Children's Games & Activities for John 3:16

John 3:16 is a reminder of God's love for humanity and the reason that Jesus was sent to this world. Whether at home or in a religious setting, you can emphasize the importance of this message by engaging children in crafts or activities based on the passage. The verse to John 3:16 reads: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." The verse is sometimes referred to as a Valentine from God.

1 Saint Valentine's Craft

Use a Valentine's Day-themed craft to show children that one of the meanings of the message is the love of both God and Jesus. Have children cut a white heart out of paper and color one side red. Another option is to provide red and white construction paper and instruct students to cut out one heart from each color and glue the hearts back to back. The red represents the blood of Jesus, while the white represents the washing away of sins. Children can write these meanings on each side of the heart.

2 Believing Activity

Distribute handouts that have questions regarding belief in what is unseen. For example, ask the children if they believe in love or if they believe that people have ventured into outer space. Once they answer the questions, ask them why they believe in these various ideas. Now, introduce John 3:16 and explain how believing is part of the quotation. Tell them that even though it isn't visible, people believe and know that God's love is real.

3 Memory Game

Hand out pieces of paper with John 3:16 written on them, and read the line out loud with the students a few times. Arrange chairs into a circle. Cut up pieces of colored paper, and tape one piece to each chair. Play music and instruct children to take a seat when the music stops. Pick one of the colors out of a hat, and everyone sitting in a chair with that color on it recites the text of John 3:16.

4 Acrostic Valentine

Distribute a heart to each child or have the children cut a heart out of red paper. Give older students blank sheets of lined paper and ask them to write the words to John 3:16 so that the letters in the verse will spell the word "Valentine" in an acrostic. Once they have written the acrostic, ask them to transfer the words onto the heart. For younger students, provide them with guidance as to where to place the letters.

Jen Marx holds a Master of Arts in English and American literature. She is a consultant at a university writing center and has numerous print and online publications, including "Community College Campus News." Marx specializes in topics ranging from wedding planning to history to the environment.