The mustard tree grew so large that the birds could nest in its branches. This craft idea is to represent our toddler group children and their families and carers being made welcome to come and ‘nest’ in the tree of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 13:31-32)
To Make the birds you will need
Bird shapes printed out (I used paper – card would be fine too) and cut out. Click the link to the printable PDF files. Bird 1Bird 2
Hearts cut from sugar paper or tissue paper shapes
Strips of sugar paper (you can curl these if you like by pulling a scissor blade along them)
You also need something to represent the mustard tree. This could be a bought tree like the one in the picture (hobbycraft) or a collection of branches or a made tree from sugar paper or a roll of lining paper. If you have a large group you might want to reduce the size of the birds.
Let the children decorate the birds as they wish. You could add their name to the front of the bird. Add the birds to the tree. Once the birds are added it will be a collection of all the children in your group in the mustard tree. I’ve added my birds by punching a hole and using thread. Blu-tack would work too.
Use the tree to encourage your church to pray for your toddler group. Put it on display on the Sundays during the National Month of Prayer in June.
This idea is one of many to help Toddler Groups get involved with the 1277 National Month of Prayer held each year in June. For further information and lots of ideas visit their facebook page 1277 National Month of Prayer.
Jesus told the story about the Wise and Foolish Builders as part of his Sermon on the Mount. You can read it in Matthew 7:24 – 27. It’s a great story for using actions as you tell it. And of course there is the song. If you search youtube for ‘the Wise Man built his house on the rock’ you should find a couple of versions at least.
The craft that we made was a house on rock made from cut out shapes. The sequin rain is optional – depending on how much mess you wish to make!
In Matthew 7 we have recorded for us one of the stories that Jesus told. It is a very simple parable about house building. There was the wise man who built on the rock and the foolish man who built on the sand. The storm came and only one house remained – the house on the rock.
Jesus explains the story when he says ‘Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.’ Matthew 7:24.
When telling the story to young children have some rocks and sand to show. They could also enjoy some sensory play with sand and pebbles and have a go at building with wooden blocks in a sand tray before or after the story time.
There is also a well known song with great actions that tells the story – have a listen here and a lego inspired retelling of the story here.
For a simple craft decorate/colour a house. There is space to write Matthew 7:24 or print on a label and stick in the space. Or download the PDF and add the verse before printing out. this is what i should have done as my writing isn’t very neat!
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.
In the Bible Alphabet at Toddler group we are on to ‘f’. I decided to go with field – the story that Jesus told about the man who found treasure buried in a field, sold all he had, bought the field and then owned the treasure. You can find the story in Matthew 13:44.
To tell the story – I had a small treasure chest hidden under a green cloth and a spade. I went digging in someone’s field (it is important to mention that it belonged to someone else) and found the treasure – was anyone looking? No! So I hid the treasure and went and got all my stuff to sell. For this I had a bag of my stuff – a picture of a house, a toy car, my phone, a laptop, chocolate biscuits, a shirt – all sorts of things – to show that everything was sold. Then I went back and bought the field and dug up the treasure which now belonged to me.
Main teaching – knowing God is more important than anything else.
Note – the story is a parable so I felt quite happy to add a few anachronisms.
Simple craft – A4 brown sugar paper folded in half. From the folded join draw a treasure chest shape and cut so you have a treasure chest that opens on the join. Write ‘Can you find the treasure? on the outside. Children glue ‘treasure’ inside. Make sure they are left to dry open or they will stick closed.
I used some small glittery shapes that could be sprinkled over the wet glue. Very effective, lots of fun and messy!