527. The fishing game


Three in one!

This creative activity is three things in one – a craft activity, a game, and a reflection on the Bible story of the calling of the disciples, (Mark 1: 14-20), which you can tell beforehand.

Materials:

- sticks (collected in the woods)
- magnets
- string and paper clips
- glue and cellotape
- paper fishes 
- a washing up bowl or a bucket
- pens and score card
- egg timer


Description:

Tie the string to the stick, and fasten a magnet to the other end of the string (you could tie it or glue it). Teach the children to fold the fish as shown in this YouTube video.

Fasten a paper clip to each fish. Put all the fish in the bowl or bucket, and the children can go ‘fishing’ using their fishing rods with magnets on the end.

You can give the fish different scores. Who can fish the most fish with the highest scores in a certain amount of time?

paperfish


An extra idea for the older children:

Write some quotes and questions on the fish and use them to have a discussion afterwards:

- Jesus says ‘You will become fishers of men’. Does this mean that you go up to someone and tell them that they have to follow Jesus?

- ‘You will become fishers of men’. Is this a promise, or something that you have to do?

- What talents do you need if you are going to go fishing? Patience? What would be good tactics?

- Are you already a follower of Jesus? Is it hard to follow Him?

- What does God’s kingdom mean? Is that also here on earth?

 

526. What does the Ichthus fish mean?


This creative activity will help children discover the meaning behind the Ichthus fish, and what it meant to the first Christians to follow Jesus.

Materials:

- Smartphone(s), laptop (s), tablet (s)
- Paper, pencils, felt pens

ichthus fish

Description:

Show the children an illustration of the Ichthus fish – for example a bumper sticker.

Ask them if they know what it is and what it means. Talk with them about why people stick these stickers on their cars, or display them elsewhere.

Ask the children to do some research and see what else they can discover about the origin of this sign for Jesus-followers. They can use the phones/tablets/laptops. How did it come about? What does it mean? Why did people use it at the time of the early church? And how is it used now?

Ask the children if they would use the symbol themselves to show thay they are followers of Jesus. Do they want other people to know? Or is that not cool?

Finally, ask them to design their own symbol to show that they are followers of Jesus. What would it look like?

Ages – 8 - 12

525. Creative prayer idea – praying alone


Helping children to talk /communicate with God

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1: 35

Jesus was very busy, but he made time to pray and also found a place where he could be alone. Often we are busy busy busy! To busy to make time for God and find a quiet place with him. This idea will help children to discover what helps them to make time and space to pray.

earplug

Talk with the children about finding peace and quiet to pray. What might help them not to be distracted by everything around them? Have them try one or more of the things you have brought with you – a blindfold so that they can’t be distracted by what they see, or ear plugs so that they won’t be distracted by what they hear, or pen and paper so that they can write down the thoughts that distract them.

Once the children have chosen, they can find a place in the classroom (or outside if this is possible) where they can spend a few minutes in quiet prayer. Tell them beforehand how long the time will be, and how you will tell them that the time is up.

Did the various tools help the children? Why did or didn’t they?

Materials:

- ear plugs
- blindfolds
- pens
- paper

524. BROKEN: Rock, Paper, Scissors


With the help of a secular YouTube film and a creative activity you can explore Jesus’ sacrificial love.

This YouTube film shows the story of a paper creature that is attacked by a pair of scissors. Rock sees what is happening and he attacks Scissors out of compassion for Paper. Rock wins from Scissors but gets wounded. Rock carries Paper to a safe place, but because in the game Paper always beats Rock, he starts to crumble even as he is carrying her to safety. He therefore demonstrates sacrificial love.

broken


It’s easy to find a link between this story and the incident when Jesus touches the leper and makes him promise not to tell anyone. The leper does tell everyone that Jesus touched and healed him. It has been centuries since anyone healed a leper – back in the time of the prophet Elisha, when general Naaman was healed. If Jesus can heal even a leper, surely he can help anyone! As Jesus had expected, large crowds came to see him – so large that he was no longer able to go into the villages and towns. His compassion for the man with leprosy, and the fact that the man was too excited to keep it to himself meant that Jesus was forced to retreat to more remote places. Jesus experienced a degree of suffering because of his compassion for this man.

Of course you can also use this video to teach on Jesus' death on the cross and his resurrection!

Themes:

Jesus healing the leper, sacrificial love, Jesus' death and resurrection

Important question:

It’s important to watch the video yourself first and to decide if you want to show it to the children? Does it fit within your context and the age of the children?

Method:

Step 1: Have the children play the game ‘Rock, paper, scissors’. You could play it for a few minutes and have them change partners half way through.

If you don’t know the game, you can watch this link.

Step 2: Watch the video together, and possible one more time after completing step 3.


Step 3
: Discuss the video using six worksheets which you can download here: Broken---Rock-Paper-Sciccors.pdf

The worksheets consist of the following images: 

- rock
- scissors
- paper
- the illness leprosy
- Jesus
- the ill man

1. Print the six images out and show them to the children
2. Ask the children to make three pairs of the images – which ones belong together?
3. Who represents Jesus in the video? (the rock) – why do you agree or not agree?
4. Who represents the ill man? (the paper) – why do you agree or not agree?
5. Who represents the illness? (the scissors) – why do you agree or not agree?

 

 

523. Create activity cards with Advent


Let’s make a difference this Christmas

This is an interesting Advent idea for use at home or within your kids ministry or Sunday school lesson.

Create a pile of activity cards. Each Sunday of Advent, ask a child to pick one of the activity cards – hold them so that the child can’t see which card they are choosing. This card is the coming task for the coming week. You can fulfil this task as a group or as a family.

christmasdoinggood


You can think of lots of fun and interesting tasks such as:

- Make a Christmas card for someone
- Clean up the rubbish in your park
- Sweep the street
- Give food to a foodbank or to someone who needs it
- Buy a cup of coffee for a homeless person
- Make a present for someone who is lonely
- Give someone a compliment
- Create your own bird feeder
- Bake cookies and share them with neighbours and friends

You can think of twenty or more activities that you can do as a family or as a children’s group.