Animal Welcome Activity
Since today’s part of The Big God Story involves an animal (a donkey), CONNECT by playing an animal icebreaker game.
- Animal template (see Resources)
- Paper lunch bag
Print several copies of the Animal template. Cut out each square, fold in half, and place in the lunch bag.
Inside this bag are pictures of some of my favorite animals. We are going to take turns choosing a paper from the bag. Don’t tell me what animal you choose. Once you choose an animal, you can make the sound the animal makes. We will guess what animal you selected! Then you will have to guess what animal I select by the sound I make Take turns until al the animal cards have been pulled out of the bag.
- Remember Verse cards (see Resources)
Print remember verse cards, cut them, and place them in your Bible, set the Bible aside. Write the Remember Verse on a sheet of paper. Cut another sheet of paper into strips. (These will be used to cover up the words “sing,” “love,” “mouth,” and “faithfulness.” After you have gone verse the verse a few times.
Have you ever had a sad day? We all have sad days sometimes. On sad days, we can remember that God loves us.
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1
Go over what each of the words mean.
Remember Verse Definitions:
Faithfulness: believing God is with us and does everything He says He will do; we can trust Him
Generations: different ages of people
Remember Verse Motions:
I will sing: Place hands in fists at sides of mouth, move hands away from face while spreading fingers.
of the Lord’s: Point with both index fingers up to sky.
great love forever: Cross arms over chest.
with my mouth: Point to mouth.
I will make your faithfulness known: Make fist and repeat pounding motion on left palm.
through all generations: Put right index finger at left side of waist, point multiple times while moving finger toward right side.
The Remember Verse Game
Have your child/children say the verse several times with you as you do the hand motions. Then cover one of the key words by placing a roll of tape on the back of one of the pieces of paper and stick it on a word. Have your child/children say the verse again. Continue until all the words, are covered. This will help them memorize the verse.
The Big God Story
Jesus Is King
Storytelling Technique: Story Pathway and Verbal Participation
- Sheet (or masking tape)
- Markers (various colors)
- Palm branches (3–5), coats (3) (For palm branches, use green paper and cut them into ovals.)
Lay sheet down on the grown to create a path or place two long strips of masking tape on the carpet to create a path. Lay palm branches and coats along the sides of the path.
I really enjoy the time we spend together learning about God and His big story. Before we hear some of The Big God Story today, let’s pray and invite God’s Holy Spirit to teach us. Lead your child/children in a Prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds.
Have you ever been to a parade, or welcomed someone special to your town? Invite responses. It’s fun to wave and greet special guests. Jesus did a lot of traveling to teach and share with people. He stopped in Bethany and helped his friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha as He was on His way to a city called Jerusalem. Today we’re going to pretend that we’re on the same path, or road, Jesus took when He arrived in Jerusalem. Are you ready to use your imaginations and walk with me on the path? Great! Let’s all stand together at the beginning. We’ll walk through our story today. Please listen carefully as we move forward. You’ll be the people of Jerusalem. This is a very exciting time in Jerusalem! Let’s storytell together. Walk slowly backward on the path, teaching as your child/children walk with you.
Tip: While walking on the story path, use a quiet speaking voice. This will help your child/children to quiet themselves down and concentrate.
After Jesus gave Lazarus new life and left Bethany, people were talking about what happened. People of Jerusalem, can you whisper, “Is Jesus the King?” Children repeat. They wondered if Jesus was the King they’d been waiting for. Everyone was very excited! Pause and story tell in place. As Jesus and His disciples got close to Jerusalem, He gave two of His disciples a special job. He asked them to go to a nearby village where they’d find a donkey that had never been ridden. The disciples were to tell the owner that Jesus needed the donkey. Walk a few more steps and stop. The disciples found the donkey, just like Jesus said they would. Then the disciples put coats on the donkey’s back for Jesus to sit on. The coats would make Jesus more comfortable.
They brought the donkey to Jesus, and He rode the donkey into the city. Walk a few more steps and stop. A lot of people came out to see Jesus. People of Jerusalem, let’s all whisper, “Jesus is coming!” Children repeat. They were so excited He was coming into the city, and they wanted to do something special for Him. They decided to put their coats down to make a path for the donkey. The people also waved palm branches and spread them on the ground. This was a special way to welcome Jesus. Walk a few more steps and stop.
As Jesus rode the donkey on the path, the people also shouted something very special. They shouted, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Hosanna means “Save us.” Encourage your child/children to shout, “Hosanna!” with you several times. When the people shouted, “Hosanna!” they were sharing that they welcomed Jesus as the King coming to save them. When they put their coats on the ground, they were showing that Jesus was special and they wanted to make a special path for Him. Waving the palm branches and shouting, “Hosanna!” was a special way to say, “Jesus is King!” People of Jerusalem, let’s all shout, “Jesus is King!” Children repeat. Walk to the end of the path and stop. Jesus is King, and He’ll always be King. Even though we’re at the end of this path, The Big God Story keeps moving forward, and we’re all a part of it. Jesus came to live on earth, and He died for us so we can live with God forever. Jesus is King!
Lead a discussion on today’s part of The Big God Story as your child/children take turns pulling Wonder Questions from a bag.
- Wonder Questions strips (see Resources)
- Small bag with drawstring
Print or copy the Wonder Questions strips, cut them apart, and place them in the bag.
In The Big God Story, Jesus told the disciples to go get a donkey. This was how King Jesus entered Jerusalem. The people were so excited to see Him that they threw their coats on the ground, waved palm branches, and shouted, “Hosanna!”
I wonder … How did Jesus’ friends and disciples feel as the crowd welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem?
I wonder … If I was there, would I have put my coat down for Jesus?
I wonder … What can I do to celebrate that Jesus is King?
Prayers & Praises
After discussing the Wonder Questions, encourage your child/children to bend and stretch, then have a seat. The Bible shares about a wonderful time when the people of Jerusalem celebrated Jesus as King! Let’s pray and thank Jesus for being our King. If you’d like, you can reach your hands up while we pray (gently reach hands up with palms facing away from body). Our hands are reaching up like we’re giving something to someone. When we pray to God, we’re giving Him praise. You can tell Him whatever you want to say. I’ll start. “God, I’m so grateful that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to be our King.” Encourage your child/children to speak their own words or repeat the words you offered. Close as the Holy Spirit directs you, then transition into a time of prayer requests and praises.
Now let’s share how we can pray for each other. Ask children to share updates on the things they previously prayed about. Celebrate the praises, recommit to praying for things not yet answered, and ask for any new requests. Pray for the praises and requests mentioned.
Hosanna! Banner Activity
Work together to create a Hosanna! Banner that celebrates Jesus as King!
- •Hosanna Letters template (see Resources)
- •Construction paper
- •Scissors & Glue
Print the Hosanna Letters template and cut out the letters.
Place the letters in order on a table and have crayons.
Lead your child/children in marching over to the table for a time of RESPOND. Jesus is King. What are some things you know about kings? Allow answers. Those are great thoughts! A king is in charge of his land and takes care of the people. Good kings are also fair in how they rule and make choices. As our King, Jesus is all of these things. He’s worthy of praise. Because Jesus is in charge and always fair, we can trust Him with everything in our lives.
What would you like to trust Jesus with today? You can put something about it in the letters of this praise word “Hosanna.” What does “Hosanna” mean? Children answer. That’s right. It means “Save us.” We can trust Jesus to save us. You can also write your name to tell Jesus you trust Him as your King and that you love Him. Give your child/children time to decorate the letters and glue a letter to each piece of construction paper. Then tape the letters together to create a long banner that says Hosannah (Option 2: Reframe from cutting out the letters and just tape them together). Hang the banner somewhere in your home and shout, Hosannah! Great Job!
Now, let’s tell Jesus that we love Him and believe He is our King.
- •Remember Verse cards (see Resources)
Read Psalm 24:10 aloud:
“Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory.”
Invite your child/children to stand, facing each other in two lines. Then lead the groups in a call and response. Repeat a few times.
You: Who is King?
Your Child/children: Jesus is King!
Close by reading the following blessing over your child/children as they hold their hands open in front of themselves, in a posture of receiving:
(Name of child/children), may you always remember Jesus is King over all the earth and the heavens. May you know His great love for you.