Children's object lesson ideas for Ascension Day
Try using a helium-filled balloon to represent Jesus ascending to heaven. (You could also use a small indoor drone.) Explain how Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection and how the the disciples watched Him go. Release the balloon and discuss how Jesus is now in heaven, interceding for us.
"Footprints in the Sand": Bring a tray of sand and ask the children to make footprints with their hands (or feet!) Discuss how Jesus left His “footprints” on Earth but ascended to heaven. Explain that although we can't physically see Him, we can still follow His teachings and know that he is always with us. Although it’s a little over-worked you could still read out the “Footprints in the sand” story.
"Clouds of Glory": Use / make a cotton ball cloud to symbolize the clouds that took Jesus up to heaven. Explain how Jesus ascended in the presence of His disciples, and how clouds played a significant role in His departure. Discuss the symbolism of clouds and how they represent God's glory and majesty.
"The Empty Chair / Thrown": Set up a chair at the front of the room and explain that it represents the throne in heaven where Jesus sits. Discuss how Jesus ascended to heaven to be with His Father and how He promised to return. Emphasize that Jesus is always with us, even though we can't physically see Him.
Make a “Map to Heaven": Create a simple treasure map and explain that Jesus ascended to heaven to prepare a place for us. Discuss how we can follow His teachings and have eternal life by receiving Him as Lord and Saviour. Connect the idea of following a map to following Jesus and His guidance through the Holy Spirit.
Ask the children if they have ever been in an elevator. (You could make a small pretend elevator model using a shoebox and string. Explain that Jesus ascended to heaven like going up in an elevator, but instead of using a machine, He used His divine power and went to heaven. Use the elevator model to demonstrate this concept and discuss the significance of Jesus' ascension. Jesus said it would be best if he went to heaven so he could be present with us all the time through the Holy Spirit.
Show a puzzle with a missing piece – and show how the one last piece completes the puzzle. Discuss howw Jesus completed His mission on Earth and ascended to heaven. Explain that His disciples (that includes us) continued His work and spread the message of salvation, becoming part of the puzzle. Emphasize that we are now part of that puzzle, called to continue Jesus' mission. Explain that we are the “body of Christ” now on earth.