Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Coming Soon!"

Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:36-44

PREPARE RELAY: Give children supplies to be ready for an event of teacher's choosing. Children can run this as a class and take turns to gather up supplies and come back to the table... or as teams in a relay to run to a paper bag for each team and put on or gather up an item to prepare for an event (such as school outing, party, Sunday School class, family dinner, etc). An example of supplies for a school outing would be pencils, paper, jacket, backpack, lunch box, etc. An examples of supplies for a Sunday School class would be construction paper, markers, Bible, mini chalkboard, etc. An example for a family dinner to prepare for would be dishes, tablecloth, food containers, center piece, etc.

READY, SET, GO! All the children can line up behind a line and when the teacher says, READY, SET, GO... the children will do whatever the teacher has commanded such as HOP to the far wall, or RUN, or SKIP, or WALK BACKWARDS to the other side of the room.

PREPARE THE ROOM FOR CHRISTMAS: Tell children that CHRISTMAS is coming and to help PREPARE the room, with lights, bells, streamers, tinsel, a Christmas tree, etc. Put Christmas music on while the children spend 10 minutes in adding a few Christmas items to the room.

POPCORN CHAIN: Let children string popcorn to hang around their classroom walls to remind them of a COMING ATTRACTION as they learn today's lesson. (To make a popcorn chain, just pop corn and children can be given a dull needle and thread to stick into many pieces of pop corn. For added color, the children could string a cranberry every now and then between the popped corn that is being strung. Children can work in pairs if needed or desired.

PREPARE CHRISTMAS MUSIC: Practice some Christmas carols together to PREPARE for the Christmas season and sharing the GOSPEL with others. Tape the children as they sing and let them listen to themselves "preparing" their music for the Christmas season.

CHRISTMAS SONG DECOUPAGE: Make copies of a Christmas song that talks about preparing for Jesus' birth (teacher's choice). Let children cut around the edges and then glue and decoupage onto a light piece of wood or a heavy piece of poster board and trim the edges with red ribbon and hang from a ribbon at the top. Children could also add glitter to the song edges for decoration. Special "pinking" shears will add a special touch to the edges of the song page, as well.

PREPARE SIGNS: Give children supplies to cut out letters and add to construction paper for PREPARE FOR JESUS' COMING, etc. Children can hang their PREPARE SIGNS around the room for the Christmas weeks to follow, to keep their focus on being prepared for Christmas and for Christ's coming. Children could also just use brightly colored magic markers to write PREPARE for Jesus' coming and decorate with glitter and Christmas stickers.

CHRISTMAS BELLS: Each child can cut out a large Christmas Bell and decorate, color and write PREPARE FOR JESUS' COMING, or other ideas that the child may have from today's lesson. Then tape the bell to a ruler or a small dowel rod or a paint stick. Children can march around a designated area reciting today's Bible verse together or singing a Christmas Carol.

CHRISTMAS TREE CUT OUTS: Provide each child with a large green triangle to cut out and to then cut out round colored circles from construction paper to glue onto the green triangle Christmas tree with words from today's lesson to remind children to be PREPARED. The colored circles (as Christmas bulbs) will have words such as Love one another, feed the hungry, care for the sick, help the poor, attend Church, read my Bible, etc. Add a brown tree trunk cut out to the Christmas tree and write PREPARE to meet JESUS on the tree trunk. Hang the Christmas tree cut outs around the classroom wall or in layers on the classroom door.

FILM FOOTAGE: Place a long piece of butcher white paper the length of each classroom table. Use magic marker to make a line to divide the long paper into sections. Children can work together as groups or teams at each table to make a film footage of "coming attraction" of Jesus' return, to announce to the other teams how to be prepared! If children desire to share their film footage, they might enjoy taking their ideas to other classes to show them their lesson on being PREPARED. Encourage children to use words and Bible verse as well from today's lesson. Children can draw pictures as well as only words to show their ideas.

SING A SONG: Have the girls in the class sing a Christmas Carol of their choice and then have the boys sing a Christmas Carol of their choice. Let children tell how their song teaches us to be prepared or why we prepare for Christmas.

SHARE A SNACK: Children could have a small bag of popcorn or a popcorn ball to remind them of today's Bible story.

Song:  "Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "Joy to the World" 

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

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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