Monday, September 27, 2010

Bible Lesson: God Has Made Me Wonderful

Have the children stand and sing the following words to the tune of THE FARMER IN THE DELL:

God has made my hands (hold out hands),
      God has made my hands,
God has made me wonderful (hug self),
      God has made my hands (hold out hands).

Add the following stanzas as you have time:

2. God has made my head (pat top of head).
3. God has made my arms (wave arms).
4. God has made my knees (pat knees).
5. God has made my nose (wrinkle nose and point to it).
6. God has made my feet (stomp, stomp).

7. God’s Word will keep me safe 
       (hold hands together as an open Bible),
God’s Word will keep me safe,
       If I obey God’s Word each day (nod head),
God’s Word will keep me safe.

Give each child some soft modeling clay. Tell the children to make something special with the clay. Set each finished creation on a piece of paper on which you have written the child’s name. Ask each child to tell you about his creation.  Remind the children that God made their hands able to mold clay into shapes. Say, “God made us and loves us very much.”

Open your Bible to Psalm 119:73-76. Explain that the Bible is God’s Word and it is true. Hold your Bible open on your lap as you tell the following Bible lesson:

The Bible says (read Psalm 119:73 aloud from your Bible). Who made us? (God) That’s right. God made us. God made (name each child). God made our hands (hold out hands). God made our feet (point to feet). God made our arms, and God made our legs. God made very part of us.

[Jeremy], did God make your head? (yes) [Elizabeth], did God made you ears? (yes)

(Ask something of each child.) Our God is awesome! When you made your clay sculpture, did you want to throw it away? (no) You want to take care of it. You want to keep it safe. God made you and wants to take care of you (point to children). God cares about [name each child]. God wants [Sean] to be safe. That’s one reason God gave us the Bible (hold up your Bible).

The Bible is God’s way of talking to us. The Bible contains God’s rules for keeping us safe. When you obey your parents’ rules—such as don’t touch the hot stove, or don’t play in the street—you will be safe. God wants you to be safe. God wants you to obey His rules in the Bible. Obeying helps you be safe. Let’s sing the last verse of our song once more. (God’s Word will keep me safe.)

Thank You, God, for making each person wonderful. Help each child keep safe by obeying Your rules. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Edible Finger Paint

Bring new combs of various sizes (one for each child), wet wipes, and prepared vanilla or strawberry pudding. Bring a sheet of finger paint paper or wax paper for each child. Cover the work area with newspapers or a plastic tablecloth.

Have the children wash their hands. Spoon a scoop of pudding on each child’s paper. Have the children comb through the pudding to make patterns on their papers. Show them how to use their fingers to make a variety of designs.

Say, "I smell something good. It smells like vanilla (or strawberry). Do you smell it? I’m glad God made us with noses so we can smell good things."

Let the children use their fingers to print their names on their designs. Use a permanent marker to print the names of younger children (or help the child use her finger to help her print their names).

Set the papers aside to dry. Let the children taste their fingers. (Make sure no one is allergic to the pudding.) Say, "This finger paint tastes good, too. It tastes like vanilla (or strawberry). Did you taste it? I’m glad God gave us mouths so we can taste good flavors." Use wet wipes to clean sticky fingers.

Say a prayer of thanks to God for giving us hands to create, noses to smell, and mouths to taste.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recruiting Sunday School Teachers

Many churches have a Sunday School Director and/or Bible Club Leader to oversee the Sunday school  and Bible club program and to order materials for everyone. Good leadership is the most important part of any successful children's program.

Pray for God's guidance as you look for people to teach your precious students about Jesus. Ask your pastor and Christian Education Director for suggestions. There should be at least two to three people assigned to each preschool and primaries class and at least two for each of your older elementary classes or Bible club groups.

For a two-year-old class, there should be no more than three children per leader or helper. Ideally, there should be one adult for each learning center you provide plus a leader who will conduct the group activities during the class time. In this way, each helper can be responsible for setting up, equipping, and teaching at a specific learning center. If it is simply impossible to recruit three or four leaders and helpers, you can still have a  program for your two-year-olds, but be sure to have at least two workers. Allow children to play freely in the block area or with other toys while one leader teaches a small group in a learning center. After 5 to 10 minutes, the children who have been in the learning center may go to "free play" while three or four new children come to the learning center. Continue in this way until all of the children have had a chance to participate in the learning center.

Ideally, there should be at least one adult for every ten elementary-age children. Try to have a variety of people working with your Sunday school and Bible club classes. Make an effort to involve men in the program. Many people who have no children of their own, or who have youngsters of a different age might enjoy working with the children.

Teenagers and college students also make wonderful helpers, with supervision. Perhaps you know college students who are majoring in elementary education or early childhood education. Let them intern in your Sunday school or Bible club program for experience. And high school youth make energetic helpers.

Those you choose as regular leaders or as occasional helpers should be people who share a genuine love for children—and they should like children, too! Choose the kind of people who can be depended n to be there on time, always well prepared. Look for workers who love the Lord, will do their jobs enthusiastically and cheerfully, and will transmit their joy in Christ to the children who will be watching them so closely.

There are always some people who aren't available on a weekly basis but who like to help when presented with a specific need. These individuals could be invited to prepare craft materials, visual aids, or bring refreshments. Some might enjoy coming occasionally to teach songs, tell a story, or do something special. You'll find these people in many areas of your church—teen groups, singles fellowships, and seniors. Make sure the members of the various groups are aware of the needs and of the opportunity to be of help. However, don't make them feel trapped. Let those who respond know you appreciate them.

Assure your prospective workers that a willingness to learn and a love for Jesus is just as important as previous experience or specialized training. Then be sure to give them opportunities to be doers—not just spectators. Sunday school teachers and Bible club leaders should think of each child as an individual and make every effort to know the children with whom they work. Teaching children about Jesus and His love is an important job—and it takes the best people you can find!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sunday School Registration Cards

Get a head start on your fall Sunday school registration with these helpful cards. Copy the Sunday school registration cards from below onto heavy paper or cardboard. If you divide your students into different age groups or classes, use a different paper color for each age group.

Cut the cards apart and give them to parents when they register their children. Have parents fill out a registration card for each child attending your Sunday school program and for each child attending your preschool or nursery program. 

The card contains a place to record emergency information and has a section to list allergies and other medical conditions your students may have. For any child with allergies, create a special, brightly colored name badge with the allergies listed so all leaders and helpers are aware of the allergies and don’t inadvertently give the child something that might cause an allergic reaction.

Click on the image above for a larger view.