Reformation Day Activities

Did you know that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses (or concerns) regarding the practices in the Catholic Church to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany? His actions sparked the Protestant Reformation!

Tons of Reformation Day Activities

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If you would like to know more about Martin Luther you can read Martin Luther: A Man Who Changed the World by Paul L. Maier or read more about him online here and here.

If you want to know more about the Protestant Reformation check out these sites here and here.

And if you’d like some ideas for fun activities to do with your kids to learn about and celebrate Reformation Day, keep on reading! Oh, and check out this post where I shared about our Reformation Day Party!

Reformation Day Activities

  • Carve a Martin Luther pumpkin or a Luther Rose pumpkin. Instructions are here. Here are the templates for the Martin Luther pumpkin and the Luther Rose pumpkin.
  • How about playing “Pin the Beard on the Reformer”?
  • Nail the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg door. Print out copies of Luther’s 95 theses or print out my Five Solas sheet and have children “nail” it to a door. I just use painters tape on the back of the paper so it will stick to the door and I let the kids use a soft toy hammer to bang the sheets of paper in place. You can also write out the Five Solas of the Reformation or parts of Luther’s 95 theses on index cards for kids to put on the door.

5solas

  • Diet of Worms Relay Race: Luther had to appear before the Diet of Worms (a group of religious leaders) in Worms, Germany in 1521. (The Emperor of Rome Charles V presided over the diet.) It is here that Luther said, “…My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen!” Emperor Charles V eventually declared Luther an outlaw which meant anyone could kill him. Explain to your children what the Diet of Worms really is and then have some fun by having a Diet of Worms Relay Race! Put an equal amount of gummy worms on two paper plates and place the paper plates on the floor next to each other. Have two bowls located across from the gummy worm filled paper plates. Divide children in to two groups. Children must pick up one worm at a time from the plate and crawl across the floor to the bowl (keeping the worm in their mouth) and deposit the worm in the bowl before crawling back to the plate and letting the next team member have a turn. First team to get all the gummy worms in the bowl wins! ( If you are concerned about spreading germs, you can have an adult put out a new worm for each child on the team.)
  • Bible Smuggling Relay: This idea comes from sojournkids.com. Divide kids into two groups and have one child put on an over-sized pair of pants over their regular clothes. Team members work together to stuff a stack of Bibles into the pants then race around a cone or chair and back. For a better explanation of how to play this game and for more information on why Bibles had to be smuggled to people during the Reformation click here and scroll down to Bible Smuggling Relay.
  • Gather up your crayons or markers and have your child color the Luther Rose. If you have no idea what the Luther Rose is then click here! For a blank Luther Rose to print out and color click here (courtesy of sojournkids.com). Look below for the correct colors and what they mean or click here for a more detailed explanation of each symbol and color.
    • Black Cross- Jesus died for our sins on the cross
    • Red Heart- We have new hearts and desires by faith
    • White Rose- We have peace with God
    • Blue Sky- We have new life that begins now
    • Gold Ring- We have eternal life in heaven

LutherRose3

  • And while you have those crayons and markers out, why not color Martin Luther. You can find a coloring page of Luther here.
  • Martin Luther copied the Bible into the German language so common people could read God’s Word for themselves. Luther would have used a quill and ink to copy the Bible. Give writing with a quill (feather) a try! You can purchase some feathers from a local craft store. Pour some paint into a plastic container and have your child dip the quill into the paint and try their hand at writing with a quill! For younger children, you can print out this sheet and have your child decorate it using the quill and paint.
  • Dress in Renaissance attire! Ideas include: prince, princess, nun, monk, knight and maiden.
  • Eat German or Renaissance food! But remember that they did not use silverware during the Renaissance time period so be ready to get your hands messy!
  • Martin Luther wrote many hymns. The most famous one being “A Might Fortress is Our God.” Gather your family (and friends) together to sing “A Might Fortress is Our God”. For the words and facts to this hymn click here.
  • Create a stained glass window. Churches during this time were decorated with beautiful stained glass windows.  There are several different ways to do a stained glass craft. Click here and here and here for a few ideas. Or you can keep it simple and have your child color a stained glass window coloring page from theholidayzone.com found here and here.

stained glass window

  • Play “Toss the Indulgences”. One of the practices that Luther disagreed with was the sale of indulgences. You can read more about indulgences here. A fun way to remind children that we don’t need indulgences (or anything else besides Jesus Christ) to pay for our sins is to play the “Toss the Indulgences” game. Give each child 5 to 10 pieces of paper and have them stand several feet (more or less depending on age and ability) from a waste basket. Let them crumple up the paper and toss it into the waste basket. The child who gets the most “indulgences” in the waste basket wins! Optional: As they are tossing each piece of paper or “indulgence” have the child shout out, “In Christ alone!”
  • Memorize Ephesians 2:8-9 and/or have your child copy it onto a piece of paper to hang up in your home.
  • Print out a copy of this Martin Luther maze for your child to do for fun!
  • Bobbing for Solas: Fill a small plastic kiddie pool with water. Gather rubber fish or ducks or even fresh apples and write one of the The Five Solas on each item. It would be helpful to have at least 15 items (that float!) so that each sola is written 3 different times. Have children bob for each sola. Once they find all five they can get a prize!
  • Teach children about the significance of the printing press during this time then have them print their own creations using stamps, sponges or potato stamps. Johannes Gutenberg introduced the printing press to Europe around 1440. Because of the printing press, Luther’s writings were able to be reproduced and shared all over Europe which aided in the spread of the Protestant Reformation. Here is a short video on how the Gutenberg Press works.

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Comments

  1. I want to do the Pin the Beard on the Reformer activity at my church. However, the link above seems to no longer work as it now leads to an Asian skin care site. Would you happen to have the PDF available still?

    • David,
      Thank you for letting me know about the link that no longer works. That website had several pdfs that I linked to and unfortunately I do not have the pdfs to share. If I find (or create) another image for the “Pin the Beard on the Reformer” game I will add it to this post. Until then, perhaps a black and white image of one of the reformers and a hand drawn beard would work. So sorry that it is not available anymore.

  2. Denise Menzel says:

    Can you refresh the links for the pumpkin stencil for the Luther Rose and Luther?

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