1 - God makes the world (Blue whales)

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 1
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 10

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Did you know that the smallest fish in the world is less than one centimetre long? That’s probably smaller than your thumb nail. Such a tiny fish can be found swimming in forest swamps in Indonesia. The largest animal in the world can also be found in water… but this animal needs a deep ocean to swim in. The largest animal is the blue whale. The blue whale can be as long as thirty metres. That’s more than 3,000 times bigger than the smallest fish and if you lined up three buses one behind the other, a blue whale would still be longer. The Bible tells us that God made the whole world. He made the biggest and the smallest creatures.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Gather some leaves, flowers and seeds and arrange them on a tray.

  • Bring in a selection of library books showing a variety of animals and plants or download images from the internet, but be aware of copyright regulations.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Play a game with sock fish
You will need: at least twenty pairs of socks, hole-reinforcement stickers, masking tape and two buckets or plastic boxes. 

1. Before the session stick a strip of masking tape to the floor.
2. At a distance of approximately two and a half metres from the tape place two buckets. The buckets should be about a metre apart.
3. Divide the socks into two piles; keep the pairs together but make sure they are not attached to one another.
4. Encourage the children to sit in their teams behind the line of tape. Explain that they are in a fish factory making fish! Give a pile of socks to each team. Show the children how to make a pair of socks into a fish shape following the instructions below. Explain that, as fast as they can the children need to make all their pairs of socks into fish. Then, whilst remaining seated they should throw their fish into their bucket. If a fish misses the bucket they must pick it up, sit back down behind the line and try again.

 

How to make sock fish instructions: 

 
 
  1. Take a pair of socks and place one sock on top of the other.

  2. Holding the socks together turn the ankle part of one sock over until you have made the two socks into a sock bundle.

  3. Wrap a small piece of masking tape around the sock bundle as shown in the picture. The hem of the sock will form the fish's tail.

  4. Place two hole-reinforcement stickers on your sock fish to look like eyes.

The first team to complete the challenge and successfully throw all their fish into their bucket is the winning team. 

Help the children to reflect on how amazing it is that God made all the different varieties of fish that can be found around the world. You might like to talk briefly about how unlike real fish the sock fish are.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we thank you for your wonderful creation. Thank you for all the magnificent creatures that you have made. Thank you for the tiny fish that swim in swamps and the enormous sea creatures that swim in oceans. 

Father, when we think of your creation - trees growing from tiny seeds and galaxies that go on and on and on, we realise that you are far bigger and far greater than we can ever imagine. 

Father God, thank you for making this beautiful earth and filling it with so many wonderful things. Amen  


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2 - God makes people

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 1-2
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 12

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one. 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Often we think of our birthday as a special day… a special day that’s all about us. But did you know we each share our birthday with over a million people? There are in fact over seven billion people in the world. Every second, four babies are born – which means while reading this, forty tiny babies have just arrived in the world.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • ‘Now I will make human beings,’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • Cuddly toys or small animal play figures

  • Pictures of trees from a library book or online (beware of copyright regulations)

  • Gather a selection of leaves, flowers and seeds and place toy people and animal figures among the natural objects

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Show and talk about a selection of photographs
Bring in some photographs of yourself as a baby or a young child to show the children. Talk about how your appearance has changed and what you were doing at the time the photos were taken. Talk about the other people that are in your photographs. Talk briefly with the children about all the millions of people in the world, all with their different memories and experiences. Spend some time explaining that, although there are many millions of people in the world, God loves every single person. He knows everything everybody has ever done and he loves each of us more than we can imagine.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God, thank you for creating people. Thank you for our friends and family. Thank you for the people who help us and care for us, some of whom we hardly know. 

Thank you Father God for people who run our country and work hard so that we can live safely and enjoy our lives. 

Thank you for people who bring changes that make our world a better place. Father we thank you that everybody everywhere is a part of your wonderful creation. Amen. 


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1 & 2 - God makes the world & God makes people

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 1-2
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 10 -12

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one. 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Did you know there are around 950,000 animal species in the world?… and some of them have the most ridiculous names. Have you ever heard of a Blobfish or a Raspberry crazy ant? What type of animal do you think a Tasseled wobbegong or a Strange-tailed tyrant is? Some animals were named hundreds of years ago – others were discovered recently and have only just been given their names. But who named the first animals? The Bible tells us that God brought the animals to the Garden of Eden and one by one Adam named them.

A Tasseled wobbegong is a shark and a Strange-tailed tyrant is a bird.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

Gather some leaves, flowers and seeds and arrange them on a tray.
Bring in a selection of library books showing a variety of animals and plants or download images from the internet, but be aware of copyright regulations.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy colouring in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Pasta animals
Beware of allergies – make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

You will need: lots of uncooked pasta of various shapes and sizes, bowls and a stopwatch.
Before the session place the pasta in the bowls, making sure each bowl contains a range of pasta types.

Divide your group into teams or allow the children to work individually. Give each team a bowl of pasta. Explain that you are going to call out the names of animals. The children will then have thirty seconds (perhaps longer for younger children) to make each animal out of their pasta pieces. The pasta animals could include: a rabbit, a spider, an elephant, a crocodile, a giraffe, a snake or a butterfly.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we thank you for your wonderful creation. Thank you for the seas, the rivers, the flowers, the trees and shrubs. Thank you for the animals, those we know about and those we have yet to discover.

We thank you that we are surrounded with beautiful things.

Father God please help us to look after your amazing earth; help us to care for the world around us and to look after one another remembering that each person is a part of your magnificent creation. Amen.


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3 & 4 - Tempting fruit & Paradise lost (Fruit sticks)

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 13 - 14

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever accidentally spoilt something special? Perhaps you’ve broken a toy, torn a page in a favourite book or accidentally scratched a DVD. Can you remember the sad feeling when you realised what you had done? When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden their friendship with God was spoilt. The wrong thing they had done separated them from God and they could no longer be friends in the way they had once been. Adam and Eve were sad. God was sad. But God had a plan. Disobedience had spoilt his creation but he would put things right. His plan was to send his Son Jesus so that people could be close friends with him once more. 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

  • ‘Sin word’ graphic (see Printables)

  • A toy snake

  • ‘Did God really say…?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • An apple

  • ‘Where are you, Adam?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Play a game with snake shapes
You will need: Snake templates (see Printables) and enough dice for one between three or four children.

1. Before the session print sufficient templates for one between three or four children. Cut out the templates and divide the snakes into eight shapes. Place the shapes in the envelopes - one set in each envelope. 
2. Divide the children into groups of no more than three or four.
3. Give each group a set of snake shapes.
4. Ask the children to keep the head and tail of their snake and place the remaining shapes on the floor in the middle of the room. It doesn’t matter if the shapes get mixed up at this stage.
5. Encourage the children to sit around the room in their groups. Each group needs to be equidistant from the shapes in the middle. Give each group a dice.
6. Explain that the children should take turns throwing their dice then collecting a corresponding shape from the middle of the room.
7. The group needs to place their collected shapes in the correct order between the head and tail of their snake. Each snake should include one of each shape. If a child throws a number that has already been collected the dice should be passed to the next child.
8. The first team to complete their snake is the winning team.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God, thank you that you did not give up on mankind when Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden.

Thank you that all those years ago you had a plan to one day make a way for everybody everywhere to become close friends with you once more.

Father we now know that your plan was to send your Son. Thank you that 2,000 years ago your Son Jesus came to earth. Thank you that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you.  Amen


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3 & 4 - Tempting fruit & Paradise lost

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 13 - 14

Notes
After reading the story 'Paradise lost', you might want to remind the children that all those years ago God had a plan to put things right. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit in the garden their friendship with God was spoilt. The wrong thing they had done separated them from God. The Bible calls the wrong things people do ‘sin’. The sin crept into the lives of Adam and Eve and began to change them. Adam and Eve were sad. God was sad. But God had a plan. Disobedience had spoilt his creation but he would put things right. His plan was to send his Son Jesus to live with people. The Bible teaches that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and become close friends with him. 

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one. 

2. Starter question - 1 min
What's your favourite kind of fruit? Perhaps you enjoy biting into a crisp green apple or a juicy plum, or maybe you like sweet strawberries or blackberries in a warm pudding.  Fruit is very good for us and we are encouraged to eat some every day. The Bible teaches that in the very beginning when God made the world he gave Adam and Eve a beautiful garden to live in. The garden was full of plants and trees and the trees were laden with fresh fruit. Adam and Eve were allowed to eat the fruit freely, however they were not allowed to eat the fruit from every tree.  'Do not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden,' said God. 'Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.' 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

  • ‘Sin word’ graphic (see Printables)

  • A toy snake

  • ‘Did God really say…?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • An apple

  • ‘Where are you, Adam?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Fun with fruit
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.
You will need: two ripe bananas, a toothpick, two lemons, baking soda, washing-up liquid, a sharp knife*, a measuring spoon, a citrus juicer, a clear plastic cup, two different fruit drinks with varying amounts of sugar (we used orange juice and diluted no added sugar blackcurrant squash),a desert spoon, a see-through plastic cup a spoon and a jug

*Keep knives out of the reach of children

How to make citrus suds:
1. Cut the lemon in half (an adult should do this) and carefully squeeze out the juice using the citrus juicer. 
2. Place one tablespoon of baking soda in the clear cup.
3. Add one teaspoon of washing-up liquid to the baking soda and stir it a little. 
4. Pour the lemon juice into the cup and stir. Watch the citrus suds fizz.

Make sure the children understand that they must not drink the fizzy mixture. You might like to explain to the children that as the acidic lemon juice reacts with the baking soda, carbon dioxide is released which causes the liquid soap to froth and foam. 

How to slice a banana in it's skin:
Before the session prepare the banana by following steps these four steps:
1. Carefully push a toothpick through the skin of the banana and into the fruit inside. You want the toothpick to reach the skin on the other side but don't push it right through. 
2. Gently move the toothpick from side to side - try not to break the toothpick or make the hole in the skin any bigger. As the toothpick moves backwards and forwards you will be slicing the banana inside the skin. 
3. Remove the toothpick and reinsert it five or six centimetres below the first hole. Repeat step two.
4. Keep making holes and slicing the banana with the toothpick until you reach the bottom of the banana. 

During the session peel the banana to show that it is already sliced! Demonstrate how this was done by slicing the second banana in the same way following steps one to four.

How to make a layered fruit drink:
Before the session dilute the squash to a normal concentration. 

 
IMG_20180521_133817165.jpg
 

1. Pour orange juice into the cup until the cup is approximately half full. 
2. Slowly spoon sugar free squash into the cup.
3. The squash should form a layer on top of the orange juice.

Explain that the drinks form layers because the orange juice is more sugary than the squash.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God, thank you that when Adam and Eve disobeyed you in the garden you did not give up on mankind. Thank you that all those years ago you had a plan.

Father we now know that your plan was to send your Son Jesus. Thank you that 2,000 years ago Jesus came to earth to show what you are like, to teach people how to live and to make a way for everybody everywhere to become close friends with you.

Thank you Father God, that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you.  Amen


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3 & 4 - Tempting fruit & Paradise lost (Fiery swords)

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 3
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 13 - 14

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Can you imagine a garden overgrown with weeds and thorns? Where would you play? Where would you sit?

Today, gardeners spend hours and hours pulling up weeds, chopping back briars and cutting down brambles. However when God first created the earth there were no weeds or unwanted thorns spoiling his creation; instead, with very little attention, plants grew, fruit ripened and flowers budded. But then one day Adam and Eve disobeyed God. From that day not only was their friendship with their Creator spoilt but the whole of creation was spoilt too – amongst the flowers and shrubs, weeds and thistles began to grow.

Although God's creation was spoilt he loved the world so much he planned to put things right. Many years after the world was first created God sent his Son Jesus to make a way for people to be his close friends once more, then, he promised, that one day his people would live with him in the perfect Kingdom of Heaven.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies – make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.

  • A toy snake

  • ‘Did God really say…?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • An apple

  • ‘Where are you, Adam?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Play a game where the children need to knock down weeds to win the challenge
You will need: ‘weed pictures’ (see Printables), masking tape, scissors, bean-bags (or socks turned into small bundles) and a total of sixteen of the following items: cereal boxes, wellington boots and 2 litre empty drinks bottles – it doesn’t matter how many of each item you have as long as you have sixteen in total.

Before the session print sixteen ‘weed’ pictures. Cut out the pictures and use masking tape to stick one picture to each of your items (the cereal boxes, wellington boots etc.). Now stick strips of masking tape to the floor of your teaching space to create two large squares. The squares should measure approximately 2 x 2 m. Stand eight of the items in each square and explain that these represent the weeds.

Divide the children into two teams. Name one team ‘the farmers’ and the other team ‘the gardeners’. Ask ‘the farmers’ to stand around the edge of one square and ‘the gardeners’ to stand around the edge of the other square. Give each child two or three bean-bags or sock bundles. When you shout ‘go’ the children should throw their bags/bundles at the weeds trying to knock them over. When all the bundles have been thrown count how many ‘weeds’ remain standing. The team to knock over the most weeds is the winning team. If you have time, stand the weeds up and play the game again.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God, thank you that you love and care about each and every person. Thank you that you long to be close friends with everybody everywhere. Thank you that all those years ago, when Adam and Eve disobeyed you in the garden, you had a plan to make a way for people to become close friends with you once more. Father God, help us to tell others about your great love. Help us to pass on the Good News that, because Jesus lived, died and rose again, all people, everywhere can say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and become close friends with you. Amen.


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5 - The two brothers

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 4
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 15 and 16

Notes
If you have young children in your group you may wish to only tell the story of ‘The Two Brothers’. If you have older children you could also tell the story of ‘The First Murder’; however read the text through first to make sure you are happy with the content. You may prefer to use the phrase ‘Cain hurt Abel so much that he died’ rather than saying ‘Cain killed Abel’.

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
People often spend a long time thinking about the right sort of birthday present to give a close friend. Should they give a big present, a small present, an expensive present or a simple present? Once they've decided, they might carefully wrap the gift and write something kind in a card. But imagine if people didn’t care what they gave – if they just picked up any old thing, wrapped it in crumpled paper and scribbled a name on the front. What would that say about their friendship? How would their friend feel? One day two brothers gave gifts to God – one brother showed God his love and trust in the gift he chose, while the other brother’s gift showed that he did not really love or trust God as his brother did.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Two toy figures to represent Cain and Abel
  • A picture of a lamb and some corn (see Printables), you will also need sticky tac

As you tell the story stick the picture of the corn to the figure representing Cain and the lamb to the figure representing Abel. Stand the figures on a low table or the floor. Move them around at the appropriate parts of the story.   

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web.

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Play a game of matching pictures
You will need: as many teaspoons as there are children in your group, sticky tac, a newspaper, a glue stick, a set of ‘Cain and Abel’ pictures and a set of ‘Lamb and corn’ pictures’ (see Printables).  

1. Before the session print as many ‘Cain and Abel’ and ‘Lamb and corn’ pictures as you have children. Cut out the corn and lamb pictures and use sticky tac to stick them to the back of the teaspoons.
2. Stick the Cain and Abel pictures to sheets of newspaper then cut them out (this will prevent the children seeing through the paper to the image on the other side). 
3. To play the game the children should sit in a circle. Place the spoons in the middle of the circle with their handles facing out. Arrange the spoons so that the corn and lamb pictures alternate. Now remove two spoons - one with a picture of a lamb and one with a picture of some corn.
4. Shuffle the pictures of Cain and Abel then hand them out.
5. When all the children have a picture ask them to place it face down in front of them. Without showing anybody they should slide the picture to the person on their left.  The children should keep sliding the pictures around the group until they have passed on four pictures. As they slide the pictures the children should say out loud: ‘1’, ‘2’, ‘3’, ‘4’.
6. When the fourth picture arrives in front of them the children should quickly pick it up and take a look at it. If their picture is of Cain they should grab a teaspoon with a picture of corn on it; if the picture is of Abel they should grab a teaspoon with a picture of a lamb on it. The children without spoons are out.
7. If you have time to play the game again shuffle the pictures and hand them out once more. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we think about the story of the two brothers, Cain and Abel. We think about Cain who chose a gift in a way that did not please you and we think about Abel who loved and trusted you and gave the best he had.

Father help us to be like Abel, fully trusting in you. Help us to be generous people who love to give to you and the people around us over and over again. Amen. 


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11 - The sky's the limit

 
 

15 minute Story planner

Reference 
Genesis 11
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 22
‘The tall tower’ see Printables

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' card one 

2. Starter question - 1 min
 
Are there any tall buildings near your home? A tall building with many floors can sometimes be called a skyscraper. The tallest skyscraper in London is The Shard. It is over three hundred metres high and has seventy-two floors. Inside The Shard there are offices, restaurants and even a hotel. The tallest tower in the world however is over eight hundred metres high. It took six years to build and is made of concrete, steel and glass. It has one hundred and sixty-three floors. 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Pictures from the internet of tall buildings (make sure you comply with copyright regulations).
  • Bricks (either house bricks or toy bricks). Children’s French or Spanish phrase books or a few words translated into three or four languages. 

On the Internet you could find translations for words such as ‘brick’, ‘carry’, ‘lift’, ‘hammer’ to demonstrate the communication problems the builders would have faced.

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 -  Play a game about building
You will need: lots of plastic cups or toy bricks and lively music with the means to play it.

1. Divide your group into two teams.
2. Give an equal number of cups or bricks to each team.
3. Explain to the children that they need to work together to build a tower.
4. Play the music while the children are building.
5. Intermittently stop the music and shout ‘scatter’. When you shout scatter everybody should run to touch the nearest wall. The last person to touch a wall is out.

The teams then continue building. One team will have one less person which will slow down the building of their tower. When everybody is ‘out’ the team with the tallest tower is the winning team. If you only have a few bricks play the music for a short amount of time before shouting ‘scatter’. 

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about the story. We imagine the people working hard to build the tall tower. Father we remember why they chose to start building. We remember that they had selfish thoughts. We remember that  they wanted to be famous and bring glory and attention to themselves. 

Father we think about what the Bible teaches - that you always want what is best for us. We remember that we are precious and loved by you but it is not good for us to try and bring glory to ourselves; it is not good for us to think that we are better than others; it is not good for us to be proud and want to be admired over and over again. 

Father help us to want to do things that bring glory and praise to you. Father, thank you that the Bible teaches that you deserve all the praise and all the glory. Father help us to work along side others to bring glory to you and to always do what is good and right.  Amen


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