Next half term at Thursday toddler group we will be travelling along the road to Easter. In the Gospels Jesus meets several people when he is on this last journey to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover for the final time. So four of our stories will be about these people that met Jesus as he was going to Jerusalem. Then we will have the story of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and in the final week the Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
I’ll be using different props for each story but as we go there will be a paper plate picture for each week that will build a bigger picture..
Our stories will be
The Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-23 and Mark 10:17-22)
Bartimaeus (Luke 18:35-43 and Mark 10:32,33,46-52)
Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
Mary anoints Jesus (John 12:1-8)
The Triumphal Entry (Luke 19:28-40)
Death and Resurrection of Jesus (Luke 23:44-24:12)
This is how our big picture will look when we have told all the stories..
These are paper plates covered in tissue paper with people and buildings and trees etc added.
The people are available to download – if you would like to make a contribution to the blog you are very welcome to do so but of course you don’t have to!
Sometimes I like to give the parents/carers and children some actions to do during the story. We practise the actions first and then the idea is that everyone joins in at the right moment in the story!
Actions – running (either on the spot or making sound of running with hands tapping knees, stars in the sky, pretending to shiver and rubbing hands to be warm.
There are also some words to join in with – a rooster crowing, saying ‘No’ and counting to 3.
Some people didn’t like Jesus and they wanted to make trouble for him. He was taken away and asked lots of questions. His friends ran away! All except Peter who followed to where Jesus had been taken. He stayed outside. It was dark – there were stars in the sky. It was cold too and Peter shivered. He tried to stay warm.
‘You are a friend of Jesus’, a woman said.
‘No!’ said Peter. Then he heard the rooster crow
‘You are a friend of Jesus’ she said again
‘No!’ said Peter
Then other people joined in – ‘You are a friend of Jesus’
What would Peter say? He said ‘No!’
Then he heard the rooster crow. Peter remembered that Jesus had told him that before the rooster crowed twice he would say he wasn’t Jesus’ friend 1,2, 3 times. Peter was so sad that he cried.
But Jesus still loved Peter and Easter is all about how Jesus can forgive us when we do wrong things. Jesus was going to forgive Peter.
Bible references – Mark 14 and Luke 22 (see also the accounts in Matthew and John).
The following is a story idea for toddlers. Some of the details have been omitted as this age group would find all the details bewildering! As we are using Peter as our main character I have concentrated on two main parts that he played – getting the room ready and then his conversation with Jesus. His outburst about not letting Jesus wash his feet has been omitted. The concept of being clean as explained by Jesus is quite complicated for toddlers! The story is quite sad – so don’t overdo the sadness. Just tell it like it happened. The aim is to tell about Peter’s failure in order that we can then tell about Jesus’ love and forgiveness. Use some props for the story – puppets or knitted people, some pitta bread, a cushion and a picture of a rooster as children may not know what this is.
Do you remember that we are on our way to Easter with Peter? He is one of the friends of Jesus.
Jesus wanted to have a very special meal with his friends. He knew that this would be the last time that they would all be together before he died. But, some people wanted to hurt Jesus and so the meal had to be kept secret.
Jesus had an important job for two of his friends – John and Peter. ‘Go into the town and when you see a man carrying a water jar follow him into the house.Then ask if you can use the room upstairs.’ John and Peter did exactly what Jesus said and they got the room ready. There was a table for the food – some bread and wine to drink and some cushions to sit on.
Jesus and his friends sat down and had a meal together.
When they had finished they sang a song and then went outside for a walk. It was dark. The stars were twinkling in the sky.
Jesus wanted to talk to Peter. ‘You are going to let me down and say that you aren’t my friend’, he told him.
‘No!’ Peter said,’I will never do that!’
‘Peter you will tell people you don’t even know me before the rooster crows to show it’s morning time’
Would Peter do that just when Jesus needed his friends? We’ll have to wait and see!
The colourful ‘scales’ are mini cup cake cases cut in half. I bought them from Amazon. The fins are the cases cut into quarters.
We were doing the story of Peter being called to follow Jesus from Mark 1:16. As Peter was a fisherman we made fish! For the next few weeks our stories will be about the things Peter saw and heard and did the first Easter. Here’s Peter..with his boat and fish.
the sea, boat and fish from Peter’s story
The next four weeks will be
The last Supper Mark 14
Peter denies Jesus Mark 14
Jesus death and resurrection Mark 15,16
BBQ breakfast on the beach John 21
Each time the focus will be on what Peter saw and heard and did. I am hoping that while each short story will be interesting for the children they will also give the adults an understanding of what happened and why.