1. 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.
- 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.
2. 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.
- 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.
3. 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.”
4. 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.
5. Food for Thought
- Gingerbread man cookie cutters,
- sandwich bread,
- blunt knives,
- peanut butter,
- cream cheese,
- raisins, nuts,
- chocolate chips,
- decorator sprinkles,
- and milk.
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 the characteristics of a great father.