This memory activity helps participants memorize Scripture by putting the words on balloons and then regularly eliminating words by bursting the balloons.
- Balloons (light colored, one for every word in the memory verse, one or more for the reference (book, chapter, verse) and maybe a few extras just in case you lose a balloon or two)
- Sharp object, like a pin or tack, to pop the balloons
- Thick-tipped, permanent marker (dark color)
- Corkboard or some other surface onto which to tack the balloons (optional – you could have the participants hold the balloons instead)
- Thumb tacks or push pins (one per balloon, to tack the balloons to the corkboard or other surface – not needed if you decide to have the participants hold the balloons)
- Choose a verse to memorize.
- Inflate the balloons, and tie them off.
- Write one word from the Scripture on each balloon using the permanent marker.
- Tack the balloons to the corkboard/surface in the correct sequence. Be careful to tack them through the tie-off area so that you don’t pop them or create a leak. (Optional – you may decide to have the participants hold the balloons.)
- Memorize the Scripture for yourself.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):
- “We are going to memorize a Scripture today using these balloons.” (Indicate balloons. If you are going to have participants hold them, call up volunteers, and give them each a balloon (or two). Arrange the volunteers in the correct sequence.)
- “Everyone say the verse with me.” (Point to each balloon, and say the word out loud as you go through the verse. Do this several times until everyone seems to be remembering the words. Then, pop a balloon with the sharp object (or have a volunteer do it). Pick a balloon randomly; it’s better not to go in any particular order.)
- “Okay, now let’s try to remember the verse without this balloon as a reminder.” (Point to each balloon as you did before, and let the participants say the words. When you get to the missing balloon, point to the volunteer or the space where the balloon was. If they get stuck, prompt them with the correct word. Once they have shown that they can remember the verse without this balloon, pop another.)
- “You’re doing so well, I think you need more of a challenge!” (Go through the verse again until they seem to remember it all. Then, pop another balloon, and repeat. Keep this up until all the balloons are gone. Then, let anyone who would like to try come up front and say the entire verse from memory.)