Palm branches: The most obvious object for Palm Sunday is the palm branch. (If you don’t have real palm branches -be creative! ) Talk about the significance of the palm branch in the biblical story of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Then, have each child make their own palm branch out of green construction paper and wave them in the air, imagining themselves as part of the crowd welcoming Jesus.
Donkey figurines: Another object you could use for Palm Sunday is a toy donkey or figurine. (Of course you could be really radical and arrange to have someone bring a real donkey to the church parking lot!) Talk about how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. Then, have the children act out the story, taking turns playing the part of Jesus and riding the donkey while the other children wave their palm branches and shout "Hosanna!"
Hosanna signs: You could have your kids make signs with the word "Hosanna" written on them. Talk about what the word means (it's a Hebrew expression of adoration and praise) and how the people of Jerusalem shouted it as Jesus rode into the city. Have the children decorate their own Hosanna signs with glitter, markers, and stickers, and then wave them as they reenact the story of Palm Sunday. It could be a lot of fun.
Cloaks: (Note: You may neeed to explain what a “cloak” is.)Talk about how the people of Jerusalem spread their cloaks on the ground for Jesus to ride over. Have your kids bring in a spare cloak or jacket from home and spread them on the ground to make a "carpet" for someone to walk over. Talk about how this is a way to show honor and respect for someone.
Stones: In Luke 19:40, Jesus said that even if the people stop praising him, the stones will cry out. Collect some small stones and have the children paint them with Hosanna or other praise phrases. Discuss some ways about how they might join with creationn to praise God.
Bread: Talk about the Last Supper that Jesus had with his disciples before his crucifixion. Pass around some bread and have the children break it apart and share it with each other, just as Jesus broke bread with his disciples. You could use a loaf of bread or find some unleavened pita bread. Note: Different denominations have unique approaches to the Lord’s Supper. (Do check with your pastor if you plan on reenacting the Lord's Supper!)
Crosses: Make small crosses out of twigs, craft sticks or palm branches. Talk about how the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem eventually led to his crucifixion on the cross. Have the children make their own crosses and decorate them with symbols of faith, such as a heart or a cross.
Flags: Provide some fabrics and craft sticks to make flags. Talk about how flags can be used to show loyalty or unity, such as when people wave flags at a parade. Have your kids create their own flags with symbols of their faith (Bible, Bread, Wine, Holy Spirit fire, living water etc.) or the word "Hosanna" on them, and wave them as they act out the story of Palm Sunday and the Triumphal entry
Pray: God, thank you that Jesus loved us so much he was willing to give his life and die for us on the cross. Thank you for his amazing love. Thank you that when he died for us on the cross it was like a magnet drawing us and the whole world to you and your son Jesus. Copyright 2009 SundayChildrensFocus.com Andrew Hewlett (Please "Like" this on the left side of the page if you found this helpful)
This children’s lesson on “Doubting Thomas” is a bit different in that it highlights the positive aspects of doubt (A careful balance is needed here). The basic idea is to blindfold one of the children and ask them to pick out real fruit / food from fake food. Doubt can keep us from eating fake fruit. However, when we find the real fruit we would never enjoy it if we doubted too much. (Then make the connection with Jesus and the resurrection. FYI – I’m just trying to get away from implying that doubt is always wrong)
Objects / materials needed: 1. Fake (imitation) fruit or some other types of imitation food. Some real fruit / food. 2. A blindfold
Basic kids sermon overview: Begin by holding up the fake fruit and asking the children if they can tell whether it's real or fake.
Place a blindfold on one of the children and ask them to feel the fruit and guess whether it's real or fake. They may feel uncertain or doubtful about their guess. Ask the rest of the class (or the other kids with you in the front of the church) to help the blindfolded child by describing the fruit's texture, weight, and other qualities. Have some fun with this. As they give more information, the child may become more confident and less doubtful in their guess. Take off the blindfold and reveal the truth about the fake fruit. Explain that sometimes we have doubts or questions about things we can't see or understand clearly, just like the blindfolded child had doubts about the fruit. However, when we seek answers and gather more information, our doubts can turn into understanding and faith. Highlight that doubts can help us avoid unhealthy or deceiving things and can point us to what is real or genuine.
Conclude by reading the bible passage about “Doubting Thomas” (John 20: 24-29) and how he was determined to find out the truth about Jesus. Encourage the children to ask questions and seek understanding, knowing that doubt can lead to greater knowledge and faith.
Once we have seen the good evidence (or heard from trustworthy people) about Jesus we need to caste off our doubts in order to believe and enter into the life Jesus offers.
Through this object lesson, the children will learn that doubt can sometimes be a good thing, as it can motivate us to seek answers and gain deeper understanding. They will also learn that seeking answers with the help of others can strengthen their faith and confidence in the risen Savior.
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the wonderful resurrection of your son Jesus – that he is alive! Help us always to be wise and careful to make sure we are believing the truth about Jesus and his wonderful life and love. In Jesus’ name – Amen!
Copywrite 2023 SundayChildrensfocus Andrew Hewlett - feel free to use this but please give credit to SundayChildrensfocus.com - Thank you A.H.
1. Find or make a puzzle of Jesus. Work with the children to put the puzzle together and discuss how you can gradually understand or "see" Jesus. Explain how the disciples on the road to Emmaus could not see Jesus at first but recognized him as they shared a meal together. You can also explain how we can come to know Jesus more clearly as learn about (through the bible) various aspects of his life.
(If you don't have a pre-made puzzle you can make one by glueing a picture of Jesus onto a piece of cardboard and then cutting out your own individual puzzle pieces.)
2. As a fun introduction to the "road the road to emmaus" story have them try to identify various people just by hearing the sound of their voice. Use blindfolds or hide various individuals behind a partition. Have the hidden individuals talk and let the children identity them.
3. The road to Emmaus story lends itself well to actually acting out the journey with the children. Plan a short walking trip. As you walk along, talk with the children about the disciples' confusion and disappointment, pretend that you are getting tired and find a place to stay the night (an empty sunday school room). Pretend to partake of a meal with the children. Break the bread and explain how the disciples suddenly had their eyes opened.
Here are some Sunday School object lesson ideas for Maundy Thursday. (Maundy comes from the Latin word “Mandatum” which mean Commandment.) It’s the occasion that Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another..” This is simple list of ideas that you might use. My sense is that this day in Holy Week is not normally taught given that it falls mid week.
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, is the day before Good Friday that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with His disciples. Here are some Sunday School object lesson ideas for Maundy Thursday:
The Bread: You might try bringing in a loaf of bread or some crackers to represent the bread that Jesus broke at the Last Supper. Discuss how Jesus said that the bread was His body, which would be broken for us. You can also have the children take turns breaking the bread and passing it around, just as Jesus did with His disciples.
The Cup: Use a cup or a chalice to represent the cup of wine that Jesus shared with His disciples at the Last Supper. Discuss how Jesus said that the wine was His blood, which would be shed for us. Depending on your denominational sensitivities, you can also have the children take turns pouring a small amount of grape juice into the cup and passing it around, just as Jesus did with His disciples.
The Footwashing: Use a basin of water and a towel to reenact the footwashing that Jesus did with His disciples at the Last Supper. Have the children / youth take turns washing each other's feet, and discuss how this was a symbol of humility and service. Explain how Jesus taught His disciples to serve one another in love, just as He had served them.
The Commandment: You could try using a large piece of paper or a whiteboard to write out the wonderful commandment thatt Jesus gave His disciples at the Last Supper: "Love one another as I have loved you." Discuss how this commandment is at the heart of the Christian faith, and how we are called to love others in the same way that Jesus loved us.
The Betrayal - coins: Use a small bag of coins to represent the thirty pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying Jesus. Discuss how Judas' betrayal led to Jesus' arrest and crucifixion, and how this event reminds us of the importance of honesty, loyalty, and trust. It also reminds us of various way that we are tempted to betray Jesus.
These are just a few Sunday School object lesson ideas for Maundy Thursday. Even if you don’t use them during Holy Week you could use them at some other time in the year. Remember to keep the lessons age-appropriate and interactive to engage the children's attention and help them better understand the significance of this important day in the Christian faith. Blessings - A.H.
1 Work with your church pastor to get his or her ideas. Children’s ministry can be a wonderful doorway to ministry with families – young and old.
2 Provide faith resources, such as books or articles, that can help parents deepen their own faith.
3 Organize fun events or activities that allow parents and children to connect and build community with one another.
4 Create a network of support where parents can talk to one another about their experiences and challenges. This has a benefit for the whole church fellowship.
5 Provide childcare during Sunday school classes so parents can attend worship services or participate in other church activities. Sadly, I know many parents who have dropped out of church because it was simply too much stress and worry to attend.
6 Encourage parents to volunteer in Sunday school, which can give them a deeper understanding of their child's experience and also provide support for the Sunday school teacher. (They could assist with lesson presentations or help provides snacks for the snack time.
7 Offer opportunities for parents to serve in the wider community, such as organizing a service project or participating in a local charity event. Many church have community fun raising projects to support Sunday School ministry.
8 Provide opportunities for parents to receive training or education on topics related to parenting, such as discipline, communication, or spiritual growth. Although parents are older, they may be still grappling with keep questions about the Christian faith.
9 Provide resources and support for parents who are dealing with difficult family situations, such as divorce, illness, or financial hardship. Their needs provide an opportunity to show love in action.
10 Be available to listen and offer support to parents who are struggling with the challenges of raising children in a Christian context. The culture has shifted so much and there certainly is hostility to the good news of Jesus.
- Andrew Hewlett
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