commandments activities can help kids connect with what they may think are a bunch of old rules without much relevance for their lives.
I used to teach Sunday school. During the week, the kids would watch trashy TV talk shows when they got home from school. I wished they wouldn’t, but it was out of my control.
Finally, I decided to take advantage of the situation. So I offered them a challenge:
“OK, since you insist on watching this stuff, let’s evaluate the cases. As you hear about the awful jam that a person has gotten himself (or herself) into, pay careful attention. Backtrack and note what you think was the very first—the very first—wrong step he took. You know, that step that started everything that landed him in this place. And whaddya wanna bet? I’ll bet you that in every single case, that first step was a breaking of one of the 10 Commandments.”
So periodically in class I’d ask about any such shows they’d seen. Can you guess what’s coming? Yep. Every single time, it all started with the person’s breaking one of the 10 Commandments. My students reported stories like these:
- “Well see, this girl liked a kinda bad guy. Her parents didn’t want her to go out with him, but she snuck out one night anyway. They drove off and . . . ” (Honor your father and your mother.)
- “All the guys in this sorta gang had knives, except for one guy. He wanted a knife too, but he didn’t have any money. So he stole some money from his dad’s wallet and . . .” (You shall have no other gods. Violating that got him into the gang in the first place. Then You shall not steal.)
- “They were talking to this guy in prison. He’d murdered his wife. Even though he was married, he got a girlfriend. She was wanting him to get a divorce and marry her. But he knew his wife would cause big trouble in a divorce and would take all his money . . .” (You shall not covet and You shall not commit adultery. Violating those led to You shall not murder.)
My students were amazed. And in discussing the 10 Commandments, I also read this old poem to them:
In vain we call old notions fudge,
And bend our conscience to our dealing;
The Ten Commandments will not budge,
And stealing will continue stealing.James Russell Lowell (1820-1891)
These students were beginning to see the point of our research. Not everything that’s old is irrelevant. The 10 Commandments are relevant precisely because they are old. The Lord knows what He’s talking about. He knows how his creation works best. And that’s why He set these rules in place early on.
The 10 Commandments will not budge. And the sooner our kids learn this—and learn to use God’s rules to guide their steps—the better.
You can use all kinds of surprising examples drawn from kids’ everyday experiences to teach about the 10 Commandments. For even more learning, pair your discussion with one of these downloadable 10 Commandments activities along with age-appropriate versions of the 10 Commandments for kids.
You can download these activities one-by-one below or as a set in one PDF The 10 Commandments Activities
10 Commandments Activities for All Ages
The “greatest commandment” Jesus taught about condensed the essence of the 10 Commandments. If you have the time (and the patience!) to help your class make cookies, they’ll enjoy these reminders to love God and love each other.
This activity, an interesting science experiment, requires a little extra effort. But what a cool way to illustrate (and talk about) the importance of following God’s commands!
10 Commandments Activities for Preschoolers
On Top of Mt. Sinai
Tiny tots can sing the little song and imitate the teacher’s gestures to learn that God gave 10 rules.
10 Commandments Activities for Elementary Students
This “match the shapes” activity reminds kids to always respect the Lord’s name.
It’s so tempting to lie. This maze will help kids remember what God says about that.
10 Commandments Activities for Tweens
This secret-code activity will help kids memorize the 10 Commandments.
Beware of Imitations Puzzle
Kids will use their math skills to learn the commandment that is the foundation for all the others.
Ring the Bells Puzzle
This puzzle focuses on the fourth commandment. Teachers can use this to start a discussion on the importance of stopping to “rest” and remember what the Lord has done.
The Promise Puzzle
With this puzzle kids will be surprised to learn that obeying a commandment they’d like to resist (“Honor your father and your mother”) actually comes with a stated reward!
Leave it Alone Puzzle
No matter how much we have, we always seem to want more, don’t we? This puzzle helps kids remember the tenth commandment—which shows us that people have had this problem since the beginning of time.