Jonah and the Whale is a biblical story about a man named Jonah who disobeyed God, but eventually came to a place of repentance. The story shows the importance of listening to God and obeying what He says. It also shows God's provision and protection. Incorporate Jonah and the Whale craft projects into Bible lessons to help children understand and retain the information and concepts of the story.
Create a whale out of a paper bag to help illustrate the story of Jonah and the whale. Make a small paper doll that represents Jonah. Put Jonah in a paper lunch bag and stuff the rest of the bag with crumpled newspaper and tie the end with yarn. Paint the whale blue or grey with tempera paints, draw a mouth and add googly eyes. Cut a flipper shape out of blue or grey construction paper and glue it to the bottom of the bag. Another way to illustrate the story of Jonah is to simply cut a whale shape out of grey construction paper and glue it to a piece of blue construction paper. Read the story of Jonah and the whale. Make a small paper cut out of Jonah and use tape to put Jonah on the whale to represent that he is inside the whale. Then remove Jonah when the story calls for it.
Cardboard Box Crafts
Help students get a sense of what life was like for Jonah inside of the whale. Use a large cardboard box to create a whale for kids to go inside of and play. Paint the outside of the box in grey or blue and add a painted eye. Draw a flipper with black paint and cut a cardboard tail and paint it grey or blue to match. Paint the inside of the whale or leave it unpainted. Older children may enjoy painting the inside a red or pink colour and adding ribs on the whale. Younger children may find that disturbing and would prefer it left unpainted. Let children use the box for imaginative play as they act out the story of Jonah and the whale. Use the same concept to create a smaller version and use an action figure (with some fabric wrapped around him to make his dress more appropriate).
Create a Jonah and the whale craft out of papier-mache by blowing-up a balloon and covering it with a mixture of flour, water and glue to create the whale's body. Create a tail and flippers for the whale by cutting the shapes out of cardboard and gluing it to the balloon. Papier-mache over the cardboard and allow it to dry. Make a circular cut at the widest end of the balloon to create the whale's mouth and paint the whale grey or blue. Make a small Jonah figure out of paper or clay and allow children to put the figure in and outside of the whale figure as the story directs. An alternate way to do this craft is to cut the whale in half instead of cutting the mouth opening. The interior of the whale can then be painted. Jonah can be put inside and the teacher can hold the whale closed or tape it closed for the part of the story that calls for it.
Other Jonah & the Whale Craft Projects
Create a whale craft that actually spits a Jonah figure out of its mouth. Cut a whale shape out of a grey fun foam. Make a Jonah paper cutout. Buy a paper blowout favour. A blowout favour is one that you put in your mouth and blow and the paper on the favour unrolls. Attach the paper Jonah to the end of the favour and attach the favour to the whale. Blow the favour and have the whale spit Jonah out when the story calls for it. Create a flannel graph story board to use along with the craft. Cut the pieces of the story out of felt and use them to the tell the story. Use a large piece of felt to create the background.