Introductory Activity – Erase a Word
Materials: dry erase board and marker
Write the Bible verse Matthew 8:27 on the board. Once kids arrive, gather them together and have them read through the verse five times. Then erase two to three words. Challenge kids to recite the verse again without those words. If they are successful, erase a few more. Erase words until kids can say the verse together. Tell kids they will learn of a time when creation obeyed Jesus in this session. Tip: Make sure you have the verse memorized before doing this activity so that you can lead kids through the verse.
Live It Out
Game – Balance Beam
Materials: painters tape
Create various lines, or balance beams, on the floor with painters tape. One might be a straight line, one may be a zig-zag line, one may be a dotted line. Line kids up behind the lines and give them challenges of how to walk the balance beam. Kids might need to hop on one foot, only go on their tiptoes, or any other creative challenges you can think of. After playing for a while, gather kids together and ask them how hard it was to keep their balance. Remind them that it was probably really hard to stay standing up on the boat the disciples were on. The Bible says that it was really scary! But even still, Jesus is powerful and can do things no man can do. He calmed the storm that day, and He is still calming storms today!
Craft – Paint a Storm
Materials: blue, grey, and yellow, and various colored paint; paintbrushes; cups for water; old t-shirts for kids to use as smocks (optional), white paper
Give each child a piece of white paper and divide the paint among kids. Using the darker colored paints (either blue or grey), show kids how to paint a large cloud at the top of their paper. Encourage them to creatively paint how they see scary storm clouds. They can paint rain coming out or even lightning. Remind kids that though it might be fun to make storm clouds ourselves, people don’t have control over actual storms—and that can be scary! But because Jesus is God’s Son, He is powerful enough to control and even stop the scariest of storms.
Introductory Activity – Jesus Says
Gather kids together and play a game of Jesus says—like Simon says, but using the name Jesus instead. If kids do something that Jesus doesn’t say, they can sit down in their place. The last kid standing can take on the role of “Jesus” next. Play as long as time allows. Afterward, read Matthew 8:27 to kids: “The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this” Even the winds and sea obey him!’” Remind kids that all of creation obeys when Jesus commands something!
Live It Out
Game – Blind Trust
Materials: bandanas, one per two kids
Create teams of two kids. Assign one kid to be the leader and the other to be the truster. Instruct the truster to put on the bandana as a blind fold. Spend up to five minutes allowing the leader to guide the truster around the room with just his voice. With all kids moving about the room, the leader should try to keep the truster from bumping into anyone else. If kids bump, the roles switch, and the other child puts on the blind fold to become the truster. If a team makes the full five minutes without bumping, kids should switch roles and play for the next five minutes. After the game, gather kids together and ask them if it was hard to trust the person who could see. Remind kids that Jesus is powerful and can do things no man can do. He can see all things, and He can control all things. Help them realize they can always trust Jesus to carry out His plans.
Craft – Storm in a Bottle
Materials: clear water bottle (one per child), blue glitter, various colored beads, duct tape
Instruct kids to fill their water bottles a little over halfway with water, pour in some blue glitter, and then add some beads to look like fish. After all the materials are in the bottle, cover the lid with duct tape so there is no leakage. Kids can then shake the water bottle, mixing all the materials to look like a sloshing sea. Remind kids that though this craft is beautiful, the storm that Jesus and His disciples experienced was probably very scary. However, Jesus is far more powerful than even the scariest storm!