Jesus proved He is God by feeding the crowd.
Verse: He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes – Matthew 14:19
- Fish shape or bread shapes. Give the kids scissors and let them cut the paper bread/fish up. Discuss how when Jesus did this the quantity grew.
- Bring pillows for the kids to pretend to sleep on. We need to both eat and rest as we aren’t God. Only God can go without food and He never sleeps.
- Baskets & Blocks. Have the kids practice passing out the “bread” aka blocks, have another child “pick-up” the leftovers.
- Playdough. Make “bread” or pancakes with the playdough. Discuss how we have to make our food, but Jesus provides us with eternal food that we don’t have to “make” in salvation and eternal life.
- Pretend dishes (but no food). Discuss how we are often hungry and how God uses our hunger to remind us how we are dependent on Him for our food.
- Pretend food. Discuss how God is the Provider of all of our needs.
- Bring a goldfish in a bowl or a bag for the kids to look at (and feed, if you don’t mind killing the fish). Discuss the miracle that Jesus did in how He used small fish to feed people!
- Eat red swedish candy fish for snack. Ask the kids if one candy is enough. Talk about how Jesus took what wasn’t “enough” and multiplied it so that all were satisfied.
- Ask the kids to come up with a list of things that God provides for them.
- Sing “He’s got the whole world” and change the words to add the things that the kids are thankful for.
Parable of the Sower: Our hearts should be filled with good soil and producing fruit of faith.
Verse: But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit – Matthew 13:23
- Birdseed art. Fill in parts of your coloring page with glue, then sprinkle birdseed on top.
- Plant a seed. Use clear cups, put the seed on the side of the cup so the kids can watch the seedling form. Talk about the “ingredients” that are needed for growth: Soil, sun, no weeds, etc. Discuss how those conditions are needed in our hearts.
- Make a scarecrow – out of Popsicle sticks and felt. Discuss how scarecrows are used to help keep the birds away from the seeds. Discuss how we shouldn’t let God’s word be destroyed, like the seeds by the birds. We should be vigilant, like the scarecrow.
- Stuff clothes with newspaper or straw to create a lifesize “scarecrow”. Discussion topics are in the craft.
- Have noisemakers. Jesus ended his parable saying “He who has ears, let him hear”. Discuss what we should listen to or for.
- Bring in your gardening tools (gloves, shovels, small spades, etc.). Let the kids pretend to be gardeners.
- Bring in a pomegranate or another seedy fruit for the kids to enjoy.
- Have an assortment of seeds on the table for the kids to play with. (acorns, nuts, sunflowers, etc.) Discuss how the seeds are worthless if they do not produce fruit.
- Playdough and seeds. Use beans or another large seed and “plant” it in the playdough. If you have dried out playdough, compare where it is easier to plant. Is it easier in the ? “hard” soil or the soft soil? How can we help our hearts be soft?
Walking in hallway/bathroom wait:
- Pretend to be a seed and do a charade of the lifecycle of a plant (roll up like a seed, then out comes the sun and stretch, add branches, etc.)
- Do the fingerplay “Way up high in the apple tree…”
Our words show what is in our hearts.
Verse: He who is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters – Matthew 12:30
- Handprint tree. Draw a trunk. Trace the kids hand prints (or use paint) and use those as the leaves of the tree. Discuss how the fruit of the trees demonstrate what type of tree it is.
- Create Stop Signs (cut red construction paper into an octagon, add a Popsicle stick and the word “STOP”). Talk about how we need to stop sinning with our mouths.
- Create microphones (from paper cups, or cones or whatever). Discuss how people around us hear the words we say, that our words are important.
- Play jacks or marbles (maybe set-up a bowling game). Discuss how we can either use our words to gather, to bring others to Jesus, or we can use our words and actions to push people away from Christ.
- Play with the pretend food. Is the food real? How can you tell? Our actions: Are they real? How can you tell if someone really believes something?
- bring in a bunch of fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, pomegranate – or another “weird”/unknown fruit, etc.). Discuss where they from and how we know what plant produced it, just like we can know what attitudes of the heart we have by what we produce with our actions.
- Practice pouring (this is one of my kids favorite things to do!). What is inside the cup? What happens when you spill it? The same is true with our hearts, what is inside will spill out of our mouths.
- Play with puppets. Are the puppets speaking words of love? Just like the puppets, we are incapable of speaking without God’s intervention in our lives. We need to ask God to fill our hearts and our mouths with words that honor Him.
Walking in hallway:
- Play Stop and Go. The kids walk until you say “stop”, then they freeze. Discuss how Paul used to use his words to tear others down, then Christ saved him and he stopped using her words to hurt others and God forgave him.
- Walk with your arms up high like branches. God has given us everything we need to grow and live a life of godliness.
Jesus promises rest
Verse: “Come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest”. – Matthew 11:28
- Make binoculars out of Toilet paper rolls – talk about how people saw Jesus do many miracles but still did not believe in Him.
- Decorate a cereal box with windows and a door (post-its work great!). Discuss how the people in the houses rejected Jesus even after they saw His miracles.
- Build a city with legos or blocks (even cereal boxes – use post-its for windows). Talk about how the cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida saw Jesus do many miracles and their hearts were hard and did not believe.
- Have some weights for the kids to practice lifting (be careful that they don’t drop them on themselves or others). Talk about how God will give us rest and take our “burden” when we trust in Him.
- Have babies and dolls out to play with. Talk about how Jesus said we need to have faith like a child, to be a baby who doesn’t know anything and can not claim any wisdom or “knowledge” to gain God’s favor. We simply have to trust Christ.
- Pour a small pile of cornstarch on the table. Talk about how in Bible times people would show their hearts were repentant by smearing ashes on themselves. Let the kids “smear” cornstarch (it doesn’t stain and is fully washable). How can they show repentance when they sin?
- Give the kids a pile of random things (ex: feather, penny, comb, etc.) and some magnifying glasses. Point out features that are hard to see with the naked eye. Discuss how God sees all things, including the hearts of man. Just as the magnifying glass reveals more things to see Christ also reveals more of God’s character to us.
- Have a sensory bucket filled with beans, rice, pennies, and have a few objects hidden in the bucket. have the kids search for the items in the bucket (alternate: Get an I Spy book, or a kalidescope, or binoculars). Discuss how we can seek for salvation, but God has to open our eyes so we are able to repent.
Walking in hallway/at the bathroom:
- Crawl like babies to get from one station to another – The people in the cities thought they were smart enough to get to heaven. Not so! We need to be trusting and simple, like a baby.
- Play “I Spy with my eye…” Discuss how God knows all things.
Pretend to take a nap. Have the kids turn off the lights and lay down on the floor. Discuss how we need rest and need to turn to God to give us rest.
Jesus has Power over Sin and Death
Verse: “He went in, took her by the hand and the girl arose”. – Matthew 9:25
- Trace hands on paper, discuss how Jesus took Jarius’ daughter by the hand, when she was dead, and brought her back to life. Discuss how Jesus has power over life and death.
- Make and decorate a blindfold. Not only did Jesus heal a little girl, a woman with bleeding, but in this passage He also healed two blind men. Jesus is a great healer!
- Make stick figure “dolls” out of pipecleaners. Talk about how God both created us and gives us life, just like He did for Jarius’ daughter
- Blindfold a child and play marco polo (kids that aren’t blindfolded freeze in position and answer “polo” until they are tagged). Just like the blindfolded child is seeking someone to “touch” the woman with internal bleeding sought Jesus to touch Him and be healed.
- Play dress-up with the costumes. Discuss how clothes do not have the power to heal, but Christ does and how the woman with bleeding came and touched Jesus’s clothes.
- Pretend food, have a meal, just like Jesus was having a meal with sinners when Jairus came to him.
- Music instruments. Talk about how in Biblical times, when someone would die there would be musicians hired to help the family mourn the death of their child. Talk about how Jesus brought the girl to life.
- Girl dolls. Discuss how the dolls have no life in them, just like Jarius’ daughter when she was dead. Jesus bring us to life/salvation.
Walking in hallway:
- Kids walk with one arm out and pass by the teacher, trying to touch him/her just like the woman who was bleeding, she reached out and touched Jesus.
Do charades. Pretend to be blind, lame, Jarius, the woman reaching for Jesus clothes, the mourners, etc. Have the class guess who you are.
Jesus Forgives Sins
Verse: “I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. So he said to the paralyzed man, Get up, take your mat and go home. 7 Then the man got up and went home. – Matthew 9:2-8
- Color a piece of felt with a marker to decorate a “mat”. Have the kids “pick the mat up” when it is time to “go home”. Discuss Jesus’ command and how even the lame obey.
- Color/Paint a dye-cut of a person and put them in an envelope (their bed/mat). Label the envelop with this weeks verse.
- Knee-jerk reaction. Get a bonking toy (maybe a hammer or something) and practice reflex-making. Tap the kiddos knees and watch them automatically kick. Have the kids try really hard not to kick. Talk about how sin is our reflex, but for the grace of God. We need God to help us obey.
- Trace bodies on the floor with butcher paper. Discuss ways that the different body parts can sin (hands take things from others, feet can be slow to obey or kick, etc.). Discuss our need to confess our sins to God.
- With placemats (or a doormat) and ace bandages reenact the Bible story. Use the ace-bandage to make a student “lame” and discuss how God is a great healer of both body and hearts. If you don’t have an ace bandage, try using masking tape to tape their legs together, making them “lame”.
- Other ideas: Old Crutches or soft casts could be fun for the kids to play pretend with.
- Draw the word Sin on the chalkboard. The chalk is the sin in our lives, and like the board, we are unable to do anything to clean ourselves of our sin – Hand wipes to the kids to clean the board (just like Christ cleans us of our sin).
- Build a tower with blocks. Knock them over. Talk about how our actions have consequences.
Walking in hallway:
- Have your class limp like the paralyzed man between stations.
- Mime the story (lay on the ground, try to get up with a lame leg, listen, jump up and roll your mat) and have one of the kids re-tell it for the class.
Jesus Calms the Storms and Casts Out Demons – Matthew 8:23-34
- Scribble marker on a page then with an eye dropper drip a “storm” over your page. Discuss how God is more powerful than the storms.
- Make paper boats with origami – here’s a video on how – or use a toilet paper roll and add a triangle for a sail. Talk about how Jesus was resting in the boat during the storm because he was in control even when he was asleep.
- Make pig masks (cut paper plate in half, add circle for nose and triangles for ears). Decorate with pink markers. Discuss how God used pigs and sent demons into them. Demons and pigs obey God.
- Other pig mask idea: Cut a toilet paper roll into 1-2 inch sections, hole punch the sides and tie the nose on. Discuss how God is in charge of all things, even animals.
- Bring boxes that are not too deep. Let the kids pretend they are boats and drag each other around the room in the boxes.
- Mix a soda bottle (or water bottle) with oil and water (add blue food coloring for more contrast). Glue the lid on. Have the kids shake the bottle and create waves and a storm. Discuss what it would feel like to be in a boat on those waves.
- Have a fan running on the table. Practice singing into the fan, making ribbons or tissue paper fly, feel the air. Discuss how God is in control over the weather – that even the wind obeys Him.
- Have a toy pig and playdough (especially good if its old or mixed color – aka ugly – playdough). Roll the pig around in the “mud” of the playdough. Talk about how the pig is like us, wallowing in our sin.
- Do the nursery rhyme, “This little piggy,” only add the piggy that went over the cliff after Jesus sent the demons into it.