"But Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.'" Mathew 9:14 teaches children how significant they are in God's sight. Through creative Sunday School lessons, kids can develop empathy, caring and other important Christian values. The Kid's Sunday School website encourages you to make it fun through interactive lessons and games that promote ethical behaviour with a spiritual foundation.
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The parable of the lost lamb, in Luke 15:3-7, is an example of Christ's great love for everyone, even when they fall short of His expectations. You can incorporate this story into an age-appropriate interactive lesson for preschool kids with the aid of a puppet.
Bring a cuddly stuffed lamb puppet to class and ask the children to give it a name. Make the puppet lead children in the song "Jesus Loves Me" -- the lyrics are: "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him may come. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus Loves me. The Bible tells me so." Tell the children the story of the lost lamb, explaining that the shepherd is Jesus and how much He loves all of His lambs.
Hide the puppet and tell the children that, like the lamb in the parable, he is lost. Send the children on a search for the lamb. When they find him, explain that Jesus also helps them find their way "home" when they stray. When children forget to pray or think about Jesus, He sees that they are lost and will guide them back into the fold.
For a "Jesus is the Light of World" lesson, taken from Mathew 5:14, explain that the "light" in God's children is seen through the way they help others. Instruct the children to think of their favourite helping activity. Turn out the lights and explain to them that some people never share their gifts, never help others and keep their ways to help others hidden in the dark.
Turn on a flashlight and sing "This Little Light of Mine" -- the lyrics are: "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. Don't you try to put it out, I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine." Pass the flashlight and direct each child to hold the light up to his face while sharing his favourite helping gift received from God.
The story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish in John 6:1-14 is a lesson in sharing that also depicts the concept of miracles. Tell the children this story while emphasising the detail of the little boy who gave his food so others could eat. Continue the lesson by showing pictures of children who have no food and need help to fend off starvation. To underscore the need of the hungry children, instruct your students to think about what it feels like to be hungry just before they have dinner and what it must be like not to know when your next meal will come.
Dramatise this story by choosing a student volunteer to bring five loaves to class to share with the others. End the lesson with sharing the bread for a snack, along with butter or cream cheese served on paper plates that the class has cut into fish shapes. Goldfish-shaped crackers are another themed snack to go along with the lesson.
Reinforce your Sunday School lessons with follow-up activities. The children can engage in lesson-themed arts and crafts throughout the week or create service-based activities to complement the main theme of any lesson. Preschoolers can craft simple lambs by gluing white cotton balls onto paper plates and drawing on facial features. You can also provide them with dyed pink, brown and black cotton balls for the facial features. Kindergartners can use toilet paper rolls, tempera paint and orange tissue paper to create simulated torches that depict the "light" inside them. After the decorative exterior paint dries, they can stuff the rolls with orange tissue paper protruding out of one end like a flame.
First and second graders can host a bread-themed bake sale once a month. Set up a booth where they can offer their goods after church and promote the fact that their proceeds will be donated to a children's charity in the name of Christ's love.
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