Mary and Martha

In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Mary and Martha. They are two grown up sisters living in Bethany. They are mentioned three times in the Life of Jesus. You can also read about them in John 11 – when their brother Lazarus is bought back to life – and in John 12 – when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

You could tell all three of these stories over three sessions or pick a couple. It’s good to include stories about women in our groups as so many of the listeners are women and a lot of Bible stories are about men! I always try to be mindful of this when I’m planning which stories to include.

To tell the story – 

In the story bag I had the three main characters – Martha, Mary and Jesus and some pots and pans, a wooden spoon and a cloth. You could have an apron or a duster. As you introduce the characters take them from the story bag and say ‘hello’

‘Mary and Martha were two grown-up sisters. One day Martha invited Jesus to come to their home for a meal.

Jesus was very happy to go to Mary and Martha’s house.

When he got there Jesus began to talk about God. Mary so wanted to listen to everything that he had to say. She sat down and listened.

But Martha had a lot to do! There was tidying to be done. There was the cooking to be done. Pans needed stirring!(Use the props from the story bag – encourage the children to mime the actions too) Food needed chopping! Plates needed wiping! Water needed pouring! She was busy, busy, busy! (Can you say that with me? She was busy, busy, busy!)

Mary sat still and listened to Jesus.

Martha was not happy!

She said to Jesus, ‘ Lord, don’t you care that I’ve been left to do all the work by myself?! Tell my sister to help me!’

But Jesus didn’t do what Martha said. Instead he said to Martha, ‘You don’t need to worry so much about all the things that need to be done. You need to listen to my words too.’

Today we can listen to the words of Jesus by listening to stories about him and reading the Bible.’

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Craft Idea

Make people collages – you could add the words, ‘We use our ears to listen’

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Journey to Bethlehem week 2

Week one was creation – God made everything good and Adam and Eve were friends with God and each other.

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The idea for the creation paper plates came from here – https://ithappensinablink.com/paper-plate-the-days-of-creation/

This week the story is all about how things went from being ‘very good’ (thumbs up) to very bad (thumbs down). The creation plates will be part of the large picture board and the next story will be added.

The story…

God gave Adam and Eve one rule. ‘Don’t eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden’. They could eat from every other tree but not that one.

Then one day a serpent began to talk to Eve! ‘ Just look at the fruit on that lovely tree in the middle of the garden! It looks so deliciousssss. I’m sure God won’t mind if you take a bite. Nothing bad will happen!’

Eve looked at the tree. Eve looked at the fruit. It did look yummy. She reached out her hand and she took the fruit. She could smell how delicious it was and then she took a bite. Then Adam took a bite too!

They had broken God’s one rule and everything changed. They weren’t friends with God anymore and they tried to hide.

But God found them. He still loved them and he promised to send a Saviour so that people could be friends with God again.

In the storybag

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Followers of Jesus – Tabitha

We started a new set of Bible stories at Toddler group today. Each week we are going to meet someone from the Bible who followed Jesus. Today we started with Tabitha (or Dorcas) from Acts 9. She came along in our story basket together with a few sewing related items.

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We begin by saying hello to Tabitha and then I talk about how she helped others because she followed Jesus. The way she helped was by making clothes. As items are taken out of the story basket they are named. The children listened really well!

The puppet is new and was from E W Education via Amazon. They come as a set of 10 different puppets in a lovely hessian sack with several accessories.

Our craft was decorating people shapes with fabric and wool.

On a slightly different note – I will be leading a seminar/workshop about craft at toddler group at the Care for the Family Playtime Conference in September. It’s going to be all about crafts for different seasons. I am chuffed to bits to have been invited. Here’s a link to the info. There are lots of seminars and great speakers. It’s going to be a really good day 🙂

 

Thank you God for my feet..

Acts 3:1-10 is a great story for thanking God for our feet. The children will enjoy jumping and walking. To tell the story use actions – these are in italics. Use as many or as few as suits your group.

There was a man who was very sad – can you look sad?

Each day he sat outside and asked people for money so he could buy food – rub thumbs and fingers together to illustrate money

One day two of Jesus’ friends came walking by. They were called Peter and John. Tap hands on knees to make sound of walking.

They stopped and looked at the man. Everyone sit still.

‘Look at us’ they said. Ask everyone to repeat this.

The man looked and he hoped they would give him some money. Rub thumb and fingers together again.

We don’t have any money! Ask everyone to repeat this.

‘But what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus get up and walk!’

Peter held out his hand and helped the man up.

Could he walk? Yes! He could walk – can you walk? He could jump – can you jump?

He was happy!

We can thank God for our feet that we use for standing, walking, running and jumping.

You could use pictures instead if you prefer – Free Bible Images have these.

This is a craft idea.

 

Thank you God for my mouth..

I was wondering what to do for thanking God for our mouths – a story that had food in it perhaps? But then remembered the man who came back to Jesus to say ‘thank you’. The story is from Luke 17:11-19. To tell the story I made ten men from wooden spoons. On one side of the spoon each man has a sad face and on the other a happy face. For young children there is an opportunity to practice counting to ten!

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The spoons are from Ikea at 30p each.( It was very difficult to remove the labels from the spoons so in the end I left them on) I decorated the spoons with wool stuck on with PVA, tissue paper (with PVA) and sharpies. If doing this as a craft for children I wouldn’t use sharpies as I find that after a while they do give you a headache!

For telling the story the spoons were put into a block of oasis – and as the men were healed each one was turned around. You can add a bit of suspense here – ‘One man was better – was man number two – lets see! How about man number three?’ – and so on.

img_0233img_0234The main aim of the story was to thank God for our mouths that we can use for saying kind words like thank you.

 

Journey to Bethlehem

This half term at toddler group we are going to take a journey to Bethlehem. Each week the Bible story will be a simple retelling of a key event on that journey for the children. The plan is to put the stories in the context of The Big Story for the adults.

So we start with creation and everything being made good. Next week the fall and things no longer being good and then onwards to Jesus being born. God’s saviour sent for us.

The order will be

Creation, Fall, Noah, God’s promise to Abraham (through you all the families of the world will be blessed), angel visiting Mary, birth of Jesus, visit of the Shepherds.

So this week the story is going to be told using an idea that I found here – It Happens in a Blink.

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here’s some of the paper plates in close up. I had a lot of fun making them. You need sturdy paper plates! I decided not to have a blank plate for day seven. I did see an idea that included lots of zzzz for resting but God didn’t go to sleep he just stopped making because everything was complete and perfect. He doesn’t need to rest in the way that we do. He never slumbers or sleeps 🙂

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As I tell the story we will count the days together and name what we can see on the plates. After each day we will say ‘it was all very good’ and do a thumbs up. This will be our action for this weeks story. Next week it will be thumbs down to represent the way that everything was no longer good and perfect.

I’m looking forward to going on this journey to Bethlehem.

 

 

The prodigal son story

So far, this term, at toddler group we have told stories about ravens, bees, frogs and a big fish – last week it was the turn of the pigs.

this little piggie went to toddler group!

this little piggie went to toddler group!

The Bible story was from Luke 15. It is one of the stories that Jesus told about the lost and the found. The younger son wants his money and goes off and spends the lot. He ends up feeding the pigs and comes to his senses. He goes home and is welcomed by his father. The story is a picture of the welcome we recieve when we turn back to God.

To tell the story – use some props including money, party streamers/hats, pretend pigs, new robe/coat/ring/shoes.

The story

Jesus told the people a story

‘There was a man who had two sons (count to two). The younger son wanted his father’s money. So the father decided to share all his things between his two sons. Now they had a lot of money. (jingle the money).

A few days later the younger son got his money and packed his bag and went far away. He loved spending is money! he had lots and lots of parties (show party streamers/hats). One day he looked in his pocket for more money but it had all gone! He had spent every last penny! He was in trouble.

He needed a job. He went to work looking after pigs. What noise do pigs make? oink,oink! He was so hungry that he could have eaten the food that the pigs ate. No one helped him. He was sad.

‘I will go back to my father’ he said. ‘He will give me a better job than sitting here with these pigs.’

So he walked and walked and walked till he could see his old home far away in the distance.

Someone saw him coming. Someone had been looking and hoping that he would come back home. It was his father. His father was so pleased to see his son that he ran down the road to meet him and hugged him.

‘I’m sorry’ said the son

‘I forgive you’ said the father. ‘Now let’s celebrate that you have come back home!’

The father gave his son new clothes to wear, new shoes and a ring.(show these items) He was so happy that he had a party.

‘My son was lost,’ he said,’but now he is found.’

When we come back to God it is like we were lost but are now found.

Craft Idea – paper plate pink pigs.

All you need 

paper plate

pink tissue paper and crepe paper cut into square (roughly)

glue

circles from pink sugar paper for snout (I use a paper punch from hobbycraft.)

ear shapes cut from sugar paper

stickers for nostils and eyes

pink crayons (optional)

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paper plate pigs made by the children

paper plate pigs made by the children

We allow plenty of self expression!

paper plate pigs made by me to give children and parents an idea of what to aim at.

paper plate pigs made by me to give children and parents an idea of what to aim at.