Introductory Activity—Tell a Story
Gather kids together into a circle. The first person in the circle starts a story with one sentence that will begin a made up story. Then the next person adds onto the story, and it continues until everyone has contributed at least one sentence to the story. Go around one time or as many times as makes sense for your group! Laugh with the kids as the story unfolds in a funny way, then tell kids that they will be learning about stories Jesus told; however, His stories were not random—they always teach us something!
Live It Out
Game— Review Race
Materials: Yardstick, clothespins (1 per team), numbered cube, marker
Print a different number on each clothespin. Clip the clothespins to the end of the yardstick. Group kids into teams. Ask a review question to Team 1. If the team answers correctly, lead a player to roll the cube and move the team’s clothespin that many spaces along the yardstick. Ask a review question to Team 2. Continue the game until a team’s clothespin reaches the end of the yardstick. Say the Life Point together.
Materials: Several colors of construction paper, yarn, hole punch, scissors
Hand out three or four pieces of construction paper per kid and help them trace and cut out their hand print from the paper. Tell kids to trace around the finished print onto the other pieces of paper and cut them out. Write the words Helping Hands on one hand, stack them together with the words on top, and then punch a hole at the bottom of the hands. Tie the stack of hands together with a small piece of yarn. Help kids think of different ways they can be helpful to others in their own lives like the good Samaritan was. Kids can either draw a picture of those things or write them on the hands.
Introductory Activity—Listen for the Rainstorm
In this activity, kids will make the sound of a rainstorm with just their hands. Gather kids in a circle and sit down with the group. Direct the kids to pay attention to what the person on their right is doing and as soon as they do an action, then they do it too. Instruct them to listen as they make the sounds to see if they can tell what it sounds like. Lead the following sequence:
Rub thumb and forefinger together
Rub hands together
rub thumb and forefinger together
Hands on lap
Ask the kids what they heard. It should sound just like a rainstorm passing through, getting more intense, and then getting less intense. Kids had to listen and pay attention to be able to tell what the sound was. Tell kids that one way Jesus teaches us is by telling stories called parables. We have to listen to the story closely and pay attention to what He is teaching us, too!
Live It Out
Game—Mother, May I
Choose a volunteer to be “Mother.” The person who is the “Mother” stands on one end of a space, while other players line up at the other end. Each child takes a turn asking if they can move such as “Mother, May I take 3 giant steps forward?” “Mother” can either answer with yes or another comment, such as “You may not take three giant steps forward, but you can take two tiny steps.” Help kids understand that they really had to use their listening ears for this game. When Jesus told parables, he expected his followers to listen. His directions are always right!
Materials: White copy paper, coloring utensils, stapler with staples
Before class, stack three pieces of white copy paper together, fold them, and staple in the fold to create a small booklet for each kid in your group. Hand the booklets along with coloring utensils out to kids and tell them to draw pictures of the events of this or any one of Jesus’ parables on each page. Kids can use this booklet to practice telling the story to themselves and to others. If kids need help thinking of examples of Jesus’ parable, give some of these examples:
Matthew 13:1-23; Luke 15; Matthew 20:1-16; Luke 15:11-24