Defeat the Giant
Make paper cup slingshots to shoot marshmallows or crushed paper balls at “Goliath”. Use this game to introduce the story of David and Goliath.
Bible: 1 Samuel 17:4-11, 16, 23-25, 32, 38-50
Ages: 6 to 14
Group Size: 2 or more
Supplies: Balloons, Scissors, Sturdy Paper Cups, Sticky Tape, Marshmallows or Crushed Paper Balls, Coins (optional), Goliath Printable – Download Here
Please Rate This Game:
Download and print the Goliath Printable.
You will need 1 “Goliath” for roughly every 5 players.
Roll up the Goliath Printable (Goliath facing out) and use sticky tape to secure.
Your “Goliath” should be able to stand.
(Goliath illustration courtesy of www.freechristianillustrations.com)
Craft Activity – Paper Cup Slingshot
Each player will need a slingshot.
You can either make these as part of your preparation, or have the players make them as a craft activity.
1. Tie a knot at the end of the balloon.
2. Cut off the tip of the balloon (the cut-out portion should be around half the size of the bottom of your paper cup)
3. Cut away the bottom of a sturdy paper cup.
4. Gently stretch the balloon over the bottom of the paper cup. Pull up the balloon as far as possible.
The effectiveness of these paper cup slingshots varies with different sizes of paper cups and balloons, so it is best to test your slingshot before the lesson.
To shoot, simply place a marshmallow in the cup and hold it up; pull the end of the balloon and release.
The marshmallow should fly out of the cup.
1. If your balloon does not fit the paper cup very well, you may need to secure it with sticky tape.
2. The more upright you hold the cup, the higher the marshmallow will fly.
3. If you prefer not to play with food items, you may substitute the marshmallows with crushed paper balls, ping pong balls, or anything light and small enough to fit in the paper cups (and that is safe to shoot).
How to Play
Divide players into teams of roughly equal number of players.
Each team can have 1 to 5 players.
Set up 1 table for each team.
Leave sufficient space between tables such that the teams don’t get in the way of each other.
Place one “Goliath” on the center of each table.
Give each player 1 marshmallow.
You may like to “warn” everyone that this is for shooting, not eating; if they eat their marshmallow, they won’t be able to play this game. (As an incentive, you may like to buy separate bags of marshmallows for the winning teams.)
Place a coin (alternatively paste a small piece of masking tape) on the floor, around 3 feet away from the table – this is to mark the position where players must stand while shooting at “Goliath” in Round 1.
For Round 2, move the marker to 4 feet away from the table.
For Round 3, move it to 5 feet away, and so forth.
Keep on increasing the distance for each round, until no one can strike down “Goliath” – the game ends here.
The objective of this game is to score as many points as possible for each round.
Play the Game
Fix the number of attempts per team per round.
For example, if there are roughly 5 players in each team, you may fix it at 15 attempts per team for each round (so each player gets to try 3 times).
Each team forms a line behind the marker.
On “go”, players take turns to shoot once at Goliath while standing just behind the marker.
If “Goliath” falls, set it upright again for the next player.
Pick up your marshmallow and go to the back of the line to wait for your next turn.
Award 10 points each time Goliath falls.
Announce the winner for that round.
For the next round, move the marker further away from the table by 1 foot and start with a clean slate.
(In this way, all teams have equal chances of winning each round).
Continue playing (moving the marker further away for each round) until no one can strike down “Goliath” – the game ends here.
Bible Lesson – David and Goliath
1. Did you enjoy this game? Why or why not?
2. Was it easy to shoot down Goliath?
3. Does you know the Bible story about David and Goliath?
Today we will look at one of the most famous Bible passages – David and Goliath.
At the time of this story, Saul was the king of the Israelites. The Israelites were in a war with the Philistines. The Philistines camped at one hill and the Israelites another; there was a valley between the two armies.
Three of David’s oldest brothers had joined King Saul’s army. David was still young at that time; he did not join the army but helped to take care of the family’s sheep. Every now and then, David would help his father to bring food to his brothers at the army camp.
1 Samuel 17:4-10
(For younger children, read from a children’s Bible.)
4. Was Goliath on the side same side as the Israelites, or was he on the enemy’s side?
5. How would you describe Goliath, in your own words?
6. What did Goliath challenge the Israelites to do?
1 Samuel 17:11,16,23-24
7. How did the Israelites feel about Goliath’s challenge?
8. Why do you think they felt this way?
9. Did anyone take up Goliath’s challenge?
1 Samuel 17:25
10. How did King Saul of Israel respond to Goliath’s challenge?
1 Samuel 17:32
11. How did young David respond to Goliath’s challenge?
1 Samuel 17:38-40
12. What weapons did David arm himself with in his battle with Goliath?
1 Samuel 17:41-44
13. Was Goliath afraid of David? Why or why not?
1 Samuel 17:45-47
14. According to David, who did Goliath defy? Why do you think David said this?
15. According to David, who will defeat Goliath?
16. Was David afraid of going against Goliath? Why or why not?
1 Samuel 17:48-50
17. Who won in the end?
18. Who is the real hero in this story?
19. What can we learn from this story?
In this story, David was a much smaller, younger and more inexperienced fighter as compared to Goliath. It was clear to everyone that David could not win the battle by his own strength and David knew it too. But David took up Goliath’s challenge anyway. David was fighting not for himself but for God’s honor. And because of this, David was confident that God was with him and God would surely defeat Goliath so that “the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel” (verse 46).
When we encounter challenges against the name and reputation of God, we can also stand up against these challenges in the way David did, even when the odds are against us. If we trust God and are faithful and obedient to him, God can overcome obstacles and accomplish great things through us.