Perhaps one of the most difficult teaching moments that we face as parents is teaching our children which activities are appropriate for the Sabbath. With a seemingly endless supply of activities that we may feel are not appropriate for Sunday, what is a parent to do? The trick is to be creative and find ways to invite the Spirit into our homes while the kids are having fun. If you are looking for something just like this, you may want to try a game that my family created while I was growing up called Scripture Scrabble.
This is a game that quickly became a hit for both young and old. It truly turned an ordinary board game into something extraordinary. In fact, I have used it successfully over the years with several youth groups and they have delighted in sharing this game with their families.
Here is what you will need to play this game:
One Scrabble Board Game
One set of scriptures for each player
Now the rules are simple. You begin the game just as you normally would a game of Scrabble. The letter tiles are placed face down and each player draws the required number of letters and then tries to come up with words to place on the game board. The players work in creating and building words off the words that are already placed on the game board and earn points for them. While that is all there is to it in regular Scrabble, this is where it begins to vary in Scripture Scrabble.
In order for a player to be able to place down a word and receive points for it, then they must either find a reference to it in the scriptures and share the scripture, or they must share a gospel principle with the other players that is centered around the word they choose to place on the board. Also, where proper names and places are not allowed in regular Scrabble, they are acceptable in Scripture Scrabble. If a player chooses to share a gospel principle, then they must be convincing in their explanation or the other players can deny the player the full points that the word would bring. Instead, they would only be allowed ½ of the normal points.
This is a great way to get everyone thinking about how the gospel can be centered around seemingly ordinary, everyday things. For instance, one of our favorite words over the years was the time I played the word carrot. It was worth a lot of points. I was just a youth at the time and I had learned to be creative in this game. I could have taken the obvious answer and said how carrots were a vegetable and we should eat plenty of fresh vegetables in keeping with the Word of Wisdom. But I didn’t go there, because I wanted to ensure that I would receive the points and my family could be brutal at times. Instead, I chose to use the analogy of how carrots are planted by a tiny seed and grow when they are nurtured. The same is true of our faith. It is planted by a tiny seed and when we nurture it with the things that help it grow, like reading our scriptures, attending our church meetings, serving others, and saying our prayers, it can become full grown and help us and others. It was a much longer explanation at the time, but you get the idea.
The most important thing about this game is to have fun and jumpstart your brains with the gospel. There are many things that are taught by playing this game. A greater knowledge of the scriptures and gospel language are just a couple of the things your family will learn. So grab that Scrabble game off of your shelf and see what your family can create while playing a game of Scripture Scrabble together.