The Short Man In A Tree - Zacchaeus Meets Jesus

Preparation:  Have the children stand an arm’s length from each other, if possible.  Explain they are
to move about in their own personal space and make any motions which fit the action of the story as they listen to it being told. 

Story:  Zacchaeus was sitting at his tax collector’s table counting money when he heard people around him say, “Jesus is coming.  Jesus is coming here to Jericho.”

Zacchaeus pushed back his chair and jumped up!  He wanted to see Jesus. 

He started running in the direction the people were pointing.  He ran and ran and ran until he came to a crowd of people.  Zacchaeus was a short man and he could not see over the heads of the people in front of him.

So he stood on his tiptoes.  He still could not see.

He stretched his neck up as high as he could while standing on his tiptoes.  He still could not see Jesus.

Zacchaeus shrugged his shoulders and thought to himself:  “What am I going to do? The people in front of me are bigger and taller than I am and I REALLY, REALLY want to see Jesus.”

Then -- over the heads of the people he saw a sycamore-fig tree.  He didn’t take his eyes off that tree as he made his way around the crowd.  He climbed up on a branch, sat down and waited for Jesus to come by.

When Jesus arrived at the tree, He looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down.  I want to be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus’ eyes got big!  Jesus was talking to HIM!

Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree.  He skinned his knee getting down but he didn’t care.  He was so happy Jesus wanted to go to his home!  Zacchaeus could not stop smiling.

Zacchaeus’ life changed that day.  Before he met Jesus, Zacchaeus was one of the biggest sinners in town.  He took more money from the people than he should have.  He ended up being rich because he cheated others. 

Zacchaeus looked at Jesus and said:  “I will give half of my wealth to the poor.  I will also give back four times as much to those I have cheated.”

Jesus smiled at Zacchaeus and said, “You have been saved today.  I have come to seek and save people who are lost.”

Song:  "Come Meet Jesus" from Come Meet Jesus album by Mary Rice Hopkins.

Make 'N Take Creative Activity Materials Needed for Each Child: Two pieces white cover stock paper, scissors, crayons, washable markers.

Make 'N Take Activity:
  The children fold one sheet of the paper in half the long way, cut out a tree, and then color it.  On the other sheet of paper they can draw and cut out Zacchaeus.  He will need a slit between his legs so he will be able to sit in the tree.  Encourage the boys and girls to take their project home and re-tell the Bible story to their families.

A Special Baby Is Born - Christmas Story

Preparation:  Make a sheep stick puppet. 

Story (Told by the sheep puppet):  I was all tucked in for a good night’s sleep on the fields outside Bethlehem.  The sky was really dark but I wasn’t afraid because our shepherds were watching over us.  It was quiet -- really, really quiet.

I was just about asleep, when I heard one of the shepherds say: “Do you see what I see?”

Another shepherd said, “Yes, and I’m scared.”

By now I was wide awake.  So were my mommy and daddy and aunts and uncles and cousins.  We were all looking up at the light in the sky!

An angel said:  “Do not be afraid. I have good news!  A Baby has been born tonight.”

I was thinking, “You woke me up to say a baby has been born?”

The angel continued talking:  “This is a very SPECIAL baby -- a Savior.  His name is Jesus.”

And now the shepherds were talking:  “A Savior?  Can this be true?”

The angel said to the shepherds:  “It's true.  Baby Jesus is in Bethlehem.  He's in a stable - all wrapped up in strips of cloth -- tucked in -- lying in a manger.”

And then suddenly the sky was FULL of angels!  Angels everywhere!  I looked up at my mommy and said: “Do you hear what I hear?  The angels are all praising God!”

They were saying:  "Glory to God in the highest.”  Would you boys and girls say that with me:  “Glory to God in the highest.”  Let’s say it together again:  “Glory to God in the highest.”

The shepherds fell on their knees to the ground in worship.

Then the angels in the sky left.  The light disappeared.  It was dark again.  And quiet.

Then one of the shepherds said:  “I wonder if what we just heard is true?”

Another responded:  “It MUST be true!  An angel told us!  There's only one way to be sure.  We must go to Bethlehem and find out.”

I scampered along with the shepherds as they hurriedly walked to Bethlehem and sure enough -- just as the angel had said -- there was Mary and Joseph.  I quietly walked over to the manger and peeked in.  And there was baby Jesus all wrapped up warm and sleeping.

After seeing baby Jesus, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about the Child.  Then we all went back to our hillside.  The shepherds were praising God and saying wonderful things about Him.

SONG:  The First Christmas Day” from Mary Christmas  album.  (Click on song title to hear a clip.)

Ornament Hang - Christmas Bible Verse Memorization Idea

Bible Verse: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).

Materials Needed: Construction paper, crayons or markers, scissors, Christmas hooks, Christmas tree garland or yarn.

Directions: Ask children to draw and cut out 10 Christmas tree ornaments. Insert a Christmas hook into each one. Write one word from the verse on each ornament. Write the scripture reference on a separate ornament. Hang garland or yarn on a wall or bulletin board. Let the children hang the ornaments in the correct order on the garland or yarn. Have them read the verse together three times. Then ask one child to remove an ornament. Say the verse in unison. Have another boy or girl take off another ornament and quote the scripture. Continue until all ornaments have been removed and the verse is being said from memory.

Moses Paper Sack Puppet

Needed for Each Child:  Lunch-size paper sack, gray or white yarn, washable colored markers, material, word strip (Don’t forget!  God always makes a way.).

Activity:  Children draw the face of Moses on the sack flap.  Yarn can be glued on for the hair and beard.  Material is glued to the sack for Moses’ robe.  Finally, the word strip is pasted on.

Moses at Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-12) 3-D Art Project

Needed for Each Child:  2 sheets heavy white construction paper or cover paper, crayons, glue, transparent tape, Bible verse word strip.

Activity: Fold the construction paper in half and cut into two 4” x 12” pieces.  One serves as the bottom of the 3-D picture and the other is folded in thirds for the backdrop.  Children draw scenery on both pieces and then attach the backdrop to the bottom piece with tape.  Show the boys and girls how to fold under a small tab before they draw Moses and a burning bush.  These are then glued to the scene.  The Bible verse strip is added last.  

Baby Moses Surprise Picture Art Project (Exodus 2:1-10)

Needed for Each Child:  8 ½” x 11 white construction paper; scissors; markers or crayons.

Activity: Help the children make 2 ½” folds on the 8 ½” sides of the construction paper.  Then show the boys and girls how to cut away 2” x 4” pieces on both sides to make the surprise picture.  Print “God protected Moses” (Exodus 2:1-20) on the inside top.  The children can draw tall grass on the front flaps, with baby Moses on the river inside.

Bible Verse 3-D Wall Hanging

Needed for Each Child:  6” Styrofoam bowl with a hole punched at one edge, confetti (made by hole punching construction paper or cutting it into very small pieces), 8” piece yarn, glue, scissors, Bible verse word strip.

Activity:  The children create a 3-D wall hanging by gluing confetti to the bowl bottom.  The yarn is then inserted into the hole and tied.  Finally, the Bible verse is cut and glued.  Encourage the boys and girls to hang this in their rooms at home and read often.


by Linda J. Stevenson

Lord, help me be aware of the potentiality
That lies within each precious child that You have sent to me.
Help me to see through Heaven’s eyes their possibility
And daily instill values that will last eternally.

You've shown your faith in me with this responsibility
And, Lord, I pray you'll never be dissatisfied with me.
But, God,I must ask you for Your strength to meet the task;
That daily You will help me—that’s all I really ask.

For when I grow impatient, slow me down and speak to me
And remind me of the child that I once used to be.
God, grant to me the wisdom that I need to thus impart
And nurture the potential you have planted in their heart.

For they're like a tender flower awaiting to unfold
And oh the awesome beauty that one day we will behold.
So, Lord, I want to thank you for your trust and confidence,
And for the opportunity to make a difference.

The task will not be easy, but if you will work through me
Together we will change a life for all eternity.

(Copyrighted by Linda J. Stevenson.  May be copied and used for local church use.)

Rahab Hides the Spies Bible Story (Joshua 2:1-24) Interactive Art Picture

Needed for Each Child:  Two pieces of white construction paper, 6” red yarn, crayons, washable markers, clear tape, glue, lesson point strip (Be kind and helpful.)

Activity: Have the children decide first where Rahab’s window will be drawn on the wall.  Then they can create the wall with crayons and markers.  With a sharp knife, cut a small slit at the bottom of each child’s window and help them insert the red yarn.  After drawing and cutting out a picture of one of the spies, tape to the yarn.  Glue word strip to the picture.  The children can raise and lower the red cord from the back side. 

(Idea from Dancing in the Desert digital curriculum.)

God Provides Manna in Desert (Exodus 16:1-35) Bible Story In A Box Craft

Needed for Each Child:  Shoe box bottom, blue construction paper for sky, brown construction paper for ground, a yellow pom-pom or felt circle for the sun, white construction paper on which to draw Israelites, small bowl of rice which represents manna, lesson purpose strip (“Be thankful and content”), glue or double-sided clear tape, scissors.

Activity: The children create the story in their box.  Items can be glued or attached with double-sided clear tape.

(This idea is from Dancing in the Desert digital curriculum.)

Moses & Ten Commandments 3-D Picture Art Project

Needed for Each Child: Two sheets white construction paper, three strips of lightweight cardboard 3/4" x 21/2", colored pencils, scissors, and clear tape.

Activity: On one sheet of paper, the children draw Moses holding the tablets and then cut it out. On the other paper they can draw the mountain where Moses met God. To make the picture 3-D, have the boys and girls fold the 3 small strips in thirds and tape both to the back of Moses and to the background.


Every year at Christmastime
We'd decorate our tree
With candy canes both large and small
It was such a sight to see

And then we'd hear a story
And our mom would explain
The legend how it came to be
The Christmas candy cane


J is for Jesus and I do believe
Red is for His blood He gave for me
White stands for holiness and setting people free
And the staff is for the Shepherd
I'll follow as He leads

And if we taste the candy cane
Like Jesus' love is sweet
A foundation that's solid
A rock beneath my feet

And by His stripes we know
The sinless life He paid
The Trinity is three in one
For the love He gave

(Repeat Chorus)

The Christmas candy cane

From A Mary Christmas album. 
Click HERE to see a video.
Click HERE to hear a song clip.
Click HERE to order.