GRADES 1 - 3
- Mud Pit -- Set out a dishpan full of mud. Make
sure the mud is wet enough for children to plunge their hands deep
into it. Mix in several coins with the mud. When children arrive,
tell them there's money in the mud. All they have to do is dig for
it and it's theirs. Require each child to dig for the money.
Afterward, *ask: How did it feel to dig in the mud for hidden
treasure? How does it feel to have mud on your hands now that our
search is over? Don't allow children to wash up. Say: Today, we're
going to learn about a young boy who left his father to hunt for a
better life. Let's see what happened to him.
- True Treasure -- Have the children listen to
the story and stand up when good actions and attitudes happen and
sit down when bad actions and attitudes happen. Read aloud Luke 15:11-32 from a modern translation.
Review the story by letting the children describe times they stood
or sat. Ask: What was so special about the way the father in this
story loved his son? What happened to the son when he wouldn't
receive his father's love? How is what happened to him similar to
the way you feel with mud on your hands? Who in your life loves you
the way the father in this story loved his son?
Say: Jesus told this story so we'd understand that God loves us the
same way the father loved his son. What's one way you know that God
loves you? Allow children to wash their hands.
- Father's Day Acrostic -- Write "Father's Day"
vertically on a large poster. Have children work together to write
reasons to celebrate Father's Day on the poster that start with the
letters in the acrostic. For example, F could be for "faithfully
meets my needs."
- Dad Awards -- Have children each make an award
for their father or another significant man in their lives. Provide
a wide roll of satin ribbon, glitter glue, and safety pins. Have
children each think of a characteristic they like in their father
or another man they look up to. Then have them create an award
featuring that characteristic. For example, a child might choose
the Best Sense of Humor award or the Best Listening Ear award. Have
children use the glitter glue to write that award on their ribbon.
Encourage children to present these awards after class.
- Snack -- See "Food for Thought."
GRADES 4 - 6
- Pairs Matchup -- Before children arrive, think
of several pairs of words like salt and pepper, bread and butter,
or bat and ball. Write each word on a separate 3X5 card. When
children arrive, tape a card to the back of each child. Have the
children ask questions about the item on their back to discover
what the item is. Then have them each find their match. Children
with matching pairs become partners.
- A Famous Bible Pair -- Read aloud 2 Timothy 1:1-7 to tell about a famous New
Testament pair: Paul and Timothy. Explain that we don't know much
about Timothy's father. Note that he may have died or just not
lived with the family. He also may not have been a Christian.
Explain that Paul regarded Timothy as a spiritual son. After the
Bible story, have pairs create a definition of a good earthly
father and a good spiritual father.
- If I Were a Father -- Read the following
situations one at a time. With their partners, have children
discuss what they'd do in that situation if they were a father.
After each situation, have children report what they'd do. The
situations: I've caught my son lying to me for the fourth time this
week; my 12-year-old daughter wants to date an 18-year-old guy; my
children have had a rough day at school today; and my son is still
struggling in school. Afterward, ask: How easy or difficult was it
to answer these questions? Did you and your partner agree or
disagree on these questions? Explain. How easy or difficult is it
to be a father? What could you do to show your appreciation to your
father on Father's Day?
- Super Tops for Dads -- Give each child a
painter's or baseball cap. Provide an assortment of paint pens,
glitter, and fabric paints. Have children each decorate a cap for
their father or another important man in their lives.
Close in prayer, thanking God for fathers and other men in our
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
You'll need: Gingerbread man
cookie cutters, sandwich bread, blunt knives, peanut butter, cream
cheese, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, decorator sprinkles, cups,
Directions: Have children use the cookie cutters
to cut out man shapes from the bread. Encourage children to use the
spreads and toppings to decorate their "fathers."
Serve with milk or fruit juice. As children eat, have them describe
characteristics of a great father.
Walter Norvell has worked with children for 19
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