Saturday, January 31, 2015

Jesus Teaches Me to Be Wise

Jesus tells the story contrasting the wise builder and the foolish at the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount.  He tells His hearers that if they hear His words, and do them they are like the wise man, but if they hear His words and do not do them they are like the foolish man.  The lesson here is about obedience - so meaningful and relevant to preschoolers.  Building your life on Jesus (which is often the lesson taught with this story) is an abstract concept for little ones, but obedience, and choosing whether to be wise or foolish is right up their alley for both understanding and application!

Bible Truth: Jesus teaches me to be wise.
Bible Story: The wise and foolish builders.
Bible Study: Matthew 7:24-27


sensory storytelling

For a great visual and sensory experience of this parable round up these items:

  • Legos
  • a clear shallow container
  • sand
  • a brick
  • Velcro
  • a hair dryer
  • a spray bottle filled with water
To prepare, build two Lego houses.  Add a couple strips of Velcro to the bottom of the wise man's house, and the brick.

It works best to build the foolish man's house a bit top and front heavy.  I also left the back of the house exposed so that it will be easier to blow down when I tell the story.  Fill the clear shallow container with sand.

Hold your Bible open, and tell the children that this is an exciting story because it's a story that Jesus told his friends and people that wanted to follow Him.  We want to follow Jesus so let's listen to this story!

Jesus said that anyone who listens to His words, and obeys, is like a wise man who built his house on a rock.

A storm with lots of rain and strong winds came, but the house built on the rock was strong.  It stood firm.
Invite the children to pat their legs to make the sound of rain.  Spray the house with water, and then spray a mist over the children.  Turn the blow dryer on to a cool setting, direct the air towards the house, and direct it to the children.  (They will LOVE this!!)

Then Jesus said that anyone who listens to His words, but does not obey, is like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.

A storm with lots of rain and strong winds came, and the house on the sand came crashing down.
Once again, invite the children to pat their legs to make the sound of rain.  Spray the house, and a mist over the children.  Turn the blow dryer on to a cool setting, direct the air towards the children., and then towards the house to blow it over.

Ask the children, "Do you want to be like the wise man who built his house on the rock, or the foolish man who built his house on the sand?  When we listen to our parents and teachers, and obey them by doing what they say, Jesus said we are like the wise man."


Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock is the traditional children's song illustrating this parable.  Before we sing the song I briefly explain that building your life on the Lord means to obey Jesus.


wise and foolish charades

Play this game to teach and reinforce the practical application of this lesson.

To prepare, use pictures (if they are available to you) of children being wise (i.e. sharing, helping, etc.) and pictures of children being foolish (i.e. fighting, stealing, etc.).  If these pictures are not available to you, simply write the words on slips of paper.  Put the pictures or words in a container from which the children will draw from.  Also print out these happy and sad faces.  Cut them out and glue a happy and sad face to either side of a craft stick for each child.

Choose pairs of children to come to the front of the classroom and draw out a picture or word from the container.  Help the children figure out what the picture is conveying, or what the word says, and help them act it out.

Engage the rest of the class to help them guess what the children are doing.  (If you are using pictures, you can also show them the picture.)  After they determine the action of the children, ask them if the children are being wise or foolish.  If they are being wise they should show you the happy side of their craft stick.  If the children are being foolish, they should show you the sad side of their craft stick.   




coloring page

Here is a coloring page for this lesson to which you may add sand, and rock as suggested in the craft below.

rock painting

Collect enough smooth rocks for each child in your class.  Allow them to paint their rocks however they like.  When they dry, write on the rocks with a Sharpie marker, "I am wise when I obey." 


wise & foolish builders

For this craft you will need:
  • this heading
  • construction paper
  • 6 craft sticks per child
  • glue
  • rock pattern contact paper (or gray / brown construction paper)
  • craft sand (or sand / dirt) 

To prepare, print and cut the heading into strips, and cut the contact paper into approximately 1.5" by 5" rectangles.  (I'm using the contact paper because I already have it on hand.  If you opt to use construction paper, cut it to the same size, then crumple and flatten it out to give it a more "rock like" texture.)  Since there is a lot to glue for this project, you may want to glue the headings to the construction paper ahead of time.

In class, help the children glue the contact paper to the bottom left side of their paper, and sand to the bottom right side.  Glue four craft sticks, in the shape of a house, on the rock.  Then help them break two craft sticks, and glue them randomly over the sand.


  1. So many great ideas here!!! The girls were singing the song during bath time today, and I thought it was the perfect place to reinforce this story, with the water and crashing toys!

  2. Thanks for sharing!!! Those are precisely the moments I hope to inspire! There are so many natural, fun ways to reinforce and teach these lessons at home. :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this! It looks like a lot of fun.