With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, don’t miss these 3 easy, impactful activities that your kids will love.
1. We Love Tambourines
Best for: All ages
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Scripture: Psalm 136:1-3
Supplies: Bible; 2 paper plates per child; jingle bells; small, solid objects such as beads, buttons, or soda tabs; staplers; hole punches; yarn; markers; scraps of pink, purple, and red tissue paper; Mod Podge sealer; paintbrushes
Read aloud Psalm 136:1-3. SAY: This Psalm praises God and thanks him for all he’s done to show his love. We’re going to celebrate what God’s done to show love to us. But first, we need some rhythm!
Hand out paper plates. Help kids staple around the edges, about one inch from the edge, leaving a small opening at the top. Pour about a quarter cup of beads or buttons into each set of plates, and then help kids staple the hole shut.
Use a hole punch to make three holes around the edges of the plates, outside the stapled circles. Have kids tie a piece of yarn through each hole and attach jingle bells.
For younger kids, draw a large heart on each side of the plate, and have kids color their hearts with markers. Have older kids draw hearts and then use a paintbrush to fill in the hearts with Mod Podge sealer. Let kids arrange scraps of tissue paper on the sealer to create a stained-glass look. When they’re done adding tissue paper, they’ll need to apply another layer of Mod Podge sealer.
Have kids stand in a circle. SAY: Now let’s make up our own praise chant like the one in Psalm 136. We’ll go around the circle and each chant one thing we’re thankful for. When it’s your turn, shake your tambourine while you share. Then we’ll all shake our tambourines and say, “His faithful love endures forever!” Go around the circle once; then let kids add additional things.
1. Loving God, Serving You
Best for: ages 10-12
Supplies: Bible, a timer or stopwatch, 10 marbles for each child (or other small tokens)
Give each child 10 marbles. Allow kids to mingle and talk about the previous week. Explain the catch: Nobody can say the word “I.” Whenever someone says “I,” any listener who hears it gets a marble from that person. Count marbles after five minutes.
At the end of the game, say: It’s hard not to talk about ourselves! Read aloud Philippians 2:3-4.
Ask kids to discuss the following. • What was it like to talk to each other without using the word “I”? • According to these verses, tell whether you think it’s okay to talk about yourself. • Why do you think God wants us to focus on others rather than ourselves? • Tell about a friend you care about.
Read aloud Galatians 6:3. Say: This verse tells us to be humble and help others.
Ask: • How can we show others we care about them?
1. Yours Forever
Best for: ages 10-12
Scripture: Romans 8:35, 37-39
Say: Sometimes we ask God to heal someone we love or help us in school. Sometimes God steps in to fix what’s broken or give us a hand, but he doesn’t promise that bad and sad things won’t happen in our lives. No matter what’s happening around us, God protects us in ways we may not see or feel.
Ask: • Explain why you think bad things still happen to us if God protects us. • Tell about a time something bad or sad was happening in your life and you could sense God’s protection.
Say: Congratulations—you’re all getting a promotion! You are now officially superheroes. The question is: What’s your special superhero power and how will you use it to help people? As for me, if I could become a superhero, I’d want the power of…
Describe what superpower you’d want and how you’d use it to help others. Then ask kids to think about the one superpower they’d choose so they could help others, such as invisibility to do good deeds or ultra strength to rescue people in danger.
Allow about two minutes; then have kids sit in a circle.
Say: Now we’ll take turns striking a superhero pose and telling about your one power and how you’d use it to help others. Remember-superheroes stand tall with shoulders back, heads up, capes blowing in the wind.
Go around the circle letting each child have a chance to talk.
Say: God most likely won’t fly in like a superhero to rescue you when bad things are going on in your life. Instead, we can have faith in God’s promise in the Bible: God always protects us by working for our ultimate good.
Read aloud Romans 8:35, 37-39.
Say: Jesus’ love is forever and is bigger than anything we’ll ever face. It’s even bigger than our death. When we know and follow Jesus, we can look forward to life forever in heaven with him.
It’s almost certain we’ll run into trouble here on earth. And it can be hard to understand why. It can be difficult to understand how God is protecting us when bad things are happening, but he’s always here with us. I love that Jesus protects me in a way no superhero ever could.
Ask kids to stand.
Say: We all chose cool superpowers so we could protect people. But even our superpowers can’t help everyone all the time. Strike your superhero poses for me again, please.
Join kids in a striking a superhero pose.
Say: If your superpower is to love everyone no matter what and give anyone who follows you life forever, stay standing. Otherwise, sit back down.
Allow time for kids to be seated.
Say: When we follow Jesus, we can trust in God’s protection—forever. Now let’s tell Jesus where we could use his protection in our lives right now. He may not always take away our troubles, but he always listens. He always loves us. And he always helps us through our times of trouble.
Looking for even more great Valentine’s Day ideas? Check out our 50 Christian Valentines for Children.
For loads of great ideas in every issue, subscribe today to Children’s Ministry Magazine.