GAMES! * CRAFTS! * BIBLE POINTS!
BASIC POINT: God provided for us and we should be thankful in ALL circumstances.
BIBLE FOCUS: Suggested text: 1 Chronicles 16:34, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, 1 Chronicles 16: 34,
Luke 7:11-19, Genesis 1:29.
TEACHING POINT: Encourage the children to consider why we should give thanks to God, not just because we receive from him, but because of who he is. Reflect on 1 Chronicles 16:34.
HARVEST PARTY IDEAS FOR 5-7 AGE RANGE
PRAISE TIME: Make a chart of the songs you wish to include in this session. Decorate it with apple pictures. Ask one of the Leaders to move the pointer slowly down the list of songs. Explain to the children that they choose the song to be sung by clapping the loudest when the pointer is opposite their favorite song.
PLAY ORCHARD RELAYS: Before class, draw a large picture of an empty apple tree for each team. When the kids arrive, have them make a cardboard apple about 15cm in diameter. Have them write their names and something they are thankful for onto their apples. Divide class into teams. The teams line up in single file, opposite their tree. Between the teams and their trees is a simple obstacle course with four or five obstacles. There could be a table to go under; chairs to weave in and out of; an old blanket to wriggle under or a skipping rope to jump over - the choice is yours! At the GO, teams run the obstacle course to their tree, tape the apples on, then race back to tag off to the next player on their team. First team to place all their apples onto their apple tree is the winning team!
FEED THE MONSTER GAME: Tell the children about the apple monster who lives in a far away orchard and has to be fed with apples. Give each group a large cardboard cut out of a monster's head. Each group lines up opposite their monster and each member in turn throws an "apple" (ball of crumpled newspaper) into the monster's mouth. The group with the most apples through the mouth, in a given space of time, wins.
OBJECT TALK: Begin with an apple tasting session. Offer the children a variety of apple slices to try. Point out the different skin color, texture, taste and use of each apple. Split an apple open and encourage the group to look at it in detail before thanking God for the wonder of creation.
STORY: "The 10 Lepers" - Luke 17:11-19 - focus on the fact that although all ten men were healed, only one gave thanks to God.
CHOMPY CATERPILLAR CRAFT: Give each child a plain white paper plate, ask them to decorate it to represent an apple. Next cut a hole in the center of the plate while the children make a caterpillar from cardboard. Attach one end of a length of thin elastic/thread firmly to the caterpillar, attach the other end to the underside of the plate. Allow enough thread to enable the caterpillar to be flipped from under the plate, over the edge and down the hole. Object point: While you play with your Chompy Caterpillar, remember this, "When life gnaws at you, remember to turn to God and ask him to help you. God loves you and is always willing to listen and help you!"
PRAYER: We are sorry Lord Jesus that only one of the ten lepers remembered to say thank you. You gave them such a wonderful gift when you healed them and you didn't take it back when they forgot about you. Thank you for your love. Please help us not to treat you like that. You give us many good things to enjoy. May we remember that all good things come from you. Help us to say thank you. Amen.
HARVEST PARTY IDEAS FOR 8-11 AGE RANGE
PRAISE TIME: Have a fast moving action song session. Why not have a basket of real apples, each with a number on it? The numbers should correspond to a song or a chorus. Choose a child and ask them to close their eyes and pick an apple. Everyone then sings the song for that number.
CHOOSE A CHAIR: Each group lines up in single file, opposite a row of chairs. On the seat of each chair is a slip of paper detailing a task to be attempted and the equipment to complete it. Number children and number each chair. The game begins when a leader shouts out a child's number and a chair number. ie. "Number fours to chair three." On reaching the numbered chair, the children numbered "four" attempt the task. After 30 seconds they return to their group and the next numbers are called. Give 2 points for a good performance, 1 point for a good try. Make sure everyone has at least one turn.
Extra Ideas: 3 apples to juggle; a ball to be bounced on the head as many times as possible; one apple to be balanced on your head for 15 seconds; a slice of apple to be eaten without licking your lips. The winning group is the one with the most points.
CHOCOLATE APPLES: Work in small groups as this will help leaders to supervise. Give each child an apple to eat. Provide melted chocolate to coat the apples. It is easier to coat an apple if it has a well-defined stalk or is skewered onto a wooden apple stick. Once the children have coated their apples with chocolate, rest the apples on non-stick baking parchment and allow the children to decorate them with sugar sprinkles, small sweets, etc. The apples could be turned into faces or decorated in the colors of a favorite football team. Allow the chocolate to set, then let the children take their apple home at the end of the day.
PRAYER: Give thanks for the huge variety of food that God provides for us daily. Remind the children that not everyone in the world is so fortunate. If you know of Missionaries supported by your church in third world countries, you could introduce children to the person or family and pray for them specifically.
ACROSTIC POSTER CRAFT: Give each child a poster sized piece of paper have them write Thank You God vertically down the side of the paper. Provide old magazines, greetings cards, postcards, etc. for the children to look through. They should try to find one picture of something to thank God for which begins with one of the letters contained in the phrase "Thank You God," e.g. pictures of trees could be placed next to the letter T, pictures of apples could be placed next to the letter A and so on. Suggest they could use more than one picture for each letter. While the children work, talk about the types of gifts God gives us and how we should thank him for them.
* If you have time, retell the story of the 10 lepers, found in Luke 17:11-19. Focus on the fact that although all ten men were healed, only one gave thanks to God.
Copyright 2000 Lynne, from Bonny Scotland.
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