A long time ago we created a Bible Alphabet for toddlers – it’s here and there on the blog. It was a great thing to do and gave us lots of story options. This time it’s the letter ‘q’. Not so many options! I went for q is for question.
The question ‘who is this, that even the winds and waves obey him?’ was asked by the disciples after Jesus stilled the storm. (Matthew 8:23-27).There are other questions in the story – ‘Teacher do you care that we are perishing?’ and ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?
The first question about who Jesus is is at the heart of the story.
To tell the story to young children:
Have a story bag with a boat and the twelve disciples (you could use duplo figures or cut out pictures. Below are lego mini figures because that is what we have! Don’t look too closely at the characters as they are a strange bunch!)
Piece of blue cloth to represent the sea.
Cushion or pillow
Introduce actions for the children to do during the story
1. move arms to represent waves
2 blow in to closed hands for the wind
3 pretend to be sleeping
4 ‘shush’ – ‘be still’
You could play some sound effects during the story – thunder and rain recordings are available on MP3 downloads (usually used for relaxation). Make sure you listen to anything you plan to use beforehand.
A couple of years ago we used the alphabet to teach a Bible story a week at Toddler Group. We used a person, place or object and once or twice a word from a story for a letter of the alphabet. For example a is for Adam, b is for Bethlehem, c is for carpenter and so on. The downloads are the wall chart that we built up over the weeks.
For craft we did various things and sometimes chose to print out the letter for that week for the children to decorate – so a bit educational :). We tried to use the phonetic alphabet but did do E is for Eve because I think I just wasn’t thinking straight that week.
Here are the downloads. WALL DISPLAY (a-d) (1)WALL DISPLAY (e-h)WALL DISPLAY (i-l)WALL DISPLAY (m-p)WALL DISPLAY (q-t)WALL DISPLAY (u-x)WALL DISPLAY (y-z)
The story of the Rich Young Man (Mark 10:17-22) has a sad ending. He loves his money more than Jesus. With older children you could talk about things that get in the way of them following Jesus. You could also add a question mark symbol and talk more about why the young man asked the question ‘What must i do to inherit eternal life?’With young children the story lends itself to using actions – running, kneeling and walking. Make a money bag using real coins as they are weighty and jingle!
The Story – for younger children
One day a young man came to speak to Jesus. He didn’t walk up to Jesus. He ran to Jesus. (Run on the spot) He wanted to ask a question. He thought that Jesus was important so he knelt down in front of him and asked ‘Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?’ (kneel down)
It was a good question and the young man really wanted to know the answer.
Jesus said to him, ‘ You know what the Commandments are that God gave us, to tell us how to live to please him.’
‘I’ve kept them all since I was a young boy.’
Jesus looked at the young man. Jesus cared about him. Jesus wanted to help him. ‘Go, and sell all you have and give your money to the poor and then you will have treasure in heaven and come and follow me.’
But, oh dear, the young man had a lot of money.(Show money bag) He loved all his money very much. (Hug money bag to yourself) What a choice! Sell everything and give all his money away and follow Jesus or keep all his things and his money and go back home. What would he do?
The young man walked away from Jesus. (Walk on the spot, looking sad and dejected) He felt sad. He chose to keep his money.
Use Cellotape to secure the mast.
This simple craft is easy and effective. It can be used for any story where there is a boat.
Paper plate, tissue paper squares, card or a lollypop stick for the mast, patterned paper for the sail, cellotape, blue waves made from card or construction paper.
In the Bible A-Z series we used the story of Jesus stilling the storm for the letter Q – the disciples ask a question ‘Who is this that even the wind and waves obey him?’ After you have made the boat the children can use it to retell the story.
I made this to use with under fives to tell the story of Zacchaeus. He moves up the tree which is great for keeping the young children interested. We are doing the story as part of our Bible Alphabet series.
The tree is a Pringles container covered in brown construction paper with large leaves stapled around the top. It’s important that the brown construction paper is taller than the Pringles container by about 4cm so you have space to staple on the leaves. Also leave the lid on so that Zacchaeus doesn’t fall inside while you are telling the story! The leaves were made from construction paper and lightweight card in two contrasting greens.
You can slide Zacchaeus up the tree trunk by blue tac-ing him to a piece of brown construction paper that has been folded and wound round the tree trunk and stapled to make a circular collar for the tree. This should be tight enough to stay in place and slide smoothly.When Zacchaeus has climbed the tree take him off the brown slider/collar and blue tac him in the leaves.
The well known children’s song ‘Zacchaeus was a very little man (or very wee man) is great to sing. There are lots of versions on the web; some have music to sing along to and others also have animation. I’ve included a link.
The story of Moses being hidden in the basket is found in Exodus 2. It is a lovely story to tell to children. Sometimes people point out that the Nile would have been a crocodile infested river but I think that the area that Moses’ mum chose to place her son in his reed basket must have been quite safe or Pharaoh’s daughter wouldn’t have gone to bathe there.
The craft could be made in stages. The ‘basket’ is made from salt dough and so needs a few days to air dry (or a few minutes in a microwave). The lid is made from brown paper or card.
Make the reeds by drawing round the children’s hands and then cut out the hand shapes.
‘Moses’ could be drawn by older children or prepare this yourself. He has tears because he was crying when Pharaoh’s daughter opened up the basket.
Trace a line along the edge of the ‘reeds’. Cut along the line and slot the ‘reeds’ through the hole. Tape on the other side of the paper to secure. You want to have the ‘reeds’ close together but you need to leave some space so the slots aren’t right next to each other.
Above is the wrong side of the paper.
Making the salt dough basket
Salt dough recipe
2 cups plain flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water.
Mix the above together. If you need to make it ahead of time you can but wrap it in cling film (plastic wrap). I think you will get about 5/6 baskets out of this amount.
Give each child a ball of the dough and show them how to create a basket shape by holding the dough in one hand and pressing the dough between their fingers and thumb.
If you are making this at a toddler group you could explain to the adults that this story is where we get the term ‘Moses Basket’ from.
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.
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
In the Bible Alphabet series I decided on the story of David being anointed as King for the letter k.
The story is found in 1 Samuel 16. I used a story bag that contained a crown and pictures of Samuel, Jesse, the seven brothers and David. The pictures were based on the ideas for illustrations in this book
To tell the story : Although the story is about David being anointed we did use the idea of a crown to help explain David being chosen as the new king.
Have a crown to show. Who wears a crown? A king wears a crown
God told Samuel that he had chosen a new king and that he would show Samuel who the new king was.
Samuel was told to go to Jesse’s home. One of Jesse’s sons would be the new king.
Show the pictures of Samuel and Jesse.
In a bag have the other pictures of the seven brothers and David.
Take out these pictures one at a time and each time say
‘Was this the new King. He was big and strong and handsome?’
No. He’s not the new king’
Repeat this till all seven brothers have been taken out of the bag.
Where’s the new king?
Are there any more sons?
Just one called David. But, he’s looking after the sheep.
Encourage the children to call for David. Then take him out of the story bag.
David wasn’t big but God had chosen him. God knew he was the right one to be King because God sees what we are really like. God knows everything about us.
(I’m sure you could draw a better sheep 🙂
In the Bible Alphabet series I decided on the annunciation story for the letter J because we were so close to Christmas. It followed on from ‘i is for Immanuel’ really well.
The story is found in Lukes Gospel 1:26-33.
To tell the story : Before you begin tell the children that there is something for them to say part way through the story. Get them to repeat ‘don’t be afraid’ a couple of times.
Long, long ago in a town that looked like this…
In a house that looked like this…
there lived a lady who was having a busy day. She was cleaning, she was dusting ..(do the actions for these tasks and ask the children to join in) when she had a big surprise (look surprised) . A big, strong messenger from God had been sent to speak to her. We call God’s big, strong messengers angels. The lady was frightened. She had never seen an angel before.
What did he say? (Are you ready? remember the words we practiced at the beginning) He said, ‘Don’t be afraid’. ‘You have been chosen by God to have a very special baby. He will be a king forever and you will give him the name Jesus.’
The lady’s name was Mary. She was going to have a special baby and call him Jesus.
For the figures of Mary and the angel I used items from an old Nativity set from the Early Learning Centre and introduced them from a story bag at the appropiate time in the story. The pictures of Nazareth and the house are flannelgraph backgrounds. These were on board one over the other. After using the first, flip over to the second.
just couldn’t think of what to do for the letter i in our Bible alphabet series at toddler group. I looked through Young’s concordance and decided on Immanuel. It fitted so well as we are approaching Christmas.
Bible reference – Immanuel is mentioned three times in the Bible – Isaiah 7:14; 8:8 and Matt 1:23.
To tell the story – in the story bag I had Isaiah (a knitted doll) and a scroll made out of sugar paper.
‘A long. long’ long time ago there lived a man called Isaiah (ask children to say the name and take Isaiah out of the story bag). He was given a message from God to tell to the king. It was a promise. Isaiah wrote it down. What could it be? Shall we find out? (Take the scroll out of the bag and read what is says on the outside). Lets open the scroll and find out what God promised. (Open the scroll and read the words inside). God promised to send a baby who would be called Immanuel (ask children to repeat the name). The baby would be ‘God with us’.
You could of course use this for ‘i is for Isaiah’ but if you were teaching the children the sounds of the letters (phonics) it would not fit.