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Oh, the Lessons They'll Learn!

Courtney Wilson

Green Egg Cookies -- You'll need round sugar cookies, white frosting, plastic spoons, and green jelly beans.

Say, "Our verse today says 'Taste and see that the Lord is good...' Let's have some yummy cookies to remind us of God's goodness."

Have kids frost the sugar cookies and put a green jelly bean "egg yolk" on each one to remind them of how good God is!

Book It -- You'll need paper, pencils, and crayons or markers. Have kids make books about helping a friend "try" Jesus. Allow kids to work in groups; some will be better at writing words while others would rather illustrate. The books should be in a rhyming style, with lines such as, "I'll love Jesus here or there; I'll love Jesus everywhere!" Have groups read their books. Make enough photo-copies of each book so that each child has a copy of all the books to take home.



Patience Is Better

From The Book -- "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride" (Ecclesiastes 7:8).

Here's the Hook -- Kids will learn the results that come from being patient and keeping their promises.

You'll need plastic Easter eggs with chewy fruit snacks inside.

Show children the plastic eggs. Say, "I have an egg that contains a surprise inside for each of you. You'll need to be patient and listen to our story first; then you'll get your egg."

Read the book Horton Hatches the Egg. After you've read the story, ask, "Why didn't Mayzie want to sit on her egg? Was it easy for Horton to sit on the egg for so long? Why or why not? How do you think Horton felt when the egg hatched and a flying elephant came out? Can you think of a time you've been patient and faithful, 'One hundred per cent'?"

Read aloud Ecclesiastes 7:8. Then ask, "What does this verse say about patience? Which character in the book had patience? Who kept a promise? Who was rewarded in the end?"

Say, "It's not easy to be patient like Horton, but the outcome can be wonderful when we're patient."



Balloon Relay -- You'll need 32 balloons, two large boxes, and two sets of the Bible verse written out and cut apart word by word. Divide balloons into two sets of 16. For each set, stuff a word from the verse into each balloon. Inflate balloons and place each set in separate boxes at the far end of your room.

Form two teams. On "go," the first person on each team runs to the balloons, picks up one, and sits on it until it pops. The runner takes the word from the balloon and runs back to tag the next person in line. Continue play until all the balloons have been popped. Each team puts the words from the verse in order and reads the verse together as a team.

Egg-stra Surprise -- You'll need the plastic eggs from the opening activity.

Say, "You've done a great job being patient today. Remember the plastic eggs I showed you earlier? They contain your snack for today."

Give an egg to each child, and have the children eat their snacks.

Hatching Eggs -- You'll need one package of Quaker Oatmeal Dinosaur Eggs cereal per child.

Before kids leave, let them know you have a special surprise for them. Give each child a package of oatmeal. Tell kids that this oatmeal is special because it has egg pieces in it. Tell them that their parents will need to help them hatch their eggs by adding hot water to their cereal in a bowl. Have them report on their discoveries the following week.

Unity In Christ

From The Book -- "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

Here's the Hook -- Kids will learn that although they each have unique qualities, they're all one in Christ.

You'll need peanut butter, tablespoons, powdered sugar, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and resealable sandwich bags.

Give each child a resealable sandwich bag. Have kids each add to their bags one spoonful of peanut butter, four spoonfuls of powdered sugar, two spoonfuls of oatmeal, and one spoonful of chocolate chips. Show kids how to seal their bags securely. Tell them not to mix the ingredients in their bags.

Say, "Wow! We put all kinds of yummy things into these bags! I think these will make a wonderful snack."

Ask, "How many of you would enjoy eating the ingredients in these bags by themselves?"

Say, "Although some of these ingredients aren't very tasty alone, when we mix them all together, we create yummy cookies."

Say, "We're going to read a story about some creatures who were unkind to those who looked different from them. As I read the story, mix the ingredients in your bag."

Read the story The Sneetches. After you've read the story, ask, "Why do you think the Star-Belly Sneetches were mean to the Plain Bellies? How would it feel to be a Star Belly? a Plain Belly? Why did the Fix-it-Up Chappie come and try to change the Sneetches? What happened when the Sneetches decided it didn't matter who had stars on their bellies?"

Read aloud Galatians 3:28. Then ask, "How is this story like or unlike this Bible verse?"

Say, "I named a bunch of differences -- Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female -- but the verse says that we're all the same when we're Christians. I'm glad the Sneetches learned that they can be different and still be one, aren't you?"

Star Tag -- You'll need double-sided tape and star shapes for half your group. Form two teams. Place stars on the bellies of the Star-Belly teammates. Have the Plain Bellies try to tag the Star Bellies. When Star Bellies are tagged, they must give their stars to their taggers. After five minutes, have Star Bellies get rid of their stars by sticking them to Plain Bellies' stomachs.

After the game, ask, "Do you remember everyone who was on your team at the beginning of the game? Why or why not? What was easy or difficult about this game?

As Christians, how can we show love to other Christians who may go to a different church or live in a different country?"

Crazy Cookie Bags -- As children eat the ingredients in their cookie bags, have children share one unique quality about themselves.

Shining Stars -- You'll need one cut-out star shape per child, glue, and an instant-print camera.

Take a photo of each child in your class. Have children glue their pictures to their stars. Then have children write their names above their pictures and something unique about themselves below. Make a banner that says "We're All One in Christ Jesus" and place it at the top of a bulletin board. Place your classroom of "stars" below the banner so everyone can see them sparkle.

("Crazy Cookie Bags" excerpted from "Show Me!" Devotions for Leaders to Teach Kids by Susan L. Lingo, Group Publishing.)

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