Category Archives: Props for storytelling

Jonah and the big fish

This half term we are thinking about animal’s in the Bible. So we made a start with the story of Jonah. I had seen 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

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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Jonah

Jonah

Y is for the rich young man

The story of the Rich Young Man (Mark 10:17-22) has a sad ending. He loves his money more than Jesus. With older children you could talk about  things that get in the way of them following Jesus. You could also add a question mark symbol and talk more about why the young man asked the question ‘What must i do to inherit eternal life?’With young children the story lends itself to using actions – running, kneeling and walking. Make a money bag using real coins as they are weighty and jingle!

The Story – for younger children

One day a young man came to speak to Jesus. He didn’t walk up to Jesus. He ran to Jesus. (Run on the spot) He wanted to ask a question. He thought that Jesus was important so he knelt down in front of him and asked ‘Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?’ (kneel down)

It was a good question and the young man really wanted to know the answer.

Jesus said to him, ‘ You know what the Commandments are that God gave us, to tell us how to live to please him.’

‘I’ve kept them all since I was a young boy.’

Jesus looked at the young man. Jesus cared about him. Jesus wanted to help him. ‘Go, and sell all you have and give your money to the poor and then you will have treasure in heaven and come and follow me.’

But, oh dear, the young man had a lot of money.(Show money bag) He loved all his money very much. (Hug money bag to yourself) What a choice! Sell everything and give all his money away and follow Jesus or keep all his things and his money and go back home. What would he do?

The young man walked away from Jesus. (Walk on the spot, looking sad and dejected) He felt sad. He chose to keep his money.

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Who’s in the story bag?

I like to use a story bag at toddler group story time. I find it holds the interest of the children and adults better than a picture. My mum is a great knitter and made some Bible characters for me.

If you are able to have a go at making some then the pattern is here. They are a good size and can be adapted by adding different clothes. A lovely reader of this blog asked about the pattern so as well as replying in the comments I thought I would share the info here too.

Happy knitting 🙂 and even happier storytelling

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Calling of the first disciples – Mark 2

Last week at toddler group we told the story about the Baptism of Jesus. This week we move on to the calling of Simon and Andrew to follow Jesus.

To help the children picture what is happening in the story I have made a boat and two disciples using an egg box and cardboard rolls.

The story will be very short and will be told from Mark 1:16-18.

The visual aids are easy to make – all you need is 

Egg box (6 egg size)

Two toilet rolls or cardboard rolls

Two pieces of material for head gear and two pipe cleaners to fasten material

Felt pens or Sharpies to colour cardboard roll disciples

Paint to colour egg box

Pipe cleaner for mast and triangle large enough to fold around pipe cleaner to make sale (stick this with double sided sticky tape)

The pictures should give a clear idea of how everything was made!

 

 

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For a simple craft make a paper plate fish

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Jesus is baptised

We are planning on telling Bible stories from Mark’s gospel at toddler group from now till Easter. The idea is to link the stories about Christmas with Easter. For the children each story will be complete on it’s own but the adults will be able to follow the chronology.

The first story will be from mark 1:9 – the baptism of Jesus. To tell this I am using a simple visual aid that I found on Pinterest (link in the text below)

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The following stories will be –

The calling of the first disciples (Mark 1:16-20)

Man through the roof (Mark 2:1-12)

Calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41)

Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:21-43)

Feeding of 5,000 (Mark 6:30-44)

The rich young man (Mark 10:17-22)

Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52)

Triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1-11)

Easter (Mark 15-16:8)

For the baptism of Jesus I will be using a very simple visual aid that I found here. I have altered it a little. It could also be made as a craft. The figures for Jesus and John were taken from this book. (I would definitely recommend that you get a copy if you teach young children in sunday school)

To make the craft/visual aid you will need

Two paper plates

Colouring pencils and felt tips (I used Sharpies)

Cellotape and blue tac

One popsicle stick or wood skewer

Two figures to represent Jesus and John – both cut out and coloured in. Attach ‘John’ to paper plate and ‘Jesus’ to the popsicle stick

Stapler to attach plates together

Scissors to cut one plate into sky and water – making a gap between.

Once you have all the different materials this is very quick to make – just leave enough space for the popsicle stick/skewer to move so that you can demonstrate the baptism.

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This is a very short Bible Story video – just two minutes. Let me know what you think…

The angels and shepherds – Christmas

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Christmas is almost here!

The story of the first Christmas is a lovely story to tell. Children can also act out what happened and dress up as the different characters.

There are different ways to tell the story-

– use a nativity set and a story bag. Place all the figures inside and take them out when you need them.

– use objects to represent the different people in the story – a toy sheep, a shepherd’s crook, the cloths to wrap the baby in. Add other items- straw for the stable, stars,

– adults could dress up for the different parts and either one person narrate the story or people have speaking parts.

When you tell the story it’s good to remind the audience that it comes from the Bible – so have a Bible to show. The events of the first Christmas are recorded in Luke 2:1-21.

The magi (wise men, kings) don’t visit the stable but arrive some time later. Their visit is recorded in Matthew 2:1-12.

 

Easter garden

We made an Easter Garden for our Toddler Group Story Time. A very simple but effective visual aid. Older children could make their own.

You need

Tray or baking tin (I used a baking tin)

Foil to cover the tray/tin

Potting compost

Moss (if you do this ahead you could plant seeds – I wasn’t that organised)

Small stones for the path

Twigs for trees (we didn’t add the crosses as the children are so young.But we did talk about them in the story)

Air drying clay for the tomb

Large stone to put by the tombs entrance

Air drying clay rolled into balls to stick the twigs into to secure them. Cover the balls of clay with compost.

This would be a great activity to do during the Easter holiday. You could have a competition to see who puts the most effort into making their garden.

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H is for Horeb – Bible Alphabet

In Deuteronomy 5 Moses refers to the mountain  where he received the ten commandments as mount Horeb. (In Exodus it is called Mount Sinai – same place; different name)

To tell the story I used a simple picture of a mountain drawn on to a large roll of paper (from Ikea). There was a ‘mini – Moses’ who ‘climbed’ the mountain, a cloud and the fire and smoke were added during the story using marker pens. There was also some actions for the children and parents to join in with. Actions are a great way of involving everyone in the story in a manageable way. As you do the actions say the phrase you are acting out.

Telling the story

Just before the story we practiced the actions we would need during the story. Once the group is settled I explain that during the story there will be something for them to do. We practice the action about twice and then we begin the story. I encourage the parents to join in too.

As the children are very young don’t include all the details – for example I don’t mention the Israelites at the foot of the mountain. The basics are focused on – Moses, Mount Horeb (everyone repeats the name. It’s included because we are doing the letter ‘h’), the cloud, smoke and fire and the ‘Ten good rules to live by’.

Main teaching point – God speaks to us – through the Bible.

The actions referred to the Ten Commandments which I referred to as ‘Ten good rules to live by.’

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IMG_3462                                                         to live by (Walk your fingers over your hand to illustrate people walking/living)

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To finish the story explain that today God doesn’t speak to us on mountains but from the Bible (have a Bible to show)

 

 

 

G is for Goliath – Bible alphabet

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The Bible tells us that Goliath was over 9 feet tall. (read the story in 1 Samuel 17). It isn’t always easy to imagine just how tall someone is so we made a life size Goliath. The basic technique for doing this can be used for many pictures and would be very good for making scenery/background.

You need:

An overhead projector

Acetate

The picture you want to enlarge in black and white

A pencil

Permanent marker pens

Rolls of lining paper (plain wall paper). This is much thicker than the rolls of painting paper and so will stand up to being hung from a wall better.

To enlarge the picture

Copy or trace your picture on to the acetate.

Unroll your paper (We did this well in advance so it didn’t keep rolling up again!). You may need several widths of this tapped together. Use cellotape on one side only.

Hang your paper from a wall

Position the overhead projector so that your acetate image is projected on to the paper.

Trace over the projected image with pencil

Lay paper on the floor and go over the lines with marker pen. Use the original image as a reference for details.

Colour/paint your picture if you wish – we left Goliath black and white.

If you use a large picture of Goliath plan where you can display it. Refer to it during the story. The children can enjoy comparing their height with Goliath. You could have an adult dress up as David to show the contrast.

Also collect five smooth stones to show – and with young children count them together. There are places that sell slings – have a look at this one from Etsy