Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "All Bent Out of Shape"

Scripture Reading:  Luke 13:10-17

OUT OF SHAPE WALK AROUND: Tell children to walk as if they are bent out of shape and when the teacher calls out... FREEZE.. the children are to stop exactly as they were when FREEZE was called out. Then begin again and let children walk again as if bent out of shape and call out FREEZE again. Take a few snap shots of the children in their FREEZE positions would be fun for children to see at a later time. Let children know to listen to the lesson today and who was "bent out of shape".

BENT OVER RELAY: Divide children into teams. Let children bend over to run to the front line and back to the next team player. Children cannot stand up straight again until they tag the next runner. Play until all of the team has had a chance to run in the bend over fashion.

HELPING BEAN GAME: Give each child a certain number of big beans. The children can be divided into teams. Each child will run to the tin can and place a bean in the can and shout out one way to HELP someone else and then run back to their teammates for the next child to do the same. Continue running until all the beans have been used up in each child's hands.

HELP THAT KEEPS HELPING: Children will scatter all around a wide open space. Once the game begins, they can NOT move to another place but will stand still. Choose one child to begin to run to a child and grab that child's hand and say HELP ME! Those "two" children will then run to another child and grab that hand and say HELP ME! Those 3 children will then run to another child and continue to play the game until ALL the children are holding hands and skipping or hopping or running in a circle together until teacher calls out to SIT DOWN in the circle. If time allows, let children go around in the circle and tell one way to help; then the next child will say what the first child said, PLUS add another way to help and continue to add ways to HELP until all the children have taken a turn!!

HELPING HAND MOLDS: If time allows and if the teacher is able to have hand-molding materials, the children could each make a hand mold and let dry through the following week. This could be used as a "garden stone" if desired. Small decorative rocks, etc could be added around the hand mold as well. (Make sure to have wet toweling and hand wipes available).

HELPING HANDS PAINTING: Provide a large poster board or wall space for children to paint their hands and then place on the poster board or wall. Title the HAND space as WE HAVE HELPING HANDS FOR JESUS.

CLAY HELPERS: Give each child some molding clay or play dough, to mold a couple of people helping each other with raking leaves, washing dishes, carrying bags, reading the Bible or praying, etc.

HELPING GUM ART: Give each child a couple pieces of gum to chew first. Then have children spit the gum out on a piece of wax paper and use a toothpick (NO hands), to "mold" the gum into a person helping with something that the children want to form the gum to do, or to carve a HELPING word into the gum! Share ideas and "art" with the class!

PAPER BAG PUPPET HELPERS: Provide each child with a small paper lunch bag, markers, yarn and stickers and pieces of cloth or felt, to make a "paper bag puppet helper".
Encourage children to write on the bag puppet to "Be a Helper for Jesus to Others", or "I am Jesus' Helper", etc. Children can decorate the bag puppet to look like themselves with yarn for the hair, buttons for the eyes and the cloth for the clothing, etc. Tell children that they can tell today's story to others and to give ideas for HELPING others.

HELP TICKETS: Children can be given small pieces of paper and stickers and markers to make HELP TICKETS, to give to others to let someone know they they are willing to HELP them, such as "this ticket good for one clean bedroom, or this ticket good for washing your dishes, or cleaning the garage, or sweeping the floor, or putting the trash out, wipe off the table, put dishes away,or reading the Bible to you," etc.

PANTOMIME HELPERS: Let children pick a piece of paper out of the teacher's basket and pantomime what the HELPING idea is that is written on the paper, such as ideas in the "Help Tickets" activity above.

SING A SONG: (Sung to Row, Row, Row Your Boat ... HELP, HELP, HELP TODAY, THAT IS WHAT I'LL DO! MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, MERRILY, GOD HAS TOLD ME TO).

SHARE A SNACK: Have cookies or cupcakes for the children to HELP decorate for the teacher to give to the Pastor or to some elderly church members, etc. Of course, let the children HELP decorate one for another child in the class as well! :-)

Song:  "Jesus Heals the Broken Hearted"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano accompaniment Track (right click to save to your computer)

This song is 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 36 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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