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Acts 8
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 389
‘Philip and the Ethiopian Treasurer’ (see Printables)


Setting the scene and a starter question_3 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about ‘The Early Church FlashCards’ cards one to three

Question:   How much money do you think kings and queens have? Perhaps enough to fill a big treasure chest. More? Enough to fill fifty treasure chests? 


Tell the story with props_4 mins
Click on the images at the beginning of this post to download more web resources

  • A jar of coins, a crown 
  • A picture of a chariot
  • A map of the Holy Land at the time of Jesus with Jerusalem marked 
  • A scroll – a rolled up piece of paper 
  • A bowl of water



Story Activity_6 mins
Option 1_Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2_ A cardboard chariot race
You will need: A timer, a cardboard box, scissors, a strong strip of fabric at least three meters in length, ‘story textboxes’ (see Printables), sticky tape and 6  two litre bottles filled with water.

Before the session print and cut out the 'story textboxes'. Stick one to each bottle. Make the box into a chariot by cutting two holes in the front then threading the strip of fabric through to make reins. Use the bottles to make an assault course, placing them around the room but leaving enough space for the chariot to weave in and out. 

Explain that you will need two volunteers; one child will be ‘the horse’, the other the ‘chariot owner’ who will run behind the chariot. The horse needs to pull the chariot from ‘Jerusalem’ (one side of the room) to ‘Gaza’ (the other side of the room) but they need to weave around the assault course. As they pass a bottle the chariot owner needs to pick it up and put it into the ‘chariot’. When the chariot reaches ‘Gaza’ the children will need to read the story textboxes and put the bottles in the right order. If you have a lot of children introduce a second ‘horse’. Time each group completing the task and encourage them to try and beat each others’ times.


Reflective prayer_2 mins  
Father God, we imagine the Ethiopian Treasurer travelling along the road in his fine chariot. We think of him pouring over the Scriptures trying to make sense of what he reads. Thank You that on that day the Holy Spirit worked through Philip to explain what the passage meant. 

Father we remember that reading the Scriptures is an important part of finding out about You, discovering more about Your great love and learning how You want us to live. Father we know that understanding some parts of the Bible can be difficult. Father we ask that when we struggle with complicated passages You help us to understand their meaning. Please show us how our lives can be changed as we learn and grow to live the way the Bible teaches us to live.  Amen  

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



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Paper cup chariots


You will need:
‘Chariot wheels’ template (see Printables)
Paper cups, enough for one per child
    (plastic cups will work OK if you can't find paper ones)
Split pins, enough for two per child
Wool or string cut into 35cm lengths
A pencil and a blob of sticky tac
Colouring pencils or felt-tip pens
Large lollipop sticks
    (small will work OK if you can't find large)
Elastic bands
Scraps of fabric measuring 7 x 6 cm and 2 x 9 cm
Two or three wind-up walking toys of any type*

*These are not intended for the children to take home but are necessary for the chariot race.

How to prepare:
Print or photocopy sufficient ‘chariot wheel’ templates. For younger children you might want to cut out the wheels in advance. Construct an example chariot so the children can see what they are about to make. 


How to make a paper cup chariot:



1. Cut a section out of your cup to make it chariot-shaped.
2. Cut out two chariot wheels, colour them in and cut a hole in the centre of each. To cut a hole in the centre fold the wheels in half and cut a semi-circle in the middle of the fold.
3. Work out where the wheels need to be on your chariot. The wheels do not turn round so they will need to be positioned above the base of the cup. Hold the wheels in position and draw a mark through the hole in each wheel. To make the hole, place a blob of sticky tac inside the cup directly behind the     marks you have just made. Ask an adult to make a hole, using your mark as a     guide, by pushing the tip of a pencil through the cup into the blob of sticky tac behind.  
4. Attach the wheels to your chariot with the split pins. 
5.  Loop the ends of the string around the wheels to make reigns for pulling the chariot along.   
6. Wrap a 7 x 6 cm piece of fabric around a lollipop stick and secure it in place with     an elastic bands. Repeat this with a second lollipop stick.
7.  Draw a face and some feet on both lollipop sticks. Wrap the 2 x 9 cm pieces of     fabric around the ‘shoulders’ of each lollipop person. Tuck the ends of the fabric     into the elastic bands. 
8. Place the lollipop people in the chariot and hook the string around the wind-up toy. Watch as your chariot is pulled along.  
9. When everybody has made a chariot you are now ready to hold a chariot race. If you have two wind-up toys, two chariots can race, if you have three wind-up toys three can race. The children may find it easier to remove their lollipop people from their chariots during the race.
10.Decide with the children where the ‘start’ and ‘finish’ of the race will be. Attach the first chariots to the wind-up toys as shown in the instructions. Encourage the children to wind up the toys and hold them at the ‘start’. When you shout 'go' the children should release the toys and watch as their chariots are pulled to the ‘finish’. The first chariot to reach the ‘finish’ is the winner. Allow the next round of chariots to compete. Encourage the winners of each round to compete against each other. If it becomes obvious that one toy is faster than the other hold the toys behind your back and let the children choose by selecting either your right or left hand.



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