Sparklers

On this page you will find all the information you will need to run your own children's group at home. The activities provided will be appropriate for children aged 3-6. This page will be updated every Friday with a new session. You can find all of our previous sessions here.

If you need any craft materials please email reuben@brockenhurstchurch.com


This week's session is... Palm Sunday Special!

This week's session explores the Biblical account of Palm Sunday in a family-friendly way

 

Before you start...

For many of us, Palm Sunday and Holy week are going to be different this year. This week I have been reminded again and again of the story of Zaccheus. He was perhaps the first person to practice social distancing as he climbed the sycamore tree to see the saviour passing by. His was also the last encounter with Jesus, that is recorded, before the triumphant entry, into Jerusalem. I've been pondering about the fact that Jesus met Zaccheus, in a place of distance, and restored him to his community. As we prepare to teach our children about this amazing story of Jesus entry into Jerusalem, may we also experience him meeting us in our place of distance and restoring us to our community! 

 

Getting Started: On The Red Carpet

You will need: Bin bags – different colours if possible, scissors, sticky tape, ribbons, crepe paper etc., paper and pens, dressing up box.

Invite your children to create their own celebrity personae. They can dress up as whatever they want for this morning's activity. They have five minutes to do it!

At the end of the 5 minutes gather all your ‘celebs’ in one area of the room and play some fun music. Ask your celebs to walk in front of the rest of the group as if they were walking along the red carpet, pausing to pose in front of their audience.

Explain that this session is all about a time when Jesus entered into Jerusalem and everyone cheered and shouted Hallelujah! 


The Point: To introduce the story of Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem. 

 

Warming Up: Welcome Jesus

You will need: This sheet printed out on card for each child, felt tip pens, fine ribbon (3mm) - allow 1m for each child, scissors, hole punchers, 2 small beads per child (make sure the ribbon fits through!).

You are going to make a welcome banner – complete with bunting – for Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem.

Give each child the worksheet printed onto card. Have them colour in each letter and each triangle different colours. Help them to cut out the letters and triangles and then punch holes in them as marked.

Lay out the letters and flags in the order you want them – you might want a flag between each letter or just use them at the beginning and ends of the words. Make sure the flags have the point facing down. Thread the ribbon through the holes going forward and back as if you were doing running stitch or a lacing card.

When you are happy with the order and have centred the letters and flags in the middle of the ribbon, make it secure by threading on a bead at either end and turning the ribbon back on itself to knot – so that the bead ends up in a loop of ribbon. These loops can then be used to hang on banner on two pins on the wall when they get home.

The Point: Gives a take home reminder of the story.

 

Story Time: Hee-Haw Thank You

You will need: A picture of a donkey or a donkey soft toy.

In this activity you can tell the story as if you were the donkey who carried Jesus to Jerusalem or you could use a donkey puppet or soft toy to tell the story through.

When everyone is settled tap gently whilst saying ‘clippity clop, clippity clop’. Pause and ask the children if they know any animals which
make that sound with their hooves. Show them the picture of the donkey.

Now see if everyone can tap out the rhythm of the donkey walking along. You may need to agree a sign or signal which means ‘STOP clippity clopping!’ Practise stopping a few times.

Say that the Bible story is all about an amazing adventure a donkey had. (Show them the picture of the donkey again.) For a few minutes you are going to pretend to be the donkey, telling his story. The children can help you with the story by going ‘clippity clop’  at the right moments to make the sound of the donkey’s hooves. You can either use the following script or make up your own:

“Up until the day I’m going to tell you about, my donkey life hadn’t been that interesting. Mostly I spent my time eating grass and sleeping, but then one day all that changed. I was just having a little sleep when I saw two men coming towards me. They untied my rope and said “Our master needs you”. They started to lead me down the road and my hooves went ‘clippity clop, clippity clop’.

I was quite surprised and a bit nervous. What could their master want me to do? Was he going to ride me? That would be a bit scary because no one had ever ridden on my back before.

My hooves went ‘Clippity clop, clippity clop’. I was quite enjoying the walk when one of the men said, “There He is, There’s Jesus. He’s going to be riding you to Jerusalem.” The other man said “Look, I’ll take my coat off and put it on your back and that will make it more comfortable for Jesus to sit on.”

Jesus stroked my head and tickled me behind the ears. I stopped feeling nervous. Jesus carefully climbed onto my back and we started on our way to Jerusalem. My hooves were going ‘Clippity clop, clippity clop.’

We hadn’t gone very far when I saw lots of people in the distance. I began to feel a bit frightened again but Jesus said “Don’t worry, don’t be afraid.”

To my surprise the people started taking their coats off and laying them on the road. What should I do? I didn’t want to walk all over them, I would make them dirty and some of these people only had one coat. But Jesus whispered in my ear “It’s o.k. This is what Father God wants”. So I walked on. As I walked over the coats the sound of my hooves became much quieter ‘Clippity clop, clippity clop’. It was as if I was walking on soft grass.

Then the people began getting branches from the nearby trees. They started to wave them and cheer. They said "Hurray! Hosanna! God bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!"

Wow! Jesus a king! The people’s king! I was carrying a king on my back. I couldn’t believe my ears. I swished my tail proudly. What a wonderful day.

Then I could see the walls of Jerusalem and the big gate into the city. The journey was almost over. I went ‘Clippity clop, clippity clop’ for the last little bit and then it was time to say ‘Good-bye’ to King Jesus. “Thank you”, He said “For carrying me so well.” All I could manage to say was a little “Hee-Haw, Hee-Haw” which is donkey language for “Thank you for choosing me to carry you.”

Thank everyone for helping you tell the story so well.

Ask everyone how they think the donkey felt when he met Jesus and knew that he was going to be giving Him a ride. Listen to their thoughts and say that we can meet Jesus too; when we say prayers, sing our songs to Him, listen to stories about Him and spend time thinking about and listening to Him.

Have a prayer time together. Tap out the syllables of everyone’s name in turn, whispering their name as you do so and they child replie with “Thank you Jesus that you’re my friend”.

The Point: To tell the Palm Sunday story in an interactive way with the children.

 

Craft Ideas: Singing Stones

You will need: Fist sized pebble for each child, self adhesive googly eyes, permanent pens (the sort you use to write on CDs are ideal), sticky labels, pens. This YouTube video.

Say that in the story, the religious leaders told Jesus’ followers to be quiet but Jesus said, “If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.” (Luke 19:40). You are going to making some shouting stones!

Let everyone choose a pebble (make sure they are clean and dry). Let them stick googly eyes on and then add the rest of the face – including a big open, singing mouth – with the permanent pens.

Give everyone a label that will fit on the bottom of the stone and help them to write, ‘“If they keep quiet, these stones will start shouting.” Luke 19:40’ on it and stick it to the bottom of their pebble.

Then listen to the song (link above) and enjoy the actions

The Point: To give a takehome reminder of the story. 

 

Prayer: My Palm Leaf Prayers

You will need: copies of this sheet printed out for everyone and pens.

This creative prayer activity gives adults time to reflect on what they would have thought and called out if they had been present as Jesus rode by on the way to Jerusalem.

It also gives children an opportunity to write or draw what they would have cried out to Jesus if they had seen Him. It might be a good time to remember that one of the names of Jesus is Healer and we could call out to Him to heal our world

The Point: To encourage adults and children to respond and reflect personally on the story.