The Parable of the Pearl Lesson

When you have a range of ages in a children’s group, it’s great to provide a range of activities that are more open-ended that children can choose from.  This means that children are more likely to find something they can get on and do independently and to their own level!  Here is a session we used this month with a group of children ranging in age from 2-12.

First we organised a hunt for coloured paper squares which we had hidden around the room.  Children worked in small teams to find specific colours.IMG_0443

Next, we told the parable of the pearl. I used my Godly play set, but a version from a children’s Bible or a video of the story would work just as well.

Children could then choose from a range of related activities that helped them to explore the story themes of ‘treasure’, searching for something precious and what the kingdom of God would be like…

  • Making pearl ‘treasure’ biscuits. Click here for the link to show you how.
  • Drawing a picture of the story
  • Using play dough to make a scene from the story or to make a ‘treasure’
  • Using a range of collage materials to make ‘treasure’

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  • searching in moon sand for ‘treasure’ (glittery foam shapes, buttons, pom poms)

As the children created, we used the time to talk to them about heaven, treasure, what it must be like to give up everything for something incredibly precious and what they would have done if they had been in the story. We had some fascinating conversations!

Tabitha/Dorcas Lesson

Here are some activities to help children to explore the story of Tabitha (or Dorcas, depending on your preference!) in Acts 9.  They will work well with a range of ages as there is scope for creativity!

IMG_2431Game: ‘jigsaws’ made of robes drawn on coloured card.  This could easily be done as a race with children putting together one particular colour jigsaw per team.

Read the story from a good children’s Bible or act the story out.

Talk about:

what was your favourite part of the story? How do you think Tabitha’s friends felt when she had died? What about when she came back to life? Why do you think Peter wanted to help? What would you think about God’s power if you had been one of Tabitha’s friends? Have you ever seen or felt God do something amazing? (adults share any testimonies here!)

  • Use a blank T shirt template and get children to design a T shirt that reflects the story they have heard e.g. with a picture of their favourite part of the story or with colours and shapes that reflect a ‘miracle’ or show something of God’s amazing power. Use pens, pencils and any kind of collage material
  • Poke holes in paper plates and then let children use plastic needles and wool to sew patterns (reflecting Tabitha’s skill at sewing). Think about skills they have to help others and thank God for themIMG_2439
  • Use this play dough mat to think about people who use their skills to help us.  Click here to print out the play dough matTabitha Mat

Prayers: If you could pray for God to do something amazing to help other people, what would it be? Draw on a T shirt shape and peg onto a washing line

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8-11s: Psalm 139 Session Ideas

Psalm 139 is full of wonderful images to explore.  Here are some ideas for reflecting on what it has to say…

Reflect on the words of the psalm and write/ draw your responses in a wordcloud:

For a copy of the word cloud, click here.

Use clay to make symbols of what is special about you and thank God for truly knowing who you are.

Try this ‘Fearfully and wonderfully made’ craft and prayer activity:

Use finger labyrinths to reflect on how we might follow God’s ‘everlasting way’.  Click here to find some labyrinths to print out or make and try.

8-11s: Lord’s Prayer Session

Here are some ideas for helping children to connect with the Lord’s Prayer.

 Lord’s prayer ordering game– How well do you know the prayer?

Prayer printed out and cut into strips, mixed up so they can be put in the correct order. We made this a race!

‘Hallowed be your name’: Play names of God dominoes, exploring the different names and characteristics of God.  Click here to print out the dominoes.
‘Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven’: Talk about road signs in this country- triangle signs are warnings and circle signs are orders.  If God made some order signs to show how He wanted people to live, what would be on them?  Let children draw them in the circles.
‘Forgive us our sins’: Forgiveness prayers such as ‘washing away sins’
As we forgive others’: Forgiveness fizz prayers
Reflect on the prayer with this reflective colouring sheet:

5-7s: David and Goliath Session Ideas

Here are some ideas for exploring the story of David and Goliath with 5-7s.

Tell the story from a children’s Bible or use items in a story bag

Challenge the children to walk in ‘Goliath feet’ made from cardboard and string (see picture above).

Have a bean bag target throw competition (as a reminder of David’s throwing skills).

Have a go with some paper ball catapults.   Click here to see the original idea.

Decorate some stones to remind the children that something so small had such a great impact. .

Talk about times when we need to be brave.   How do you feel? What or who helps you? Talk about times when you have trusted God to help you (it’s great for adults to share their expriences with the children!)

Prayer: Write each child’s name on a different stone and give them out so that each child has thier own name.  Children hold their stone and ask God to help them when they need to be brave.  Swap stones with someone and pray that God will help that person to be brave.  Take that person’s stone home and remember to pray for them in the coming week.

5-7s: The Good Samaritan Session Ideas

Here are some ideas for exploring the story of the Good Samaritan with 5-7s.

Tell the story with felt shapes: Click here to see the idea.  Alternatively, tell the story with fruit.  This gets a bit messy!

Let the children play with toy doctor’s kits

Draw out the themes of being good neighbours and helping and encouraging others.

  • Make ‘Get well soon’ cards
  • make hand print art work to help children think about being ‘helping hands’ to their neighbours.
  • draw pictures of the characters, cut them out and stick them onto lolly sticks to make stick puppets and retell the story

Pray for people who are ill using the healing board

Take home a ‘Helping Hands’ challenge sheet and encourage children to be good neighbours during the week!