Explore & respond with children
Do, Make, Pray and Sing activities based on John 12.1-8
Choose from these ideas to help the children make connections between the Bible reading and their lives
Team relay 5 mins E
Play a game to highlight the importance of balancing faith and life
You will need: fruit, e.g. satsumas, at least two per child, two containers.
- Divide the group into two teams. Give both teams a supply of fruit (without telling them, ensure that one team has more than the other), and place a container at the opposite end of where each team is gathered.
- Both teams run relays to put one piece of fruit at a time into their container.
- When both teams have completed the task, compare the contents of their containers. They will notice that the result is unbalanced. Explain that one team’s fruit represent faith and the other team’s fruit represent life. If you give too much to one, the other will suffer. Distribute the fruit fairly and enjoy eating it together.
Social action project 10 mins E A
Assemble care packages for those in need
You will need: plastic bags; EITHER toiletries for a homeless person, e.g. soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, tissues, snacks, OR baby essentials and small gifts for a family with a new baby; tags, paper, pens, pencils, crayons.
- Invite the children to put together care packages either for homeless people in the community/a local shelter, or new young families at church/a local women’s refuge.
- Tie on a tag and write a message from your church.
- The children could draw pictures or write letters to go in the bags (don’t include any personal details).
- Arrange to deliver the care packages. If possible, invite some of the children to accompany you.
Treasure pot 10 mins S
A container for valuable things
You will need: air-drying clay/play dough, paint and paintbrushes, beads, sequins, etc.
- Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with very valuable oil. Invite each child to shape a special pot to store their precious things in, e.g. notes from friends, toys, money.
- They can personalise their pots with paint and decorations. Leave them to dry.
Enter our other competitions.
Balancing the scales 5 mins W S
Think about a balanced relationship with God
You will need: traditional weighing scales, a set of imperial and metric weights.
- Practise this exercise beforehand. Follow the script below (actions are in italics).
- We are so busy nowadays. Place a 1lb weight on the scales. Our lives are pretty full. Place an 8oz weight on the same side. Jesus doesn’t often get much of a look-in. Place a 4oz weight on the same side. Except sometimes on Sundays. Place a 500g weight in the bowl on the other side. But what if it was different? What if every day we thought about him, talked to him, spent time with him? Place a 200g weight on this side. What would our minds and hearts be like if we spent more time with Jesus? Place a 100g weight on the second side so the scales balance.
- Talk about how this reflection made everyone feel.
- Close with a prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to remember that spending time with you is just as important as being busy. Show us ways to slow down and be with you more often. Amen.
Sensory prayer 5 mins S
Think about Jesus using all five senses
You will need: an incense stick or oil burner containing an essential oil, a clay pot/holding cross, some bread, a picture of Jesus, gentle music, e.g. ‘Alabaster Box’ by Julie Meyer (see Listen on the Young People page). (Note: be aware of anyone who is coeliac or suffers from asthma.)
- Lay out all the items on a rug or table as a focal point and play the music quietly.
- Encourage the children to spend some time smelling, touching, tasting, looking, listening and thinking about Jesus.
More prayers are available via the Prayers page.
Key to abbreviations for hymn book titles
Jesus, Jesus, here I am (JU, KS)
When I needed a neighbour
Open the Eyes of my Heart, Paul Baloche
Brother, let me be your servant (HON, SoF)
To be in your presence, Noel Richards
God of Justice (We Must Go), Tim Hughes