Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Be Prepared"

Scripture Reading: Matthew 24:36-44

HIDE AND SEEK: Divide children into 2 teams. Number the children on each team. When the game begins, child #1 on team 1 will SEEK the child #1 on the other team, etc. All children on one team will hide. The children from the other team will shout -- READY OR NOT... HERE I COME (after counting to 50 or 100). After each child has FOUND his classmate (#1 finds #1, #2 finds #2, etc), then the teams will reverse and the other team will HIDE. Tell the children that JESUS tells us to be READY for His Coming.

"BE PREPARED" RUN: Tell children that there are many pieces of paper around a designated area with ideas for BEING PREPARED for Christ to return. When the teacher says, GO... BE PREPARED.., the children will run and grab just ONE slip of paper each and run quickly back to the bulletin board or a large poster board on the wall and tape that paper to the board and then they may run around the room once again to find another and another and another, but each time, running the paper back and taping on the BE PREPARED board. This will be more colorful for the children if the pieces of paper are all different colors of construction paper. When the time is up and all the papers have been found and placed on the board, children can sit in a circle around the BE PREPARED board and read the slips of paper together and then tell today's story. (Ideas for BEING PREPARED - praying, listening to God, obeying God, obeying parents, reading Bible, telling others, memorizing Bible verses, not swearing, not lying, visiting older people, Christian music, etc).

TAMBORINE: Each child can be given a red plastic plate with holes punched around the edges. Give each one a round piece of paper for the child to trace or draw BE PREPARED FOR CHRIST'S COMING; cut out, color and tape or glue onto the middle of the plastic plate. Tie little bells to yarn and slip through the punched holes to make a tamborine. Sing a Christmas song with the new tamborines - such as GOSPEL BELLS (tune of Jingle Bells).

PRAYING HANDS: Children can be given a piece of paper to trace the outline of their hand. Cut out and glue onto another colored piece of construction paper and write BE PREPARED FOR CHRIST'S COMING, PRAY EVERY DAY, etc! Hang around the classroom or a designated area of the building.

BE PREPARED BANNER SIGN: Provide a long piece of paper for children to write and decorate with bright colored markers for BE PREPARED FOR CHRIST'S COMING. Hang the banner sign on the wall and place Christmas colored lights around the banner and light the banner for the children to enjoy.

CHRISTMAS CHAIN: Let children make a looped Christmas chain to hang in the room to decorate the room. Each child can write a way to be prepared on a loop and add more loops together - using red and green paper strips.

ROOM PREPARATION: As children are told the story today, let them give ideas of how to be prepared for Christmas. Children could each choose one decoration to put up in the classroom, such as bells, lights, tinsel, Christmas window-clings, etc. REMIND children that we also must be PREPARED for Christ's Coming!!!

CHRISTMAS TREE: Cut out a large green poster board size triangle to be a Christmas tree. Give children colored circles with ways to BE PREPARED on each circle and let children tape a colored circle to the tree as a tree ornament. Place a large STAR on top that says BE PREPARED FOR CHRIST'S COMING. If time allows, children could glue a little glitter to their "ornament" before hanging on the tree.

CHRISTMAS BELLS: Give children 2 colorful bells to decorate with glitter, stickers, etc. Punch holes in the top of each bell and hang together with Christmas ribbon or yarn and hang on the classroom walls. On each bell -- write - LOVING GOD on one bell and LOVING EACH OTHER on the other bell.

PREPARED CELEBRATION: Let children blow up red and green balloons and sing a Christmas celebration song together while they bop the balloons back and forth to each other. Then children can sit in a circle and talk about our Bible lesson today and how to be prepared.

STREAMERS MOBILE: Children can make streamers of red and green and write ways to BE PREPARED FOR CHRIST'S COMING. Attach the red and green streamers to a red plastic hanger and hang from the ceiling if available. One of the streamers should be a completely different color from the others, and say, JESUS IS COMING AGAIN!

CHRISTMAS CARDS: Give a piece of construction paper to each child to fold and make a Christmas card with stickers and glitter and bright markers. BE PREPARED FOR CHRIST'S COMING can be decorated on the outside of the card and WAYS to be "prepared" on the inside of the card. Encourage children to share their card with others!

SING A SONG: GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN; JESUS IS COMING AGAIN

SNACK TIME: Decorate Christmas cookies and when the cookies are decorated, PREPARE a small snack table with red table cloth, and table decoration and share the cookies with other children. No one eats their own cookie, but rather a cookie that was PREPARED by another child. Everyone can decorate a cookie for the teacher who can take the specially PREPARED plate of cookies home!

Song:  "Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus"

Words and Music (pdf)

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

Song:  "Joy to the World" 

Words and Music (pdf)

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

These songs are in the public domain or used by permission and 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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