Monday, April 25, 2011

God's Love Gift Box

Help your students focus on God's love for them with this special craft. Let the children create heart boxes in which to hold reminders of God's good gifts to them.

Before your lesson, cut a large facial tissue box in half so each child can have one half. Bring paint, paint brushes, newspaper, scissors, construction paper, markers, paint smocks, glue, tape, wet wipes, and one clothespin for each child. Let each child paint the outside of a box half and cut hearts from construction paper to glue onto the box. You can also purchase colorful heart cut-outs, Item #1840 (pictured) to save time.

On one heart have him print "[Jason's] Gifts from God." Help him stand the box so the completely open side faces up and the partially open side faces him. He can glue and then tape one flat side of the clothespin inside the front of the box (the partially open side) so it appears to be standing.  Then he can glue the heart with his name on it to the front of the clothespin.

Have each child cut a few extra hearts (or paper strips). On the extra hearts or strips, let him print gifts from God for which he is thankful (one gift per paper). Younger children can draw pictures of those gifts.

Let the child place those hearts or paper strips inside the box, placing one of those hearts in the clothespin "teeth." Encourage the child to choose a new heart to place in the clothespin each day as a reminder of God's love for him.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Preschool VBS: Jesus in Nazareth

Use this new Jesus in Nazareth Preschool VBS from Christian Ed. Publishers to supplement your elementary  Hometown Nazareth VBS program this summer. Written especially for 2- to 5-year-olds, this five-day preschool VBS program from Christian Ed Publishers includes Bible stories, snacks, crafts, and games with reproducible student sheets and colorful visuals on CD-ROM. Your little ones can travel to the Marketplace before the older children but can also enjoy the stories of Jesus (from birth to the resurrection) written at their own level. Crafts and games in the Preschool Leader’s Guide are preschool-friendly.

The preschool VBS program is completely flexible and makes a wonderful supplement to your elementary program. So if you want to have your preschoolers play some of the “Pyramid Playground” games planned for the elementary children, they can! (The Fun and Games Leader Manual and the Shopkeeper Leader Manual for the Marketplace are sold separately.) Jesus in Nazareth Preschool VBS is a great way to include your younger children with activities written just for them.

The Preschool VBS Leader’s Guide includes decorating ideas, tips for working with preschoolers, a suggested rotation schedule, and a reproducible preschool sign-in sheet. The CD-ROM contains separate job descriptions for your Snack Leader, Bible Story Leader, Games Leader, and Crafts Leader. You can print instructions for the leaders each day of your VBS so they can collect any needed supplies and decide which options to use. The CD-ROM also includes registration cards, safety tips, a course overview, coloring pages with NLT, NIV and KJV memory verses, “How to Lead a Child to Christ,” storytelling tips, recruiting ideas, and lots more.

Preview samples and take a look at the contents of this VBS written especially for preschoolers. Jesus in Nazareth Preschool VBS from Christian Ed. Publishers includes a Preschool Leader’s Guide plus CD-ROM...all for only $29.95! Or, if you need it tomorrow, order the download version. Bring the feel of ancient Nazareth to your preschool VBS this summer, and help your little ones understand that God sent His Son to live and die and come alive again for them. May God bless you as you begin your VBS adventure in Nazareth and teach children (and families) about God's Son, Jesus!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Prayer Bulletin Board Ideas

The National Day of Prayer will be held on May 5, 2011. Get your classrooms ready for this special emphasis with colorful bulletin boards that encourage your students to pray. (For more ideas on celebrating the National Day of Prayer plus a free coloring page, see our blog post from February 21, 2011.)
Use the One Nation Bulletin Board Set to give your room a patriotic flair.

Place a flag of your country next to the Christian Flag. Teach your students the Pledge of Allegiance along with the Pledge to the Christian Flag:
    I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag
    And to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. 
    One Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again 
    With life and liberty to all who believe.

You may want to give your students a Pledge to the Flag Bookmark or a God Bless the USA Wristband as an incentive to learn the pledge. The bookmark includes the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag, the Pledge to the Christian Flag, plus the Pledge to the Bible.

Point out the symbols on the flags. Have a child lead your students in saying each of the pledges together. Have a volunteer thank God for letting us live in a country where we can freely worship Him. Have another volunteer pray for those in other countries who are persecuted for their faith.

Mount these Showers of Blessings Up-Down-and-All-Arounds across the top of your display. Place star borders around your bulletin board or door frame.

Give each child a Stick Kid Airplane Cut-Out (these come in packages of 36) and let him write a prayer request or praise on the banner. Each child can add his Airplane Cut-Out to the display as the class prays for his request.

Set an example of prayer by praying for each of your students by name. Ask God to open their ears to hear His Word. Thank God for the gifts and abilities He has given each child. Finally, praise God for bringing them under your watch so you can model the love of Jesus to each one.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Prayer Puzzle

Here's a puzzle sheet you can copy for your students to reinforce your lesson on talking to God in prayer. (Click on the image at the bottom of this post to download the free puzzle.) Share some verses from the Bible on prayer. Explain that Jesus talked to God in prayer and God is pleased when we talk to Him, too. Help your students understand that they can talk to God any time and any place, and God hears us. Tell them that prayer is like knocking on God's door. God is never too busy for us. He is never gone away on vacation. When we knock on the door by talking to God in prayer, he will open the door and hear and answer us.

Let your students brainstorm some of the things about which they can talk to God (praises, prayer requests, thanksgivings, things that make us sad or happy, worries, problems, etc.). Help them understand that when we seek or look for God, we will find Him. God wants to hear about all the things happening in our lives—the good and the bad.

Give each student a puzzle sheet and a pencil. Let the students work in pairs, if you wish. Read the directions aloud. Have a child read the first sentence. Choose a volunteer to read the correct answer. Have another volunteer read the complete sentence. Let the children explain what it means. Do the same for each sentence or let the children work independently. After all the sentences are completed, have the children print the circled letters in order in the squares at the top of the page. Have a child read the page title and then the completed answer aloud. (Talk to God in prayer. He will answer.) Point out the At Home Project at the bottom of the page. Encourage the children to make their own prayer reminder. If you have time, bring the supplies so they can start it during your lesson.

Close your time in prayer. Let the students pray, if they wish. Thank God for being available to listen to us whenever we talk to Him in prayer.
Click the above image to download the puzzle.