Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams and Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "A Heart Full of Joy"

Scripture Reading: John 15:9-17

HAPPY RUN: Children can scatter around a large designated area and the teacher can tell the children to do a HAPPY RUN from one side of the room to another, but if the teacher says to do SAD RUN, children will slow down and look SAD. Keep changing from fast HAPPY run to SAD and slow run!

HAPPY MUSICAL CHAIRS: Play musical chairs as the usual game is played and have children pass around a large cardboard picture of a HAPPY FACE! The child holding the HAPPY FACE will be the child to sit out of the next time around, etc. Tell the children that are out and sitting on the side lines to put on a sad face until the game is over. Ask children if they enjoyed being HAPPY or SAD and listen to today's story about Jesus LOVE filling our hearts with joy.

HAPPY FACE HUNT: The teacher can place HAPPY faces around the room and children can HUNT for those faces and the parts of today's Bible verse that are on each face. Then the children can enjoy putting the HAPPY faces in order for our Bible verse. If time allows, the HAPPY faces can be mixed up once again and children can recite the verse and place in correct order again.

HAPPY FACE DICE: Give each child a small box or directions to cut out construction paper and folded to form a box. Children can cut out magazine pictures of HAPPY children and glue one happy picture on each side of the cardboard dice. Let children toss their dice and do the action or the look that is on the dice that is on the top.

HAPPY PLATE PUPPET: Each child can color and decorate a HAPPY FACE PLACE and write words from today's Bible lesson on the plate. Children can tape a stick or thin dowel rod to the back and use as a puppet to tell today's story!

HAPPY FACE FLOWER GARDEN: Provide children with construction paper, markers, glitter, sequins, etc to make HAPPY FACE flowers and put into a garden form on the classroom wall - with green cut grass made from construction paper.

HAPPY BOOKLETS: Children can cut out round circles and staple or yarn-tie together at one side. Use markers and happy face stickers to decorate each page with different looking happy faces and various words from our Bible verse or our lesson today.

STUFFED HAPPY FACE: Each child can cut two identical large circles from bright colored felt pieces. Hole punch holes around the outside edges of the two felt pieces and tie the edges with colorful yarn. Children could add some tissue paper or nylons or cotton filling to the inside of the happy face before tying it closed.

HAPPY SPONGE PUPPET: Provide each child with a rectangle sponge, a rubber band to tie toward the top (as the neck) and a small piece of colorful material that the child can wrap around the sponge to look like a shirt or cape. Cut 2 small holes in the sponge about half way down so that the child's 2 fingers can stick through the holes as they work their puppet. Markers can be used to draw the facial features and yarn could be hot glued onto the top as hair, if desired. Tell children to use their HAPPY FACE puppets to tell today's story or to recite today's Bible verse together.

SING A SONG: I HAVE THE JOY; IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT; I'M HAPPY ALL THE TIME

SHARE A SNACK: Each child can be given one or two cookies to frost and use frosting gel to draw a happy face on their cookie/s or other small candies to make the facial features!

Song:  "I Have the Joy"

Words and Music (pdf)

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

Song:  "If You're Happy and You Know It"

Words and Music (pdf)

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

Song:  "I'm Happy All the Time"

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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