1. Warm Fuzzies-(Supplies: A teddy bear.) Form a circle and put the teddy bear in the center.
*Ask: Do you have a favorite stuffed animal? Why do you like it?
Give the bear to a child. Ask that child to tell one thing their parent does that shows them they’re loved. For example, a child might say, “My dad hugs me.” Have the child pass the bear to the next child in the circle for the same purpose.
After children have shared, *say: God loves you. God loves you more than we love our teddy bears. God’s love is warm and fuzzy and makes us feel good.
2. God’s Love-(Supplies: Bible.) Sit in a chair several feet from the children. Hug and talk to the teddy bear. Tell the children they have to watch; they can’t come near you. Tell the teddy bear how much you love it.
One at a time, have children sit on your lap. The other children must stay back until their names are called. As a child sits on your lap, give him or her a hug with the teddy bear. Then ask that child to sit at your feet. When all the children are sitting by you, read aloud Mark 10:13-16.
*Ask: What was I doing when you had to stay away from me? Did you like having to stay away? How did you feel when you got to sit on my lap with the teddy bear?
*Say: One day, some children wanted to see Jesus. But Jesus’ disciples wanted the children to stay away. Jesus told the children to sit on his lap so he could hug them. Jesus loves children.
3. Hug Book-(Supplies: Crayons, 3X5 cards, and a stapler.)
*Say: Valentine’s Day is a great time to tell people how much you love them. We’re going to make Hug Books for our parents.
Give each child 10 3X5 cards. Have kids color pictures on their cards. Help kids pile the 10 cards on top of each other and staple them together like a book.
*Say: You listened to the story about Jesus hugging the children. Jesus likes it when we show our parents how much we love them. Hugs are a great way to do that. Give your mom and dad their Hug Book on Valentine’s Day.
Tell kids to tear off a page and give it to you. Then give them each a big hug. Send home instruction sheets to explain that parents need to give a hug in exchange for each page.
Close in a prayer of thanks for kids’ parents.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
You’ll need: Message heart candies.
Directions: Have kids each find at least five candies that give them ideas of ways to show love to their families. Then have them eat the candies.
Mike Gillespie is a Christian educator in Kentucky.