Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "An Easter Surprise"

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-10

SURPRISE HIDE AND SEEK: Have all the children run and find a good place to hide. When the "seeker" gets near a hiding place, the child will JUMP out and say SURPRISE!!! Continue to let children hunt for others and the hiding children will shout SURPRISE when someone gets close to their hiding spot.

SURPRISE MUSICAL CHAIRS: Play this game like the original musical chairs, except there will be enough chairs for ALL the children. Each chair will have a number on it. As the music plays, the children walk around the chairs until the music stops and each child will stop in front of a chair. The teacher then calls our a chair number. The child in front of that chair will go to the prize table with small prizes that the teacher has numbered to match chair numbers and placed on the table. The game will continue until all the children have won a prize.

SURPRISE BALLOON POPPING: Before class begins, the teacher will have enough balloons blown up for each child. Inside the balloon will be words from our lesson or today's Bible verse. Divide the children into teams. Each child will run to a box of ballons, take a balloon and pop it by stomping on it. The game will continue until each child has popped a balloon. THEN the team will try to put the words from the balloons into an order that will tell today's Bible story. (Examples: one balloon can have JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS; another balloon could say TWO WOMEN WENT TO THE GRAVE WHERE JESUS WAS BURIED. Another balloon paper might say THE STONE HAD BEEN ROLLED AWAY; another balloon could say THE GRAVE WAS EMPTY; another would say THEY WERE SURPRISED TO FIND AN EMPTY GRAVE; another balloon paper could say, ANGELS TALKED TO THE TWO WOMEN AND SAID THAT JESUS WAS NOT THERE; another could have written JESUS IS NOT HERE; another could say HE HAS RISEN JUST AS HE SAID. If the teacher needs more papers for larger teams, other words could be added, such as WE ARE HAPPY THAT JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS, and JESUS LOVES US VERY MUCH, etc.)

SURPRISE ACROSTIC: Let children find a word to explain the SURPRISE and Jesus rising from the grave, for each letter that is on the left side of the poster board for S-U-R-P-R-I-S-E. Encourage children to find words for each letter that will help tell the Easter Story.

CLAY TOMBS: Give the children some clay to mold a tomb and a cross and talk about the Easter story while molding! Toothpicks can be used to write JESUS IS RISEN on the tomb or the clay cross, or to make other decorations on the clay.

HAPPY FACE POSTERS: Give children supplies to write and decorate a poster with the cross and JESUS IS RISEN, THE GRAVE IS EMPTY, JESUS LOVES ME, JESUS IS ALIVE, etc. Give children many HAPPY STICKERS to place on their posters, as well! Colored markers would be great for children to write the various phrases around their posters.

CROSS BOOK MARKER: Let the children trace and cut out construction paper to glue onto a stiffer piece of poster board cross that the teacher has prepared ahead of time. After glueing the paper to the cross cut-out, children can decorate it with stickers and colored markers and write JESUS IS ALIVE, JESUS IS RISEN, JESUS LOVES ME, etc on the book marker. Some children may like a RED ribbon to hang from the top of their cross, to remind them of Jesus' shed blood on the cross.

CROSS PAINTING: Let children paint a black/brown CROSS on a large poster board. Write, JESUS DIED FOR ME. Let children use colored markers to go to the Cross painting and write their own names, OR children can paint their name or draw a happy face of themselves on the cross painting. FINGER PAINTING would be great if teacher desires.

CELEBRATION DAY: Bring balloons for the children to blow up and hang on strings. Before blowing up each balloon, the children can use a sharpee marker to write a saying from our lesson today such as JESUS IS RISEN, THE GRAVE IS EMPTY, JESUS LOVES ME VERY MUCH, JESUS IS ALIVE, PRAISE JESUS, etc. After all the balloons have been blown up and several balloon "bouquets" have been put together -- let children run around an open designated area shouting out the words on their balloons and have a CELEBRATION in Jesus' honor!

SING A SONG: HE IS LORD

SNACK TIME: A plastic Easter egg with a "surprise" inside. (A piece of candy or some other small item of your choice.)

Song:  "He Is Lord"

Words and Music (pdf)

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

This song 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 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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