Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "Three Wishes"

Scripture Reading:  Luke 15:11-32

LOST AND FOUND RUN: Play this game like a Hide and Seek game, or hide things that the children have to FIND as the teacher calls out an item. When FOUND, the children will shout -- LOST BUT FOUND, etc.

BIBLE VERSE RELAY: Divide the children into teams. Each team will have a bag of items from the Bible verse that they'll take turns running to the bag and putting one of the items on - whether a ring, a robe, sandals; or a balloon to blow up for the "celebration", etc. There can be more than one ring or robe, or sandals, etc for each team to put on in their team bag.

THREE WISHES SKIT: Let children choose a narrator to read today's Bible story and other children to act out the story as it is read, such as a father with a sad face, a son grabbing everything and being greedy, son begging father for his inheritance, son spending alot of money (play or monopoly money is fine), son acting hungry, snorting pigs and the son returning and the entire class acting out the final CELEBRATION with balloons and whistles, etc.

BALLOON ART: Give children some balloons to write on (sharpee markers) with WELCOME BACK SON; or I FORGIVE YOU SON; or MAKE GOOD CHOICES, NOT BAD. Children can then blow up their balloons and have a CELEBRATION because God forgives bad choices. SING "Amazing Grace" or "I have Decided to follow Jesus" together while waving balloons.

PRODIGAL SON MAZE:
Give each child a piece of paper and pencils or pens to draw big squiggly lines and circles (don't use markers on this part). Give crayons or markers to draw a Prodigal Son in the upper corner and a drawing of the Father in the lower opposite corner. Then PASS the mazes to another child to use a MARKER on the squiggly lines to follow and trace from the son to the father.

"GOD FORGIVES" OVER-THE-DOOR BANNER: Divide the class into two teams. Give each team a large piece of poster board to decorate with their ideas of today's lesson on forgiveness and bad choices, etc. When the time is up and the banners are completed with words, pictures, balloons, etc -- hole punch the poster board and add long strings and hang over the class room door. Let teams explain their drawings and talk about today's Bible story.

PRODIGAL SON PUPPET: Give each child a brown or white paper lunch bag, as well as markers, yarn for hair, eyes, and brown felt for the children to glue items on the paper bag to make a "prodigal son". Sit in a circle after the bags are completed and have the bag puppets take turns in telling what bad choices he made and what a celebration his father had for him when he returned home. Teacher can ask the bag puppets questions if the children have trouble telling a part of the story.

CELEBRATION AND FEAST TIME: Let children spread a fancy tablecloth on a long table and decorate it with paper plates and balloons,bright colored napkins and small treats that the teacher can have ready for the celebration. Children will LOVE decorating the table together with streamers, confetti and Bible verse slips of paper about today's lesson and God's forgiveness (these verses can be stuck on a toothpick and stuck into a small piece of molding clay or play dough). Let the children sit around the table and THANK GOD for HIS forgiveness when we make wrong choices and CELEBRATE God's love together, while enjoying their snack foods, cupcakes, chips, ice cream, etc!!! (Feel free to use your imagination, teachers, with little nut cups and brightly colored cups or whatever will help the children to enjoy and realize the CELEBRATION!!!

"GOOD CHOICES/BAD CHOICES" MINUTE DRAWINGS: Divide the class into teams and one child from each team can run to the chalk board and quickly draw a GOOD or a BAD choice for the class to guess what it is and why it is good or bad. Then the next player from each team will do the same. Player can only have 60 seconds to draw and when the whistle blows or teacher says, STOP, they have to stop and let the class guess the choice - whether good or bad and why.

SING A SONG: YES, YES LORD; I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS

RECITE A SONG: Divide children into small groups and let each group RECITE together one verse of AMAZING GRACE. Children can be given a hymn book to read from or the teacher can have the verses typed out for the groups to read together.

Song:  "The Prodigal Son" by Charles & Elaine Kirkpatrick

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

These songs are in the public domain and may be freely downloaded and reproduced for religious or educational use by churches, schools, home schoolers, and other non-profit organizations.

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have been in the ministry for 35 years.  They have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and for the last 15 years in Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
 
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