Introductory Activity – Introduce a Friend
Materials: dry erase board and marker
Create groups of two kids. Pair an adult with a kid if you have an odd number. Task kids with spending five to ten minutes getting to know one another on a deeper level and then introducing each other to the group. Consider writing a list of get-to-know-you questions on the board and then encourage them to ask some of their own questions. Tell kids that today, they’ll be learning about how Paul and Silas introduced people to Jesus; however, they got in trouble for doing so! But because they knew Jesus so well already, they could praise Him in the midst of hardship.
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Game – Pass the Verse
Seat kids on the floor in a straight line. Play telephone by whispering parts of the Weekly Verse into the first child’s ear and instruct that child to pass the message down the line. You can split the verse into sections or pass the whole thing down at once. The first time you play, whisper it quietly so that it is almost impossible to hear and see what the last child thinks was said. Then, play by saying the verse loudly, so that everyone can hear what the person before them said. Remind kids that the good news of Jesus was not meant to be kept quiet, but spoken out loud even in scary circumstances—just like Paul and Silas did.
Craft – Make a Praise Shaker
Materials: cardboard tube, dry rice, colored tape, markers, scissors
Give each child a tube to decorate the tube with markers and tape. They can use the tape to make geometric designs on their tubes. Direct them to use tape to securely cover one end of the tube, add a small amount of rice, and securely cover the other end of the tube with tape. Spend some time playing worship music and using the shakers to praise God with the music. Remind the boys and girls that Paul and Silas trusted and worshiped God, even in prison.
Introductory Activity – Praise Dance
Materials: music player, worship playlist
Turn on a playlist of worship music as kids enter the room. Instruct kids to dance to the music in worship. It might feel a little funny at first, but they will eventually get more used to praising God with their dance! Keep this going for a few songs, then gather kids around and tell them that today, they’ll learn how Paul and Silas praised God in the midst of an uncomfortable situation. Say that they didn’t stop because they trusted that God is good, and they wanted everyone to know about Him!
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Game – Human Knot
Lead the kids stand in a small circle. If you have a large group of kids, make two or more circles. Instruct all to close their eyes and reach their hands into the middle of the circle and then find another hand to hold. Once everyone has a hand, kids can open their eyes. Without letting go, the group needs to untangle themselves from this human knot to form a circle again. Kids will have to work together, and it may take some trial and error. Remind kids that though they got tangled up, the truth that they could come undone remained true. Help them remember that though Paul and Silas’s life might have seemed tangled up, they trusted God the whole time!
Craft – Paint a Praise Shaker
Materials: cardboard tubes, dry rice, colored tape, acrylic paint, paintbrushes, water cup for cleaning brushes, permanent markers, scissors
Distribute a cardboard tube to each kid. Encourage them to paint the tubes or draw on them with the markers. Suggest to kids that they write the Weekly Verse on their tubes. Use tape to securely cover one end of the tube, and put some rice inside. Securely cover the other end of the tube with tape. Encourage kids to use the shakers to praise God when they listen to worship through the week. Let the shakers become a reminder that praising God should be an active part of our lives, and that through our praise, God makes Himself known to people.
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