This is the last short story in this series. The house that Jesus never visited!
This was another of our weather themed stories at toddler group. It’s from Luke 8. It’s a great story to tell – lots of drama and Jesus sleeping!
This craft is the lake on a paper plate – square paper plates with two shades of blue tissue paper. Round plates would be just as good but they need to be a bit sturdy. The boat is cut from card (done beforehand) and has a tab so it can be glued in place but still stand up. The label says ‘Jesus stopped the storm’.
It’s a very effective craft that’s quite easy to make.
“Hello friends, hello friends. How are you, how are you? It’s time for a story, time for a story. Come and listen, come and listen.”
We sing this song to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’ every week at toddler group. We gather round the story chair in a semi – circle; some sit on the rugs and others on chairs and then we share a story together.
By saying ‘share a story together’ I mean that I don’t just read a story from a book or recite a story script. It is story telling – a much more interactive group activity. We are ‘in it together’, taking part, joining in.
There are different ways of creating a joining in experience when telling a story. Here are a few ideas
- Sounds to make – the sound of the storm on the lake
- Actions to do – climbing the tree with Zacchaeus
- Saying hello to the characters in the story as they come out of the story bag
- Singing a song – include ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ part way through the story of the shepherds and angels.
So how do you choose which stories to tell?
As a church-based group (although we meet in a community hall) we tell stories from the Bible. It can help if each story is connected to a theme for half a term. Animal Bible stories, Homes Jesus Visited, Stories Jesus Told, Creation. Choose stories that you feel comfortable with and will enjoy telling.
When to have Story Time?
Pick a time in your session when there are less distractions. If you want the children to join in, then serve snacks before or after. Try to time things so that hands are free to take part in the story actions. If possible, have a space where there are no toys or do Story Time at the beginning or towards the end of the session.
Create a space
The storyteller needs to be seen and to be on the children’s level. Choose a low seat and create a semi – circle. Clean rugs encourage parents/carers and children to sit on the floor, but chairs are good for adults who need a higher seat.
The idea is to know the story well and encourage interaction with the group. The Bible is full of the most wonderful stories. Enjoy sharing them!
(This is an article I wrote for CEF Britain’s Newsletter)
Here are some of the items I use when telling stories…
So far we have had stories about Creation, the Fall, Abraham, the angel visiting Mary and the birth of Jesus. Our last story in our journey to Bethlehem series is all about the shepherds. Luke 2:8-20
Bible Story from Luke 2:8-20
Bible truth for toddlers – Jesus is the Saviour
‘The baby sent from God was tucked up in the manger. Mary and Joseph were there to look after him. Do you remember his name? He was called Jesus. There they were that night – just the three of them.
Meanwhile, out of the town, in the hills, there were shepherds. Shepherds look after sheep. What sound does a sheep make?
It was dark – the shepherds were making sure that all the sheep were safe.
Then suddenly something happened that made the shepherds really scared! There was an angel – and the angel was surrounded by bright light.
‘Don’t be afraid’, the angel said, ‘I bring you good news of great joy that is for everyone, everywhere. Today, a Saviour has been born. You will find him lying in a manger.’
Then lots of angels were there singing. And then they were gone and it was dark again.
The shepherds looked at each other, ‘Let’s go and see this thing that’s happened that God has told us about.’
So off they went – down the hill, through the town, looking here, looking there – until they found Jesus. They found the Saviour.
We can find Jesus too. He is still the Saviour sent from God for everyone, everywhere. We won’t find him in a manger – but we can know him as our Saviour.‘
Another paper plate…
All the paper plates from our Journey to Bethlehem
There is a really good video clip about this Bible story on The Answers in Genesis site – click here to go straight there.
In one of our toddler groups we’ve been learning about how everything began. We started with creation, then how things went wrong for Adam and Eve when they sinned against God. We’ve learnt about Noah and now we are finding out about how people groups and languages began.
In Genesis 11 we find out that Noah’s descendants were still living in one big group and that they were very capable and able to make bricks. When Noah and his family had come out of the Ark God had told them to ‘fill the earth’ (Genesis 9:1). But they had not spread out but stuck together. So God separates them by confusing their language. Then they really have no choice but to go their separate ways and ‘fill the earth’.
Story for children (during the story if you have someone who can speak a language that you don’t understand ask them to help you – they could give you some building instructions!)
Do you remember how Noah and his family came out of the Ark? They were so happy to be back on dry land again. God told Noah and his family that they should spread out over the whole earth. Do you think they did what God said? No! They wanted to stay altogether.
Time went by. Soon there were lots of people. They all spoke the same language. When someone said ‘hello’ everyone understood. They were clever too. They learnt how to make bricks that were strong. (Have a brick to show)
‘Lets build a huge city with a tall tower that reaches up and up into the sky’ they said. everyone understood.
They started work.
‘Pass the bricks’, ‘Lend me a hammer’, ‘is that wall straight?’ Everyone understood all the instructions.
God looked at what the people were doing. He wasn’t pleased. He had told them to spread out and they hadn’t listened. So God did something that only God could do. He made the people start to speak in different languages.
It was so hard to build the huge city and tall tower now that some people were saying words that other people didn’t understand. (ask your friend to give you a couple of instructions here)
The people gave up. They got together in smaller groups with others who had the same language and they began to spread out over the whole earth.
Craft Idea – build a tower
In our series of Bible stories that include animals we told the very short story about Elijah being brought food by ravens.
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 thse three are introduced to the children.
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.
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
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.
To make these pictures I started with a roll of paper from Ikea and drew a road. The buildings and trees were added. As you tell the story you can add all the things you need. The cloaks were cut from material, the donkey has pegs for legs.
The people were copied from this book Their God is so Big by Stephanie Carmichael. It’s on offer at the moment!
The donkey with pegs for legs would make a good craft. help yourself to the free printables.
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.
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.’
To finish the story explain that today God doesn’t speak to us on mountains but from the Bible (have a Bible to show)