Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams

Sermon Title: "Welcome!"

scripture Reading: Matthew 10:40-42

WELCOME MAT RUN: If possible, take all the children outside of the church building and give them certain places that they need to RUN to and then come back to the doorway and wipe their feet on the welcome mat and see how many times the children can take the RUN until the time runs out and the teacher blows the whistle. Each time around the "track area", children must wipe their feet. Tell children the welcome mat will have something to do with our lesson, and it will also let the children run off some energy before classtime!

WELCOME LINE: Children can divide into 2 teams to face each other and the first player in each team will step forward and shake hands and say WELCOME.. and step back into their own team's line. Then the next player in each line will do the same until all have shaken hands with the other team. For extra fun, this can be done once or twice again but speeding up the "welcoming" process each time. Tell children to see how many people they can shake hands with and say WELCOME during the church service following the Sunday School class time.

DRESS UP RELAY: Have children form teams and then take turns at the whistle, to run to the basket that will have clothing items in it. Each child will quickly grab just ONE of the items and run back to the team while wearing that item and not taking it off. When everyone has finished and is wearing one of the items, take a picture of the group and let children know that we'll learn from our lesson today how many different ways that people will look as they come into our church but that ALL ARE WELCOME IN GOD'S HOUSE. If time allows, start the game over but have each child pick out TWO items of clothing to put on and complete the relay race! Another picture for the children to see later would be fun!

WELCOME MAT: Provide children with a piece of heavy construction paper and supplies to decorate their own welcome mat. Children can write parts of the Bible verse or LEARNING TO WELCOME OTHERS IS THE SAME AS WELCOMING GOD, etc. Children could also draw pictures of other nationalities on their welcome mat and take the mats home... or place in front of other classroom doors.

HEART CHILDREN: Give children construction paper and markers and stickers, etc, to draw hearts and then add legs and arms to the hearts and decorate. Write on the "heart children" -- LOVE AS JESUS LOVED, or JESUS LOVED ALL THE CHILDREN, and other ideas from our lesson today as children desire. Hang the "heart children" around the room and have children talk about letting ALL children be part of their circle of friends!

POPCORN CHILDREN: Show the children a bowl of UNPOPPED corn and tell them that stands for all the children in the world. Then pop some corn and tell them that will stand for all the children that the LOVE of Jesus warms their heart because He thinks all children are precious in His sight and they'll BURST OPEN with God's love!!.

THUMBPRINT CHILDREN: Let each child press a finger or a thumb into some colored ink pad and stamp on a piece of paper. Each child can do several thumb prints and then draw different faces on each print with different slanted eyes or kinds of hair, etc and then add arms and legs. Children can write over the top of their thumbprint children -- ALL ARE WELCOME HERE!

HAND WELCOME PRINTS: Each child can be given some construction paper, markers and supplies to trace their own hand and decorate each finger as a "person" they should welcome. One finger could have short hair and a smile and a tie with collar to represent an older man or pastor or a father; one finger could be a woman so would add curly hair and a bow, etc.; another finger could be a boy or a girl with a baseball cap or pigtails and the little finger could be a baby with a pacifier in its mouth. In the middle of the hand print, children could write WELCOME TO EVERYONE, or other Welcome words from our lesson today, as teacher and children desire!

SNACK TIME: Give each child 2 small sandwich bags with stickers to decorate the little mini-plastic sandwich bags. Then give children choices of small candies to place in each bag. One bag will be for the child and another bag can be fixed up to give to an older person in the church. Have children put a small written piece of paper in that bag that says... JESUS LOVES YOU. ALL ARE PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT. Encourage children to find an older person in the church or a neighbor who hasn't received a bag from anyone else.

Song: "Good Morning Song"

Words and Music (pdf)

Piano Accompaniment MP3

Song:  "Jesus Loves the Little Children"

Words and Music (pdf)

Accompaniment Track MP3

Song:  "Jesus Loves Me"

Words and Music (pdf)

Accompaniment Track MP3

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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