To make – sugar paper, tissue paper, cut up petit four cases, heart shapes, wool, crayons, glue, people shapes
Let the children choose how many people to add to their family and friends picture.
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.’
Make people collages – you could add the words, ‘We use our ears to listen’
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.
1 Kings 17
2 And the word of the Lord came to him: 3 “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4 You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”5 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. 6 And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook. 7 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.
Elijah was also in the story bag.
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.
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.
Sheep – Pdf file – free to use
Sheep_(peg_legs) – Pdf file – free to use
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
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.
The story is from Luke 5:17-26. In the story bag we had a man and his mat.
Then four friends.
And the crowds of people in the house. During the story we did actions – climbing the steps, digging through the roof. At the end of the story the man rolls up his mat and walks!
Our craft was something I’ve done in another group before.
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
Week three of Bible animal stories was Jonah.
Craft Idea –
Can you spot Jonah? He is hidden away inside the big fish!
Here is a PDF of the fish whale (1)
Jonah was made from cutting up concertina people bought from Amazon.
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!