Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "That's Not Fair!" and "Is God Fair?"

scripture Reading: Matthew 20:1-16

VINEYARD WORKERS: Children can play this little game that is much like hide and go seek. The first child will seek for 1 child; then those 2 children will seek for another and then those 3 children will seek together for a 4th child. Each child when found will be given a very small treat (such as an M&M, etc), but the first child found will get 3, the next child will get 2 and then next child found will get 1 treat! Just let the children have fun playing the vineyard workers game as time allows.

THAT'S NOT FAIR CHAIRS: This game is played like musical chairs. The children walk around some chairs until the music stops. There will be one chair less than the number of children playing and when the music stops, the child without a chair is out of the game. When that happens, all of the children will all say, "THAT'S NOT FAIR!" and then the music will start once again. Continue playing until just one child is left standing with a chair and all the other children will say, THAT'S NOT FAIR! Then tell today's Bible story to the children as they sit in the chairs in a circle today.

CHALK TALK: Give the children different colors of chalk and draw figures and words from today's lesson on the chalk board as they tell parts of today's lesson.

REWARD RELAY: Divide the children into teams and take turns perfoming a task that the teacher tells them to do, such as jump to the wall, skip around the room, hop to the chair, etc. After they have done what the teacher has told them to do, the child will run to a bowl or box to get a REWARD. (A piece of candy, gum, or a little toy)

SKIT TIME: Let the children choose a part to play from today's story. One child or the teacher can be the narrator and read or tell the story again while children act out the parts in a skit. Make sure to video tape if possible so children can watch their skit at a later time.

CROSS CUTTINGS: Provide the children with crafts materials to cut out a cross and add stickers, glitter, etc. Make little snips all around the cross for decoration and use bright magic markers to write ALL HAVE SINNED AND COME SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD. Add a ribbon to the top of the cross and encourage children to give to someone special to them.

HAND PAINTING: Give the children paint supplies to draw on each other's hands with ideas from today's story to add a picture and/or words such as LOVE, GRACE, or EVERLASTING LIFE, or THANK YOU GOD FOR BEING FAIR. Children might also draw a cross or heart, or some other symbol.

REWARD STICKERS: Let the children decorate a piece of construction paper or make a small booklet with REWARD STICKERS that can be purchased inexpensively at any retail store with words such as GOOD JOB, or WELL DONE, or YOU ROCK, or KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. After completing their booklets or piece of paper, children will hand their paper/booklet to the person to the right of themselves to encourage a friend in class.

FAIR GAME: Have the children play any relay game that they or the teacher would choose but, at the end of the game, all of the children get the same points or prizes. Musical chairs could be played in a reverse way, where the ones who do NOT get a chair when the music stops, gets a treat, instead of sitting out for the rest of that game.

FAIR PARACHUTING: A large parachute can be used play this game, but if you don't have a parachute, a large sheet can be used. Have the children take turns trying to run under the raised parachute to get to the other side, but the children around the parachute will try to quickly lower the parachute to catch the runner. If caught, the runner will shout out - THATS NOT FAIR!

FAIR STICKER STICKING: Provide all the children with paper, markers and a varying number of stickers. Tell them to use the number of stickers that they were given to make a notebook about today's lesson, making drawings and words from today's lesson as well. Children will all want the same number of stickers or the same type, etc, but the teacher will let them know that our lesson today is about things NOT BEING FAIR and to listen closely to the lesson to find out IF GOD IS FAIR?!

VINEYARD SNACKING: Take the children to a long table with a long white paper runner with lines drawn to represent the VINES. Raisins will be spread over the table for children to pick as "grapes" off the vines and place into a small container for their snack. A small glass of grape juice could be given to children as well, with some crackers.

Song:  "Jesus Loves Me" by William B. Bradbury

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "God Is So Good" - Traditional

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, 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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