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An group of elementary girls playing instruments during this lesson on the Parable of the Lost Son.
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Elementary Children’s Message: Parable of the Lost Son

Teach elementary-aged kids that God’s love has no limits by teaching this children’s message on the parable about the lost son.


You’ll need:

  • a Bible and
  • an instrument for each child, such as noisemakers, tambourines, maracas, drums, or lids of pots and pans.

Elementary Children’s Message: Parable of the Lost Son

Open your Bible to Luke 15:11-32, and show the children the words. Say: The Bible tells about a man who had two sons. One son asked for his share of the inheritance, which was money he was supposed to get when his dad died.

The son gathered all he owned, went to a new country, spent all he had and had a lot of big parties! Soon he ran out of money and was starving.

The son remembered that his dad’s servants ate better than he was eating now. So he thought he’d go home, tell his dad he was sorry, and ask if he could work for him. Let’s have one of you pretend you are the son who’s coming home. Choose a child to go to the opposite side of the room and stand. Hand out the instruments, and tell the kids not to play them yet, but do so when you say: Let’s celebrate!

Say: You know what happened? When the dad saw his son who was still a long way off, he was filled with love for him. The dad ran to his son! Run across the room to the child, and put your arm around him. Then the dad said, “I love you son. Welcome home! Let’s celebrate!” Have the kids play the instruments while you lead the son to join the party.

Ask:

  • When are we like the son?
  • How is God like the father in the story?

Say: We might forget about God by not coming to church or not praying or when we do bad things. When we do, we should never be afraid to come back to God and say we’re sorry. We can be like the son! God wants us with him so much he comes to meet us!

Close by praying each line, then pausing after each for kids to repeat the line and play their instruments.

Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus!
Thanks for forgiving us!

Thanks for your great love!
In Jesus’ name, amen.

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