Updates from the Field

Faith Builders is off to a great start at North Church!  The kids are amazingly excited to learn about the Bible through fun LEGO builds. We have completed lessons 1 and 2 from Faith Builders 2.0. We learned a couple things that I want to share with others who may be following the Faith Builders 2.0 resource.

 

Ditch the clips!
In lesson 1, the clips could not hold the mammoth size and weight of some of the name tag creations. Instead, we used yarn secured to the back of each name tag with a huge piece of duct tape. The duct tape had the added benefit of providing extra support to the LEGO bricks.

 

Brick Organization and Storage
I knew storage was the key to giving the kids as much building time as possible after the Bible lesson. We decided to sort bricks based on color into plastic storage containers with lids. Not only does this make finding that perfect brick easier, but it aids in cleanup for a multi use classroom – just put the lids on and stack the containers out of the way. As we dismiss from circle time for the lesson, kids can grab a tray (a sturdy paper plate would work too) and select bricks to get started.

Brick Organization


Keep watch for more updates from the field! Cheers. :)

 

 

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Building Excitement

Guess Photo

Easter Sunday is a great opportunity to build excitement for upcoming programs. To draw attention to Faith Builders, our summer Sunday school program for children K-5th grade, we are hosting a “Guess How Many Bricks” competition in the main entry to our building. Combined with activity books and crayons handed out to every child on Easter (another one on Mother’s Day), we are sure to catch the attention of members and guests alike!

 

Faith Builders 2.0

Faith Builders 2.0 Graphic

In January, I came across David Henderson’s incredible idea and lesson sequence to combine Bible stories with LEGO builds called “Faith Builders.” I loved the idea of engaging children through interactive lessons using something they already enjoy: LEGO bricks! But I knew I needed a more fully developed resource to make this work in ministry with children. So, I expanded on Henderson’s work to develop lesson plans for a one-room, 13-week fun, Bible-based program for classes with children ages 5 to 12 called “Faith Builders 2.0.”

Whether children in a combined class are age 4, 12, or anything in between, these 13 interactive lessons will help kids experience the wonder and adventure of the Bible. Each lesson has minimal preparation and includes a fun LEGO build. Lesson reproducibles compiled from public domain sites are also available to ease preparation and provide leaders with extra time activities (of course, kids could always build more with LEGO bricks!). With step-by-step instructions, it’s easy to teach children about God’s Word through creative play with LEGO bricks. Their lives will never be the same!

Complete Lesson Plans

Lesson Reproducibles

Live Lent Update

prayer pretzel tag

Live Lent was a huge success at my church’s annual Kids’ Spring Retreat! Seeing it in action gave me a better sense of how easy this program is for churches of any size to use. The one place I noted for improvement was in the Cooking Workshop, which needed an extra activity to keep the kiddos from getting restless while their pretzels were baking. And what better than an activity geared to share what they learned with the whole congregation?! Now, the lesson plan includes a fun prayer pretzel reminder craft to assemble to give out on Sunday morning, at an outreach event, or any other time. You can download the updated Cooking Workshop lesson plan with printable tags to complete your Live Lent program.

Cooking Workshop Update

 

Cheers!
Danyelle

 

 

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Live Lent

love-life-live-lent

Lent is a special season in the life of the church that helps us prepare for the celebration of Easter Sunday. Understanding and living the practices of Lent can be difficult for many adults, let alone children. Live Lent is a 4-part curriculum designed to help engage children to live lent by learning more about traditional practices and may be downloaded as a PDF.

In four sessions, which may be offered as a half day Lenten Retreat or over the course of four weeks in Sunday school or at a mid-week program, children will discover the rich traditions of prayer, fasting and almsgiving, and burying the alleluia, as well as the scope of practicing Lent. Each lesson includes a hands on activity to further engage children in multi-sensory learning.

Cheers!

Live Lent Lesson Plans

Live Lent Almsgiving Template

A New Direction

Friends,

I am so grateful for all those who have found this blog helpful in ministry with children and I hope that it will continue to be useful in its new capacity. After three years of lectionary based children’s sermons, Little People Big Word will take a new direction. You will find period posts of lessons for children, which may be used in Sunday school, at a mid-week program, or in a special event. These lessons are free for all to use.

While I will not post any new children’s sermons, you can find a sermon for each day of the Christian calendar in the Table of Contents.

Thank you for your continued support as this blog heads in a new direction. I pray the resources I post here will continue to inspire a love and faithfulness in serving with children in ministry.

 

Take care,

Danyelle Ditmer

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Epiphany 2A

Day: Epiphany 2A

Lectionary Passage: Isaiah 49:1-7

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 49:1, 5

Object: Large mirror draped with a cloth (or a mirror in a bag/box)

Preparation: Keep the mirror hidden behind a draped cloth or inside a bag/box.

Good morning everyone. I’m so glad each and everyone one of you is here this morning. You will never believe who is joining us this morning: The most important people in the whole wide world are just behind this cloth. I’m not kidding. These people are each super special and very important. Should we see who is there? (Pull off the cloth to reveal the mirror so when the children look they will see themselves.) My goodness, it’s you! And you. And you. And you. It’s all of us!

We are the most important people in the world because there is no one else in the whole world who is just like you. (If you happen to have identical twins add: Even the two of you are not exactly the same… mention something about each that is different.) We are all unique. Because that’s the way God made us! Our Scripture tells us that God knew our names and formed us before we were even born. Before your mom or dad or anyone else knew you, God knew you! God made you. And God loves variety. God made each person in the whole world a little different from everyone else. And because God made us, we know we are all very good because God doesn’t make junk.

Let us pray: Thank you God for making us each a little different and loving us for just being ourselves. Amen.

Baptism of the Lord Sunday A

Day: Baptism of the Lord Sunday A

Lectionary Passage: Matthew 3:13-17

Scripture Focus: Matthew 3:13:17

Object: Bleach, dropper/teaspoon, jar, water, and food coloring

Preparation: In a clear jar, add water and 2-3 drops of food coloring.

Hey everyone! Today we are celebrating the Baptism of Jesus. One day, Jesus met up with his cousin, John the Baptist. And at the river Jordan, John baptized Jesus. When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and God said “This is my Son whom I dearly love; I find happiness in him.” Each year we remember and celebrate this event because Baptism is a big part of being friends with Jesus.

In fact, Baptism is a sacrament. That’s a very big and important word, and really it just means “mystery.” You see, we don’t really understand how baptism works, but we know from the Bible that when we are baptized, we are cleansed of sin.

It’s kind of like this water. Right now it’s dark and stained. Kind of like we can be stained by sins. But watch this (add a teaspoon of bleach to the water and stir it around)… Suddenly the water is clear again! It’s totally clean! When we are baptized, God’s Holy Spirit comes down on us, stirs up some grace inside of us, and cleans us of any sin.

I can’t tell you how Baptism works, that’s a mystery only God can explain. But we do know Jesus asked his friends to be baptized. (This is a good opportunity to quickly mention the baptism tradition in your church – infant, believer’s baptism, or all – and invite the children to learn more about their baptism as an infant or being baptized in the church).

Let’s pray together: Thank you God for giving us the holy mystery of baptism so that we can be made clean of sin to follow Jesus’ way. Amen.

Epiphany Sunday A

Day: Epiphany Sunday A

Lectionary Passage: Matthew 2:13-23

Scripture Focus: Matthew 2:13-23

Object: None

Good morning boys and girls! Today is a special day in the church calendar. It’s called Epiphany Sunday. It’s the Sunday we celebrate the Epiphany. You might be wondering, what on earth is Epiphany? It is the day each year that we celebrate the coming of the Wise Men to see Jesus. I bet you thought that happened on Christmas Day! But, oh no, Matthew tells us that the Wise Men didn’t arrive on the day Jesus was born but sometime after. So, we always celebrate their coming to see Jesus 12 days after Christmas.

I’m sure you’ve heard the story before, but let me see if I can share the details real fast: There were three Wise Men or Kings, who followed a star to find Jesus, and they worshipped him as the newborn king. Hmmm…. (you want to act puzzled to give the kids a sense that more is coming), but surely that isn’t the whole story? I mean, it’s great that they came all that way to meet Jesus but the shepherds also came to meet Jesus and we don’t have a whole Sunday just to celebrate them. So, I wonder… I wonder what was so different about the Wise Men…

I know! The Wise Men were Gentiles. That’s a special word used in the Bible for anyone who is not a Jew. This story reminds us that Jesus was born not just for one group of people, but for all people everywhere. You and me, our friends here in church, and even strangers in the farthest parts of the earth. Jesus came to save everyone! The Wise Men are celebrated for their long journey to worship Jesus because they show us that Jesus came for everyone in the whole world!

On Epiphany Sunday, we remember the story of the Wise Men and celebrate more than three people making a long trip. We celebrate that Jesus was born for all people everywhere. I think that’s a good reason to have a special Sunday each year.

Let’s pray: Holy God, thank you for sending your Son to love and save all people. Help us always remember that Jesus’ love is to be shared with everyone, not just one group or another. Amen.

Christmas 1A

Day: Christmas 1A

Lectionary Passage: Isaiah 63:7-9

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 63:9

Object: Timer, whiteboard and marker (or similar objects to make a list)

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day celebration. But did you know, it is still Christmas? Christmas lasts for 12 whole days! Of course, we have the big celebration on December 25 when Jesus was born, but there is still so much to give thanks for because God has done so much for us! We can’t possibly fit it all into one day.

This morning, I thought we would play a quick game of “count your blessings.” I got this idea from Isaiah who tells us to “recount the gracious deeds of the Lord.” Isaiah wants us to remember all the good things God has done for us. So, let’s see how many blessings we can think of to write on this board in 30 seconds. Ready, set, go… (allow the kids to share blessings as you write as many as possible on the whiteboard). Wow, in only 30 seconds, we were able to think of a lot of things to be thankful for. God has done some truely amazing things for us! We are blessed people.

I hope you will always remember to give thanks for all God has done and to count your blessings, the gif tof Jesus being at the very top of the list! When we count our blessings each and every day it helps us remember that we have a lot more to be thankful for than we have to worry about. I hope you will remember to tell others all the blessings God has shared with you and to never forget to be thankful for God’s love.

Let’s pray: Loving God, you are the giver of all good things. We are blessed by the birth of your Son Jesus Christ and give thanks for all you have given to us. Help us to always count our blessings. Amen.