Tuesday, May 24, 2016

OT Hero: Joshua

Our children are growing up in a world that blatantly erects walls in opposition to God and His Word.  Pray that the children you teach will come to know their God, as Joshua did, so that they may walk in confident obedience, regardless of the evil that surrounds them. Here are some great activities to help them begin to understand that our obedience, teamed up with God's power, is the key to victory.

Bible Truth: Joshua had courage to obey God.
Bible Story:  Joshua obeyed God, and marched around Jericho.  God gave Joshua the victory!
Bible Study: Joshua 6


dramatic play

I like teaching little ones the story of Joshua and the battle of Jericho through dramatic play!  I have this set of cardboard blocks that I picked a couple years ago to use as our walls of Jericho. Before that, I use to save ALL my shoe boxes, specifically for this lesson, and they worked great!  I like to set the blocks up on a low table, with a table cloth under them. 

I also gather up the little people from our nativity set.  The children can each hold one as they participate in the story, making the people march, sleep and shout.  Using little figurines such as Lego people, army men, or anything else you may have, gives the children a perspective of the size of the wall around the city of Jericho.  It also gives them a greater appreciation for the incredible miracle God did when He brought the walls down.

This sun and moon visual help mark the days and nights, as we dramatize the story.

I read the story from a children's storybook Bible, or read selected verses straight from my Bible, pausing to direct the kids, as we act out each part of the story.  We march around the city walls once, without a sound, then go lay down to sleep, and repeat the process five more times, just as the Israelite's did. This activity not only burns off some energy, it also helps them to understand that Joshua won the battle because he obeyed, and did exactly what God told him to do, even though other people laughed at him, and made fun of him.  

Of course, on the seventh time that we wake up, we march around the city seven times, blow our "trumpets" and give a shout!  I pull the cloth to make the walls fall down!  This makes the point to the kids that Joshua's army didn't make walls fall down.  God is bigger and stronger than any walls, or any army, and He made walls fall flat down.  Thank You God for giving us the victory!!


  • Bigger Than Big - This is a great song to sing during worship time to support the lesson.
  • My God is So Big - This is also a great song to sing during worship time to support the lesson.
  • They Marched Around the City - This is a fun, playful song, set to a classic children's nursery rhyme, to reinforce the lesson, or to do at any time, when you need a little filler.
  • Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho - This song works best as a puppet song or as a song to listen to during craft time.


they marched around the city

Setup the blocks, or boxes, as the walls of Jericho on a table cloth or sheet.  Sing "They Marched Around the City", as you march around the walls.  At the end, pull the cloth or sheet to knock the walls down.  The kids are sure to ask you to play it again and again!


victory trumpets

Here is my version of a simple trumpet craft that makes the dramatic play suggestions even more fun!
You will need:
  • scripture labels
  • cardboard tubes (toilet paper or paper towel rolls)
  • construction paper
  • wax paper
  • rubber bands
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors
  • tape
  • crayons
To prepare, print and cut the scripture labels.  Cut construction paper sheets into fourths, and cut wax paper into approximately 3.5" by 3.5" squares.

In class, give the children the scripture labels to color.  Tape the scripture to the construction paper as shown above. and then tape the construction paper around the cardboard tube.  Place the wax paper over the shown end of the tube, and secure with a rubber band.  Apply a couple dots of hot glue to keep the rubber band in place.  DO NOT ALLOW CHILDREN TO HANDLE THE HOT GLUE GUN, AND KEEP IT OUT OF THEIR REACH.

Make a "doo-do-it-dooo" noise into the open end of the trumpet for a great kazoo sound!

the walls fall down

This craft gives the children the opportunity to retell the story, and bring home the words to "They Marched Around the City" to sing at home with their parents.  You will need:
  • this print out
  • construction paper
  • yarn
  • drinking straws
  • brown paint
  • sponges
  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • glue
  • tape
  • crayons
To prepare, print and cut the print out. Cut the solid lines around the wall.  Fold the wall along the dotted lines. Cut out the character graphics and the rhyme, on the dotted lines.  Punch two holes on opposite ends of the construction paper.  Cut drinking straws to about 3" in length, and cut yarn to approximately 24" lengths.  Thread a strand of yarn through the cut straw, and then through the holes of the paper.  Tie it securely in the back.  Cut sponges into rectangular, brick shapes.

In class, provide small rectangular sponges and brown paint for the children to stamp brown bricks onto the wall. Allow the walls to dry for a few minutes while you continue working on the craft.  Provide crayons for them to color Joshua and the Israelite's.  Tape the characters to the straw.  Glue the lyrics to the rhyme onto the construction paper.

When the walls are mostly dry, tape the bottom tabs to construction paper as shown below.  

Show children how to manipulate the people to march, and make the walls to fall, as you sing the rhyme.