Friday, October 30, 2015

Red Heart

Hearts filled with the darkness of sin, and the shedding of blood may hardly seem like prime preschool teaching material, but I assure you that it is.  This is the Gospel, which we are privileged to teach.  Not our Gospel, but the Gospel of our Lord and Savior.  I firmly believe, that just as an adult, children must come face to face with their sin to realize their need for Jesus as their Savior.

Children blessed to be raised in a Christian home are used to conforming their behavior, and generally being "good" kids.  Often this earns them admiration and praise.  At a very young age, they can easily develop the erroneous mindset that their "goodness" is what saves them.  The point that we want to sink into their hearts through this lesson is that only the blood of Jesus has the power to wash away our sin and save us.

Teaching the Gospel isn't always cute, but it is the truth, and it is the power of God unto salvation to those that believe.  May you be richly blessed for having the courage to teach the truth! Now let's get to the lesson, shall we?

Bible Truth: Red - Jesus died, shed blood for me.
Bible Story: The blood of Jesus is the only thing that wash away my sin.
Bible Study: Romans 3:25-26; 5:8-9; Ephesians 1:7

sing



teach


the mirror lesson


For this lesson you will need:
  • a hand mirror
  • a black wet erase marker (I found mine at Wal-Mart)
  • a picture of Jesus on the cross
  • a clear spray bottle
  • water
  • red food coloring
  • a rag or paper towel
A wet erase marker is similar to a dry erase marker, however it can only be erased when moisture is applied.  To prepare, fill the spray bottle with water and enough drops of food coloring to color the water red.


Begin by holding the mirror for each child to see their own reflection.
SAY: See how special God made you?  God made each and every one of you, and He loves you so much. He wants to be your friend, but we have a problem.  The Bible says that we are all sinners.  We have all sinned and disobeyed God.  As you describe sins that are familiar to a preschooler, color in sections of the mirror with the wet erase marker. You may describe sins such as disobedience (to parents and teachers), lying, stealing, fighting and hurting others.



Hold the mirror for the children to each see their distorted reflections.
SAY: God still loves you and wants to be your friend, but look, He sees all your sin, and He cannot be your friend when there is sin in your heart.  This makes God sad.  I know! I want to be God's friend too, so I'll just try really, really hard to be really, really good and that will make my sin go away!  As you describe how you will try to obey, be kind and always tell the truth, use the dry rag or paper towel to try to wipe the mirror clean.  Let the children try to wipe the mirror, and see that they are unable to remove the sin on their own.


SAY: No matter how hard we try, we cannot get rid of our sin by ourselves.  But God loves us so much, that He made a way to wash away our sin, so that we can be friends with Him.  Show the children a picture of Jesus on the cross.  He sent Jesus, His only Son to die on the cross, so that His blood can wash away our sin. Only the blood of Jesus has the power to wash away our sin.  Jesus died on the cross, and shed His blood for us.  His body was full of owies and blood, but He didn't stay dead.  He came back alive, to show us that He has the power over sin.  When we pray and ask Jesus to forgive us, His blood washes away our sin. Spray the mirror with a couple squirts from the water bottle, and then begin wiping the mirror with the rag or paper towel.



As you wipe the mirror clean, lead the children in a simple sinner's prayer.



Hold up the clean mirror and SAY: God is so happy that you asked Jesus to wash away your sin!  Now you can be God's friend just like He created you to be.  Let me see how happy you are that Jesus took your sin away!  Thank you Jesus for Your blood that washes away our sin!  Hold the mirror for the children to clearly see their smiling reflections.



craft


at the cross mosaic


For this craft you will need:
  • white card stock
  • this print out
  • 8 1/2" x 11" piece of cardboard
  • an Exacto knife
  • a small spray bottle
  • water
  • red washable tempra paint
  • black construction paper
  • glue sticks
To prepare, print the print out onto white card stock.  Use the knife to cut out a cross shape from the cardboard.  Position the cross to leave room at the top of the page for the heading.  Fill the water bottle approximately 1/4 with red paint, and then fill it the rest of the way with water.  Shake the bottle to thoroughly mix the water and paint.  Cut the black construction paper into 1" strips.


In class, help the children lay the cardboard over their print out and spray the red paint over the cross. Remove the cardboard.  Show the children how to tear pieces of the construction paper to fill in the space around the cross.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Dark Heart

We begin the Color Me Christian series right where our Creation unit left off, with the fall of Adam and Eve.  Sin is a heavy topic to teach little ones, but if they are old enough to understand obedience and disobedience, they are old enough to understand sin.  As you will see in this lesson, it is important to reassure our preschoolers about God's love for them, as we teach them that they are sinners.  God loves us all the time, even when we have sinned and disobeyed.  Adam and Eve had to leave the garden, because God said that was the consequence for their sin.  God was sad that Adam and Eve disobeyed Him, but He was not mad at them.  He still loved them, and promised them a Savior.

Bible Truth: Dark: See my dark heart stained with sin.
Bible Story: Adam and Eve disobeyed God.  I have sin in my heart when I disobey.
Bible Study: Genesis 3; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:5-6


sing

This entire unit of lessons is based on this song.  Sing it a few times each week, to reinforce the lessons that you are teaching.  Before we sing the song, this week, I will hold the dark heart and explain that this is a dark heart stained with sin.  Sin is when we disobey God.  The Bible says that we all have sinned.



teach


the fall


For this lesson, I like to use an interactive read-aloud.  I read the story from a children's Bible.  The one pictured below is the one that I recommend for this age group.  I read the story aloud, and show them the pictures, stopping at several key places to explore and emphasize certain points.  Keep reading to find out where I pause, and how I interact with the children throughout the story!

God's Story For Me: 104 Favorite Bible Stories for Children  -
found here

Begin by showing them a picture of Adam and Eve in God's special garden from your children's Bible.  Ask the children if they think Adam and Eve look happy or sad?  Talk about how happy they were to be with God in His garden.  They took care of the garden and walked with God.

Read the story aloud.  When you get to the part of the story about the tree that they should not touch, stop to explore this point a little further.  Pass out a piece of fruit (such as an apple, banana, orange, etc.) to each child.  Talk about how God said they could eat the fruit from ALL of these trees, but this one tree they should not touch.  I like the children to repeat after me, "God said, 'This one tree (hold up one finger), do not touch' (wave your finger side to side)."  Then I'll ask the question, "What did God say?"  Now they have the opportunity to answer the question by repeating the phrase again, "This one tree, do not touch."



When you come to the snake's lie, stop and ask the children, "What did God say?"  Wait for them to respond with the phrase, "This one tree, do not touch."  The way to overcome the enemy's lies is with the truth of God's Word.  You are laying that foundation in their hearts when you stop to contrast what the serpent said with what God said.

As a side note, I am very careful to not call the forbidden fruit an apple, or any other fruit name.  Often times children's version of this story call the forbidden fruit an apple, but the Bible does not say what kind of fruit it was.  This may seem like a minor detail, but I strongly believe that it is our responsibility to teach the Word of God with as much accuracy as we possibly can! :)

Continue reading the story from the children's Bible. When Eve takes a bite from the fruit, stop to expound on the moment.  Talk about how delicious the fruit was, and that it seemed like nothing bad happened to her!  The Bible teaches us that sin is pleasurable (Hebrews 11:25).  We do children a dis-service if we don't acknowledge the pleasures of sin.

At the end of the story, ask the children, "Now how do Adam and Eve look?  Are they happy or sad? Why are they sad?"  Explain that now they are sad, because they disobeyed God.  They have to leave the garden, and can't be with God.

dark paper heart


Follow up the Bible story with this object lesson to further explain sin to your preschoolers.

You will need:

  • a white paper heart
  • a couple strips of black construction paper
  • a glue stick

SAY:  Disobeying God and breaking His rules is called sin.  Adam and Eve sinned when they disobeyed God.  They broke God's rules and ate the fruit from the tree that God said no to touch.  The Bible says that we have all sinned and disobeyed God's rules.  When we sin, darkness fills our hearts.


Show the white heart.  As you give each example of sin, tear off a piece of black construction paper, and lightly glue it to the heart.  Sin is when mommy tells us to clean up, and we keep playing.  Sin is when Daddy tells us to come inside and we say, "No, I want to stay outside!"  Sin is when we take something that does not belong to us.  Sin is when we hurt our brother, or sister, or our friends.  Sin is when we disobey our teachers.  Sin is when we tell a lie, like if we say we didn't break something, but we really did. Sin is when we cry and throw a fit, because we don't get what we want.  You may give more examples if you like.


Now this heart is full of darkness and sin.  When we have sin in our heart, we cannot be friends with God. Did you know that God still loves you, even when your heart is full of sin?!  God loves us all the time!  He never stops loving us.  Even though Adam and Eve had to leave the garden, God still loved them!  God wants us to be His friend, so He promised Adam and Eve that He would send Jesus to save us all from sin. God loved us so much that He sent Jesus to die on the cross, so that His blood can wash away our sin. God really does love us!  I leave it at that for now, since next week we will talk about Jesus forgiving our sin in much more detail.



Let's pray and tell Jesus that we are sorry for sin, and ask Him to forgive us.  Ask the children to bow their heads, close their eyes, and repeat after you.  As you are praying, remove all the black pieces from the heart.  God, I have sinned and disobeyed.  I am sorry for my sin.  Please come into my heart and take all my sin away.  Help me to obey and follow you.  Thank You Jesus.  In Jesus name, and all God's children said, AMEN!  Wow!  Look what Jesus did for us!  He took away our sin so that we could be friends with God!




craft


Here are a couple simple activity sheet crafts to accompany this lesson.  For both crafts you will need:
  • black construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons


adam & eve sin


To prepare, download and print this activity sheet.  Cut small hearts out of black construction paper.  In class, provide crayons for the children to color the picture.  Help the children glue a black heart to both Adam and Eve.



sin separates


This craft compliments the paper heart object lesson.  To prepare download and print this activity sheet. Cut black construction paper into approximately 1/2" strips.  In class, give each child a strip of construction paper to tear into pieces and glue onto the heart.  Provide crayons for the children to color the picture as well.



Saturday, October 17, 2015

White Heart

Bible Truth: White: So my dark heart could be clean!
Bible Story: Jesus washes away my sins, and makes my heart white as snow.
Bible Study: Isaiah 1:18; 1 John 1:7-9


sing


teach


magnetic gospel

To recreate this visual, you will need two strong magnets that are magnetized on both sides.  I purchased this package of ceramic block magnets at my local hardware store for $3.99.


You will also need to print out these clip art images of Jesus and a child onto card stock.  Cut out the images.  Attach the figure of Jesus to one side of the magnet.  Determine which side of the second magnet repels to the Jesus side of the first magnet.  Attach the child figure with the white heart to the repelling side.


Attach the child figure with the black heart to the attracting side of the magnet.  Now you have a powerful visual to teach this Bible truth to your preschoolers.
  
SAY: The Bible says that we are all sinners. Show the child with a dark heart side of the magnet.  We have all sinned and disobeyed God, just like Adam and Eve.  We sin when we disobey our parents and our teachers.  Our sin keeps us away from God.  We cannot be friends with God when we have the darkness of sin in our heart.  Try to put the Jesus and child magnets together, on the repelling side, to demonstrate that sin keeps us separated from God.  Hold the Jesus magnet, as you give each child a turn to hold the child magnet, and try to put them together to experience the repelling force of the magnet.  



What is the only thing that can take away our sin?  Wait for children's responses.  That's right!  Only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sin.  The Bible has very good news.  It says that when we pray to tell Jesus that we are sorry for our sin, and ask Him to forgive us, the blood of Jesus washes away our sin, and gives us a new clean heart that is white as snow!  Let's pray right now and ask Jesus to forgive us.  Lead the children in a simple sinner's prayer.  Wow!   Look at what Jesus did for us!  Show the side of the clean heart side of the magnet.  We asked Him to forgive us, and He washed away our sin!  Thank You Jesus for Your blood that washes away our sin.  Now we can be friends with God!  Put the magnets together on the attracting side so that child with the clean heart is seen with Jesus.


white as snow

My preschoolers and I live in the desert, where snow is a very rare occurrence.  So the phrase "white as snow" is a little obscure to them.  I like to use this recipe for "snow" using 2lbs. of baking soda and a 10 oz. can of shaving cream.  I originally found the recipe here,


Dispense the shaving cream to cover the bottom of a shoe box sized plastic container and then add nearly an entire 2lb. box of baking soda. Mix the two ingredients until the two ingredients are completely combined into the consistency of powdery snow.  


I bring the snow into class in the plastic container for the kids to, see, touch and experience.  They love it, and it makes the lesson so much more memorable, and meaningful to them.  (You may want to have wipes on hand for kids to wash off their hands after handling the snow.)

craft


clean and shiny

Here's a simple, pretty, clean and shiny heart craft!

You will need:
  • this activity sheet
  • colored paper
  • white paint
  • paint brushes
  • iridescent glitter


Print the activity sheet onto colored paper.  In class provide white paint and paint brushes for the children to paint their hearts.  When they are finished help them sprinkle iridescent glitter onto their painted hearts. Talk about how good it feels to be forgiven of your sins and have a clean heart! 



Color Me Christian Visual

Over the next several weeks we will be teaching lessons based on the song "See My Dark Heart," which is sung to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle."  Here, I'm sharing the visual  that I've created to keep up in my classroom, and use as we sing the song each week.


I started with 5 pieces of foam core.  I printed out the words to the song and mounted them on the boards, framed in the corresponding colors: black, red, white, green and yellow.  Then I cut out hearts in each of the five colors, and attached Velcro to each heart, as well as each board.


When we sing the song, I remove all the hearts, and then add each heart back to the board as we sing the corresponding phrase.  Without the boards, you can simply hold up each colored heart as you sing the song, but the board visual is great to have up in the classroom for you and your kiddos to refer to as you teach these lessons!


Friday, October 2, 2015

Theme 5 Scope & Sequence

Can preschoolers understand the gospel?  If it is taught the correct way, I believe that they can!  That is the beauty of God's Word.  It is simple enough for a child to grasp, and yet their are endless treasures to seek out and discover for a lifetime.

Sunday school and children's ministry teachers have long used colors as a means for teaching and communicating the gospel to children.  Over the next five weeks, we will use five colors to illustrate five basic truths about salvation.  We will keep the theology very simple and basic, but by the end of these five weeks, the children in our classes will have a fundamental understanding of the gospel that they can articulate for themselves.  In my view, this unit contains some of the most important lessons that we teach. I'm excited to examine these biblical truths with you through the simplistic eyes, and inquisitive minds of our preschoolers, and see the Word of God come alive in their hearts.  I hope you'll join me, and I would love to hear about your experiences in teaching these lesson along the way!