The Reformation is a wonderful thing to celebrate. It falls on October 31st each year to commemorate when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses on the door in Wittenburg in the year 1517. There is so much rich history to learn about from that time period, but when you have little children, sometimes you just need to have a party...with games!
Last year, we had a family from church over to celebrate Reformation Day. Everyone had a great time and the kids got to learn a bit about church history. The kids dressed up in costumes that related to Reformation Day in some way, and I taught the kids about Martin Luther through the games that we played.
If you would like to have a Reformation Day Celebration, or just looking for ideas to enhance your history studies, here is a look at what we did. You can even download all the information for your own use (look for the link at the bottom of the post).
Reformation Day Costumes
I dressed my daughter up as a peasant girl and my son as Martin Luther. You could also be a princess, a king, a horse, or anything else related to the 16th century!
Reformation Day Games
You can come up with lots of fun games to play on Reformation Day! The ones that we played told the story of Martin Luther in a simple way for our young children.
Coin in the Coffer:
Story to say to the children:
Did you know that in Martin Luther's day, people were told that if they gave money to the church, they could save their relatives that had already died? We know that this is not true, but they were not allowed to read the Bible for them selves, so they didn't know!
Give each child 4 coins. Have they try to throw each coin into a pan. The child gets to keep each coin they get in. We let the kids keep trying until they got all of them in =)
Pin the Theses on the Door:
Martin Luther realized that this and other things people were learning at church were wrong and he wanted to let everyone know, so he wrote a long list of many things that he wanted to share with the people. He then nailed the list to the church door for everyone to see.
Blindfold each child and let them take turns trying to tape their 95 Theses onto a door. The girls from the family we had over loved watching their mom get in on the game!
3-Legged Race for Your Life!
After a few years of defending what he wrote, the church declared him a heretic and ordered his arrest! martin Luther had to flee for his life!
Pair the child up and tie their legs together. Have them run around a circle to remember how Martin Luther had to run for his life after the Catholic church ordered his arrest!
Translating the Bible:
Martin Luther was rescued by friends and kept safe in a basement where he translated the New Testament from Latin into German (the language that the people understood).
Give each child a picture of the word Bible with an illuminated letter B. Let them color the B and then have them try to make their own illuminated letters!
If you want to have your own Reformation Day Celebration, you can download all of this information (and more!) to make your planning easy. Included you will find:
Suggested Order of Events
Games (Stories and Instructions)
Reformation Day Balderdash (Instructions and Suggestions)
95 Theses (typed small so you can print them all, back-to-back, on one page)
The word Bible with an illuminated letter B