Introductory Activity – Elbow Four Square
Materials: kickball, masking tape
Before class, create a Four Square board on the floor in your room using tape. In class, explain to your children that they will play Four Square, but with a twist. Instead of using their hands to hit the ball, they can only use their elbows. Select four children to start in the squares and have the rest line up. One child will serve the ball to the opposite square, and the other children will hit the ball into other squares with their elbows. If a child does not hit the ball into another square, she is out. As each child gets out, have him rotate to the end of the line as the next child steps in to play. Ensure everyone has the opportunity to play. Afterward, discuss with your children how playing Four Square with their elbows seemed unnatural. Tell them that forgiving someone else seems unnatural, too, but how will they see in today’s lesson that Jesus forgave Peter. Write the Life Point on the board and have everyone say it together.
Live It Out
Game – Backpack Race
Materials: two backpacks, books
Before class, fill one backpack with books. In class, take your children to a long hallway or large area, and tell them they will compete in a relay race. Form two equal teams with your children, and give each team a backpack. One team will receive an empty pack and the other team will receive a pack that is filled with books. Show the groups the starting line, and instruct them to run to a specified spot and then return. When a team member returns, he will hand the backpack to the next child in line. Each team will repeat this process until everyone has competed. The first team to have everyone run is the winner! (Be sure only to put enough books in the backpack to slow the children down. Refrain from overstuffing the backpack.) Afterward, discuss why the team with the heavy backpack lost the race. Explain that when they don’t forgive someone, it is like a heavy weight that they carry around that they can’t get rid of. Have everyone read the Weekly Verse together, and remind your children that Jesus forgives them, so they should forgive others.
Craft – Gone Fishin’
Materials: white cardstock, construction paper (multiple colors), scissors, glue, yarn
Give each child a piece of white cardstock and several different colors of construction paper. Instruct them to draw multiple fish on their construction paper and cut them out. Next, have them glue their fish to the cardstock. At the top of the page, instruct the children to write the Life Point. Next, have the children cut notches around their cardstock. Then, instruct them to crisscross the yarn across the page (using the notches) to make it look like a fishing net. Remind your children that Jesus will forgive them when they do the wrong thing, just like He forgave Peter.
Introductory Activity – Forgiveness Practice
Materials: two cups, slips of paper, marker, scissors
Before class, cut out slips of paper. On each slip of paper, write phrases such as: Please forgive me for taking your toy. Please forgive me for being mean. Please forgive me for talking about you. Please forgive me for pushing you. You will want to create more phrases that are similar. (Create two sets) Put each set of phrases in two cups. In class, form two teams with your children. Set the cups on one side of the room and line up the teams on the other. One at a time, the children will run down and grab one slip of paper. They will return and say the phrase to the next child in line. This child will say, “I forgive you,” and then run and repeat the process. The first team to have every child ask for forgiveness is the winner! Explain to your children that asking for forgiveness is hard, so it’s good to practice. Tell them they will see Jesus offer forgiveness to Peter today in the Bible story.
Live It Out
Game – Darts of Resentment
Materials: chairs, dart, balloons, markers
Before class, blow up multiple balloons. On each balloon, write one of these words: COMPASSION, TRUST, JOY, FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, and other similar words. On the dart, write RESENTMENT. In class, set up a row of chairs on one side of the room and attach the balloons to the chairs. On the opposite side of the room, line up the children so they can each throw the dart at the balloons. (Ensure that everyone stays behind the thrower.) After everyone has had a chance to participate, tell your children that holding a grudge against someone destroys friendships, erodes trust, and reduces joy. Encourage them to remember that just as Jesus forgave Peter, they should forgive people who have hurt them.
Craft – Feed My Sheep
Materials: white cardstock, markers, sandwich-size ziplock bags, scissorsGive each child a piece of white cardstock and the other supplies. Instruct the kids to draw five sheep on their pages and cut them out. On each sheep, instruct them to write FEED MY SHEEP and one way they can minister to someone else. Give each child a ziplock bag to put their sheep in. Allow children to share one way they can “feed my sheep.” Remind your children of the Life Point.