Prayer cards for kids are a simple way to engage kids, to get them thinking about what they are praying for.
Even for many adults, prayer does not come naturally and when adults do pray, it is often an afterthought. We know that we cannot have a real relationship with someone we do not communicate with. Meaningful relationships are a two-way street. As children’s ministry leaders and parents, we need to help impress this into our kids hearts and minds. How does God talk to us? He speaks through His word and through prayer. The Holy Spirit lives in us, guiding us. And how do we talk to God? All kids seem to get this one right. Through prayer!
We want our children to understand that yes, we should set aside time to specifically meditate and talk to God. We also want them to know that they can be talking to God all day long. They can share their joys and triumphs and their fears and troubles. God is there for us in all of life.
This past week I had our kindergarten through fifth graders make a prayer hand book to take home and look over everyday when taking time to pray. It’s so simple! All they needed was a piece of paper, colored pencils and scissors. I used construction paper so kids could pick their color. Steps:
Fold paper in half
Place hand up against the fold and trace
Cut out hand
Write on front “Dear God”
Open and write or draw pictures of things they are thankful for on one side and things they need help with on the other.
The idea is to get kids thinking about God in their lives. What has God blessed them with. What can God help them with? Do they really believe God can help them? This little craft isn’t the end all, be all; but, it is one way to reinforce prayer.
Teach Sunday School children to serve God by encouraging our missionaries. Download and print foldable cards for kids to color and personalize then mail to missionaries.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Have you ever gone into a class full of children and asked the question, “What is a missionary?” How many kids new the answer and how many had no idea? Earlier this year I asked this very question and very few new about missionaries. What an incredible opportunity I was given to share with kindergarten through fifth graders the amazing sacrifices people make to share the word of God with others. Then, they got to serve God by encouraging our missionaries.
We have done a card-making activity several times this year and the missionaries have absolutely loved and appreciated receiving cards from our K-5th grade children. I let kids choose colored paper to fold and draw pictures for missionaries. I listed several options of things they could write inside the cards. This week are doing something a little different for our missionaries in Jamaica. (Can you imagine being a missionary in Jamaica?) I decided to design six options with the words already typed out. Kids get to color the letters, add some pictures inside and my older kids can write more personalized notes inside too. It keeps it simple, legible and still teaching the kids to serve by encouraging others who serve God. Here’s a link to download the printable cards I’m using if you are interested. Just print and fold! Printable Cards for Missionaries
Our small groups are now looking at “adopting” a missionary to stay in regular contact with. My small group is full of children so we will try some other ideas in the future, but for now, we will keep the cards coming. If you don’t have a missionary to support and would like some names, send me an email. Our congregations works with quite a few that would love the encouragement!
Coming up with new ways to make bible class an exciting place for kids is not always easy. Then when you find a winner, they eventually grow tired of it. This week I tried something new with our Sunday School kids and they asked excitedly if we could do it again next week. When they are asking, you know you have a winner, at least for a little while.
I love games about the bible and this one is so simple! All you need is a pair of call bells. I divided my bible lesson into eight pieces making sure to have a question after each short reading. Then it was time for “Last One Standing” played Family Feud style.
How to Play: Set out two bells Family Feud style. Just before you read each section, have two kids come up to the bells, put one hand on the table next to the bell and the other behind their back. Now, read the section, ask the question. The first to ring the bell gets to answer (but you can’t ask any more of the question once the bell is rung). If they answer right, they stay and face off with the next person. If wrong, the opponent gets to guess. If wrong, they sit out. Let’s see who’s the last one standing. Oh, and if they ring the bell more than once, they lose that round. Here’s an example of what I did this past week:
4:12-17, Mark 1:14-15) Jesus heard that his cousin John was thrown in prison.
Remember, John had been baptizing people and telling them about Jesus. Now that he is in prison Jesus left Nazareth
and went to Galilee. He lived by a lake
in Capernaum. A long time ago, before
Jesus was ever born, the prophet Isaiah said this would happen! Now Jesus was
telling people, “Repent and believe the good news!” What
message was Jesus teaching? Repent and believe the good news.
4:18; Mark 1:16) One day, Jesus was
walking beside the Sea of Galilee and see two brothers named Simon Peter and
Andrew. They were fishermen so they were
busy casting their nets into the lake to catch fish. Where
was Jesus walking? By the Sea of Galilee.
4:19-22; Mark 1:17-20) Jesus said, “Come, follow me and I will send you out to
fish for people.” They immediately left
their nets and followed Jesus. A little
further down, Jesus saw James and his brother John fishing. He told them the
same thing and they left their father and his helpers in the boat and followed
Jesus too. Jesus called his first four disciples. Who were they? Peter, Andrew, James & John
4:14-15) News about Jesus had spread all over Galilee. Jesus was teaching in
their synagogues and everyone praised him.
But then Jesus went back to Nazareth. This is where Jesus was raised
when he was little. Where did Jesus grow up? Nazareth.
(Luke 4:16-21) On the Sabbath day, Jesus went
to the synagogue and stood up to read. Someone handed him the scroll of the
prophet Isaiah so he unrolled it and read, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he anointed me to share the good news.” And read a little more, then
rolled it back up and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled.” It was the Sabbath day. What was Jesus
doing in the synagogue? Reading (from the scroll of Isaiah).
4:22-23) Everyone said good things about him and were amazed saying, “Isn’t
that Joseph’s son?” They knew Jesus when he was just a little boy and now Jesus
was calling himself a prophet? They were thrilled! Jesus would make their lives
easier, right? How did the people know
Jesus? He grew up around them.
4:24) Jesus realized what they were thinking. They had it all wrong! He was
there to save them from sin, not fix their problems on earth. Jesus got their attention
when he said, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” What was Jesus there to do? Save them from sin.
4:25-30) Jesus just compared them to the faithless Jews of Elijah and Elisha’s
time. They were mad now and chased him out of town. Why were they mad? Jesus compared them to people that did not have
You can add questions at the end to review more even adding in things from past lessons. Our bible class kids were listening intently, learning from God’s word and LOVING it! This is how we begin building a love for God in our children and as they grow older, they will have the word of God in their hearts and minds to refer back to as they need it.
This past Sunday went fantastic in my children’s bible classes. Why? Because they had FUN! Our lesson was about Jesus being tempted in the wilderness; but you can use this activity for ANY lesson.
Remember the game at Christmas everyone was playing where tons of mini gifts were wrapped in a ball of cellophane? It was passed around a circle for everyone to unwrap the cellophane until they came to a prize that they kept and then passed the ball on. It continued until all the prizes, or gifts, were unwrapped and claimed.
I simply used this idea for a bible lesson and the kids had a blast. I had my lesson and divided it into sections. Then I selected toys and candy prizes. If the toy related to the lesson I used it as it was. For instance, I had a prayer rock for turning rocks into bread. For other parts of the lesson that I did not have a toy for, I printed a picture that related and glued it to candy (and gum). Then, as the kids unwrapped, we would stop at each item and tell that part of the story. We made it through the entire ball of cellophane with excitement and anticipation… what was coming up next! (Just remember to wrap your items up backward so the last item is wrapped first.)
As many of us get ready for Easter and the events leading up to it, here’s a great craft for kids introducing them to Palm Sunday. Jesus enters Jerusalem on a borrowed donkey the week before his crucifixion. The disciples spread their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on. Many people came out to welcome Jesus. They laid their cloaks and palm branches before him and praised him.
Have fun teaching kids about “The Triumphant Entry” of Jesus entering into Jerusalem fulfilling another prophesy by making a fun balloon donkey on a stick or string to walk down halls after class. Talk with them about why he may have chosen a donkey instead of a horse. Teach them about Jesus being a servant and relating to the people. (Matthew 21:1-11)
What you’ll need: Balloon, Donkey template, scissors, tape, string (and colors if you’d like kids to color their donkey first)
Print copies of the donkey template on card stock.
Cut out donkey then color if you’d like.
Blow up balloon to desired size
Tape donkey head, legs and tail to balloon.
Tape string or stick to balloon.
Now you’ve got a donkey to walk down the halls and when asked what the donkey is for, kids should be ready to share the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey!
Daniel is an amazing example for us in scripture, especially when teaching kids. Daniel was exiled to Babylon when he was young. He was taught all the ways of Babylon and ended up on King Nebuchadnezzar’s good side early on all thanks to Daniel’s faith in the one true God. When King Darius came along, Daniel was still highly favored by the king. Unfortunately, there were some others who were quite jealous and tried to get rid of Daniel by tricking the king into signing an order that would not allow Daniel to pray to the one true God.
How might Daniel have been feeling during this time? Help kids really think about it. All Daniel had to do was hide when he prayed for the next 30 days. That’s not very long. Surely God would understand, right? This was a scary time because the consequences were painful- he’d be fed to a den of hungry lions. But Daniel did not seem to worry. No stress! He remained faithful prayed every day to God. You know the rest of the story. Although thrown into a den of hungry lions, God sent an angel to protect him. Daniel was safe.
To get kids excited about bible class this particular Sunday, we made stress balls. Well, I made the stress ball and they drew a lions head. I was not sure how “stress-free” class would be for my teachers with a bunch of kiddo’s trying to get flour into a balloon. The kids loved their lion stress balls and it was a great time to talk to them about not worrying about the consequences. We need to do what is right all the time and let God handle the rest.