Monday, March 30, 2015

Hosanna to the King: Home Ideas

The miracles of Jesus have shown us how powerful He is, and how good is He is to us.  That's the reason we praise and worship Him!  Here are some activities to do at home with our child this week to praise and worship and Jesus together. 
  • Read the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey in your child's story Bible. Pray together to praise Jesus and celebrate Him as your King.
  • Help your child make a parade with stuffed animals and dolls to welcome and praise Jesus. Include any musical instruments that your child may have in the parade, or make your own instruments with recycled items you may have around your house.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hosanna to the King

After Jesus made His triumphant, humble entrance into Jerusalem, He made a zealous entrance into the temple, driving out all the commercial enterprise that had overrun His house.  With distractions, and personal ambitions removed, Jesus welcomed in the blind and the lame to be healed by His touch.  Jesus shows us that His house is to be a place of refuge and rescue for the blind and the broken.  

In the midst of these miracles, children erupted in spontaneous worship, crying out, "Hosanna to the Son of David!"  The religious leaders, who had not been bothered by the shouts of merchants peddling their wares, were absolutely indignant over the shouts of praise from these little ones.  Jesus' response to their acrimonious complaint shows us that praise and worship are in order in His house, especially that of children.  He calls their praise "perfect."

I believe their praise is perfected because it is pure, innocent; unfiltered by pride and protocol.
As we join with our children in praise this week, may our praise also be perfected.  Palm Sunday is a beautiful day to join the chorus of the ancient multitude, and welcome Jesus as our King!

Bible Truth: Jesus is My King
Bible Story: The people shout, "Hosanna to the King!"
Bible Study: Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:12-15


miracle review

The people gathered to welcome Jesus as their King, because they had heard, and seen, many of Jesus' miracles.  Use some of the visuals from the past several weeks, or flip back in your Bible storybook to remind your little learners about the the amazing miracles Jesus has done  


Read this week's story to your children from your favorite Children's Story Bible.  This is the one that I will be using.

palms of praise

Bring in palm branches for the children to wave as the children do in the story.  I picked up an artificial bunch of of leaves for 40% off at Hobby Lobby, and detached the branches so that each child will be hold one and participate.  They will be great to use in my class year after year!



What better way to bring this story to life than to join in the praise and worship of King Jesus?!  Here are some great songs to sing in your classroom to help your children do just that.

  • Shout Hosanna! by The Donut Man is a lively, energetic song to get your little ones jumping and shouting praise to Jesus.
  • Hosanna Rock from Little Praise Party is an upbeat song with simple words and actions.  We waive our hands while singing, "Hosanna,"  and clap our hands while singing "Everybody praise the Lord."




pin Jesus on the donkey

This is the same concept as the classic game of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey." It's a fun way to reinforce the lesson and practice a new memory verse!  Download the game and directions here.



hosanna to the king

Here is a simple collage craft to celebrate King Jesus! You will need:
  • this print out
  • cloth
  • green construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons
To prepare, print out this activity page.  Cut pieces of cloth, cut green construction paper into leaves.

In class, give the children pieces of cloth and construction paper leaves to glue onto the picture of Jesus riding on the donkey.  Use this glue hack for easy, mess-free gluing.

palm print mural

On a poster board, or large piece of butcher paper, paint the words "Hosanna to the King!" in large lettering.  Invite each child to dip their hand into green paint, and press it onto the board / paper to imitate palm leaves.  Hang the mural up in your classroom! 

Here are some activities to celebrate King Jesus at home with your child this week!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Jesus Calms a Storm: Home Ideas

This week we are discovering that Jesus is stronger and more powerful than anything that we are afraid of.  He is always with us, and we can always ask Him to help us when we feel afraid.  After teaching the children this week's story, I ask them if Spiderman or Elsa can stop a storm like Jesus can?  Since these are characters with super powers that many young children admire, I want them to know that Jesus is more than a superhero.  He has real power.  He is awesome!
  • Read the story of Jesus calming a storm out of Matthew 8:23-27 and Mark 4:35-41 in your child's Bible.  Talk about any fears your child may have and pray about their fears with them.  Assure them that Jesus is bigger and stronger than any fear.
  • Watch this animation of Jesus calming the storm.
  •  Let your child create a boat to reenact the story.  Use a big box, laundry basket, or get creative with chairs and blankets.  Bath time would also be a good time to reenact this story.
  • Sing "Our God is Awesome God" along with these kids.  Remind them that God is big and strong, and He is always with them to help them when they feel afraid.
  • In the bath tub, or at the sink filled with water, use a plastic container to demonstrate why the disciples though their boat would sink when it started filling up with water.  Experiment with other objects.  Ask your child to make a prediction as to whether an object will float or sink, and then test it to see if their prediction is correct.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Jesus Calms a Storm

Many young children deal with fear in one form or another.  Common fears are separation anxiety, fear of the dark, fear of storms, and fear of visiting the doctor.  In helping children overcome fear, we should acknowledge that their fears are very real to them, and then point them to Jesus.  Show them that Jesus is bigger and more powerful than their fear.  Assure them that Jesus will walk with them through their fear, and help them to overcome.  In our lesson this week, we want to make Jesus big, powerful, and strong enough to handle any fear in the hearts and minds of our children.

Bible Truth: Jesus is always with me.
Bible Story: Jesus commands a storm to be still.
Bible Study: Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; II Timothy 1:7


interactive read-a-loud 

Get the children interested and engaged in your lesson, right at the outset, by handing them each an approximately 18 inch strip of a blue streamer.  Explain that their streamers are going to be the wind and the waves in today's story.  Invite them to practice waving their streamers low to the ground to make waves, and waving them high above their heads to make wind.  As they participate, they are both physically and mentally engaged.  You are giving squirmy kids an opportunity to move in a way that supports their learning, and you are helping your little learners construct a mental picture of wind and waves, which is critical to understanding this miracle.

Bring out a clear container, filled with water, to set the scene for the story.  Have a hair dryer ready to go, but bring it out later in the story as an element of surprise.

Dramatically read the story from either a children's Bible, or from your own Bible.  If you choose to read it from your Bible substitute words such as "tempest" and "perishing" for "storm" and "dying".  As you are read, invite the children to interact with the story like so:
  • Jesus and the disciples got into a boat. Gently rock from side to side.
  • Suddenly a windstorm arose. Wave streamers in the air.  Turn on the hair dryer, and direct it towards their streamers to blow them around.
  • The boat was covered with waves.  Rock the container of water with the boat to create waves.  Wave streamers low to the ground, and quickly rock from side to side.
  • Jesus was asleep.  Lay down and pretend to sleep.
  • The disciples awoke Him.  Gently tap the shoulders of the children to wake them up, and then resume the storm.
  • Jesus rebuked the wind and waves.  Raise both hands and say, "Peace! Be Still!"
  • There was a great calm.  Hold the streamers still.  Gently rock from side to side.
To conclude the story say: Wow! Jesus did an amazing miracle!  He has all the power.  He told the wind and waves to be still, and they obeyed Him.  You don't need to be afraid, because Jesus is always with you to protect you, take care of you and watch over you.

share and pray

Ask the children what they are afraid of.  I give you fair warning that this will likely turn into a quite lively discussion!  In each situation, talk about how Jesus is bigger and more powerful than whatever they are afraid of.  Remind them that He is powerful enough to stop wind and waves by just speaking to them!  To emphasize the power Jesus has in their terms, ask them if Spiderman or Elsa (or any other character that they are enamored with) can do that.  Teach them to say, "In the name of Jesus go away!" and any spirit of fear trying to overtake them must go.  Teach them to ask Jesus to give them a big hug, and be with them.  Pray with them, and over them, about their fears, speaking peace over them in the name of Jesus.


  • The Wind and the Waves Obey Him is good for a puppet song, or to play as the children are working on the craft or color sheet.
  • My God Is So Big is one of our favorite songs in my classroom!  We add our own touch to it singing, "there's nothing my God cannot do for YOU!"  As part of the motions I point and make eye contact with a different child each time we say "for YOU!".
  • Bigger Than Big has an awesome message: God and His love are the biggest of all!



toss the boat "parachute" game

Instead of a parachute (unless you have one on hand), a sheet or table cloth will work just fine!  You will also need a small toy boat, or a small plastic container to use as a boat.  Spread the parachute out on the floor, and invite the children to sit around it.  Instruct them to not touch the parachute until you have explained the rules and you are ready to start the game.  

To play this game, place the boat in the center, of the parachute.  Each child holds onto their section and moves the parachute up and down to create waves, while trying to keep the boat on the parachute.  Walk around the circle, and tap a child on the shoulder and say, "Jesus, wake up!"  The child you chose should loudly say, "Peace, be still!"  Everyone obeys "Jesus" and stops moving the parachute.  Continue playing the game, giving each child a turn to be "Jesus".


coloring page

Here is a nice coloring page that would be fun to paint! (At least the blue water.) 


Make simple sailboats for the children to reenact the story of Jesus calming the storm.  For this craft you will need:
  • this label
  • small paper plates
  • craft sticks
  • construction paper
  • glue
To prepare, cut the plates in half, and cut the construction paper into triangle sails. Print and cut out the labels.   

In class, help the children glue together the pieces to make their own sailboat. 


For this craft you will need:
To prepare, print the activity page (either version 1 or version 2) and copy the pages back to back.  Cut blue streamers into squares.

In class, provide glue for the children to apply the blue squares as waves, and cotton balls as clouds.  Give them each a yellow smiley face sticker, or a yellow color-coding sticker to add to the sun.  Provide crayons for them to color.  Help them fold the down the windy clouds, and ask them to retell the story to you as they fold the picture.

version 1

version 2

See this post for more ideas about teaching your child the concepts in this lesson at home this week!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man: Home Ideas

This week's activities introduce Jesus to our children as our healer, and also help cultivate a compassionate heart towards people who are sick and in need of prayer and encouragement.  The paralyzed man in the story would have not received such an incredible miracle if not for the faith and persistent love of his friends. 
  • Read the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed, whose friends lowered him to Jesus through the roof, in your child's Bible (Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26). Pray together for anyone you know who is sick, asking Jesus to heal them. 
  •  Throughout the week read other Bible stories of Jesus healing. 
  • Watch this claymation of Jesus healing the paralyzed man.
  •  Help your child build a house out of Legos or blocks.  Use Lego figures (or other small figurines) to reenact the story together. 
  • People who are sick need to feel love and encouragement from others, as the friends did in our story. Give your child supplies to make a card for someone who is sick. Write a note to let them know that your family is praying for them. 
  •  Jesus is the best doctor, but he also gives us doctors to help us when we are sick. Gather first aid items that are safe for your child to handle, to create a doctor's kit for dramatic play.  Suggested items include band-aids, gauze, a medicine dropper, cotton balls, empty medicine bottles and a clipboard with paper to write on. Stuffed animals and/or dolls can be their patients. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

We pray for our owies every service in my class.  When I say that its time to pray, each child wants to show me their owie that they want to pray for.  It's quite adorable, nearly comical, to watch them search for the littlest scratch that they may have to pray for.  They are actually disappointed when they don't have an owie to pray for.  In that case, I tell them that they can help their friend pray for their owie.  Before we pray I tell them to put their hand on their owie to show Jesus where it is, because He is the only one that can heal all of their owies.  Their child-like faith is very evident in this moment, as they come to know Jesus as their healer.

Bible Truth: Jesus heals me.
Bible Story: Jesus heals a man who could not walk when his friends bring him to Jesus.
Bible Study: Luke 5:17-26; Mark 2:1-12; 1 Peter 2:24; Psalms 103:1-3



Here are a couple different visuals to show as you narrate or read this story from a children's Bible.

diorama drama

This story also lends itself well to a 3-D diorama dramatization in order to show the paralyzed man being lowered through the roof.  I created my diorama by inserting felt into a shoe box and then placing my flannel graph characters into the box.  I made the paralyzed man and the bed according to the craft instructions found below.  I tied yarn to the four corners of the bed, and used a craft stick on top of the box to hold the man in place after lowering him down.  Release the yarn from the stick, so that after Jesus heals him the man can stand up, and "carry" his bed.  (See the craft tutorial below.)

bend and tell

This is such a simple and genius way to tell this story!  I have seen it a few different places, but I have no idea where the concept originated.  All you need is four strips of card stock or tag board, a hole punch and three brads.  I found the version displayed below here.




four friend weave

The four friends in the story did not give up on helping their friend.  In fact their faith is quite commendable!  In this game four children work together like the friends in the story.  You will need:
  • a pillowcase
  • a doll or stuffed animal
  • field cones or chairs
Setup a few cones staggered across the room.  Have all the children line up at one end of the room.  Choose one child to be "Jesus" and stand at the other end of the room.  Choose four children to be the four friends.   Their task is to each hold a corner of the pillowcase, carrying the doll or stuffed animal, and weave around the cones to bring their "friend" to Jesus.  If they drop their "friend" they must go back to the beginning.  When they reach the end, have the child who is "Jesus" repeat after you saying, "Your sins are forgiven.  Arise, take up your bed and walk."  Everyone claps and celebrates, thanking Jesus for healing their "friend".  Repeat, giving each child the opportunity to be a "friend" and/or "Jesus".




coloring page

Here is a coloring page to accompany this story.  I suggest gluing four pieces of yarn for the ropes attached to the bed, and gluing a piece of cloth on the blanket covering the man.  

band-aid art

In this week's story, Jesus forgives the man's sin and heals him.  Print this simple activity sheet based on Psalms 103:2-3.  Have the children color the heart, and then let them stick a few band-aids on the heart.  Kids love the opportunity to put band-aids on by themselves!


arise and walk

This is the man and bed that I used in the diorama.  The children can each make their own to take home and retell the story.  You will need:
  • this man template (printed on card stock)
  • felt
  • craft sticks
  • scissors
  • crayons glue
  • hole punch
  • brad
  • permanent marker

This man's legs did not work.  He could not walk.  His friends had to carry him on his bed.
Jesus healed him!  He forgave the man's sin, and told him to take up his bed and go to his house.

To prepare cut out the man templates, and cut felt into 4 1/2" x 2 1/4" rectangles.  Punch a whole in the center of the man's body.

In class, help the children glue their felt pieces to craft sticks.  Have them color the man, then attach the the man to the felt with the brad.



Monday, March 9, 2015

Jesus Feeds 5,000 People: Home Ideas

This week we are learning about the power of Jesus through one of His incredible miracles, which also involved a little boy.  I explain to preschoolers that a miracle is something only Jesus can do.  Only Jesus could take a basket with five loaves and two fish and make enough food to feed 5,000 people!  This miracle teaches us that we can trust Jesus to take care of us, and give us everything that we need.

Here are some activities to do with your child at home this week!

  • Read the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people in your child's Bible together. Talk about the things that Jesus gives you and your family to take care of you such as a house, clothes, food, a job, etc.  Pray together and thank God for always taking care of you and your family.
  • Watch this animation of the story called "A Boy Who Shares".
  • Pack a lunch of tuna fish sandwiches and have a picnic in the park like the 5,000 people in our story.
  • Download "One Basket", and play it as part of your soundtrack throughout the day.
  • "My God is So Big" is one of our favorite songs to sing in Faith Roots.  Download it here to sing along with  your child.
  • Reserve children's books from the library with keywords: from farm to table.  Talk about how God makes things grow and farmers work hard so that we can buy and prepare food to eat.  This is a great preschool science and social studies lesson.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Jesus Feeds 5,000 People

Over the next several weeks we are introducing the children to Jesus through His miracles.  A simple definition of a miracle is something that only Jesus can do!  We will emphasize that point each week to help the kids develop an understanding of the power that Jesus has to care for them and protect them. 

Bible Truth: Jesus will take care of me.
Bible Story: Jesus feeds 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.
Bible Study: John 6:1-14; Philippians 4:19


In addition to pictures from a children's Bible story book, or flannel graph characters, a few other items help bring this story to life.

5,000 grains of rice

Understanding the miracle of this story requires a sense of numbers that young preschoolers are still developing.  According to my Google search, one cup of rice contains 6,000-7,000 grains of uncooked rice.  Therefore, a heaping 3/4 cup of uncooked rice is approximately 5,000 grains of rice.  Place this amount of rice in a baggie to help the kiddos understand how large a crowd of 5,000 people really is.

Before I start the story, I like to get my class thinking about numbers of people with this comparison visual. I say, "Let's count how many people are in our classroom right now!"  Then I count out that many grains of rice and hold them in my hand.  "This is how many people are in our classroom right now.  Our story today is about FIVE THOUSAND people."  I hold up the baggie of rice in my other hand, and hold my hands side by side.  "That is A LOT of people!  In our Bible story today, there were five thousand people that came to listen to Jesus."

picnic lesson

If the weather permits, take the children outside to experience this story!  Lay a blanket or sheet in the grass for the kids to sit on as you tell the story with your basket of bread and fish.  If going outside is not an option, lay down a blanket or sheet in your classroom, and imagine with the children that you are outside.

basket of bread and fish

The little boy with his basket is the shining supporting character in this story that the children can relate to.  He was very kind to share his lunch with Jesus.  I bring out a basket with 5 rolls of bread and two frozen fish fillets (sealed in their packages), covered with a cloth.  The rolls are aromatic, and add a nice sensory element to the lesson.  Before I remove the cloth, I allow the children to smell the basket, and guess what they think is in the basket.  This is a simple way to keep them engaged and interested in the lesson.  

We count the bread and the fish together.  I pause here, hold up my bag of rice again, and ask, "Is this enough food to feed all of these people?  No it's not!  There is a little bit of food in the basket.  Maybe enough for everyone in your family to eat, but not enough to feed ALL of these people."  I lift the basket up to pray just as Jesus did.

At the conclusion of the story I say to my class, "Only Jesus could feed all those people with a little bit of food.  You can't do that.  I can't do that.  Your mommy and daddy can't do that.  Our pastor can't do that.  Only Jesus can do that! It's a miracle!"  Lead the children in a prayer to thank Jesus for His miracle, and thank Him for always taking care of them.  Break the bread rolls into pieces to share with the children, and serve them Goldfish crackers from your basket. 


  • One Basket by The Donut Man has a great song to accompany this lesson.  This could be a puppet song, or you could point to the pictures and objects used in the lesson, as the kids sing along.  It's also fun to let it play in the background as the children are coloring or working on their craft.
  • My God is So Big is one of the all time favorite songs to sing during worship time in my classroom!  It goes perfectly with the our series of lessons about miracles, so it will be on repeat over the next couple weeks.


pick up quick

After all the people ate, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover pieces of bread!  Here is a fun and simple game to help emphasize this part of the story.  You will need:
  • disposable bowls (as baskets)
  • a bag of cotton balls (as bread fragments)
  • a bell

Give each child a disposable bowl, and invite them to line up, facing a wall in your classroom.  Quickly distribute the cotton balls randomly on the floor of the classroom.  Instruct the children that when you say go, they are to turn around, and pick up as many cotton balls, as fast as they, can to fill their bowl.  You are going to count out loud to twelve, and then ring your bell.  When they hear the bell they should stop collecting cotton balls, and sit down right where they are.  Say, "Wow!  Jesus did an amazing miracle! After He fed 5,000 people with only five loaves and two fish, there was still all these baskets of bread leftover!"  Invite the kids to dump out their bowls, and line up against the wall to play the game over and over again as time allows. 


the little boy's basket

For this craft you will need:
Print out this activity page.  Help the children glue five croutons and two Swedish Fish candies onto the basket.  Bring extra for snacking! (Be aware of any allergy restrictions.)  Provide markers and/or stickers for the children to decorate their baskets.

Sing "One Basket."  Invite the children point to the basket, bread and fish as they are referenced in the song.

one basket

Kids love to have their very own basket to take home, to remember and reenact the story.  For this craft you will need:
  • this label
  • brown paper bags
  • card stock
  • scissors
  • stapler
  • glue
  • crayons
  • crackers
  • Swedish Fish or Goldfish crackers
To prepare, print out the labels and cut along the lines.  Cut the brown paper bags at the natural fold line. (Save the tops of the bags for a future craft.)  Cut card stock into 8 1/2" x 1" strips.

In class, provide crayons for the children to color their label.  Glue the label to the side of the bag.  Open up the bag and staple strip of card stock to either side of the bag as a handle.  Put five crackers, and two Swedish Fish candies (or Goldfish crackers if you prefer to skip the sweets) in each child's bag.  You can either eat them in class as for your picnic, or let the children take them home to eat.

counting ring

This craft really reinforces the number aspects of this lesson, and gives preschoolers an opportunity to work on their fine motor skills.  You will need:
  • pipe cleaners
  • uncooked mostaccioli pasta
  • foamie sheets
  • scissors
  • hole punch 
To prepare, cut approximately 1 1/2" fish shapes out of the foamie sheets and hole punch each fish.

In class, show the children how to lace five penne noodles and two fish onto a pipe cleaner.

After the children have laced them, twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together.  Ask the children to count the bread and fish as you review the story.

See this post for more activities to do with your child at home this week to reinforce this lesson!



Thursday, March 5, 2015

Theme 2 Scope & Sequence

Follow the link below to view and print the lesson plan outline for the next two months.  As we continue learning about the life of Jesus, we will be focusing on His power to forgive, heal, provide, protect, and finally, resurrect from the dead in glorious victory!  Children love superheroes, and Jesus is the ultimate superhero.  Join me as we take our little ones on a journey with Jesus from the cradle to the cross.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Jesus Changed Zacchaeus' Heart: Home Ideas

Zacchaeus is a prime example of the power of Jesus to forgive us and change our hearts!  He also shows us true repentance.  After he met Jesus, he not only stopped stealing from people, he began giving his money away to help  people in need!  It is good for your child to see that Jesus welcomed Zacchaeus as a friend, even when he had a sinful heart, and then to see the love of Jesus that changed the very core of who he was.

Take some time throughout the week to teach God's Word to your child with these fun, no-prep activities, and practice some preschool skills along the way!

  • Read the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus in your child's Bible.  Pray together and thank Jesus for the power that He has to change our hearts.  Ask your child if there is anything for which they want Jesus to forgive them.  If so, lead them in a prayer pf repentance. 
  • Use one of your child's dolls or stuffed animals as Zacchaeus.  Place it up high on a shelf.  Invite your child to pretend to be Jesus and reenact the story.  Have a tea party or picnic with "Zacchaeus."
  • Watch this animation of the story of Zacchaeus.
  • Watch this song by the Donut Man called "Zaccheus".
  • Here is the traditional song that you may already know, "Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man."
  • Here are the lyrics to "The Repent Song" to sing with your child.
  • Practice pre-writing skills.  'Z' is for Zacchaeus, who was a tax collector.  Print the letter 'Z' in large font. With your supervision, show your child how to place coins over the letter you printed to create the letter 'Z' with coins. ( DO NOT leave your child unattended with coins.)