Craft Idea – download and print the tree and Zacchaeus. Decorate with tissue and /or sugar paper and colour. Stick Zacchaeus in the tree.
I’ve been asked to tell the story of The Woman at the Well to toddlers. It’s a complicated story for under 4’s – lots of conversation and difficult concepts. So here is my attempt – I’ve left out some of the detail that would be lost on young children . Left to myself I would probably have just told a different story! But a challenge can be good so here is my retelling of John 4:1-42.
Our story has lots of surprises – as we listen lets count the surprises as they happen (each time you come to a surprise hold up the word – I know the children probably can’t read it but the adults can)
Jesus and his friends were on a long journey. They were hungry, hot and tired. They stopped just outside a town and while Jesus’ friends went to buy food Jesus sat down by the well. It was very quiet. No one came near the well in the middle of the day.
But then there was a surprise. A woman, carrying a large jar came to the well. She needed to get water. She wanted to avoid everyone in town so she came by herself.
Jesus asked her if she would get some water for him. This was a surprise! Normally people who were from Jesus’ town wouldn’t speak to people from this woman’s town. They avoided each other.
Then there was another surprise. Jesus knew all about the woman. He told her everything she had ever done. How could he do that? Jesus is God and he knows all about all of us.
Can there be any more surprises? Yes! The woman went back to the town she told everyone she had met Jesus and he knew all abut her.
They came to find Jesus. Right there at their well they met Jesus. This was a huge surprise for them! They had met the Saviour of the World.
That is who Jesus is – he was sent from God to be the Saviour of the World. A Saviour for me and for you.
The props are quite simple – a doll to represent Jesus and the woman. A small jar for the water jar (mine is glass but the children won’t be handling it) and a picture of a well.
Story from Exodus 14
Bible truth for toddlers – God is powerful
‘Moses and God’s people were in a hurry. They were escaping from being slaves in a place called Egypt. They were leaving as fast as they could taking all their things with them. There were mums and dads and grandmas and grandads and babies and children just like you are hurrying away from Egypt. Moses was their leader.
But Pharaoh, the king of Egypt was coming after them! He wanted his slaves back.
Moses and the people hurried. Pharaoh and his armies hurried after them!
Then something awful happened.
Moses and God’s people came to a huge sea of water. They couldn’t go round it. They couldn’t go under it. They couldn’t go through it! They were scared. They said to Moses, ‘ Why did you bring us here to die!
Moses said.’ Don’t be afraid. Stand still and see how God will work to save you today.’
What was God going to do?
God is powerful. He is more powerful than anyone. He moved the sea. The water separated and it stood up like towers. The land became completely dry. God is so powerful. He was able to rescue the people. They walked on the dry land, with the water either side of them – all of them got safely to the other side.’
This is a simple craft/story telling prop idea for the story of Simon Peter’s mother-in-law being healed of a fever. (Mark 1:29-31)
The bed is made from an egg box and the people from cardboard rolls.
The Story from Mark 1:29-31
‘Jesus had met some fishermen by the lake of Galilee. Do you know what fishermen do? Yes, that’s right, they catch fish!
Their names were Simon and Andrew, who were brothers and James and John who were also brothers.
Jesus called them to be his followers.
One day Jesus went to the home of Simon and Andrew. Even though they were grown ups they lived in the same home with their families. Their friends James and John were there too.
It’s really nice to have friends visit us isn’t it? But things weren’t happy in this home… everyone was sad.
Simon’s mother-in-law was very poorly. She had a temperature and had to stay in bed.
When Jesus found out that she was poorly he went to see her. He cared about her. He cares about you and me too.
Jesus held her hand and helped her get up – and she was better!!
Now I couldn’t have done that. And you couldn’t have done that. But Jesus could because Jesus is God.
Simon’s mother-in-law was so happy to be well. The first thing she did was to start looking after her friends and she made them something to eat.
Everyone in the house was happy!’
There is a video of this story here