In the Bible, chapters 37 to 47 of the book of Genesis tell the story of Joseph. Even while dealing with jealous brothers, being sold to strangers and ending up in jail, Joseph kept his faith in God. Despite the obstacles, Joseph eventually rose to the second-highest position in all of Egypt. He was able to save his family during the drought and famine that struck the country. Jealousy, forgiveness and God's care can be taught to children through the use of crafts.
Dreams of greatness
Have kids fold a 30 by 45 cm (12 by 18 inch) piece of construction paper in half from top to bottom to become 30 cm (12 inches) wide and 22.5 cm (9 inches) tall. Have kids trace a cardboard pattern of a simple human shape, such as a gingerbread shape, onto the paper. The head should be along the fold and not cut. On the outside of the folding figure, have kids draw facial features and glue a piece of cloth for Joseph's head covering onto the head. Glue a piece of fabric onto the picture for Joseph's coat. The kids can also glue felt strips to Joseph's feet for sandals. On the inside of folding figure, have the kids glue a moon and sun shape and eleven stars. Then, glue pieces of straw to look like bowing sheaves of wheat. Have the kids use the folding figure to retell the story of Jesus' dreams form Genesis 37:5-11.
A special garment
Genesis 37:1-4 tells about Joseph's special coat the his father made him. The Bible story says that Jacob favoured this son. Give kids a pre-sewn vest from muslin fabric, or cut T-shirts open at the front to form a vestlike garment. Let the kids use craft materials to decorate a special garment that they imagine God would give them. Gold paints and glitter, silver cording, craft jewels and other materials will help kids create a special garment.
Reproduce several pictures to depict the life of Joseph. Children can glue each picture onto a sheet of construction paper. Older children can also write in the margins on the construction paper to tell the story or write Bible verses. Arrange the pictures as desired. Punch two holes at the top of the stack of papers. Thread a piece of yarn through each set of holes and tie to form a book that flips open from the top. Metal ring clamps can also be used in place of the yarn.
Have kids draw or colour a picture of Joseph onto the inside of a foam meat tray. The kids should stretch five or six rubber bands over the tray and push the bands to about 2.5 or 5 cm (1 or 2 inches) apart to look like jail bars. Show the children how to run their fingers over the rubber bands to make a musical noise. Have the kids play their instruments and praise God, as Joseph praised God for his care.