Camp Rules: a Catechism Game for Kids

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When I heard that members of Faith Church (RCA) in Dyer, Indiana had developed a Heidelberg Catechism game for kids I just had to get a copy. I’m always looking for resources to recommend to parents for starting faith conversations at home, or to Sunday school teachers for the downtime as everyone is arriving for class.

When my package arrived from the Vine Bookstore, I wasn’t disappointed. 20 sturdy full-color cards greeted me with familiar questions for the HC pared down and paraphrased for younger readers:

Q: God is the guide and protector of all things. What does this mean?

A: It means that nothing happens that God doesn’t know about. God is in control of everything and everyone even if I don’t understand what is happening all the time.  

The game is patterned after the classic game memory game you learned as a child. Ten questions and answers (from Q&A’s 1, 3, 5, 15, 21, 27, 55, 86, 88, and 129) appear on the 20 cards — the question on one, the corresponding answer on another. The cards are mixed up and spread out and then kids take turns flipping over one card and reading it, and flipping over another to find its match. Matching is cleverly aided by symbols that appear on each card that relate to the particular question and answer. For the question above, “God is the guide …” a yellow compass symbol appears on the top of the card.

I love these symbols! They are colorful, memorable little icons of things like a life raft for the question “What kind of rescuer should I look for?” or a butterfly for the question, “What does it mean to be really sorry for my sins and to know that I am forgiven by God?” Brain research shows that vision trumps all other senses in terms of learning and memory. These little icons help kid’s brains hold onto the truth that’s communicated on each card.

The cards don’t prescribe a particular age range, but I think they would work best for upper elementary through middle school, or in a multiage family setting that includes teens as well. The trick with this game is to get beyond matching and into the meaning of these little cards. Wise parents and teachers will use these them as an opportunity to explore their children’s questions about God’s providence, sin, salvation, and our response to God.

If you’d like to check out the Camp Rules! game you’ll be glad to know that it’s very affordable — just $2.00 a set or a package of 50 sets for $20.00. Contact Sue or Tammy at The Vine Bookstore at [email protected], or 219-864-5068.

Have you ever developed a game to use with the HC or another creed, confession, or lesson you were planning?

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