Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "The Greatest Gift of All"

Scripture Reading: John 3:14-21

PACK A GIFT: Divide the children into 2 teams. Each team will be given the same size smaller box and many articles to be quickly PACKED into the box. If all the items don't fit - then the team has to continue to work on packing it more tightly so that everything fits. The first team with the box of items PACKED and the lid easily closes will be the winner. If time allows - the children can dump the articles out and try again, but to beat the time that they packed it the first time, or the teacher can add a few more smaller items to fit into the box as a bonus round.

GIFT RACING: The children will be in teams and will play a racing relay to see how quickly each team can run their gift to the box on the other side of the room. The first team to run all their gifts first is the winner. The teacher can have many gifts of all sizes to hand out to the children for the relay - one gift for each child.

GIFT WRAPPING:
The children can be divided into teams. Each team will be given one large box and some wrapping paper, scissors and tape to see which team can wrap their box in the best way for the time allowed. The team can work together or choose 2 players from each team and then cheer them on for all that needs to be done by the team members in order to wrap the gift neatly.

GIFT OF GOD BOX: Provide each child with wrapping supplies and markers and stickers to decorate their box. Children will draw crosses and hearts and will write words from today's lesson such as JESUS IS THE GREATEST GIFT, THANK YOU JESUS FOR LOVING US SO MUCH, or GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE, etc.

CROSS ART:
Give children supplies to trace and cut out a large cross to decorate with glitter and stickers, markers, etc and write JESUS PAID THE PRICE FOR MY SINS, etc. Children can hang the crosses around the room or add a magnet to the back to put on their refrigerator at home.

HEART ART: Let children trace and cut out a large red heart. Children can be encouraged to write John 3:16 around the edge of the heart and add a foam or cut out cross to glue in the middle of the heart.

CREPE CROSSES: Children can be given construction paper to trace and cut out a cross. Then each child can be given various colors of crepe paper to tear into little pieces and glue onto the cross or to wad up each little piece and glue onto the cross to give the stained glass cross effect.

HEART SEWING: Children can be given two cut out hearts that are identical in size and hole punch around the edges of the two hearts. Children can use yarn to sew the 2 hearts together. Cut out pieces of colorful construction paper to glue onto the heart to form a cross. Children can write John 3:16 on their sewn heart or words today's lesson to remind them of Jesus's LOVE for them.

CROSS PAINTING:
Provide the children with paper, aprons, paints and brushes to color a poster board size CROSS for the classroom. Each child can take their turn at painting within the cross tracing, and the cross can have as many colors as the children would like. Then children can take turns writing one word each around the cross for John 3:16 and place on the classroom wall or the door. The children can draw a small cross and write their own names on each little cross and write I BELIEVE IN JESUS.

SING A SONG: JESUS LOVES ME; OLD RUGGED CROSS

SHARE A SNACK: HEART SHAPE COOKIES with a cross drawn in the middle with a frosting gel. Ask children why a heart cookie was made for them with a cross in the middle and let them discuss today's story as well as John 3:16.

Song:  "Jesus Loves Me"

Words and Music (pdf)

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

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have been in the ministry for more than 35 years.  They 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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