Mary and Martha

In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Mary and Martha. They are two grown up sisters living in Bethany. They are mentioned three times in the Life of Jesus. You can also read about them in John 11 – when their brother Lazarus is bought back to life – and in John 12 – when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

You could tell all three of these stories over three sessions or pick a couple. It’s good to include stories about women in our groups as so many of the listeners are women and a lot of Bible stories are about men! I always try to be mindful of this when I’m planning which stories to include.

To tell the story – 

In the story bag I had the three main characters – Martha, Mary and Jesus and some pots and pans, a wooden spoon and a cloth. You could have an apron or a duster. As you introduce the characters take them from the story bag and say ‘hello’

‘Mary and Martha were two grown-up sisters. One day Martha invited Jesus to come to their home for a meal.

Jesus was very happy to go to Mary and Martha’s house.

When he got there Jesus began to talk about God. Mary so wanted to listen to everything that he had to say. She sat down and listened.

But Martha had a lot to do! There was tidying to be done. There was the cooking to be done. Pans needed stirring!(Use the props from the story bag – encourage the children to mime the actions too) Food needed chopping! Plates needed wiping! Water needed pouring! She was busy, busy, busy! (Can you say that with me? She was busy, busy, busy!)

Mary sat still and listened to Jesus.

Martha was not happy!

She said to Jesus, ‘ Lord, don’t you care that I’ve been left to do all the work by myself?! Tell my sister to help me!’

But Jesus didn’t do what Martha said. Instead he said to Martha, ‘You don’t need to worry so much about all the things that need to be done. You need to listen to my words too.’

Today we can listen to the words of Jesus by listening to stories about him and reading the Bible.’

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Craft Idea

Make people collages – you could add the words, ‘We use our ears to listen’

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Animal Bible Story Ideas

I thought I’d put all the animal stories that we’ve done in one place! Here we have ravens, bees, big fish, lions, fox and sheep. Craft ideas and some story plans and ideas too. Of course you could add creation and Noah too.

Ravens

1 Kings 17

And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

To put the story in context we had King Ahab and Queen Jezebel in the story bag and explained that they were a bad king and a bad queen who were horrible to people.

King Ahab and Queen Jezebel

Elijah was also in the story bag.

Elijah

At the beginning of the story these three people are introduced to the children.

Telling the Story

Elijah went to see King Ahab. He had a message for him from God. ‘King Ahab, God has said that there isn’t going to be any more rain for the next few years’.

There was going to be no more water for King Ahab or Queen Jezebel. There was going to be no more water for Elijah.

But God told Elijah what to do. Go and hide in the valley. I will send ravens to give you food. You can dink water from the stream.

Elijah did what God said. He went to the valley where the stream was.

When he woke up in the mornings the ravens came and bought him bread and meat for breakfast. (take ravens from story bag)

When it was getting near to going to bed at night the ravens came with bread and meat for tea.

God took care of Elijah. God is able to look after you too.

The ravens were made from paper plates.

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Bees

paper plate bee

paper plate bee

Telling the Story

The story can be very simple – this was the basic outline (Judges 14:1-20)

1.God’s people were in trouble because they had ignored God

2. God still loved them so he sent someone to help them

3. God sent Samson. (At this point Samson is taken out of the story bag and we all say ‘hello Samson!’)

4. Samson wasn’t very tall, or very small, or very young or very old – he was very strong.  (and we all flex our muscles)

5. One day Samson was walking along (make walking noises by patting hands on knees) when he heard a buzz, buzz, buzz. (everyone make a buzz sound)

6. He had found some bees (take paper plate bee from story bag) inside a dead lion – and they were making honey. ( I did mention that we should leave bees alone and then they won’t bother us)

7. God was going to help Samson use what he saw to rescue his people from trouble.

At the end of the story I told the children that they could find this story in Tesco, Asda etc and showed them the Lyles Golden Syrup tin.

The craft was a simple paper plate cut in half. I painted them yellow at home and the children added the stripes, head and wings. I found the idea on Pinterest – it’s from Happy Home Fairy. My bee is slightly different – I tend to steer clear of googly eyes as they are quite easy for an under three to choke on. I didn’t bother with feet either as i like to keep crafts as simple as possible.

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To tell the story – use some props including money, party streamers/hats, pretend pigs, new robe/coat/ring/shoes.

Telling the story

Jesus told the people a story

‘There was a man who had two sons (count to two). The younger son wanted his father’s money. So the father decided to share all his things between his two sons. Now they had a lot of money. (jingle the money).

A few days later the younger son got his money and packed his bag and went far away. He loved spending is money! he had lots and lots of parties (show party streamers/hats). One day he looked in his pocket for more money but it had all gone! He had spent every last penny! He was in trouble.

He needed a job. He went to work looking after pigs. What noise do pigs make? oink,oink! He was so hungry that he could have eaten the food that the pigs ate. No one helped him. He was sad.

‘I will go back to my father’ he said. ‘He will give me a better job than sitting here with these pigs.’

So he walked and walked and walked till he could see his old home far away in the distance.

Someone saw him coming. Someone had been looking and hoping that he would come back home. It was his father. His father was so pleased to see his son that he ran down the road to meet him and hugged him.

‘I’m sorry’ said the son

‘I forgive you’ said the father. ‘Now let’s celebrate that you have come back home!’

The father gave his son new clothes to wear, new shoes and a ring.(show these items) He was so happy that he had a party.

‘My son was lost,’ he said,’but now he is found.’

When we come back to God it is like we were lost but are now found.

Craft Idea – paper plate pink pigs.

All you need 

paper plate

pink tissue paper and crepe paper cut into square (roughly)

glue

circles from pink sugar paper for snout (I use a paper punch from hobbycraft.)

ear shapes cut from sugar paper

stickers for nostrils and eyes

pink crayons (optional)

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paper plate pigs made by the children

We allow plenty of self expression!

Fox

Nehemiah was given the job of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. His enemies made fun of him, ‘if a fox climbs on your wall it will fall down!’ (Nehemiah 4:3) they said. But Nehemiah kept building and with God’s help the wall was finished!

In the story bag – wooden bricks for the wall (not in the photo – I used our toddler group bricks), two men – Nehemiah and Sanballat and a fox.

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Craft Idea – fox collage – crayons and crepe paper. Free fox PDF to print – fox

 

Lion

Daniel in the Lion’s Den from Daniel 6.

In the story basket there were Daniel, the King, an angel and some lions.

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Craft idea

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Big Fish/Whale

For the telling of the Story of Jonah I’ve used a large prop. I saw a tent made into the big fish on Handsonbibleteacher.blogspot.co.uk so thought I would have a go at making one – my attempt doesn’t look as neat – I think my pop up tent was a little too square – but you have to use what you have! Jonah is made from a Pringles carton – I saw that idea on Pinterest. It’s originally from this blog Preachmanswife.blogspot.co.uk

 Telling the Story

Say hello to Jonah! Jonah was given a job to do. God told him to go and tell the people living in Ninevah that God loved them.

‘No, I won’t’ said Jonah. ‘I don’t like the people who live in Ninevah’

So Jonah packed his bag and went the other way. He walked to the boat (make walking sounds by tapping hands on knees) and he bought a ticket and off he went.

Jonah was tired (yawn) so he went inside the boat and settled down for a sleep. (put hands on side of head as if sleeping)

Do you think God knew where Jonah was? God knows everything. He knew that Jonah was on the boat.

God sent a storm. The waves got bigger, the wind blew, the rain came down. The sailors were worried. ‘Someone has done something wrong’, they said, ‘and God is angry.’

They went to wake Jonah up. ‘Wake up Jonah!’ (ask children to repeat this)

Jonah opened his eyes. ‘Oh dear’, he said, ‘this is my fault. You must throw me into the sea.’

‘No!’ the sailors said.

But the storm got worse and in the end they had to throw Jonah into the sea. Splash!

The storm stopped.

Jonah sank down,down, down into the water. But God loved Jonah and he had somthing there to save him. A great big fish swam up and swallowed Jonah. He was safe. (Place Jonah inside the big fish)

Jonah knew he had done the wrong thing and he talked to God. ‘I am sorry’ he said.

Could God hear Jonah? Yes, God hears when we say sorry to him.

God sent the great big fish to the beach and it gave a big hiccup and out came Jonah. (take Jonah out of the big fish)

God said, ’Jonah go and tell the people of Ninevah that I love them.’ This time Jonah did what God said.

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Sheep

Luke 15:1-7. Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep.

To tell the story to young children

Very young children will probably benefit from using smaller numbers – maybe just up to ten with the number ten sheep missing.  Before you begin hide a sheep but unless you have a small group give the task of looking for it to a helper (who knows where to look!).

You could dress as a shepherd or take have a picture of a shepherd to show (we had a shepherd’s crook to show too). Ask the children what sort of animal a shepherd looks after and if they don’t know after one or two tries tell them – a shepherd looks after sheep. Ask them to make the sound a sheep makes. Explain that Jesus told a story about a shepherd who had 10 (100) sheep. He looked after them. At the end of the day he counted them. Have some sheep to count and count them altogether 1,2,,3,4,5,6,7,8,9…..Oh no one is missing! Where can he be? At this point pretend to look for the sheep and find him.

Explain that Jesus told the story to tell everyone that he has come to look for people – to help them to know and love God.

Craft Ideas

Pegs for legs sheep – print on to card and cut out for young children. They can decorate their sheep. make sure an adult adds the legs.

Sheep collage – print on to paper and decorate with cotton wool and wax crayons.

Sheep    – Pdf file – free to use

Sheep_(peg_legs)  – Pdf file – free to use

 

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The Parable of the Mustard Seed – craft

The mustard tree grew so large that the birds could nest in its branches. This craft idea is to represent our toddler group children and their families and carers being made welcome to come and ‘nest’ in the tree of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 13:31-32)

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To Make the birds you will need

  • Bird shapes printed out (I used paper – card would be fine too) and cut out. Click the link to the printable PDF files. Bird 1  Bird 2
  • Sequins
  • Hearts cut from sugar paper or tissue paper shapes
  • Strips of sugar paper (you can curl these if you like by pulling a scissor blade along them)
  • Crayons
  • Glue

You also need something to represent the mustard tree. This could be a bought tree like the one in the picture (hobbycraft) or a collection of branches or a made tree from sugar paper or a roll of lining paper. If you have a large group you might want to reduce the size of the birds.

Let the children decorate the birds as they wish. You could add their name to the front of the bird. Add the birds to the tree. Once the birds are added it will be a collection of all the children in your group in the mustard tree. I’ve added my birds by punching a hole and using thread. Blu-tack would work too.

Use the tree to encourage your church to pray for your toddler group. Put it on display on the Sundays during the National Month of Prayer in June.

This idea is one of many to help Toddler Groups get involved with the 1277 National Month of Prayer held each year in June. For further information and lots of ideas visit their facebook page 1277 National Month of Prayer.

 

The man with four friends

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The story is from Luke 5:17-26. In the story bag we had a man and his mat.

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Then four friends.

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And the crowds of people in the house. During the story we did actions – climbing the steps, digging through the roof. At the end of the story the man rolls up his mat and walks!

Our craft was something I’ve done in another group before. IMG_2937

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Nehemiah and the fox! – animal stories

Nehemiah was given the job of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem. His enemies made fun of him, ‘if a fox climbs on your wall it will fall down!’ (Nehemiah 4:3) they said. But Nehemiah kept building and with God’s help the wall was finished!

In the story bag – wooden bricks for the wall (not in the photo – I used our toddler group bricks), two men – Nehemiah and Sanballat and a fox.

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Craft Idea – fox collage – crayons and crepe paper. Free fox PDF to print – fox

 

 

Jonah and the Whale (big fish) – animal stories

Week three of Bible animal stories was Jonah.

Craft Idea –

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Can you spot Jonah? He is hidden away inside the big fish!

Here is a PDF of the fish  whale (1)

Jonah was made from cutting up concertina people bought from Amazon.

The sea is crepe paper strips and cellophane strips. You have to be careful with the cellophane – if you think children might put it in their mouths then don’t use it. I was stationed at the craft table all morning as we had extra helpers.

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We last did Jonah at toddler group in 2015 (where does the time go!) Here’s a link to the story and our huge big fish!

 

Daniel in the Lion’s Den – animal stories

We are doing stories based on the theme ‘Animals in the Bible’ this half term at Thursday Toddler Group. We started with creation – lots of toy animals in the story bag that we named.

The following week we did Daniel in the Lion’s Den from Daniel 6.

In the story basket there were Daniel, the King, an angel and some lions.

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Craft idea

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