Jonah & the Whale Christian Children Activities

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Sunday school teachers often use the story of Jonah and the Whale to teach children about being obedient to God. When God called the prophet, Jonah, to be a missionary in another country, he refused, and found himself reflecting in the belly of a large fish for three days. When the whale spit him out, he repented and followed through on God's instructions. Activities can help children of all ages learn the story of Jonah.


Retelling a story helps children to remember the details. Younger children can glue characters on craft sticks and use puppets to retell the story of Jonah and the whale. Older children might enjoy donning costumes and pretending to be Jonah, the people he met on the ship, or even the whale. You can have teens create comic strips, rewrite the story in today's language or create alternate endings while reflecting on the lessons.


Young children enjoy crafts that help them understand Bible stories. Children can make a lift-the-flap craft by colouring a whale and cutting an opening in its middle. When they glue a picture of Jonah to the back of the whale, lifting the flap reveals Jonah in the belly of the whale. Older students may create a paper-mâché, or paper mache, whale and hide a Jonah figure inside. Teachers can often use craft time to ask and answer questions about the lesson.

Paper & Pencil Activities

Written activities can reinforce lesson concepts. Students can choose and write out a memory verse from the story, such as "Now the LORD provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights." Teachers may also provide comprehension questions, create word searches or crossword puzzles related to the story of Jonah.


Teachers know that music is engaging and can help children remember lessons. Older students may enjoy creating their own song relating Jonah's experiences. Younger children can learn a simple song, like this one, from DLTK (see Resources).

"God asked Jonah to obey

To obey, to obey,

God asked Jonah to obey

But Jonah said 'No Way!'

(point finger at Jonah, then cross arms and shake head)

So from God he ran away,

Ran away, Ran away,

So from God he ran away,

And disobeyed the LORD.

(run in place, shake finger and/or head disapprovingly)

God stopped Jonah with a whale,

With a whale, With a whale,

God stopped Jonah with a whale,

That swallowed Jonah whole!

(swim like a whale, rub tummy at the end)

Jonah prayed 'I'm sorry, LORD'

'I'm sorry, LORD' 'I'm sorry, LORD'

Jonah prayed 'I'm sorry, LORD

And this time I'll obey'

(fold hands in prayer, nod head in agreement)

So God gave him a second chance,

Second chance, Second chance,

So God gave him a second chance,

And the whale spit Jonah out.

(hold up two fingers, then make gagging noise)

So Jonah went to Nineveh,

Nineveh, Nineveh,

So Jonah went to Nineveh,

To tell about the LORD!

(run in place)

I'll obey like Jonah too,

Jonah too, Jonah too,

I'll obey like Jonah too,

And tell about the LORD!

(nod head in agreement)"

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