Interactive Group Activities

by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "Ready for His Return"

Scripture Reading: Mark 13:32-37

BE READY RELAY: Divide the children into groups and tell the children to BE READY to do whatever is called out to do, but to be WATCHING the teacher for new commands when they're least expecting it (such as walking around the outside of the room area, march with hands over their heads, turn in circles, walk quickly to get a cookie treat, count the Bibles in the room, etc).

MUSICAL CHAIRS: Play the musical chairs game and tell children to be alert and watching for a free chair and listening carefully for the music to stop and to be on GUARD!

READY, SET, GO GAME: Divide the children into 2 or more teams. Have a poster board for each group to run to when the teacher says, READY, SET, GO! Children will run as a group to their poster board area (with the poster board color that the teacher has given to each group). The children will work as a team to try to fill in the missing words of the Bible verse that the teacher has written out for them. When the group thinks that they can SAY the Bible verse together, they will stand and shout -- WE'RE READY!! Give each group an opportunity to say the verse together to their other classmates!

CHRISTMAS DRAWINGS ALERT: Let the children number off and the first child will begin by drawing a part of the Christmas story on a large poster board or the chalk board until the teacher shouts --- BE READY --- CHANGE! Then the next child will run to the board and continue to draw something from the Christmas story until the teacher shouts, BE READY ---- CHANGE! This will continue until all the children have had a chance to draw something from the Christmas story (manger, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, angels, shepherds, star) and then tell today's story and what is on the Advent Calendar.

CALENDAR CREATIONS: Give the children the supplies needed to make a December calendar to decorate with Christmas stickers and bright colored crayons. Give the children 25 star stickers to stick around the calendar. The children will take their calendar home and hang it on their bedroom walls to remind them to be "Watching for Christ's Return"!

GARLAND BIBLE: Give the children supplies to draw the outline of a large Bible. Put glue all around the edges of the Bible and put thin Christmas garland on the glue so that the Bible is outlined with Christmas garland. Write in BIG and BOLD letters, WATCH FOR CHRIST'S RETURN, and in smaller letters, older children can write today's Bible verse (Mark 13:33) on the "garland Bible"! Younger children could glue on a small piece of paper that the teacher has written today's Bible verse.

WATCHING AND WAITING CHART: Give each child a STAR shape to cut out. (The star can be two triangles, putting one upside down and the other right side up to form a 6 pointed star). Write WATCH AND WAIT in the middle of the star to hang in the classroom. On each POINT of the star, write ways to watch and wait, such as worshiping, Praising, Serving, Loving Him, Loving One Another, and on the 6th point, write JESUS IS COMING AGAIN! Add glue and glitter around the edges of the Star and add a piece of yarn for hanging!

CHRISTMAS STAR CUPCAKES: Tell children to BE READY AND ALERT as they take a walk around the room, following the teacher until they spot a Christmas Star cupcake or cookie for each child! The teacher can use imagination in hiding the cupcakes in a secluded spot.

SING A SONG: Away in a Manger, using motions and actions.

Song:  "Away in a Manger"

Words and Music (pdf)

MP3 Accompaniment Track

Song:  "Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus"

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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