The parable of the lost sheep can teach children the values of repentance and forgiveness. For children of preschool age, a discussion of the story can be enhanced with simple examples from the children's daily lives. Ask the children if they have ever been mean to a sibling or done something wrong. Explain that God will forgive them when they realise they were wrong, say they are sorry and ask for forgiveness. Introduce fun activities and games to complement a lesson on the lost sheep.
Make lots of paper or card stock cutouts in the shape of sheep. Hide the cutouts around the room and encourage preschoolers to search for them. Once all the sheep have been found, children may turn them in for a small prize. Play a game of hide-and-seek based on the parable of the lost sheep. Adults pretend to be the shepherds, and children are the sheep (or children may take turns playing the shepherds). The "sheep" hide around the room and the shepherds must search for them.
Trace around each child's hand on brown card stock. Cut out the handprint. Flip the handprint upside down so the fingers become the legs of the lamb and the thumb is the face. Draw eyes and a mouth on the face. Stick cotton balls on the body of the lamb to make fuzzy fleece. Create a lift-the-flap hidden lamb scene. Provide children with a picture of a shepherd in a field with trees, bushes and straw bales. Preschoolers can cut around the outline of one of the bushes to make a flap. Stick the picture to a piece of paper. Children can colour the picture, then draw a lamb under the flap on the lower sheet of paper. The lamb will be revealed when the flap is lifted.
Make sheep cookies for the children to decorate. Bake sugar cookies in the shape of sheep in advance. Give each child a cookie, white frosting and thin, black liquorice whips or black icing. Tell children to decorate the sheep using white frosting for the fleece. Use liquorice pieces or black icing for the eyes, mouth and hooves.
Colouring, Worksheets and Mazes
Provide preschoolers with shepherd- and lamb-themed colouring pages. Give children a maze worksheet and challenge preschoolers to guide a shepherd along the correct path to find his sheep. Encourage children to practice their writing skills with lamb-themed tracing worksheets. Children can trace words that begin with "L," such as "lost lamb," and can practice writing the letter "L." Create custom worksheets and colouring pages yourself, or print pages from the Internet.