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!


  1. Susanna, thanks for your inspiration, very creative and engaging lesson, thank you, greetings from Prague, Czech Republic

  2. Woah, your lesson guide for preschool children is very inspiring and so close to their needs and interests, I thank you for sharing in a such generous way ! Be abundantly blessed. Louise, from Le tabernacle, Dijon, France.

  3. Thank you for all these lessons! They are a huge blessing to myself and the kids I teach.