Daniel and the lions' den is a story about a brave young man with strong faith. Daniel prays to God instead of to the king, and God protects him from the hungry lions. Children can learn about God's power, faith, the power of prayer and doing what is right from this story. Activities can be used to teach children these concepts in a powerful and meaningful way.
Provide each child with a paper plate to create a lion's mask. Have the children draw and colour the lion's face. Cut ears out of construction paper and glue them on. Colour the outer edge of the paper plate orange and cut strips into the edges, approximately 2 inches deep and 1/2 inch thick, all the way around the plate to make the lion's mane. Cut out eye holes and tape a piece of string on the back of the mask to hold it onto the child's head.
Read the children the story of Daniel and the lions' den from the Bible (Daniel 6:1-28) or tell the story in your own words. Choose one child to be the king, one child to be Daniel; the rest will be lions. Dress the children in simple costumes such as a headbands, bathrobes and lion masks and designate an area for the den. The king takes Daniel to the den and puts him inside. Daniel is surrounded by lions, who growl and snarl at him. Daniel begins to pray and the lions shut their mouths, unable to hurt him. After a time the king returns and is overjoyed to see that Daniel has survived. Allow each child to take a turn being other characters in the story as time permits.
Ask the children if they will help tell the story of Daniel. The children may wear lion masks if you wish. Ask the children what sound a hungry lion makes, and the children will roar like a lion. Ask them to practice this a few times. Ask the children to roar each time you say the word "lion." Tell the children the story of Daniel in your own words, saying "lion" several times and allowing a few seconds for the children to roar each time.
What Would Daniel Do?
Make several cards listing situations that children may face, such as "You know you should do your homework but your friends are playing outside. Your mom doesn't know you have homework. What should you do?" or "You found a dollar on your brother's bedroom floor. He'd never know if you took it. What will you do?" Explain to the children that Daniel was brave and obeyed God instead of the king. Relate this story to the children's lives and tell them that they can be brave, honest and faithful just like Daniel. Have each child draw a card and read it aloud, and then tell what he would do in that situation and why.