Jesus is now in Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Last time he met Bartimaeus. Now he meets Zacchaeus. Two very different people!
To tell the story… from Luke 19:1-10
Have a tree – you can make one from a pringle container or draw one – and a person to represent Zacchaeus. Place Zacchaeus in a story bag.
Jesus was now getting nearer to Jerusalem. Lots of people wanted to see Jesus as he walked through their town. They had heard a lot about all the amazing things that he had done.
One man really wanted to see Jesus. His name was Zacchaeus (can you say that name?) Let’s say hello to Zacchaeus as he comes out of the story bag.
Now Zacchaeus was very, very rich. He had loads of money. Some of his money he had by taking what wasn’t his! So people didn’t like Zacchaeus.
But that wasn’t all. Zacchaeus was a short man. So when Jesus was coming to his town he had a problem! He couldn’t see past the crowds! The crowds of people didn’t like Zacchaeus so they weren’t going to let him get to the front. Standing on tip toe didn’t help either. So Zacchaeus began to run. He ran to a tree. Then he did something that he hadn’t done for a long, long time. He climbed the tree. Now he could see Jesus.
And there Jesus was, walking along the road. And then Jesus stopped! Right under the tree. ‘Zacchaeus, come down. I’m coming to your house today!’ said Jesus.
Zacchaeus came down the tree. ‘I will give back all the money that isn’t mine and I will give extra money too’ he said.
Zacchaeus was a different person now that he had met Jesus.
Jesus said ‘I came to look for and to save the lost’. All of us are lost without Jesus. He is looking for us and is able to save us.
There is a lot of cutting out to do beforehand and not loads for children to do – they decorate the baby, add the tissue paper and the star – so you may want to make a paper plate Mary, Joseph or a shepherd as well!
It isn’t quite time for Christmas – but if you want to get a head start on advent this is a ‘make your own advent calendar’. One symbol for each day with a Bible reference to read as a family.
Print the symbols onto card and cut out. Place each one in an envelope with the number on the outside, add small treats to the envelope too. Put up some string or ribbon and use pegs or paper clips to attach the symbol each day during advent.You can leave the symbols black and white or colour them each day. There are Bible verses to read each day – when our children were small we’d have eaten the chocolate either at breakfast or straight after school and read the Bible verses at bedtime.
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.
Craft Idea – fox collage – crayons and crepe paper. Free fox PDF to print – fox
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.
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!
The tree printout has been laminated – if you don’t have a laminator (and lots of us don’t) then use tacky back.
playdough – homemade and coloured with poster paint. Leaves cut out using a cake decorating cutter. This would be a lovely activity for a small group in Sunday school or at home. If you add vanilla extract to the dough it smells amazing.
Playdough recipe – This playdough is a no cook recipe – it uses boiling water so has to be made by an adult.
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 teaspoon cream of tarter (you really do need this – don’t be tempted to leave it out and make sure it’s in date. It’ll stop the dough going slimy)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (don’t use a nut oil in case children are allergic)
3/4 cup boiling water
Food colouring paste or ready mix water colour paint for colour
To make – add all the dry ingredients together in a mixer and then add the oil, boiling water and colouring and mix till a soft dough. You can mix by hand but it’ll take longer.