Jesus goes back to heaven

We ended our last Toddler Group story at Easter – Jesus was alive! Our first session back will be about something that happened next. There are several stories that you could tell; The Road to Emmaus, Thomas and/or Breakfast on the Beach but this week we are going straight on to the Ascension. I’m using pictures from ‘Tiddlywinks Stories and Pictures New Testament’ and ‘Tiddlywinks More Stories and Pictures New Testament’ published by Scripture Union and Written by Maggie Barfield and Illustrated by Sonia Canals. These books are really good to have. Great pictures and simple story ideas that you can use as they are or adapt and expand.

Story from Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11

Jesus had died but was alive again! His friend saw him and spoke to him. Lots of people saw him. He wasn’t a ghost. He could eat food! He was really alive again.

He had a job for his friends to do, ‘I want you to tell other people all about me. Tell them about the things that I said and the things that I did. Tell them how I died for them and came alive again.’

Jesus told his friends to tell everyone the Good News that he was the Saviour. They were to tell everyone in all the world.

When Jesus had spent time with his friends they went for a walk together. Then something very special happened. Jesus was taken back to heaven. He went up, up, up and into the sky and was gone. They couldn’t see him anymore.

While they were looking up into the sky two angels came and spoke to them, ‘Why are you looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has gone up to heaven will come back again. ‘

One day Jesus will come back to earth again. He won’t come as a baby. He will come as the King.

Craft idea – colouring and collage from a photocopiable picture from Tiddlywinks

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The Last Supper – Luke 22

As part of the bigger Easter Story we’ve told the story of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples from Luke 22:7-20

The story

Jerusalem was full of people! They had come to the big city to celebrate Passover. Passover is a special meal – it reminds God’s people of how God saved them from being slaves in Egypt.

Jesus wanted to eat the special Passover meal with his friends. But there were so many people and there were people who wanted to hurt Jesus that the meal needed to be kept a secret! (Everyone say ‘shush’)

Jesus sent Peter and John into the city. ‘When you see a man carrying a water jar on his head follow him! He will go to the house where you can get the meal ready.’

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Peter and John did what Jesus said and soon the meal was ready.

The Passover Meal is very special. Part of the meal would have been bread and wine (Show these).

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Jesus said to his friends, ‘This is the last time I will be able to eat this special Passover meal with you. When you eat it in the future I want you to remember me.’

Jesus was going to rescue many people. he wanted his friends to remember that he was the rescuer.

Today Christians remember Jesus with a special meal – with bread and wine. (If possible have the items that your church uses for Communion to show the children)

Craft Idea – with a printable Lord’s Supper – Cup and Bread (1)

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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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Journey to Bethlehem – week 6 – The Shepherds

So far we have had stories about Creation, the Fall, Abraham, the angel visiting Mary and the birth of Jesus. Our last story in our journey to Bethlehem series is all about the shepherds. Luke 2:8-20

Bible Story from Luke 2:8-20

Bible truth for toddlers – Jesus is the Saviour

The baby sent from God was tucked up in the manger. Mary and Joseph were there to look after him. Do you remember his name? He was called Jesus. There they were that night – just the three of them.

Meanwhile, out of the town, in the hills, there were shepherds. Shepherds look after sheep. What sound does a sheep make?

It was dark – the shepherds were making sure that all the sheep were safe.

Then suddenly something happened that made the shepherds really scared! There was an angel – and the angel was surrounded by bright light.

‘Don’t be afraid’, the angel said, ‘I bring you good news of great joy that is for everyone, everywhere. Today, a Saviour has been born. You will find him lying in a manger.’

Then lots of angels were there singing. And then they were gone and it was dark again.

The shepherds looked at each other, ‘Let’s go and see this thing that’s happened that God has told us about.’

So off they went – down the hill, through the town, looking here, looking there – until they found Jesus. They found the Saviour.

We can find Jesus too. He is still the Saviour sent from God for everyone, everywhere. We won’t find him in a manger – but we can know him as our Saviour.

Another paper plate…

All the paper plates from our Journey to Bethlehem

Week One – Creation https://lettheirlightshine.com/2015/11/04/journey-to-bethlehem/
Week Two – The Fall https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/11/14/journey-to-bethlehem-week-2/
Week Three – Abraham https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/11/23/journey-to-bethlehem-week-3/
Week Four – The Angel visits Mary https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/11/28/journey-to-bethlehem-week-4/
Week Five – Jesus is born https://lettheirlightshine.com/2018/12/05/journey-to-bethlehem-week-5/
Week Six – The Shepherds find Jesus

Journey to Bethlehem – week 5 – Jesus is born

This week we arrive in Bethlehem!

The story is from Luke 2:1-7.

I often start story time by introducing the characters – in this story we’ll all say hello to Mary and then to Joseph as I take them out of the story bag. (The knitted characters are from an Alan Dart pattern – available from his website or from Amazon)

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The Story

‘Mary and Joseph had to go on a long journey. They needed to go all the way to Bethlehem. Maybe they took one of these with them – take donkey out of the story bag. What noise does a donkey make? Everyone join in with ‘eeyore (hee-haw)’

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When they got to the town of Bethlehem they needed to find somewhere to stay. Mary’s baby was soon going to be born.

They looked and they looked. They knocked on the door of the hotel. ‘We must find somewhere soon!’ they said to each other.

The hotel boss answered the door – ‘No room here!’ he said

Oh no! (Everyone repeat this)

‘But maybe you could stay where the animals are?’ he said.

It was better than having nowhere to go. So that was where Mary and Joseph went. And there Jesus was born.

He was a real baby – with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a nose and two eyes and two ears. But he was also very special because he is God’s Son. The Bible gives him a special name – Immanuel – which means ‘God with us’. ‘ (Matthew 1:23)

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We’ll add another paper plate to our Journey to Bethlehem display..IMG_3697

So altogether we have …..

We will be making Christmas star wreaths as our craft..

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Journey to Bethlehem – week 4 – The Angel visits Mary

This week we get very near to Bethlehem! The story is the Angel’s visit to Mary from Luke 1:26-38.

Bible story – from Luke 1:26-38.

(Include actions in the story if you can – ask the children and adults to join in)

‘One day Mary was at home. It was just an ordinary day. Mary was cleaning the house (some actions here – maybe dusting or sweeping).

But then something extraordinary happened! An angel came to see her! Now angels are not like fairies. Angels are big and strong! (actions here too). The angel that came to see Mary was called Gabriel (ask everyone to repeat the name). He had a message from God.

‘You are going to have a very special baby,’ he said to Mary. ‘This baby will be God’s Son and he will be King forever.’

Who was this baby? This baby, that the angel talked about, was Jesus.

Mary listened. (everyone touch their ears). She knew that this promised baby would be very, very special and important.’

All the paper plates so far will be on display…

New plate to add……

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And an angel craft idea…

All you need is paper plates cut into wedges, doilies cut into quarters, circles, wool, shiny paper and wool. You can either draw on the eyes and smile beforehand or let the children do it.

Journey to Bethlehem – week 3 – God’s promise to Abraham

This week the Bible story was all about Abraham and God’s promise to give him a huge family and to bless all the people on earth through that family. During the story I use the names Abraham and Sarah for simplicity. (Gen

Bible Story from Genesis 12:1-3 and 15:5

Bible truth for toddlers – Jesus was born into Abraham’s family

Say hello to Abraham! (take a puppet or doll from the story bag). Abraham lived a long, long, long time ago. 

One day God spoke to Abraham, ‘Pack up your things and leave the place where you are living. Go to a place that I will show you.I will make you a great nation and all the families on the earth will be blessed through you’

Abraham listened to God and he did what God said. He and his wife Sarah (take another doll or puppet from the story bag) packed their things and off they went. 

God showed them where to go. 

Now after Abraham and Sarah had been living in their new home for quite a while God spoke to Abraham again.

Abraham was outside at night time. It was dark. God said to him, ‘Look up at the sky and all the stars. So many stars that you can’t count them. This is how large your family will be.’ 

Abraham listened to God and he believed God.

And Abraham did have a large family .. and from that large family came Jesus. He is the one that blesses the whole world.’

We add another paper plate to all the others ..IMG_3692

So, altogether the story so far….

Christmas story paper plates

These paper plates can be used to tell the Christmas story and/or as craft ideas. They need some prep so I’m posting them now!

The Angel Gabriel visits Mary – Luke 1:26-38

 

Jesus is born – Luke 2:1-7

The shepherds are told about the birth of the Saviour – Luke 2:8-21

You can tell the story a little at a time over three weeks or use the plates altogether

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They are made from sturdy paper plates that have a rim (not the cheapest but they need to stand up to being taken out of a story bag). The picture backgrounds are made from tissue paper and the scenes and people use paper, sugar paper, crepe paper, cardboard rolls (stable) wool, cotton wool and shiny paper. The angel wings are hearts cut out using a paper punch. The bodies of the people are triangles and the head scarfs (I can’t think of a better word!) are material. Lots of different textures and colours! Use what you have 🙂

Journey to Bethlehem – week 2 – Adam and Eve disobey

We are travelling to Bethlehem for Christmas starting at the very beginning…

 Week one was creation – God made everything good and Adam and Eve were friends with God and each other.

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The idea for the creation paper plates came from here – https://ithappensinablink.com/paper-plate-the-days-of-creation/

This week the story is all about how things went from being ‘very good’ (thumbs up) to very bad (thumbs down). The creation plates will be part of the large picture board and the next story will be added.

The story from Genesis 3

Bible truth for toddlers – Adam and Eve broke God’s one rule

‘God gave Adam and Eve one rule. ‘Don’t eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden’. They could eat from every other tree but not that one.

Then one day a serpent began to talk to Eve! ‘ Just look at the fruit on that lovely tree in the middle of the garden! It looks so deliciousssss. I’m sure God won’t mind if you take a bite. Nothing bad will happen!’

Eve looked at the tree. It did look lovely. Eve looked at the fruit. It did look yummy. She reached out her hand…. and she took the fruit. She could smell how delicious it was and then…… she took a bite. Then Adam took a bite too!

They had broken God’s one rule and everything changed. They weren’t friends with God anymore and they tried to hide.

But God found them. He still loved them and he promised to send a Saviour so that people could be friends with God again.’

In the storybag

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