Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Hold on to Jesus"

Scripture Reading: Luke 9:56-62

FOLLOW ME TRAIL: Have the children follow ONE leader or, if the class is larger, divide the class into teams with each team having a leader. The children will put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them and everyone will do whatever the leader begins doing - such as skipping, hopping, jumping. walking on knees, running, etc. After a short period of time, the leader of the group will move to the back and the next person will take the lead for a short time. Continue this until each child has had a turn being the leader!

HOLD ON ROPE: Let children divide into two equal groups and play "tug of war". Tell them to HOLD ON just like we need to HOLD ON to Jesus. If one side seems to win too easily, change the children around and continue to TUG on the rope to see which side will pull the other side of players, over the center line. Let children sit down in a circle and give ideas of times when we need to HOLD ON to Jesus!

BLINDFOLDED OBSTACLE RACE: Group the children into pairs. One child will be blindfolded and will hold on to a rope that the other classmate will hold and "lead" the blindfolded child through a maze of obstacles that the teacher has placed in a designated area. Obstacles could be chairs, stacks of books, tables, or toys for the children to weave in and out of. Ask children if they felt more secure because they could HOLD ON to the rope.

HAND SEWING: Provide the children with 2 matching cut-outs of hands or let older children cut out the traced and matching set of hands. Have the children color and decorate the hands and write in large, bold letters HOLD ON TO JESUS. Then punch holes along the outer edges of the hands and let children use yarn or plastic craft lace in and out of the holes and sew the hands together. Place a small amount of tissue inside to give the hands a little puffiness. The teacher can have the hands hole punched before class time if desired to save time.

FOLLOWING FEET: Have the children trace their shoe, cut it out, and color the feet. Let the children place the feet in a long trail to walk on. Pair the children so that one can HOLD ON to the other child's hand so that the child can walk on the feet in the trail WITHOUT falling off of the trail. After the first player "follows the feet", then start over with the other player walking the trail of feet while holding the hand of the teammate.

HAND FINGER PAINTING: Let the children paint their hands with the color of paint of their choice. Then place their hands firmly and carefully on a piece of paper and lift up gently without smearing. Children can then write on the painted hands with their finger or a pencil eraser or toothpick - HOLD ON TO JESUS... and let the painted hands dry. Hang the hand finger paintings on the classroom wall, to remind children of today's lesson.

SONG HAND: Have the children cut out a traced hand. Color the hand and glue or tape on a typed copy of the song HOLD ON TO JESUS from today's lesson. Give children construction paper to glue the cut-out hand on the paper and fold in half to place in their Bibles or hang on the wall.

BIBLE VERSE HAND PUZZLE: Before class time, the teacher can trace hands (just the outside form of the hand for easy cutting apart), and write the Bible verse on the hands. Each hand will then be cut into pieces to form a jigsaw puzzle and placed into an envelope. Give an envelope to each child and let them piece the puzzle back together and read the Bible verse together after everyone has put the pieces into the correct order to form the hand.

HOLD ON TO THE SNACK: When it is snack time, let children come to the teacher and close their eyes, put out an open hand and the teacher will place a small snack in the child's hand, and close the fingers. When the entire class has received their snacks, the teacher will say, "FOLLOW ME and do what I do." The teacher will then begin to open one finger at a time starting with the little finger until the surprise snack is revealed.

Song:  "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" 

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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