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.’
rules (shaped like a book because they were written down)
to live by (Walk your fingers over your hand to illustrate people walking/living)
Moses on Mount Horeb
To finish the story explain that today God doesn’t speak to us on mountains but from the Bible (have a Bible to show)
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.
An overhead projector
The picture you want to enlarge in black and white
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
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!
Adam was given a special job to do – he was to care for the animals that God had made. to tell this story we had a picture of adam in the garden of eden. Then we pulled different toy animals from a story bag and named them and made their sounds (if possible!).
The craft concentrated on things beginning with ‘a’. Children were able to stick, colour and add tissue paper decoration.
E is for Eve. Although the bible doesn’t say that Eve ate an apple we used an apple to tell the story from Genesis 3 as it’s a familiar fruit for the children. It worked well having two real apples to choose from held by a person pretending to be a tree. Then an adult playing the part of Eve chose the apples that they had been told they couldn’t eat and gave it to an adult pretending to be Adam.
With older children you could include the role of the serpent.
The craft is very simple.
Paper Plate Apple
red and green tissue paper squares – or crepe paper
sugar/construction paper stalk and leaf (you could stick these on for the children if they are very young – under threes may not place them at the edge of the plate – but that may not matter. It is the process of making that matters rather than an end product that an adult has altered!)
In the Bible alphabet we are up to Dd – Daniel. The story is written for three’s and under. If you use it then you can add counting to three on your fingers and of course use a made up lion paper plate at the right time in the story.
Craft – a paper plate lion head
You will need –
1. Paper plates – turned over and resting on the rim
2. Yellow and orange tissue paper/ crepe paper squares
3. Yellow wool cut into 5cm lengths ( or thereabouts!)
4. Glue sticks
5. Black paper triangles
6. Black crayons (for the children to draw on the lion’s mouth and whiskers – or you may want to do this in advance)
7. Googly eyes – if working with under fives an adult MUST supervise the use of these. Don’t leave them on the table for children to use as they are a chocking hazard. Of course you don’t have to use them at all!
Bible reference Daniel 6
Daniel lived a long time ago. Every day he would talk to God, On Sunday he talked to God and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Every day he went into his room and knelt down and talked to God. He talked to God in the morning, and at lunchtime and at night time. One , two , three times a day he talked to God. God loved to listen to Daniel talk to him. He heard everything that Daniel said.
But some people made trouble for Daniel. They went to the king and they got him to make a new rule that no one should pray to God.
Well, Daniel loved God and so that day he went home and he did what he always did – he knelt down to talk to God.
He was in BIG trouble. He was taken away from his house and put in a big pit in the ground and a stone was put over the top. It was dark. Daniel wasn’t on his own. Inside the pit there were lions! but God had sent an angel to keep the mouths of the lions shut. They could see Daniel and they could smell Daniel but they couldn’t hurt him.
God is very powerful. He is in charge. He kept Daniel safe.
Following on from where Jesus was born – Bethlehem – who took care of him? Mary and Joseph. In this story we concentrated on Joseph and the job he did.
With young children I sometimes like to have some objects in a bag – it keeps them interested and watching what is going on and objects help to explain words and concepts.
In the story bag
A knitted doll – Joseph
A toy saw and hammer
Pieces of wood