The Prodigal Son is the Biblical account of a man with two sons. The younger son asked his father for his inheritance, which he quickly spent on sinful living. Soon he had nothing left. He found work feeding pigs, but was still hungry. He decided to go home and ask his father if he could work for him as a servant. As he arrived home, his father ran to him and kissed him. He had a celebration feast for his son's return. The elder son, who had always been obedient, was angry and jealous. His father reminded him that everything he had would belong to the elder son, but said that he had to celebrate the return of the son who was once lost. Craft ideas for this well-known Bible story are numerous.
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Making a pig bookmark with Luke 15:24 written on it would be just right for keeping the children's page in their Bibles: "...for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Using a pig template, cut out bookmarks for each of the children in the class. If the children are young, print or hand-write the scripture on the pig's belly for them. If the children are older, they can hand-write their own verse, which may help them retain it better. When the verse has been written, provide materials to decorate the bookmark, such as glitter, paint, straw, markers, crayons or ribbon.
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Especially for younger children, creating a puzzle can be a fun and rewarding experience. Using card stock, print a picture of a scene of the Prodigal Son story for each child. Allow the children to colour their pictures using crayons, markers or coloured pencils. Next, let each child draw a few lines in black marker on top of their pictures and cut out the pieces. Some younger children may need help drawing their lines or cutting on them. The puzzle should easily fit into a standard envelope to be carried home and shared with the child's family.
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In order to make the lesson more exciting, simply add a snack! Make pigs in a blanket at the beginning of the lesson with the children. Pop them in the oven, and while they bake, teach the story to the children. When the snacks are baked and have cooled down, allow the children to decorate them with ketchup and mustard, making them extra messy. Eat them together to reinforce the parable's theme.
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Using small brown paper lunch sacks, make puppets of all the characters in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Depending on the number of children being taught these might include: the father, elder son, younger son, younger son's employer, multiple pigs, and people at the celebration. When everyone has finished decorating their bags, guide the children as they re-enact the story together.