Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "In the Palm of His Hand"

Scripture Reading: John 10:22-30

PALM RELAY: Divide children into teams and each team member will take turns running to the "line" and getting a small ball and RUNNING it back to his team mate IN HIS PALM, who will then run the ball IN HIS PALM back to the next team mate and continue to run until everyone in the team has run back and forth. IF the ball falls out of the hand, the player must stop and pick it up and rest it back in the palm and continue to run!

PALM CIRCLE: Let children get into a circle and one child will be in the middle. A coin can be given secretly to one of the children in the circle and children will begin to "pass" the coin, and very secretly passing and sometimes "pretending" to pass the coin. The child in the middle can guess who's PALM the coin is in when he thinks he knows where it it. IF the coin IS in that palm, then the child in the middle will change places with the child who had the coin and then continue to play the game as time allows.

YO YO CONTEST: Give children yo yo's to practice the yo yo tricks and then let each child do a yo yo trick for the contest. Give all children a snack or treat for taking part in the contest fun. If feasible, give each child a small yo yo at the end of class.

SHEPHERD AND SHEEP FOLLOWING: Children can be divided into small groups. One child of each group will be designated to be the Shepherd. They will get their "sheep" of the group in a separate place of the room and will "baa'baa'baa" to their group. When the teacher says to SCATTER THE SHEEP -- all the sheep will run away from their own "shepherd" and the shepherd will go another area, as well. Then a class helper and the teacher can put blind folds on all the "sheep". When the teacher says, SHEPHERDS, CALL YOUR SHEEP, the shepherds of each group of sheep will begin to "baa'baa'baa" and the blindfolded sheep will try to make their way to their own "Shepherd's" corner of the room!
This can be played in different ways and places and sounds from the Shepherd's as well. Other children may like to have an opportunity to play a Shepherd, as well.

SHOW AND SNATCH: Let children form a big circle and sit down, while one child holds a coin in the hand in front of some other child sitting in the circle. When the sitting child tries to snatch the coin, the child who is holding the coin will try to QUICKLY close his hand around the coin. If he succeeds in not having the coin snatched away, then he may go to another player and continue the game. IF a sitting child is able to snatch the coin, then HE will become the one to hold the coin for another child. Children could also stand while playing this game, but sitting just keeps the children quieter and out of trouble as much! :-)

PALM HOLDING: Give each child a coin or another small item of choice to place in their hand. Then give children a piece of paper and markers, etc, to draw a picture of today's lesson and words, etc from today's Bible Story, but NEVER LETTING the item come out of their hands while doing the art project. If children can hold their item for the whole length of the art project, they can keep the item at the end.

HAND AND HEART DRAWING: Provide children with art supplies to trace their own hand on a piece of paper. Then the child or teacher can draw a large red traced heart around the hand. Let children color and decorate their hand and heart drawing and hang by a ribbon for drawings to be seen around the classroom walls or hanging from the ceiling. Children can write on the hearts - JESUS HOLDS US SAFELY IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND.

HAND VERSE: Let children draw/trace their friend's hand. Then children will write today's Bible verse up and down and around on the fingers of the traced hand. Lightly color the hands and let the children display all their Bible Verse hands on a large poster board to hang in the classroom!!

PALM PRINTS: If a classroom wall is available for hand prints, let children place their hands in finger paints and gently place hand on the wall to make a print. If a wall is not available, children can paint their hand and place on a poster board. Write in large, bright lettering, NOTHING CAN TAKE US OUT OF JESUS' HAND.

SNACK TIME: During class time, let the children reach into a candy or treat bag and take something out and put in the PALM of their hand. When the teacher says -- GO, all the children can open up their palms and see what they grabbed out of the bag and enjoy their treats!

SING A SONG: Let children divide into two teams. Each team can stand in a line, facing each other. The first team can sing a part of the Bible verse and the other team has to copy the tune and the words. Then continue to say each Bible verse phrase until they sing the John 10:28. Then let the other team sing each phrase for their parts to be copied as well!

Song:  "He's Got the Whole World in His Hand" Arr. by Charles Kirkpatrick

Words and Music

MP3 Piano Accompaniment - Right click and save to your computer. (Two measures introduction and sing twice.)

Song:  "I Know Whom I Have Believed" Arr. by Charles Kirkpatrick

Words and Music

MP3 Piano Accompaniment - Right click and save to your computer. (Two measures introduction and sing twice.

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 been in the ministry for 36 years.  They have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and for the last 16 years in 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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