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When I taught a preschool Sunday school lesson on Peter the fisherman, I went all out. This Sunday wasn't just a lesson--it was a party.

I sent out an invitation to each child and distributed reminders in class for two weeks before the party date. We decorated the classroom with a replica of Peter's fishing boat. We arranged kid-size chairs facing each other in a tight oval large enough for a couple of children to stand in; we then wrapped newsprint around the outside of the chairs and drew waves on the paper.

Upon arrival at the party, the kids received "faith-catching tackle boxes." We made the boxes by spray painting Chinese food takeout cartons. Each tackle box contained candy worms, gummy fish, and plastic frogs.

After our kids enjoyed a snack of blue gelatin with gummy fish, they played these games:

• Fishing With Jesus-Before the party, we cut out fish from poster board and attached paper clips to two-thirds of them. We laid all the fish with paper clips on the floor on one side of our boat and placed all the others on the opposite side. Before class we made a fishing pole for each child out of a wooden dowel and string with a magnet on the end to use for this activity.

First we told kids to fish with their fishing poles from the side of the boat that had the fish without paper clips. As I told the Bible story, the kids realized that they, like Peter and his friends, weren't going to catch any fish. Then one of our volunteers spoke in a bellowing voice from outside the room and told them to fish from the other side of the boat. Like the fishermen in the Bible, the children were then able to catch plenty of fish.

After the kids had a chance to catch their fish, we collected the fishing poles for safety reasons.

• Musical Fish-We used yellow paper fish and two green fish to form a circle on the floor. Children stepped on the fish as they paraded around the circle to praise music. Each time the music stopped and a child was standing on a green fish, he or she repeated the Bible point of the day: "We must follow Jesus."

• Pin the Hook on the Fish-We cut several fishing hook shapes out of poster board and hung one large posterboard fish on the wall. We lined up the kids, blindfolded the first child, spun him around twice, and pointed him toward the fish. Each child had two tries to tape the hook on the mouth of the fish.

Dena Hopkins
Metropolis, Illinois

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