A fun way to tell or review a Bible story is to dress up as the characters of the story. The teacher can dress up as one of the characters and tell the story or the children can dress up and role-play.
Bring along a few items to class for telling the story or bring them out later in class so that the children can dress up and act out the story as a review activity.
Costumes used in productions and plays can be complex and detailed. The costumes I use in teaching are extremely simple and not meant as examples of complete authenticity to the clothing in Biblical times. Their purpose is to enhance the teaching session and be used in a fairly spontaneous way for any Bible story.
It never ceases to amaze me how donning a simple costume encourages both children and adults to lose their shyness and attempt to “get into character”.
The basic costume example below is very simple and can be adapted for any character of the Bible. All materials in these examples have been sourced from fabric scraps or old bed linen or curtains. In other words, no money was spent.
Supplies for a Basic Costume
- Tunic: A large rectangle piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle as an opening for the head to slip through. The length of the fabric will determine the final length of the tunic. For example, the same piece of fabric would be a long tunic on a child but a shorter one on an adult.
- Belt: A cord, rope or thin strip of fabric that is at least long enough to wrap around the waist and tie in a loose knot.
- Covering: A pillowcase or fabric of similar size to a pillowcase. If you want a longer head covering then use a larger piece of fabric.
- Headband: A cord, rope or thin strip of fabric that is at least long enough to wrap around the head and tie in a loose knot.
Instructions for Wearing the Basic Costume
- Slip your head through the hole to place the tunic over the body.
- Tie the belt around the waist and tie in a bow or loose knot.
- Place the pillowcase or fabric over the head and then tie the headband over it.
Additions to the Basic Costumes
If desired, any number of additional items can be added to the basic costume idea. Garage sales, second-hand shops or clearance sales are great sources for items to add to a costume collection.
The examples below (as well as the one of the king and queen at the top of the page) show how the basic tunic idea has been enhanced by adding a few props. The tunics in the examples were cut from old curtains so they were long enough even for adults.
4 thoughts on “Costumed Bible People”
I have a big problem trying to memorize a script so I sometimes have the kids interview the character/me with a page of questions I’ve written that guide me through the story I am to relate. This works really well with 3-6th graders because they all have to take notes on the answers in order to use them later for a review game.
Great idea, Linda. I’m sure the kids love that!
Need ideas for ages 8-12 please. Most of the kids are not churched.
Please have a look through the lessons because each one of them contains ideas that would work well with 8-12 year olds. The lessons are based on the stories of the Bible and can relate to children from a variety of backgrounds. I would suggest that you tell the story in an interesting way and then use some of the suggested activities. Don’t feel you have to bring in a lot of detail or get bogged down in memorising a lot of facts. One of the reasons people were drawn to Jesus because they loved his stories.