What is God like? Story Series.

A couple of years ago we did some stories that tell us what God is like. I’ve put them here – all in one place. Much easier to find!

We took a story from the Bible to teach one truth about God each week. An alternative title would be ‘What does the Bible tell us about God?’

We answered the question by teaching that –

God is everywhere, God knows everything, God is holy, God is powerful and God is faithful. Of course the Bible tells us more about God than we have included here. We finished with the Christmas story – God has made a way for us to know him.

Although it was Christmas when we told the last story I would think it would be fine to tell the Christmas story at a different time of year.

Each week we used a story bag and a character or two. These varied from Pringle people, a mini Moses (toilet roll!) and knitted characters. I think the children liked the variety.

You could easily tell these stories to young children at home too.

1. Genesis 16. Story of Hagar

Bible truth for toddlers – God is Everywhere

Say hello to Hagar!

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Hagar was very sad. (Can you look sad) She ran away from her home. She sat down and looked around. There was no one there. No one.

But God knew where Hagar was. He spoke to her, ‘It will be alright Hagar. Go back home.’

Hagar listened. She knew that God could see where she was. She knew that God is everywhere. Hagar said, ‘You are the God who sees me. You are the God who looks after me.’

Hagar was happier. (Can you look happy) She got up and went back home.

God sees you. God cares for you. Wherever you go, God is there.

2. Genesis 41. Pharoah’s dreams

Bible truth for toddlers – God knows everything

Say hello to Pharaoh! Pharaoh was a very important man. But he was upset. he had had a dream. It was a strange dream and it worried Pharaoh. He wanted to know what his dream meant. What could he do? He sent for all the magicians and wise men. ‘They will tell me what the dream means’ he thought to himself.

But they had no idea!

Oh no! What could Pharaoh do? One of his servants was thinking. He was remembering someone he knew. He had an idea.

‘Pharaoh I know someone who can help. He is in your prison. He is able to tell people what their dreams mean.’ Who was this man? His name was Joseph.

Pharaoh sent for him right way. Can you tell me what my dream means? he asked Joseph.

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‘No! I can’t. But God can tell us what the dream means’. How can God do that? He can because God knows everything. God told Joseph what the dream meant. He told Pharaoh.

God knows everything about you and me too. He knows our names and he cares about us.

(Pharaoh and Joseph are made from pringles cartons)

3. Exodus 3. Moses and the burning bush

Bible truth for toddlers – God is holy

Say hello to Moses!

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Moses was looking after his sheep. What noise to sheep make? Baa!

He saw something. It looked different.

What was it?

Was it a funny looking sheep? No!

Was it a funny looking snake? No!

It was a plant that was on fire but it was still green and not burning up at all!

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He went a little closer! (note – explain that the children must never go near to fire)

Then Moses heard God’s voice. ‘Moses, Moses’.

‘Here I am’, Moses said.

‘Don’t come any nearer. Where you are standing is holy.’

God was there and so an ordinary place had become extraordinary. God is holy

What does that mean? Holy means different to us. God is always great and he is always good.

4. Exodus 14. Crossing the Red Sea

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 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.

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5. Luke 1:5-24. Zechariah and Elisabeth

Bible truth for toddlers – God is faithful

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One day a man called Zechariah was in the temple. It was a very special place where people went to worship God. Zechariah had a special job to do there – just once in his life! He was a priest and he had been chosen to go and burn some incense that would make the temple smell beautiful. He was all by himself. All the other people had to wait outside.

Suddenly an angel was there with him. Angels are big, strong messengers from God. Zechariah was frightened!

‘Don’t be afraid’, the angel said, ‘God has heard your prayers and you and your wife Elisabeth are going to have a baby son. You will give him the name John.’

Now Zechariah should have believed the angel but he didn’t! ‘How can that happen?’ he said, ‘Elisabeth and I are far too old to have children!’

The angel said, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in God’s presence everyday! I was sent to give you this good news. Now since you haven’t believed me you won’t be able to talk until the baby is born.’ Then Gabriel went away.

Zechariah finished what he was doing. He went outside but he couldn’t tell anyone what had happened!

He went back home. Time went by. Would God keep his promise?

God always keeps his promises. God is faithful. Zechariah and Elisabeth had a baby boy and they called him John.

6. Luke 2. Jesus is born

Bible truth for toddlers – God has made a way for us to know him

We have heard about how God is everywhere. God knows everything. God is powerful. God is holy. God is faithful. Today we find out that God has made a way for us to know him.

‘Mary and Joseph were in the stable. That night something amazing had happened. Jesus had been born as a baby. Jesus was not just an ordinary baby – he was God’s Son sent from heaven.

Out in the fields there were some shepherds looking after their sheep. It was dark. There were stars up in the sky. Suddenly an angel was there! This angel had a message from God.

The shepherds were scared!

‘Don’t be afraid,’ the angel said, ‘I bring you good news of great joy that is for everyone. Today in the Town of David a Saviour has been born to you!’

Who is this Saviour? It is Jesus

The angel told the shepherds ‘ You will find the baby wrapped in cloths and in a manger’.

Then there were lots and lots of angels in the sky singing. It was such a special night – the Saviour had been born.

Then the angels were gone. The shepherds looked at each other. ‘let’s go and find this special baby’, they said to each other.

They dashed into the town and they looked. And they found him – the Saviour sent from God was there. God had sent Jesus to be our Saviour so that we can know God. The shepherds found Jesus. You can find Jesus too.

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(The characters are from Early Learning Centre. The ‘straw’ is shredded tissue paper.)

Let’s Share Bible Stories with Toddlers

“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…

The Last Supper – Luke 22

As part of the bigger Easter Story we’ve told the story of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples from Luke 22:7-20

The story

Jerusalem was full of people! They had come to the big city to celebrate Passover. Passover is a special meal – it reminds God’s people of how God saved them from being slaves in Egypt.

Jesus wanted to eat the special Passover meal with his friends. But there were so many people and there were people who wanted to hurt Jesus that the meal needed to be kept a secret! (Everyone say ‘shush’)

Jesus sent Peter and John into the city. ‘When you see a man carrying a water jar on his head follow him! He will go to the house where you can get the meal ready.’

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Peter and John did what Jesus said and soon the meal was ready.

The Passover Meal is very special. Part of the meal would have been bread and wine (Show these).

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Jesus said to his friends, ‘This is the last time I will be able to eat this special Passover meal with you. When you eat it in the future I want you to remember me.’

Jesus was going to rescue many people. he wanted his friends to remember that he was the rescuer.

Today Christians remember Jesus with a special meal – with bread and wine. (If possible have the items that your church uses for Communion to show the children)

Craft Idea – with a printable Lord’s Supper – Cup and Bread (1)

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Tower of Babel

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

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What is God like?

Questions

Last term in Toddler Group all our Bible stories were in answer to this question – ‘What is God like?’. We took a story from the Bible to teach one truth about God each week. An alternative title would be ‘What does the Bible tell us about God?’

We answered the question by teaching that –

God is everywhere, God knows everything, God is holy, God is powerful and God is faithful. We finished with the Christmas story – God has made a way for us to know him.

Although it was Christmas when we told the last story I would think it was fine to tell the Christmas story at a different time of year.

Each week we used a story bag and a character or two. These varied from Pringle people, a mini Moses (toilet roll!) and knitted characters. I think the children liked the variety.

You could easily tell these stories to young children at home too.

Here’s a link to all the stories that I’ve put together in one post.

Calling of the first disciples – Mark 2

Last week at toddler group we told the story about the Baptism of Jesus. This week we move on to the calling of Simon and Andrew to follow Jesus.

To help the children picture what is happening in the story I have made a boat and two disciples using an egg box and cardboard rolls.

The story will be very short and will be told from Mark 1:16-18.

The visual aids are easy to make – all you need is 

Egg box (6 egg size)

Two toilet rolls or cardboard rolls

Two pieces of material for head gear and two pipe cleaners to fasten material

Felt pens or Sharpies to colour cardboard roll disciples

Paint to colour egg box

Pipe cleaner for mast and triangle large enough to fold around pipe cleaner to make sale (stick this with double sided sticky tape)

The pictures should give a clear idea of how everything was made!

 

 

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For a simple craft make a paper plate fish

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