Each Gospel includes an account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Waving palm branches as Jesus comes riding in dramatized on a stick or paper box donkey can excite kids attending a Palm Sunday service at the beginning of Holy Week. Games allow the kids to cooperate with teachers to learn something about Palm Sunday.
After you explain that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to fulfill prophecy from Zechariah 9:9, you can play a Palm Sunday version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. Mount a picture of a donkey on the wall with picture tack and add a blob of picture tack on the back of a picture of Jesus so the kids can mount Jesus on the donkey. When a blindfolded child successfully puts Jesus on the donkey, the rest of the kids can jump up and wave their paper palm branches as they shout “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
When was on the road to Jerusalem riding a donkey on Palm Sunday, the crowd tossed clothing and palms on the ground at Jesus’ feet. Paint a paper box to look like a road and have a supply of beanbags decorated with palm branches or clothing. Allow the kids to toss the beanbags into the box. Alternatively, play a Palm Sunday version of follow the leader where the crowd follows Jesus’ disciples on the road, shouting and singing to welcome Jesus on his way to Jerusalem.
When the Pharisees heard the people praising Jesus, they told him to tell the people to be quiet. Jesus told them that if the people were quiet, the rocks would cry out. Give several children rocks painted with a palm branch. Have the kids with rocks skip around the room singing “Hosanna” and praising God. When a child stops praising God, he can pass his rock to another child. Alternatively, play music while the rock kids sing their praises. When the song stops, have the other children in the class pretend to be the rocks, standing up and praising God.
You can create paper games and puzzles to keep the noise and activity level down while teaching the kids on Palm Sunday. Give young kids colorful puzzles to assemble, created from Palm Sunday pictures glued on cardboard backing and cut into pieces. You can also pass out crossword puzzles and word searches for kids to complete. Alternatively, compile a list of words used in the Palm Sunday story, such as donkey, palm, clothes, road, shouting, singing and rocks for use in a Bible charades game.