Jesus is baptised

We are planning on telling Bible stories from Mark’s gospel at toddler group from now till Easter. The idea is to link the stories about Christmas with Easter. For the children each story will be complete on it’s own but the adults will be able to follow the chronology.

The first story will be from mark 1:9 – the baptism of Jesus. To tell this I am using a simple visual aid that I found on Pinterest (link in the text below)

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The following stories will be –

The calling of the first disciples (Mark 1:16-20)

Man through the roof (Mark 2:1-12)

Calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41)

Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:21-43)

Feeding of 5,000 (Mark 6:30-44)

The rich young man (Mark 10:17-22)

Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11)

Easter (Mark 15-16:8)

For the baptism of Jesus I will be using a very simple visual aid that I found here. I have altered it a little. It could also be made as a craft. The figures for Jesus and John were taken from this book. (I would definitely recommend that you get a copy if you teach young children in sunday school)

To make the craft/visual aid you will need

Two paper plates

Colouring pencils and felt tips (I used Sharpies)

Cellotape and blue tac

One popsicle stick or wood skewer

Two figures to represent Jesus and John – both cut out and coloured in. Attach ‘John’ to paper plate and ‘Jesus’ to the popsicle stick

Stapler to attach plates together

Scissors to cut one plate into sky and water – making a gap between.

Once you have all the different materials this is very quick to make – just leave enough space for the popsicle stick/skewer to move so that you can demonstrate the baptism.

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wise and foolish builders – Matthew 7

In Matthew 7 we have recorded for us one of the stories that Jesus told. It is a very simple parable about house building. There was the wise man who built on the rock and the foolish man who built on the sand. The storm came and only one house remained – the house on the rock.

Jesus explains the story when he says ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’ Matthew 7:24.

When telling the story to young children have some rocks and sand to show. They could also enjoy some sensory play with sand and pebbles and have a go at building with wooden blocks in a sand tray before or after the story time.

There is also a well known song with great actions that tells the story – have a listen here and a lego inspired retelling of the story here.

For a simple craft decorate/colour a house. There is space to write Matthew 7:24 or print on a label and stick in the space. Or download the PDF and add the verse before printing out. this is what i should have done as my writing isn’t very neat!

PDF of house for craft House (1)

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In the beginning..God made people

A couple of simple crafts to accompany teaching about creation –

We made a collage of people surrounding a world map when we did the story of God making people from Genesis 1. The paper plate globe is a different version of the same idea – this time stickers are used to decorate the paper plate rim.

The pictures of people were downloaded and printed but you could use pictures from magazines and catalogues.

For a PDF and instructions on how to make a creation mobile take a look here

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The visit of The Magi – Epiphany

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The arrival of The Magi, or Wise men or Three Kings is traditionally celebrated twelve days after Christmas day on the 6 December.

The story is recorded in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 2. These men came from the east and having seen a new star in the sky they decided that the new star signified the birth of a new king. They travelled all the way to Jerusalem looking for this new king. But he wasn’t to be found there. The religious leaders are summoned by King Herod and they know that the promised king is to be found in Bethlehem. The Magi travel on and they find Jesus in the house with his mother. The baby is now a young toddler. The family are living in a house in Bethlehem and havn’t yet returned to Nazareth. Jesus has already been to Jerusalem where he has been taken to the temple. Simeon and Anna have both recognised the baby as the promised saviour. (see Luke 2).

The Magi follow the star to the house where Jesus is and give him the gifts of gold, frankinsense and myrrh. Herod has given them instructions to then return to Jerusalem and tell exactly where the child is so he too can worship him. But The Magi are warned in a dream to go home by a different route. When Herod realises that they havn’t done as he said he has all the young boys of bethleham killed. Mary and Joseph escape with Jesus to Egypt and return to live in Nazareth when Herod dies.

To tell the story-

Have a star and either pitures of The Magi or models. The ones in the pictures are from a Nativity set. (You can refer to The magi as Wise men or kings. The Bible doesn’t say how many there were but we know that they gave three gifts.)

A long, long, long time ago some Wise Men (show pictures or models) were looking up at the dark night sky. (Everyone look up).

They could see the stars twinkling in the sky (make stars shapes with hands). ‘Look’ they said ‘there is a brand new star!’ (show star) ‘The new star means that a new King has been born. We must find him and go and give him gifts.’

The wise men packed their bags. (Pretend to be packing bags).  They set off following the star.

They went to a big city. They didn;t find the new king there.

They went to a big palace. They didn’t find the new king there.

Where is he? The Wise men kept looking.

They followed the star to a small town with a small ordinary house and there was a little boy. He was the New king. His name is Jesus. The wise men bowed down and gave him their gifts. They had looked and looked for him and were so happy that they had found him.

Older children could think about the word Epiphany and what it means. Although the Bible doesn’t use the word in this story it is the traditional word used to decribe the visit of The Magi. They could also make a timeline of events recorded in Luke and Matthew from the angels visit to Mary up to Luke 2:40 when the family return to Nazareth and settle. Both gospel writers include different parts of the Christmas Story.

Once they have a simple timeline they could plot the journeys taken by Mary and Joseph and, after he was born, Jesus and the Magi on a map.