Jesus had almost arrived at Jerusalem! He had travelled a long way. How lovely that he was able to go to his friends house. Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were good friends of Jesus. They wanted to do something special for him so they had a dinner for him. Martha served the food and everyone enjoyed what she had made and they ate everything! Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus. But where was Mary?
Mary wanted to show everyone how special Jesus was. In those days when you went to someone’s house they always gave you some water to wash your feet. The roads were very dusty and people got their feet dirty.
But Mary wanted to do more than just give Jesus water to wash his feet. She had some very expensive ointment that she poured onto the feet of Jesus. The Bible tells us that the perfume from the anointment filled the whole house.
Mary was right to do this special thing for Jesus because he is God’s Son who would soon die to save us.
Craft Idea – a perfume bottle made from a paper plate. Spray the bottle shape with perfume and allow to saok in and dry. Then decorate!
Jesus is now in Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. Last time he met Bartimaeus. Now he meets Zacchaeus. Two very different people!
To tell the story… from Luke 19:1-10
Have a tree – you can make one from a pringle container or draw one – and a person to represent Zacchaeus. Place Zacchaeus in a story bag.
Jesus was now getting nearer to Jerusalem. Lots of people wanted to see Jesus as he walked through their town. They had heard a lot about all the amazing things that he had done.
One man really wanted to see Jesus. His name was Zacchaeus (can you say that name?) Let’s say hello to Zacchaeus as he comes out of the story bag.
Now Zacchaeus was very, very rich. He had loads of money. Some of his money he had by taking what wasn’t his! So people didn’t like Zacchaeus.
But that wasn’t all. Zacchaeus was a short man. So when Jesus was coming to his town he had a problem! He couldn’t see past the crowds! The crowds of people didn’t like Zacchaeus so they weren’t going to let him get to the front. Standing on tip toe didn’t help either. So Zacchaeus began to run. He ran to a tree. Then he did something that he hadn’t done for a long, long time. He climbed the tree. Now he could see Jesus.
And there Jesus was, walking along the road. And then Jesus stopped! Right under the tree. ‘Zacchaeus, come down. I’m coming to your house today!’ said Jesus.
Zacchaeus came down the tree. ‘I will give back all the money that isn’t mine and I will give extra money too’ he said.
Zacchaeus was a different person now that he had met Jesus.
Jesus said ‘I came to look for and to save the lost’. All of us are lost without Jesus. He is looking for us and is able to save us.
We are beginning to get ready for Easter at toddler group. This year we are going on the last journey that Jesus made into Jerusalem, meeting some of the people that Jesus met. Last week we met the Rich Young Man. This week we meet Bartimaeus. The Story is from Mark 10:46-52.
To tell the story…
Jesus and his friends were in a big crowd of people going to the city of Jerusalem. By now lots of people had heard about Jesus and the amazing things he said and did. (Do you remember the rich man from last time? – if you are using the paper plate visuals have this already displayed so you can refer to it briefly)
This time we are going to find out about another person that Jesus met as he travelled to Jerusalem for the last time. Say hello to Bartimaeus! (Take Bartimaeus doll or puppet from the Story Bag)
Bartimaeus wasn’t able to see and couldn’t work so each day he sat with his bowl and begged for money. He had heard about Jesus. He started to call out as loud as he could, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’
There were other people there too who wanted to see Jesus and they didn’t want to hear Bartimaeus. They said ‘Shush.’ Can we all say ‘Shush’?
But Jesus listened. He stopped. He asked to meet Bartimaeus.
‘Get up quick!’ the people said
Bartimaeus threw off his coat and jumped up and came to Jesus.
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked.
What would Bartimaeus say? Did he want money? No! Did he want a chat? No!
‘I want to be able to see!’ he said.
Could Jesus do that? Yes! Jesus was able to make Bartimaeus see. Bartimaeus believed in Jesus. He believed that Jesus had the power to make him see. We also need to believe in Jesus.
We are beginning to get ready for Easter at toddler group. This year we are going on the last journey that Jesus made into Jerusalem, meeting some of the people that Jesus met. Our first story is from Luke 18:18-23 and Mark 10:17-22. A rich young man comes to find Jesus as he is travelling to Jerusalem and asks him a question…
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.
We ended our last Toddler Group story at Easter – Jesus was alive! Our first session back will be about something that happened next. There are several stories that you could tell; The Road to Emmaus, Thomas and/or Breakfast on the Beach but this week we are going straight on to the Ascension. I’m using pictures from ‘Tiddlywinks Stories and Pictures New Testament’ and ‘Tiddlywinks More Stories and Pictures New Testament’ published by Scripture Union and Written by Maggie Barfield and Illustrated by Sonia Canals. These books are really good to have. Great pictures and simple story ideas that you can use as they are or adapt and expand.
Story from Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11
Jesus had died but was alive again! His friend saw him and spoke to him. Lots of people saw him. He wasn’t a ghost. He could eat food! He was really alive again.
He had a job for his friends to do, ‘I want you to tell other people all about me. Tell them about the things that I said and the things that I did. Tell them how I died for them and came alive again.’
Jesus told his friends to tell everyone the Good News that he was the Saviour. They were to tell everyone in all the world.
When Jesus had spent time with his friends they went for a walk together. Then something very special happened. Jesus was taken back to heaven. He went up, up, up and into the sky and was gone. They couldn’t see him anymore.
While they were looking up into the sky two angels came and spoke to them, ‘Why are you looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has gone up to heaven will come back again. ‘
One day Jesus will come back to earth again. He won’t come as a baby. He will come as the King.
Craft idea – colouring and collage from a photocopiable picture from Tiddlywinks
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.
‘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.It did look lovely. 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.’
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.
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 🙂
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.
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!
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.
The main aim of the story was to thank God for our mouths that we can use for saying kind words like thank you.
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.
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 🙂
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. You can find all the stories in this series here on the blog with a different paper plate for each story. (You will see that the snake is not a paper plate – but if you don’t have a pre cut spiral a paper plate would be fine. Just decorate and then cut into a spiral shape) The links are with each picture.