Animals of the Bible: An Activity to Burn Off Some Extra Kid Energy in the Winter

As an elementary music teacher, one of my young students’ favorite activities involved a book about animals and lots of movement. I would show them a page of animals, turn on some music, and let them move around as one of the animals on that page until I stopped the music.’

Of course, a few rules were needed for this activity:

• No talking or noise of any kind {so they can hear the music}.
• No touching other “animals.”
• When the music stopped, they must “fall asleep” until the next piece of music starts.

It was great fun to watch their creativity and freedom of movement AND they were burning off some energy in the process! As the cold months are getting long here, I realized this would be a great activity to do at home with my own kiddos, but this time as part of our Bible time!

There are lots of stories in the Bible that involve animals and lots of story Bibles have wonderful pictures of these animals to spark your child’s imagination! Let’s take the Hide & Seek Devotional as an example and look at two different stories to use:

1. Noah and the Flood

This is a great story to use when introducing this type of play to your children because they can pretend to be just about any animal! Read the short devotional found on page 28 and Genesis 6-9 {if your kids will sit still long enough to hear it!}, then show them the picture on page 29 to help them think of some animal ideas! Remind them that two of EVERY kind of animal were on the ark and it must have been a crazy place with all of them together! Have them lay down in the floor “asleep” until the music starts and then let them roam as animals on the ark!

I would suggest some chaotic sounding music for this story since the ark was a packed place! Try “Flight of the Bumblebee” by Rimsky-Korsakov, “Sabre Dance” by Khachaturian, or “Hoedown” from Rodeo by Copland!

2. God So Loved the World

After some crazy play, try a contrasting movement activity by focusing on the birth of Jesus and the animals that witnessed His birth in the stable. Page 161 of the Hide and Seek Devotional shows a few farm animals your children could choose to be. Discuss how these animals would have been acting much different than the animals on the ark – it was night and a baby had just been born, so it was probably a much calmer scene!

Try some soothing music for this story, such as “Clair de Lune” by Debussy, the “Adagio Cantabile” from Beethoven’s Piano Sonata #8 in c minor, “Wiegenlied” by Brahms {also know as “Lullaby and Good Night”}, or anything from David Nevue!

Note: I chose classical music with no words so the children would not be tempted to sing along AND to expose them to quality music! And I don’t always have the children move through the whole piece – it depends on the length of the piece and the children’s interest level! Let them go as long as they are having fun with it, but stop and change it up if they are getting bored with one animal or story!

I hope your family has as much fun with this as we do!

What Bible stories and music would you choose for this activity with your own children?

Erin Mohring is a follower of Jesus Christ, a doctor’s wife, and stay-at-home mom to three lively young boys. The hubby and Erin have been blissfully married for nine years. Big J is six, Little J is almost four, and Double J just joined the fam in March of 2012! She’s learning quickly about life in the world of boys – which you can follow at Home with the Boys!