The Book of Jeremiah does not contain stories about arks or whales or a talking donkey. The stories in this book can be a little difficult for children to understand, but activities can help bring the meaning behind the story to the child's level. Using children's storybooks that tell these stories of the Bible instead of reading the actual verses in the Bible may help with their understanding. Using activities to reinforce the Bible stories you are reading also gives children a visual reference and facilitates understanding.
Jeremiah 1:4-12, The Call of Jeremiah
After reading Jeremiah 1:4-12, the message you want to instil in the children is that God knew them before they were even born and that he formed them to be who they are. Using heavy white construction paper and crayons, coloured pencils or markers, the children should all draw a self-portrait, adding things they like around the edges---for example, spaghetti, dogs and ice cream. Once complete, have them cut the picture into pieces to make a puzzle. The children can exchange puzzles while you reiterate the message in the story about God putting each one of us together with unique pieces that set us apart from everyone else.
Jeremiah 10:1-16, God and Idols
Jeremiah 10:1-16 talks about God being angry when people worship idols. Using paper and pencil, have the children list their 10 favourite toys or things to do. Ask questions about the toys and activities, like "How often do you play with that toy?" or "Have your parents ever had to take that toy away from you for misbehaving?" After explaining to them that adults have toys too, for example, television shows, new cars and vacations, explain how anything that we value more than God becomes an idol to us and that we need to remember to put God first. Using precut pieces of foam that you previously glued pin backs onto, have the children put "God is #1" on the shape and add whatever other embellishments they choose.
Jeremiah 18:1-11, At the Potter's House
Reading the story of the potter's house tells the children that how the potter shapes the clay in his hands is the same way God shapes us in His hands. Using modelling clay, let the children shape their own pots while leading a discussion on the different ways God shapes people and their lives. For older children, consider bringing in terra cotta clay pots and allowing the children to paint decorations on them as an alternative activity.
Jeremiah 36:1-32, Jehokiam Burns Jeremiah's Scroll
Jeremiah's scroll was very important to him because it contained all the words the Lord had spoken to him, and he made a new scroll to replace the destroyed one. After you've shared the story with them, children can create their own scrolls using flat craft sticks, glue and parchment paper. Preprint verses on the parchment paper, or have the children write the Bible verse on their own, from a suggestion on the whiteboard. Final additions include gluing the craft sticks to both ends and rolling up the parchment to resemble a scroll.