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.
The story of the Wise Men is from Matthew 2:1-15. As this story is being told to toddlers I don’t mention Herod’s plan to kill the baby boys. It is a very dark part of the story and reminds us that Christmas and the birth of Jesus took place in a world where many people had rejected God.
To tell the story you need – some Wise Men, toy camels and a star. You can add some actions too – stars with hands (like in twinkle, twinkle little star), running, looking, kneeling.
Do you remember how we heard about Jesus being born? He was a tiny baby. But then he grew and he was a toddler – just like you! He lived in a house with Mary and Joseph.
Far away from where Jesus lived there were some Wise Men. They read books and knew lots and lots of stuff. They loved to look at the stars in the dark nights sky. One night they saw a new star! They looked at the new star and they looked at each other. ‘Wow! they thought this new star means that a new king has been born in Israel. Let’s go and worship him’.
So they packed their things and set off for the important city of Jerusalem. They traveled for a long time. It took days and days to get there. But when they arrived in Jerusalem they couldn’t find a new baby king anywhere!
There was a king but he was a grown up and he wasn’t happy. He didn’t want a new King! He sent for the Wise Men. He sent for the men from the temple. ‘Where is this new King to be born?’ he asked. The men from the temple knew the answer. ‘In Bethlehem.’
So off the Wise Men went. It wasn’t too far to go now. As they got nearer something very special happened. The star was there again and this time it shone right over the house where Jesus was. The Wise men had found Jesus and they knelt down and worshiped him.
Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus. He wanted to get rid of him. An angel told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and run away to a different country till it was safe to go back home.
Craft Idea –
Decorate stars – we’ve used wooden stars from amazon and paint. Put the painted star on a white envelope so you can name it. It’s much easier than writing it on the back and then having to turn the stars over at home time.
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.
Jesus is very, very special and important.
Craft Ideas – make angels
Square paper plate angel – cut out the wings and use tissue paper to create a stained glass effect.
Paper cup/ice cream pot angel
Story bag ideas – a doll to represent Mary or Early Learning Centre Nativity Set. You could add a duster and a dustpan and brush and your angel craft to represent Gabriel.
We used a wooden spoon based craft for the bible story about Jesus healing a man who had leprosy. You can read the story in Matthew 8.
The children drew a sad face one side of the spoon and a happy face the other. We used kitchen roll for the clothes – a fairly good quality brand that the children could decorate with felt pens. The arms and belt are pipe cleaners. Use a slighty longer pipe cleaner for the arms.
To make –
Draw the faces on the spoon and write name on the spoon handle
Colour/decorate the square of kitchen roll – I cut the kitchen roll squares into quarters which made them just the right size for our small wooden spoons. Once coloured fold the quarter in half and then in half again and make a small cut on the fold. Slide the spoon through this and then add the arms. Finally add the belt.
This basic idea can be used for retelling lots of Bible stories. Large wooden spoons make great puppets too. Have a look at this idea here.
Mark 10:32,33, 46-52.
This is one of my favourite Bible stories. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and to face arrest and death when he stops to help a blind man who has to beg to be able to survive. Jesus isn’t too distracted or busy. He stops for a man who asks for help.
In his book ‘Let’s Study Mark’ (Banner of truth 1999) Sinclair Ferguson writes, ‘Jesus has not changed, he is still the same. He still stops for those who call on his name, and he listens to our prayers for help.’
To tell the story…
Jesus and his friends were in a big crowd of people going to the city of Jerusalem. By now lots of people had heard about Jesus and the amazing things he said and did.
One of those people was Batimaeus. Say hello to Bartimaeus!
(Use a puppet or doll to represent Bartimaeus) He wasn’t able to see and couldn’t work so each day he sat with his bowl and begged for money. He had heard about Jesus. He started to call out as loud as he could ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
There were other people too and they didn’t want to hear Bartimaeus. They said ‘Shush’ Can we all say ‘Shush’?
But Jesus listened. He stopped. He asked to meet Bartimaeus.
‘Get up quick!’ the people said
Bartimaeus threw off his coat and jumped up and came to Jesus.
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked.
What would Bartimaeus say? Did he want money? No! Did he want a chat? No!
‘I want to be able to see!’ he said.
Could Jesus do that? Yes! Jesus was able to make Bartimaeus see. Bartimaeus believed in Jesus. He believed that Jesus had the power to make him see. We also need to believe in Jesus.
Some craft ideas are here –
I was wondering what to do for thanking God for our mouths – a story that had food in it perhaps? But then remembered the man who came back to Jesus to say ‘thank you’. The story is from Luke 17:11-19. To tell the story I made ten men from wooden spoons. On one side of the spoon each man has a sad face and on the other a happy face. For young children there is an opportunity to practice counting to ten!
The spoons are from Ikea at 30p each.( It was very difficult to remove the labels from the spoons so in the end I left them on) I decorated the spoons with wool stuck on with PVA, tissue paper (with PVA) and sharpies. If doing this as a craft for children I wouldn’t use sharpies as I find that after a while they do give you a headache!
For telling the story the spoons were put into a block of oasis – and as the men were healed each one was turned around. You can add a bit of suspense here – ‘One man was better – was man number two – lets see! How about man number three?’ – and so on.
The main aim of the story was to thank God for our mouths that we can use for saying kind words like thank you.