Use this quick nursery Sunday school lesson: Make a Joyful Noise to help little ones make a joyful noise to God!
1. Sing Song — Form a circle. March around the outside of the circle and sing the following words to the tune of “The Muffin Man”:
Do you know who Jesus loves, Jesus loves, Jesus loves?
Do you know who Jesus loves? Jesus loves (name a child).
Invite the children to each follow you around the circle as they hear their name. When all the children are following you, sing the song once more — again naming a child each time. Have them each sit down in a circle as you sing their name.
Read aloud Psalm 33:1-3 in an easy-to-understand translation. Say: Today we’re going to learn about how we can use music to show Jesus we love him.
2. Streamer Sticks — Give each child a paper towel or toilet paper tube, different-color crepe paper streamers and crayons. Have children color their tubes. Then staple the streamers to the end of each child’s tube.
Demonstrate how to use the streamer sticks to create colorful movement. Play music and encourage children to use their streamer sticks to show how the music makes them feel.
3. Hokey-Pokey Pretzels — Give each child three marshmallows and three stick pretzels. Show children how to poke the pretzel stick into the marshmallow and then take it out again. Teach the following song to the tune of “Hokey Pokey”: You stick your pretzel in, You take your pretzel out, You stick your pretzel in, And you shake it all about. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!
Sing the song three times. Then have kids turn around, sit down and eat their snack.
4. Up, Down and All Around — Spread a large flat sheet on the floor and have children sit around the edges. (It’s best to strategically place adults around the sheet to provide guidance.) Have children hold on to the edge and stand up. Have children hold on tight as they raise the sheet above their heads and then bend at the waist as they bring it back down to the floor. Repeat these movements for several minutes. Then play music and help children coordinate their movements to the rhythm of the music. Introduce new movements such as shaking the sheet to the music or holding on to the edge as they walk around in a circle.
5. Praise Parade — Play children’s praise songs. Invite the children to march to the music and wave their streamer sticks from activity 2. Tell children to let the music help them express how happy they feel because Jesus loves them. Close in prayer.
Authors: Margaret Hinchey is a children’s choir director in Colorado. Jane Wilke is an early childhood educator in Missouri.