Explore & respond with children
Do, Make, Pray and Sing activities based on Matthew 11.2-11
Choose from these ideas to help the children make connections between the Bible reading and their lives
Good news! 10 mins W E A
Look at the good and bad things happening in the world
You will need: newspapers and scissors.
- Cut out some age-appropriate good and bad news stories from the newspapers.
- Talk with the children about what makes each story good or bad news.
- Discuss the good things Jesus shared with his disciples to show who he was. Ask the children why they think it is important to share good news.
Question and answer 10mins E
Ask questions to God and know he is always ready to answer
You will need: question marks and speech bubbles cut from card.
- Divide the children into two teams and split each team in half, one on either side of the room.
- Remind them that John was worried and asked Jesus a question. Jesus sent an answer back straight away to reassure him.
- Explain that you are going to have a relay race. The first runner leaves one side of the room carrying a question mark. They leave it at the opposite side of the room with the other half of their team. A new runner from that side takes the speech bubble to the opposite end. The next runner from that side of the room returns the speech bubble. The question mark returns to the original side with the next runner.
- Continue until every team member has run and the two halves have swapped sides of the room. Keep passing the speech bubble and the question mark between the two sides of the room.
During Advent our ‘Make’ activities include ‘Advent tree’ decorations. Children could either take these home to decorate their own Advent or Christmas tree or you could make your group an Advent tree.
Good news scroll
Advent tree decoration 3 15 mins W E
Share the good news in your life
You will need: pieces of brown paper, pens, ribbon, sticky tape.
- Give the children a piece of brown paper each, and ask them to write some good news they are thankful for in their own life: ‘Thank you, God for…’
- Help the children roll their paper up to make a scroll, tie a ribbon round it in a bow, then use sticky tape to attach another piece of ribbon as a hanging loop.
- If using the Advent tree, invite the children to hang their scrolls on it.
Questioning? 15 mins+ W E S A
Make biscuits reminding us that even John had questions and doubts
You will need: biscuit dough (recipe below), rolling pins, several card question mark shapes for the children to use as a template to cut round, or a question mark cutter, icing and other edible decorations.
- Give each child a small amount of dough and ask them to roll it out.
- Remind the children that even a special person like John had questions about Jesus. Invite them to think of some questions they might have as they cut their dough into two question mark shapes.
- Bake the dough, leave to cool and then decorate the biscuits as desired. Allow the children to each take one biscuit home and encourage them to give the other as a gift for someone.
Biscuit recipe (makes about 10 large question mark biscuits)
Ingredients: 225g soft butter, 110g caster sugar, 275g plain flour (optional – Christmas spices, vanilla essence or other flavouring).
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add flour.
- Add the spices or other flavouring at this point and ensure fully combined.
- Roll the dough out to about the thickness of a pound coin and cut out shapes.
- Place in the oven at 180°C for 15 minutes.
Sharing God’s love in prayer 10 mins E S A
Pray to share God’s love with others
You will need: a copy of the prayer of St Teresa of Avila (template), battery-operated tealights.
- Read the prayer aloud, then place it in the centre of the gathering. Remind the children that praying is a way of sharing God’s love.
- Pray for people who are sad, for those in prison – like John, and for anyone else you want to share God’s love with today.
- Light a candle for each one.
More prayers are available via the Prayers page.
Key to abbreviations for hymn book titles
Deep and wide (CJP 35)
If you’re happy and you know It!
When you believe, Stephen Schwartz, Babyface (Dreamworks, Prince of Egypt)
Flabbergasted, Doug Horley
How can it be, Lauren Daigle
So will I (100 Billion X), Hillsong UNITED