Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Lost and Found"

Scripture Reading:  Luke 15:11-32

STORY TELLING TIPS: Tell the story with a few "actions" along the way. Have the children hold up one finger on each hand when the story tells about a man having TWO sons. Put play money on the table when the son asks the father for his share of the inheritance. Have everyone show a "sad face" when the father was 'broken-hearted'. Take the money OFF the table when the story says it wasn't too long before the son's money was all wasted and gone!! Everyone SNORT when the son is feeding the pigs and to hold their noses and say pee-hew when the son is sloshing around in the mud with a bunch of SMELLY PIGS. Have the children turn their heads from side to side, when the son finally "looks around him and at his situation". Children will enjoy doing the actions once again while teacher is telling the story OR a CHILD can tell the story again and have other class mates doing the actions! They will NOT forget this story when they go home, after the actions and fun!

STORY PROPS: Hand one object to each child and let them tell what their object had to do with today's story, such as money, sandals, food scraps, plastic pig, plastic cow or a picture, balloon and party invitation, a ring and some binoculars.

WELCOME HOME BROWN BAG SKIT: Divide the class into two teams: Have two identical brown bags filled with a ring, robe, sandals, a bed tray (to set up as a table for the feast), little cloth for table cloth and a silk flower and vase for effect, and a few food items for the "feast" such as crackers, drink, candy packets, etc (and this will be used for the treat for the class as well). Have each team unpack the brown bag and put the "lesson together". They have now heard the story and will be able to understand the feast and such when the son had returned! Discussion about how the father must have felt... and how the son must have felt also (excited to be "home, sad to have hurt his father and lost all the money, surprised to be treated so well, etc).

SPENDING MONEY AUCTION: Give out pretend money (coins or bills). Teacher should have some very small objects that children can buy (Bible book stores have small items or very little items around the house). When the children's' money is all gone, bring out a BIG item that no one has money to buy to illustrate the prodigal son's running out of money, even for FOOD and discussion about the story!

I AM FOUND WALL HANGING: Print out the words to the hymn, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD IS JESUS and "fancy cut" with scissors around the song. Highlight the words, "once I was lost, but now I am found", and have children decoupage the song sheets to a thin board or construction paper for a reminder of God's love and forgiveness and how he "found us." This activity will work well by brushing the picture with (Elmer's) white crafts glue and let dry for a shiny, clear look.

CELEBRATION POSTER: Write the word CELEBRATE in many colors and styles of writing all over the poster. (children love to get creative) After writing the main words in BLACK.... "once I was lost but now I am found... by JESUS....... or JESUS FOUND ME! Poster can be decorated then with squiggles, stars, dots, etc! Have a discussion about the celebration when the father found the son!

For younger children --- this poster can be printed with little dots ahead of class time for the younger one to just TRACE the "celebrate" letters! They can decorate the poster then with squiggles, stars, etc!

LOST AND FOUND: Let the children play hide and seek with a small object that the teacher will hide in a designated. As soon as a child has found the object that the teacher told the class to find, then another object will be suggested to FIND and children will attempt to find that one; continue to play with various objects to be found as time allows or for the number of objects that the teacher has hidden.

PIG SNORTING CIRCLE: Have the children form a large circle. The children will take turns SNORTING at the child on their right (just ONE snort) and no one is allowed to laugh while SNORTING or being SNORTED at, but all the other children can laugh. IF a child laughs while snorting or being snorted at, they are out of the game and must sit in the "pig pen".

BALLOON POPPING: Place one sin of the prodigal son on a small piece of paper and place it inside a balloon. Blow up all the balloons before class time and place in an area called the "pig pen". Let the children take turns popping a balloon and then read the sin of the prodigal son that they find inside the popped balloon.

PIG BAG: Give the children a brown paper lunch bag to make a PIG puppet. Ahead of time the teacher will need to draw 4 hooves to cut out; 2 ears, 2 eyes and one snout, a curly tail from paper or a pipe cleaner tail. Children can tape on the pig parts to form their pig bag and can share today's story with the class.

PIG PEN: Craft sticks and glue can be given to the children to build a small pig pen, laying the craft sticks in a square to several levels. Add pictures of pigs to the bottom of the pig pen and have children write a sin of the prodigal son on each pig.

GROUP HUG: Have a big group hug (like the hug that father gave his son when he returned home) and tell the children that this is the kind of love that God has for His children. When one of God's children strays away, He always welcomes him home with open arms. God loves us even when we don't deserve it! PRAY together in closing!!

Song:  "The Prodigal Son" by Charles & Elaine Kirkpatrick

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano Accompaniment - Right click and save to your computer.

Song:  "Lord, I'm Coming Home" by William J. Kirkpatrick

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Piano Accompaniment - Right click and save to your computer.

These songs 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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