If you work with kids at church and want to teach them the story of Jesus calming the storm, you can give them crafts to make and take home that helps them understand this powerful story. You can use crafts for a wide range of ages and simply alter the crafts for each age range or possibly do some of the work yourself before class begins.
Help your students remember this important biblical story by creating a storm of their own in a bottle. You can make a large craft using a 2-liter bottle; you can also have the kids make their own individual crafts by using 473ml soda or water bottles. The bottles should be cleaned before you bring them to class. Print out one copy of a picture of Jesus calming the storm for each child to colour with crayons or markers. The picture is sealed in between two layers of clear contact paper so the paper will not be damaged. Insert the picture into the bottle; fill the bottle halfway with water and halfway with vegetable or baby oil. To make it really look like the ocean, you can add a drop or two of blue food colouring and let the children shake away to mix the ingredients and cause a storm.
When working with preschoolers, it is always a good idea to double up on the learning so you can reinforce the basics. Making a boat out of felt shapes not only helps the children remember the story of Jesus calming the storm, but also helps them remember different types of shapes. You can cut out all the pieces of felt before class begins. Cut out one half-circle for the bottom of the boat, two triangles for the sails, one slim rectangle for the mast and one smaller triangle for the flag that goes on top of the mast. The kids should glue the felt shapes to a piece of construction paper. When the project is complete, have all the children hold up their boats and show what they would look like in a storm. You can also do this to show them how the boat would be tossed around. Ask them if they think they would be scared if they were out on a boat in a storm. Tell them they never need to be afraid because God is with them.
Paper Tube Boats
Kids can create a boat using old toilet paper tubes. The tubes need to be cut in half lengthwise; have your students do this or if they are too young, cut the tubes before class. Let the kids paint their boats. They can use a craft stick and a piece of fabric to make a mast and a flag. Make your own boat so you can demonstrate to the children how the boat looked during the storm. Fill a bucket of water and put your boat in it; show it floating along calmly. Then mix up the water a little bit so the kids can see what a boat does during a storm. Show them how water might come onto the boat and might even pull the boat underwater. Explain to them that the people who were on the boat with Jesus may have been afraid, but there was no need for fear because Jesus calms even the worst of storms. Allow the water to settle and the boat to float calmly again.
Craft Dough Boat
Buy or make enough craft dough -- tinted with different colours -- so the kids can sculpt their own boats. If time allows, especially if you are doing this craft for more than one class, the students can also get creative by making the different characters to place in their boats. The craft dough will need several days to dry out completely. After that, the students can explain their craft and a part of the story of Jesus calming the storm.
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