photo by jurassicjim
Young children love to learn using physical activity to engage both body and mind. Here's a fun way of teaching them the Ten Commandments:
1. Get ten sheets of colored construction paper. They can be different colors or all the same, it doesn't matter.
2. Write out the Ten Commandments, one commandment per sheet of paper. Or, go to this website to download free illustrated posters for non-reading children and glue the pictures onto the construction paper.
3. Lay the pieces of paper out on the floor, placing the commandments in correct numerical order. Make sure the distance between papers is sufficient for your child to take one long step or tiny jump to. Place a piece of doubled up masking tape on the underside to keep the paper from slipping when your child steps on it.
4. Instruct your child that he has to cross a wide stream, and the only way to do it is to step on the "stones" to get there. If he doesn't step on a stone, he'll fall into the "water" and drown. However, he has to step on the stones in the correct order of the commandments in order to make it across safely.
Spend the first few times you play this game reviewing the commandments in order with your child. With each subsequent game, change the "path" the stones take, making it necessary to discern each commandment along the way. If your child steps on the wrong "stone", have him go back and start over. Remember, the goal is for your child to learn the commandments, so review as much as you need to and don't make going back to the beginning a penalty as much as a challenge to overcome.
You might want to consider laminating the pieces of paper to make them sturdier for repeated use, but make sure there's plenty of doubled up masking tape on the underside and that your child isn't in stocking feet when playing. We don't want their little feet to go flying out from under them when they enthusiastically jump to the next stone!
My children had a good time using stepping stones as an effective way for learning the 10 Commandments (among other things). Sometimes I made it more challenging by spacing the stones further apart, requiring them to really s-t-r-e-t-c-h to get to the next stone, or jumbling them up so they had to work a bit to unscramble the correct order.
Rote learning can be tedious, but the stepping stones game makes repetitive learning fun, effective and easy to set up.
Let me know how this works with your child. Or, if you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave a comment.