Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "A Birthday Celebration"

Scripture Reading: Acts 2:1-21

CAKE DECORATING - Provide small round or square FOAM pieces from a craft store to be decorated like a cake by the children. They could use frosting, paint, stickers, candles or other decorations. The children can take the "cake" home as a reminder of today's lesson. A little "toothpick SIGN" could be stuck in the cake with PENTECOST - Birthday of the Church.

GIFT HUNT - Children will look for small, inexpensive gifts that the teacher has hidden or hung on strings around the room prior to class time (examples: a stick of gum, a piece of candy, a pencil, a small ball, etc). Discuss the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to us.

BALLOON GIFTS of the Holy Spirit: In each balloon that the children pop, there will be a tootsie roll, etc with a gift from the Holy Spirit wrapped and taped on the candy for the children to unwrap and share with the class. Discuss each gift of the Holy Spirit and how it applies to our lives.

PAPER PLATE CELEBRATION - Give each child a paper plate which they will cut into the edges of the plate about 2 inches and about 3 inches apart for each slit. HOLY SPIRIT will be written in the middle of the plate and then write a GIFT of the Holy Spirit on each of the sections that were cut apart. A stick or a dowel could be taped to the back of the plate to give the plate a windmill appearance. The plate could be decorated with colors or stickers to represent a CELEBRATION for the birthday of the church!

PENTECOST POSTER - The teacher will draw a large outline of a CHURCH BUILDING. The children will fill in with words from the story -- PENTECOST, starting of the church; Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Bible verse, etc.

BIRTHDAY BALLOONS - Have the children write words from today's lesson on their balloons and then blow the balloons up to make a large balloon bouquet for the classroom. When a child answers a question today from the lesson throughout the classroom time, a child can pick out a balloon and have the FUN of popping the balloon or keeping it and return to their seat.

PENTECOST RELAY - Divide the children into groups to spread out and find the letters for the word PENTECOST around a designated area of the room. Make sure their are duplicates of these letters for as many groups/teams that the class will have. When each team/group has found their P-E-N-T-E-C-O-S-T letters, they can tape each letter on a bulletin board that has a colored balloon picture for all 9 letters. Provide a poster or bulletin board for each group. The balloon cutouts with the colorful PENTECOST letters will look like a birthday poster!

BIRTHDAY CANDLE - Give each child an empty toilet paper or paper towel tube. Cover the tube with a piece of colored construction paper and then give children square pieces of yellow,red and orange tissue paper. The children will then stuff the tissue paper into the paper roll with their fingers to make it look like a flame. Let children hold their new candles up and sing Happy Birthday to the church.

BIRTHDAY TABLE COVERING - Cover a table with a paper table covering. Give the children paint brushes and small amounts of paint to FLICK onto the table covering to create a colorfully decorated table cover. Allow time for the table covering to dry and then have the snack time together. The table covering could also be hung on the wall for a few weeks for the children to enjoy the bright colors and to remember today's lesson.

PARTY PLATES - Give the children paper plates to decorate with stickers, to eat their snack treat on today.

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION SNACKS - The teacher will provide cupcakes that the children can frost and add a candle and sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE CHURCH.. or a small mini cup of M&M's, etc. Make sure to use today's table cloth if it has dried.. and today's decorated plates, etc.

Song:  "Spirit of the Living God" by Daniel Iverson

Words and music (pdf)

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and 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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