(In process, and I'll update it in the coming weeks as we continue Life Group! Contains links to borrowed activities, as well as my own.)
We're using activities that coincide with the stories in The Jesus Storybook Bible for the kids that come to our Life Group. There are two main benefits of this: faith lessons and thoughts are poured into our kids, not just our grown-ups--and, of course, it helps the grown-ups to focus when the kids are engaged and it isn't complete chaos!
We start with showing the story clip off the Jesus Storybook Bible DVD (or reading it out of the book if technology isn't cooperating). Then we move on to our activities.
Week 1: "The Story and the Song," an introduction story that sets up the premise of this story Bible: that every story whispers His name, a history-long love and adventure story that points to Jesus as the coming Rescuer. Activity: a puzzle, putting pictures from multiple Bible stories together in the shape of a cross. Here's the link to the original Printable Puzzle from My Mundane and Miraculous Life
Week 2--"The Beginning: a Perfect Home." The activity included in the "44 Activities for the JSB" post didn't suit our needs well (not up to serving a multi-course "lunch" to the kiddos in the middle of Life Group). So I made up an activity--or based it on something else I found, I can't honestly remember. Prepped by outlining the numbers 1-7 on a big white paper for the days of creation, and the kids filled in each number with something to represent what God created on the corresponding day. Jessica was with the kiddos this week, and it may possibly have been a handful! This week has had the most kids so far, all sweet. But, you know, it's past bedtime, and there's candy upstairs, and so many buddies to play with, and craft supplies! Thank you for being a trooper, Jessica! Here's my craft example, and the actual product of what my boys came home with:
Week 4 (because week 3 we skipped Life Group to meet together at church for prayer and worship music)--"A Giant Staircase to Heaven: the Tower of Babel." Used the Building Activity by Bare Feet on the Dashboard, though our building blocks are the giant bin of Mega Blocks (like huge legos).
And then I did a second story with the kiddos, "Son of Laughter: Isaac and the Promise." Again, the sensory bin activity in the original "44" post isn't practical, with a bunch of kids in my pastor's very, very tidy house. I looked around awhile, saw a similar little project with dark blue cellophane, and did the same thing with foil over flashlights. Wrap the foil around the flashlight, poke some star holes with a toothpick, then find the darkest room and have all the kids together shine their starry lights up on the ceiling. Just a fun, rather beautiful object lesson to go with God's lavish promise! Here's my test run:
Week 5--"The Forgiving Prince: Joseph and His Brothers." I used the craft found on the Blessings Overflowing blog, a simple paper-bag puppet of Joseph in his technicolor dream coat. Wait...is that how the Bible describes it? :0) I prepped the strips of construction paper, put sticky dots on the backs of googly eyes, and sent along scissors and glue sticks. My hubby was with the kids this week, while I enjoyed the grown-up conversation upstairs. And he even took pictures for me! Thanks, Buddy!
Week 6--"God to the Rescue!" and "God Makes a Way": This week I hunted around for crafts related to the 10 plagues (because again, we're steering clear of the definite-messes that the activities included with the original post create among a small bunch of kids in a tidy house). I found these puppets, but of course would never pay $12 for something I can make out of construction paper :0) So here's my version. Note: I changed them a little, especially the, ahm...tiger? I couldn't find a plague of tigers in Exodus.