Today I went into my son’s nursery class with my story bag that contained:
lots of Duplo men being the crowd around Jesus inside and outside the house - four friends, the paralysed man and Jesus
a big teddy heart
a house with a flat roof and stairs built out of Duplo bricks
a Dublo brick as a mat
Before I started my story time, the teacher asked the children: “What kind of stories is Hanne telling” and one little boy shouted: “It is about Jesus.” I answered yes and they are all from the Bible, the special book that Christian believe in.
We started by singing a song my clever colleague from Child Evangelism Fellowship recommends in her blog “Let Their Light Shine” in her post Bible Storytelling to 2-3 year olds some tips, please use the following link to read more. https://lettheirlightshine.com/bible-story-telling-to-2-3-year-olds-some-tips/
The song goes like this:
‘Hello friends, Hello friends.
How are you? How are you?
It’s time for a story, Time for a story.
Come and listen. Come and listen.’
To the tune ‘Frere Jacques.’
Then I began the story by asking the children to put their hand up if they had a good friend. They all put their hands up. I asked if they could tell me about their friends and a few of them gave me the names of their best friend. “What do you do together as friends?” and some of them still gave me some names of their friends and my son gave me a long story about his friends Hulk and Chewbacca and what they did together. A few of the children started laughing, but I rescued my son by saying, “Just think about how it would be if Hulk was you very best friend!” In the end, one boy answered that you play together with your friends.
Then I began the story by introducing the paralysed man and explained what it meant to be paralysed. I got the children to stand up and said the paralysed man couldn’t use his legs, so he couldn’t walk, I asked the children to walk on the spot. He couldn’t stand on tiptoes and his heels, so we stood on tiptoes and our heels. He couldn’t run and I made everyone run on the spot and we finished off by trying to stand on one leg.
After our little jumping around I took the time to get everyone to sit nicely on the carpet again, before continuing.
I introduced the four friends, which we counted together. We talked about the fact that the best part of having friends is that they can help us when we have problems. These friends loved their friend so much, that they took him to Jesus. They had heard about Jesus and some of the great things he did.
It is the third time I have taught this class about the miracles of Jesus, so I asked them if they could remember what Jesus had done. I had to help them a little by saying, “Can you remember what he did with the little boy’s lunch box, when there were over 5000 people who needed food?” I had to help them again and together we managed to say, he made enough food for all to enjoy and there were even 12 baskets of leftovers. “When there was no more wine at the wedding what did Jesus do?” He made water to wine. “Why could he do this?” And the children answered without my help, “He is the Son of God.”
The friends carried their friend on a mat to Jesus, because they trusted that he was the son of God and they believed he could help their friend. They were not the only ones, who wanted to see, hear and meet Jesus. The Duplo house with the Duplo men came out of the bag, it looked so colourful and fun, that a few kids wanted to play with it and I had to ask them to sit back.
I asked the kids, “What do you think the friends would do? Would they say we have no chance to see Jesus today, let’s go home? No, they saw some stairs to the roof and because the house had a flat roof, they got an idea. They went up the stairs.” - the children and I counted the stairs and removed some of the roof plates. I removed the rest of the plates on the Duplo house and lowered him down in front of Jesus.
Then more of the children came and played with the Duplo house and men, and because they didn’t listen anymore to the story, I took the time to ask them sit down again and promised that I will bring my Duplo for them to play with another day. Sometimes, I let some of the children hold the things from the story bag if it helps them stay focussed, but sometimes, like today, the things from the story bag can just create too much distraction.
I took Jesus out of the house and created the rest of the story outside the house with the Duplo men. I asked how they would react if someone destroyed their roof and came through it. I looked up at the ceiling while asking them. “I think, I would first be shocked and then angry, but Jesus saw the four friends’ faith and loved the paralysed man.” I took the big teddy heart out, and reminded them that Jesus wants to help us with big and small things in our life. “Jesus wanted to help this man and said; I forgive your sins, to the man, but some men got angry.” I asked the children to make an angry face. “The men were thinking, does he think he is God? Jesus wanted to show them that he is the Son of God and he said what is easier to say, your sins are forgiven or take up your mat and walk? He turned to the man and said; “Take up your mat and walk,” and the paralysed man got up.” I acted out for them how I think he slowly got up, start walking and maybe even dancing a little.
“People were surprised and started to praise God and they knew Jesus was the Son of God.”
One of the boys said: “Wow, Jesus is doing magic tricks.” I reminded him, that people have to do magic tricks, but Jesus, who is the Son of God, is doing miracles, something that only he can do that is real and awesome.
I just love my time with the children in my son’s class and it is a treat for me to go and teach them.
My preparation for doing a session with my story bag contains of making an outline after reading the story in the Bible, this time it was from Mark 2, 1-12 and reading a suggestion to how to teach this story to children in the teaching material: Little Kids can know God through his miracles, which is a free and you can find online using this link: http://www.teachkids.eu/pdfs/lk_miracles.pdf
In my outline I write down where I want the children to interact and what objects I am using and when to show the objects in my story.