Interactive Group Activities

by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Forgiving and Forgiven"

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:21-25

MINDING MONEY: Scatter money over a large designated area. Divide children into two teams and have children take turns running after ONE money bill and bringing back to offering plate for their team. Continue until all the money has been collected. A teacher or leader can count the money and see which team has the most money.

FORGIVING RELAY: Divide the children into teams. Take turns running to the front line and getting a piece of paper that will say something for them to run back to the next player and tell them what is on the paper -- such as PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR HURTING YOU, or PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR TAKING YOUR TOY, or PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR NOT SHARING MY CANDY, etc. After the child has run back to the team and told the next player what the FORGIVE ME note said, that next player will run to the front line and get a note from the basket and continue to play until everyone on the team has had a turn to FORGIVE someone.

FORGIVING MUSICAL CHAIRS: Play musical chairs in the usual way but when someone is OUT (left without a chair), that one will share an idea about who or what we may need to forgive or ask forgiveness for and then will stand or sit in the middle of the musical chairs as the game continues.

MONEY ENVELOPES: Give the children envelopes and bright markers and stickers, to decorate their own money giving envelope. Children can then place some pretend money in their envelopes, but encourage children to bring their real money back to church the next week. Write TODAY'S BIBLE VERSE on the envelope to remind children to forgive others before bringing their money to the Lord.

FORGIVEN HEART: The children will be given supplies to cut out a traced heart and tape or glue it onto another piece of paper. Cut out a cross and glue it in the middle of the heart. The children will write FORGIVEN on the cross, and decorate it as they desire. Use it as a book marker or a wall picture.

FORGIVING BOOKLET: Let the children cut out various colored heart shapes of the same size. Staple or tie the hearts together with yarn to make a LOVE AND FORGIVING booklet. Each page can have pictures or words representing ideas they have about forgiving someone or things for which they may wish to be forgiven. Stickers can be used to decorate their FORGIVING booklet.

FORGIVING FLOWERS: Provide the children with different colored flower petals that have been cut out (for younger children) and traced petals for older children to cut out. Let children write ways to FORGIVE on each petal and then glue onto another piece of construction paper with a chenille wire taped to the flower petals as the flower stem. Hang FORGIVING FLOWERS papers around the room.

FORGIVING POEM: Type the words of the hymn "Forgive" from today's lesson on a piece of colored paper. Let children cut around the edges and then glue onto a piece of card stock. Color the card stock and decorate the edges with happy face stickers and hang it by yarn or a string.

BIBLE VERSE ROLE PLAY: Take turns with different children role playing the Bible verse by bringing their offering, leaving it on a table at the front of the room, then going to another child to say PLEASE FORGIVE ME and then return to place their money in the offering plate! If there are enough children, they will enjoy taking the offering as ushers, etc.

FORGIVEN MONEY: Give the children paper, markers and play money to use as a guide to draw a large bill and decorate to look like real money, but write today's Bible verse on the large "forgiven money" paper. Let children write their names on the money as one who wants to FORGIVE OTHERS and tape the money to a large poster board or to a bulletin board.

SING A SONG: Let children make up a cheer or a cadence with the letters F-O-R-G-I-V-E in it and share their ideas with the class, as 2 teams work together (such as F-O-R-G-I-V-E.., I love Jesus, He loves me). Each team can lead the other team with their cheer.

SHARE A SNACK: Let the children go outside and enjoy an ice cream treat or a Popsicle. If the teacher chooses to, the snack could be a type of competition... such as RAISE YOUR HAND IF YOU HAVE FORGIVEN 5 PEOPLE THIS WEEK (those children could be given one treat). Then ask the children to raise their hands if they forgave 4 people (that could be another treat).

Song:  "This Little Light of Mine"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "Search Me, O God"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

These songs are in the public domain and may be copied and reproduced for ministry purposes.

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