Samuel is an interesting character in the Old Testament. Many children learn about when he himself was a child; his mother prayed for him, and then brought him to the temple to serve under Eli. At the temple, Samuel heard God calling him while he was sleeping. He went on to become a mighty prophet for God. Help the children in your family or class understand Samuel through different activities.
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Promises Suitcase Paper Craft
Hannah took her beloved son to the temple to be raised by the priest, Eli. Every year, she would bring him a new coat and robe, as well as any other clothing he might need. Help her pack a suitcase to take to Samuel. Before the activity, cut out two suitcase shapes from craft foam for each child. Staple them together along the two sides and the bottom. Allow the children to cut out pictures from magazines showing the clothing they think Hannah should bring to Samuel. If the children are older, have them draw pictures of clothing. They can either put the clothing inside the suitcase, or glue it to the outside.
Before Samuel was born, his mother lifted prayers up to God every year, asking for a child. God heard her prayers and gave her Samuel. Help children understand that God still answers prayers today by playing a balloon game. When Samuel was older, he listened to God's voice and His teaching; he did not let any of it fall unheard to the ground. Blow up a dozen or more balloons; do not use helium. Tie them tightly and have the children keep them in the air using only their hands. The more balloons you have, the crazier it gets. Explain to the children that the balloons represent either Hannah's prayers or God's words.
One of Samuel's main chores in the temple was keeping the candles and lamps lit all day. Talk to the children about the chores they have to do at home; the chores they have will greatly depend on their age, but most children must at least make their bed, get dressed and brush their teeth. Have all the children participate in making several candles to represent the ones Samuel kept lit. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes make perfect candlesticks; paint them different colours for a pretty display. Use gold foil wrapping paper, yellow tissue paper or yellow cellophane to create flames in the top. Stand them up individually around the room, or group them together for a lovely decoration.
Many children love to sing songs, and can pick up new ones very quickly. Introduce a song about Samuel to help them remember the Bible story, and how Samuel was a child and man of God. This song is sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot":
"Samuel's a boy short and stout.
Watch him grow inside and out.
When he gets all grown up, look about.
Praise the lord and give a shout!"
Another song you can sing goes with the familiar tune of "Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man":
"Samuel was a wee little boy,
A wee little boy was he.
He went to live in the temple,
A helper to Eli was he.
He lit the candles and swept the floors,
He did as he was told.
And when he heard,
He listened to the Lord."
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