Young children can relate to the widow in this week's lesson because they usually do not have a very significant amount of money, but they can learn that Jesus is pleased when they give of whatever they do have.
Bible Truth: Jesus teaches me to be a cheerful giver.
Bible Story: The woman who gave two coins was a cheerful giver.
Bible Study: Mark 12:41-44: II Corinthians 9:7
the sound of giving
I like to dramatize this story with two coin purses or wallets of some sort. To show the rich people who were giving their offering, I deposit a small handful of coins into an offering bowl or plate. A metal one is nice, because the louder the noise the better. I show the children that these people still had lots more money in their wallet. From the other small coin purse, I pull two little coins, to show the widow's offering. She had nothing else left. She gave all that she had.
offering preschool style
In my class, we have two offering cans: one for church offering, and the other for world outreach. They are made out of plastic coffee containers with openings cut in the lid. A picture of our church building is on one, and the other has a globe graphic. The children give their offerings when they sign in, since it usually doesn't work well for them to hold on to them for too long. When a child does bring an offering I encourage them to say, "Thank You Jesus," and then I'll pray, "Lord bless __________'s offering." It's just a simple way of correlating offering to worship. We use the money deposited in the church container to purchase things for the classroom. I save the world outreach offering all year and add it to Children's Church's annual world evangelism conference offering. The children choose in which container to put their offering, and it truly does go for the purpose that they choose. We're not making big bucks here, but the children are learning to give with a cheerful heart, and honor God with their money.
As I explain how God uses our offering, I choose pictures from our church's evangelism publication "Gospel Pioneer" to show the children how God uses our world outreach money to start new church's and teach more children the good news about Jesus. You can view the online edition of the publication here. I then point out that we come to church to learn the good news about Jesus, and explain that the money they put in the church offering is used to buy things like crayons, glue and books that help us teach them about Jesus.
Years ago, as a little girl, an uncle gave me these huge, poster-sized money visuals. At the time it was a bit of an odd gift, but I held onto them, and now they make a great object lesson. The kids think they are just the coolest thing, and I talk about how God can take the little bit that we give, and use it to do bigger things. I've seen packages of jumbo paper money at the dollar store that you could even send home with your students as a fun reminder of this week's lesson.
the offering song
I wrote this song to help teach the kiddos about tithing. I will show the children ten coins or dollar bills, and say, "If I have $10, then Jesus says that the first one belongs to Him." I don't really go into the math of one-tenth. The concept is there, but I emphasize that when God blesses you with money, the right thing to do is to obey and honor Him by first giving some of your money in the offering. Click here to download the lyrics as shown below.
Here is a coloring page of the widow giving her offering. Provide plastic gold coins, or circle paper cut outs for the children to glue onto the page.
This is a unique take on a coloring activity for this lesson. When kids do it, it's more about the experience and process of discovery for them, rather than a beautiful finished masterpiece. You will need:
- this activity page
- smiley stickers
my little money pouch
Children can use this little money pouch to keep their offering in to bring to church. You will need:
- Foamie sheets
- Foamie stickers
I purchased an assorted pack of 50 5.5" x 8.5" Foamie sheets from Walmart for $4.97, and a package of 80 sticky back Velcro rounds $6.77. I won't use all of either of these items for this craft, so I will be able to add them to our craft collection to use in the future.
To prepare, cut 5.5" x 8.5" Foamie sheets in half. Staple the sides together. Be sure to leave a flap at the top to attach the Velcro. In class, provide Foamie stickers for children to decorate and personalize their money pouches.
*Many of the suggested activities involve the use of coins. Never leave the children unsupervised with coins, and do not allow children to put coins into their mouths, as coins may become a choking hazard. These activities are not suggested for children under three years of age.