The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 + Motions)

Affiliate Links

ten commandments2


Materials: list of hand motions


the location of Mt. Sinai


Moses was led by God to lead the Israelites from Egypt into the wilderness. They traveled for three months which included passing through the Red Sea, watching the Egyptian army be destroyed, drinking water from a rock and complaining to the God who did everything.

Main Events of Exodus 20:

Moses led the Israelites to Mt. Sinai. They encamped around it. Moses then became a “Messenger Boy.” Moses walked up the mountain to meet God. God told Moses that IF the people will obey his voice and commandments, THEN they would be His people, holy and set apart. Moses went back to the people and told them the message from God. They replied, “All that the Lord has spoken, we will do!” So Moses went back to God. God told the people to make themselves ready to meet Him. They were to cleanse themselves and wash their clothes. In three days He would come to the mountain. They were not to touch the mountain or they would die.

Three days later, a trumpet sounded, thunder roared, lightening flashed, and a thick cloud surrounded the mountain. The people were terrified! The trumpet blew louder and louder. And Moses met with God to receive His commands:

Commandment 1: I AM the LORD your God…

DSC_0085 (2)

(Hold up one finger, like a big #1 and a giant Capital “I”)

You shall have no other gods before Me.

DSC_0086 (3)

(Now shake your finger, as if saying “No, No, No!”)

This is the first commandment for a reason. If we can obey this commandment out of love for the Father, then we will obey the other nine. Nothing else is as important as God.

Commandment 2:

You shall not make any idols to bow down to and worship.

DSC_0087 (2)

DSC_0088 (2)

(Hold up two fingers together, and make them “bow” up and down.)

Idols used to be made of wood or stone and people would literally bow down and worship these idols. Today idols come in many forms. Cars, jobs, people, toys, computers, phones, ANYTHING that can distract you from God.

Commandment 3:

You shall not take the Name of the LORD in vain.

DSC_0089 (2)


(Hold three fingers up to your lips and say, “SHHH.”)

Saying, “Oh my God!” and even OMG while texting, or saying the Lord’s name in an empty or careless way is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Pretending to pray or worship when your heart isn’t in it and you are thinking about something else is taking the Lord’s name in vain. Stating that you are a Christian and then not living a holy and sanctified life is taking on the name of the Lord and using it in vain.

Commandment 4:

Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.

DSC_0091 (3)

DSC_0092 (3)

(Hold up two fingers on each hand, joined together like a steeple. )

We are to have a day of rest, when we rest with God and spend time with Him. For most Christians this is Sunday, but there are some who choose to worship and rest on other days because of work schedules or other reasons.

Commandment 5:

Honor your father and mother.

DSC_0093 (3)


(Have child salute.)

Children are to respect and value their parents. It is a parent’s job to protect, teach and provide for their kids. Not every child lives with both of his or her parents, but she can honor them anyway. Some children are adopted. Whoever the acting parents are deserve to be honored.

Commandment 6:

You shall not murder.


DSC_0096 (2)

(Hold up six fingers, pointing one finger like a gun into the palm of the other five.)

Life is precious. No one has permission from God to create life or take it away. People like to be arrogant and think they can do both, but it is God who creates life and God who decides when a person should die.

Commandment 7:

You shall not commit adultery.

DSC_0097 (2)

DSC_0098 (2)

(Hold up seven fingers. One hand is flat and the other two fingers “walk” down the aisle.)

Marriage is extremely important to God. Marriage is an earthly picture of Jesus’ relationship with the church. Children will all grow up one day and most probably will get married. It is important for children to begin praying for their future spouses. Prayer is a powerful thing! And more importantly, children should pray that God will make themselves into good spouses.

Commandment 8:

You shall not steal.



(The 5 hand “steals” the 3 fingers.)

Most people don’t go into a store and steal off the shelves. But have you ever borrowed anything and not returned it? What about cheating? Have you stolen someone’s answers? Or stolen someone’s words or ideas? This is all stealing.

Commandment 9:

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.



(Hold up nine fingers. Use each hand to cover the mouth for “You shall not lie.”)

Sometimes it is easy to tell when someone tells a lie. Other times it isn’t so easy. Sometimes we like to manipulate and stretch the truth a little so we will get our own way. Other times gossip is used. We like to make ourselves look better by exaggerating the truth.

Commandment 10:

You shall not covet.


DSC_0106 (2)

(Hold up ten fingers and pretend to “grab” in front on you as if saying, “Gimmie-Gimmie! I want it!”)

There are times when we want an item and we do not have the money for it, but we desire it anyway. Other times we want something that belongs to someone else. These are times when we are not content with what we have.

Life Application of the Ten Commandments:

Is there any way you can keep all of the commandments? (No) So did God say, “Ha-ha! I’m going to give them such hard commands that they will NEVER be able to keep them all?” Would God do such a thing? There is no way we can keep the law. In fact, scripture tells us that if you break one command, then you have broken them all. We fail. There is no hope. We die because the punishment for not keeping the commands is death.

The only one perfect was Jesus, and He WAS able to keep the whole law. The purpose of the Ten Commandments is so people will recognize that we need a Savior. We can’t save ourselves. Someone else has to do it! And Jesus did it. When we believe in Jesus, God doesn’t see the law anymore. He sees the blood of Christ, the One who can keep the law. He is the only One who can save you.

What Truth did you learn from this lesson?

**Hand motions adapted from: Enchanted Schoolhouse; and My Blessed Home

*** A HUGE THANK YOU to my cute, little hand models!!



The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20 + Motions) — 16 Comments

  1. I absolutely love this!! We use motions when memorizing history or science facts but I never thought about doing it to memorize scripture, what a grand idea. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. This is great! It is our lesson on Sunday. One question, do you have something I can download to print out to show the kids the motions?

    • I don’t. There *should* be a print button along the bottom of this post. That would allow you print out everything. I hope that helps!!

  3. Pingback: 12 Biblical Essentials to Memorize as a Family

  4. Pingback: Biblical Sacrifice ~ Why? {Object Lesson}

  5. This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing! I saw this a few months ago somewhere and then was unable to find it again. So, glad I came upon your site. Planning to use this at church for my next children’s story.

    I have a question if anyone could answer regarding the 4th one…. Where does the bible mention the move from Saturday to Sunday as the day of rest?

    • Hi Debbie! Welcome to FFS!!!

      That is a great question. It is my understanding that scripture does not teach for us to meet on Sunday, but because Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday, early church leaders changed worship to Sundays to attempt to break away from the Jewish Sabbath. You can read more about this here:

      I hope that helps!!!

Thoughts? Please share!