A Gracelink resource
If the memory text is read after each activity and the Bible story, the children soon memorise it and are ready for a memorisation game. Do not ask them to say the verse just for the sake of saying it. Occasionally you can ask juniors to se tthe song to music and sing it to the class, say it with rhythm or make a poster or door hanger that features the text.
Flash card games
Flash cards are index cards with a single, different word of the text written on each. (The larger the group, the larger the cards need to be and the thicker the marker that you write with.)
Hand out flash cards in random order. Kids arrange themselves in order of the verse and say the verse, each child saying the word they hold, then say the verse altogether.
Give kids the flash cards and the reference. They look up their Bibles and then assemble the verse.
The flash cards are in order where everyone can see them. Have everyone read the verse, then remove one card. Everyone reads the verse, supplying the missing word. Repeat, each time removing one more card until there are no cards and kids can say the whole verse by themselves.
Missing word snap
Now say the verse from memory, deleting the first word and snapping fingers in place of the deleted word. Repeat, each time deleting and snapping for one more word. Works best for short verses.
Bible stepping stones
You need the memory verse on flash cards, one word per card. Arrange the words upside down on the floor, in order and only a step apart. The kids say the word and then step on the flash card before saying the next word of the verse. You can mix it up with the trail from the previous memory verse crisscrossing today's trail. The kids then have to recognise today's verse.
You need pairs of cards such as: Bible lesson picture and verse only; Bible lesson title and verse only; picture or words for everyday situation and verse that speaks to the situation; first part of verse and last part of verse; or memory verse beginning and Bible reference. To play, lay the cards face down in rows. Taking turns, children turn over two cards. If they match they get to say that memory verse and keep the pair, otherwise the cards are replaced and the next person takes their turn.
To review the memory verse for the quarter, you need an egg carton and a button. In each of the hollows place a slip of paper with the reference for a memory verse (eg John 3:16). The kids toss the button into the carton and say the memory verse that goes with the reference that the button lands on.
Two teams form two lines, players standing side by side with their Bibles. The teacher calls a Bible text. The person at one end of the team finds the verse and raises one hand. Only then may the next person start searching and so on down the line. The last person to find the text runs to the front and the team starts saying the verse.
Stand in a circle. The leader reads the whole verse and then shouts the first phrase. Each successive person echoes the person before them, but less loudly. The leader follows on quickly with the next phrase which is echoed down the line, and so on, ending with the Bible reference.
Write the verse on a blank jigsaw puzzle. Mix up the pieces and time kids as they try to put it back together.
Two team echo
Divide up a short memory verse into two sections. Half of the class takes the first part, and the rest, the last part of the verse. Give the two teams two minutes to learn their part of the text. One team says their part of the verse and the other group follows with theirs. Do this several times and then challenge someone to stand and repeat the whole verse.
The kids stand or sit in a circle. The teacher says the first word of the verse, the person to her left says the next and so on around the circle, each person adding one more word until the verse is done.
Add one toss
The children stand in a circle. The teacher says the first word of the memory verse and throws a ball (bean bag or wad of paper) to someone across the circle. That person catches the object, says the next word of the verse, and throws to someone else. The object is to finish the verse without dropping the object.
Play like Add One, except that each person says two words of the verse.