Followers of Jesus – Nicodemus

Nicodemus is mentioned several times in the New Testament. He first appears in John 3, then again in John 7 and then finally in John 19. He came to be a follower of Jesus over time. Quite different to Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus but no less real.

For our Toddler Group story we’ll be thinking about the events of John 3. Nicodemus was a very important man with lots of questions. He was also wanting to see Jesus when the crowds had gone home and so he found Jesus at night.

The story

I’ll be using two ‘people’ from my storystack – www.storystack.co.uk

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Jesus had done lots of amazing things. He had made sick people better, he had made blind people see again. No one else could do something like that.

Lots of people heard about the things that Jesus did and they wondered, ‘Who is Jesus?’ ‘Is he a good man?’ Yes, he is. ‘But is he sent from God?’ Some people believed that Jesus was God’s Son sent from heaven.

But some people weren’t sure what to think. One of those people was a man called Nicodemus (everyone repeat the name). Now Nicodemus was an important man who knew lots and lots of things. But he didn’t know if Jesus really was God’s Son or not.

What could he do?

One night when the stars were shining in the sky (make star shapes with your hands) and most people were at home in bed and fast asleep (pretend to be sleeping) Nicodemus crept out of his house (walk on the spot on tiptoe and everyone shush)  and went to find Jesus.

‘Jesus, you are a great teacher sent from God or how else could you do the amazing things that you have done’ said Nicodemus.

Then Jesus said something that Nicodemus found hard to understand, ‘You must be born again!’ Jesus didn’t mean that we all have to become brand new babies again. He meant that when we believe in Jesus he makes us brand new inside.

It took Nicodemus a long time to understand what Jesus meant. But he thought about who Jesus was and he believed that he was God’s Son. Everyone who wants to be a follower of Jesus needs to believe that Jesus is God’s Son.

Craft Ideas – one is a collage of the night sky and the other is a silhouette of Jesus and Nicodemus.

 

Jacob and the ladder

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Story – (I used the above pictures – found via google- as puppets)

Jacob and Esau were brothers. In fact they were twins! Esau had been born first and then Jacob. They were very different to look at. They liked doing different things. Esau loved to be outside and to go hunting. Jacob liked to stay at home.

Their dad liked Esau the best. Their mum liked Jacob the best.

There was a big problem in this family. Even though Esau and Jacob were grown ups they tried to trick each other. Jacob really wanted all the great things that were going to belong to Esau, who was born first.

One day Jacob and his mum tricked Esau and this made him very angry. Esau was so angry that Jacob decided to go far away and stay with his Uncle Laban.

He said goodbye in a big hurry and he was off. It was a long walk. A long, long walk. He was getting tired. The sun was going down and it was getting dark. There were stars in the dark sky.

‘I’ll have to sleep here where I am’, thought Jacob.

So he got a stone to put near his head and he lay down to go to sleep. It doesn’t sound very comfortable does it! But Jacob was so tired and was missing home that he went off to sleep.

And then something extraordinary happened. He had a dream about angels. He could see a ladder that started on the ground but reached up and up and up right to heaven. Walking up and down the ladder were angels.

Then God spoke to Jacob, ‘I am the LORD. I won’t leave you. I will give you this land on which you are lying.’

Then Jacob woke up.

God knew where Jacob was. God cared about Jacob. God loved Jacob.

God knows where you are. God cares about you. God loves you.

Craft – angel pictures to colour and decorate

 

 

God is holy

Exodus 3

Say hello to Moses!

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Moses was looking after his sheep. What noise to sheep make? Baa!

He saw something. It looked different.

What was it?

Was it a funny looking sheep? No!

Was it a funny looking snake? No!

It was a plant that was on fire but it was still green and not burning up at all!

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He went a little closer! (note – explain that the children must never go near to fire)

Then Moses heard God’s voice. ‘Moses, Moses’.

‘Here I am’, Moses said.

‘Don’t come any nearer. Where you are standing is holy.’

God was there and so an ordinary place had become extraordinary. God is holy

What does that mean? Holy means different to us. He is always great and he is always good.

Thank you God for my hands..

This last term at Toddler Group we thought about ourselves – our hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It is a very easy starting point for the children as they are learning about themselves as well as hearing a short story.

We started with Tabitha. We’ve done her story before but with young children repetition is good.

Tabitha came along to toddler group and bought some sewing supplies with her. We talked about what we could do with our hands – wave, shake hands and help tidy away toys.

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For the craft we made coloured rice pictures. Children and adults loved this craft and it was very easy to prepare. I dyed the rice using food colouring and a spoonful of vinegar. Just put the rice in a plastic freezer bag, add food colouring and a teaspoon of vinegar and then smoosh it all around. Pour out onto a tray to dry. ( You can cover the tray in kitchen roll – you just need to then tease the rice off when it’s dry). Once it dries and  you break it up with your fingers. We then made rice collages – I used black, square paper plates rather than paper as the rim of the plate kept the rice and PVA glue a bit more contained.

We have a large group so I separated the rice into small containers – two lots of each colour. Half way through the activity I was able to refresh the supplies so that everyone got a chance to choose individual colours.

 

Easter with toddlers

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less playdough needed – the Weetabix is glued to the paper path

A simple Easter garden is a great way to introduce young children to Easter. You can use natural materials such as soil/compost and leaves or you can make a garden like the one here. The playdough will last a couple of weeks before it dries out – so this won’t keep for ever – but then next Easter the children can make another garden.

At the end of this post there is an idea for telling the Easter story using different faces – there is a PDF for you to use too.

 

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more playdough needed – the Weetabix is pressed down into the dough.

 

To make an Easter Garden like this one each child needs

Make a garden to give children and adults an idea of what they are aiming for.

If you click on the links above you will be taken to where I bught the plates,  ice cream tubs and flowers. You could use different plates – just make sure they are the shiny coated type so the dough won’t soak through.

To prepare the craft cut a ‘stone’ out of ice cream tub and make the dough. You will need a lot of dough!

Playdough recipe

2 Cups plain flour (cheap flour is fine)

2 Cups water

Food colouring (add this to the water)

1 Tablespoon cooking oil

1 Teaspoon cream of tartar (don’t be tempted to leave this out)

1 Cup salt

Put everything in a large saucepan and mix over a medium heat till it comes together as a dough.

Take out of the pan and kneed on a lightly floured surface for a  of minutes till smooth. It will be hot!

Store in an airtight container/bag in the fridge till you need it. Let it come to room temperature before the children use it.

This amount will make 5 square plate Easter Gardens if you cover the entire plate. You could cover less of the plate as in the picture above.

To give you an idea of how everything gets put together..

Enjoy making..

Have a look at an Easter garden I made to show the children at Toddler Group during story time.

Telling the Easter Story

This idea uses faces to explain the story – angry, sad, surprised and happy. As you tell how some people were angry with Jesus show the any face and ask everyone, ‘can you look angry?’. When Jesus died his friends were very sad – show the sad face and ask everyone, ‘can you look sad?’. Then something amazing happened; Jesus came alive again. His friends were surprised! Ask everyone, ‘can you look surprised?’

Jesus is still alive today! Show the happy face and ask, ‘can you look happy?’ We can be happy because Jesus is alive!

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Paper plate faces to help tell the Easter Story

 

Here are the faces as printable PDF’s if you would like to use them

Angry & Sad Face Surprised & Happy Face

or plain circles to make your own – Circles for paper plates

The above ideas also appeared in the 1277 newsletter – if you are running a church based  toddler group in the UK take a look at their website

If you’ve visited here via the newsletter thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

Christian Resources Exhibition

The Christian Resources Exhibition is on at the Excel in East London. So this morning I took the train to go and have a look around.

I’ve come home with a few goodies and some ideas!

The Go Teach stand

The Go Teach stand

the goodies I bought home!

the goodies I bought home!

Now in case you aren’t able to go along I picked up some of the free books from The Go Teach stand – they are samples of Bible stories and crafts for toddlers – if you would like one then get in touch via email or in the comments. We are quite happy to post anywhere. (it’s first come first served 🙂 )

You don’t need to leave your email in the comments – wordpress have a way of letting me know that. 🙂

let me know if you would like one of these samples

let me know if you would like one of these samples

 

Elijah fed by the ravens

In our series of Bible stories that include animals we told the very short story about Elijah being brought food by 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

King Ahab and Queen Jezebel

Elijah was also in the story bag.

Elijah

Elijah

At the beginning of the story thse three are introduced to the children.

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.

raven

raven