For very young children
Play, and think about Jesus' story.
Play materials: storybooks
Young children love repetition. Using the same prayer to start your session each time you meet will create a sense of familiarity and expectation.
Suggestion 1: God loves me
From the top of my head
to the tips of my toes;
from the lobes of my ears
(Touch ear lobes)
to the end of my nose;
from my back, to my front
to my wiggly fingers,
(stretch out arms and wiggle fingers)
God loves me!
(jump up and down)
Suggestion 2: God loves...
Leader: God loves
Child 1: (say name)
Leader: and God loves
Child 2: (say name)
Go round the circle until all the children have been named (the leader or accompanying adult can say the name of pre-verbal or shy children)
All: Thanks be to God
Pass round a story bag and invite the children to dip their hands in and choose an object/picture (in italics) to help you tell the story.
Some friends were travelling along the road to Emmaus (footprint), talking about the sad story of their friend Jesus’ death.
Then they met a man; he couldn’t understand why they were so sad, so they explained that the women had gone to the tomb, but Jesus’ body had gone. (stone)
The stranger began talking to them about all the stories in the Old Testament (Bible) and explaining how Jesus was meant to die, but that he would rise again. (sunrise image)
They reached Emmaus that evening and the two friends invited the stranger in to share some food.
The strange man took the bread (bread) and suddenly they realised they had been talking to Jesus and he had been telling his own story. (storybook about Jesus)
Cover up large pictures of simple objects, e.g. a tree, a house, with smaller pieces of paper. See if the children can guess the object as you slowly reveal it.
Make storybooks for the children using A4 paper (instructions), and invite everyone to draw things inside their book which are important to them.
Go for a walk together outside or around your indoor space and help each other to tell the story again through words and actions.
Open a Bible and then pray together:
God, you give us these words to learn about your Son.
Help us to read and share
and know them.
Who put the colours in the rainbow?
Jesus is the one, Freedom Kids
Heaven in my heart, Hillsong kids on Super strong God
You are love, Rend collective experiment on Organic family hymnal
For who you are, Marty Sampson, Hillsong worship on Mighty to save
English version; Welsh version
A sending out prayer
Young children love repetition. Using the same prayer to end your session each time you meet will create a sense of familiarity and expectation.
God bless you,
(Point to others)
and God bless me.
(Point to self)
Amen. (Wave arms)
Leader: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Children and parents: In the name of Christ, Amen.
These activities are from this week's Explore & respond and can be adapted for Under 5s:
Walking along the road 15 mins E
Imagine journeying with Jesus
You will need: copies of the ‘Emmaus road’ template printed on card, pens, scissors, lolly sticks, glue.
• Give each child a template. Ask them first to colour the road scene and then cut it out.
• Then, while they are colouring in the three figures, pre-prepare the road scenes by cutting a long slit along the centre of each (as marked on the template).
• Ask the children to cut out the three figures as one piece.
• Invite them to put the lolly stick through the slit in the road scene and then glue the three figures to the top of the stick.
• Encourage the children to recall the story as they move their figures along the road, using the lolly stick.
Stories of strife 10 mins W E A
Spend time reflecting on how some Christians struggle to share their story
- Watch the video to see how Christians in other countries are sometimes unsafe if they share their story.
- Talk about how we can pray and tell other people about our faith in God safely. Some Christians across the world might be in danger for praying or going to church.
- Spend some time praying for people all over the world who do not have the freedom to share their story, or the story of Jesus, with others.
Spiritual styles abbreviations (as defined by David Csinos)
W Word E Emotion S Symbol A Action
Read our Spiritual Styles articles
The materials above are specially written to enable the youngest members of our church community to hear Bible stories and respond to them through a range of creative play activities, prayers and songs. They can be printed off and used as they are, or you can make your own selection to suit your situation e.g. a crêche during a service; separate pre-school group; or a toddler group that meets during the week.
If you prefer to make your own selection, please see Very young children support for advice and guidance on setting up and running groups or a crèche for very young children. You will also need to include a copyright acknowledgement as follows:
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd. Reproduced with permission. www.rootsontheweb.com