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SSTN # 8 - January 27, 2005

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1) Love One Another craft
2) Chaplain in Iraq   
3) Ideas for 3 year olds
4) Parables of Jesus?
Sample Lessons........download them today!

5) Less Cutesy Crafts...Need Spiritual meat
6) Igloo made from milk jugs?
7) Attendance Consistency?
8) Star Craft
9) Pine Tree Crosses

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1) Love One Another craft

I teach toddlers in SS.  I take pictures of the class during the year and
this is a great way to use them. We made a friendship book for each to

Materials needed:
I cut regular construction paper of various colors in half.
Clipart or magazine picture of a boy and girl(1 for each child)
Red construction paper hearts(1 for each child)
Pictures of the kids doing things in SS together( copy on regular white
paper, 1 for each child)
Pictures of each child individual(copy on regular paper, 1 for each child)
Printed Bible verses about friendship and loving one another( 1 copy of
verse for each child)
Clip art picture of Jesus with children(1 copy for each child)
glue sticks
hole punch

Prep: I punched 3 holes on each color of construction paper.  I pre cut 3
small pieces of ribbon to tie each child's book together. I precut the
pictures out for each child, and precut the Bible verses.  Write "Love One
Another" in the middle of each red heart. It looks better to have color
copies of the pictures of the kids, but Blk and white is OK
To make:  Let the children glue the pieces on their books.  For the cover,
let the child glue the clipart or magazine picture of a boy and girl with
the red heart between them.  For each page let them glue 1 picture and 1
friendship bible verse.  I even included a picture of the SS teachers. 
last page should have the picture of Jesus with children and I used the
verse, "We love because he first loved us."(1John4:19).  Thread a precut
ribbon thru each page and knot closed to make a book.
The kids and parents loved this.  My son still has his and loves looking
his old SS friends and can remember the Bible verses on the pages!

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2) Chaplain in Iraq            

This is a very urgent prayer concern from a chaplain
serving in Iraq:
    As a transportation battalion, my unit will be delivering the voting
    machines and the ballots to villages and cities throughout Iraq
    during the upcoming elections. (January 30/31) Our convoys are prime
    targets for the insurgents because they do not want the equipment to
    arrive at the polling stations nor do they want the local Iraqi
    citizens to have the chance to vote; timely delivery must occur so
    that the elections occur. Encourage your friends and family members
    and those within our churches to pray specifically for the
    electoral process. Historically, the previous totalitarian regime
    would not allow individual citizens to vote. Democracy will not be
    realized in Iraq if intelligent and competent officials are not
    elected to those strategic leadership positions within the emerging
    government; freedom will not have an opportunity to ring throughout
    this country if the voting process fails. Announce this prayer
    request to your contacts throughout your churches, neighborhoods,
    and places of business.  Those with leadership roles within the
    local church post this message in as many newsletters and bulletins
    as possible. There is unlimited potential for God's presence in this
    process but if we do not pray then our enemy will prevail (See
    Ephesians 6:10-17)

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3) Ideas for 3 year olds

I'd suggest "short and sweet" as a motto :)    Three-year-olds are, as you
noted, still close to 2, and are little children (sometimes I think we
expect them to be little adults, but that's a soap box for another time)
and have generally have short attention spans and need to move.
The Bible Pray & Play books already suggested would be good resources for
you. They have a variety of activities for each story. Also, the stories
are short and pictures large.
Do you have a curriculum to work with? They usually have suggestions for
activities, songs (often to familiar tunes, so they're easy for you and
the children to pick up), finger plays, etc. Anything with movement, from
finger plays to action songs to large muscle activities (acting out the
story) will help to engage their attention and help them remember the
Two books I'd suggest are old but I still use them frequently with my 4-6
year olds : Piggyback songs in praise of Jesus : new songs sung to the
tunes of childhood favorites (ISBN  0-911019-11-1 ), Piggyback songs in
praise of God (ISBN  0-911019-10-3 ).  I see that the author also has a
book  1-2-3 games : no-lose group games for young children (ISBN 
0-911019-09-X ) which might be helpful.
I heard somewhere a long time ago a basic rule-of-thumb : attention spans
are about 1 minute/year. So for 3 year olds, about 3 minues! Yes, there
are exceptions, and things you can do to keep attention (use visuals -
they're still entranced by flannelgraph, even though it's low-tech, vary
activities - active movement, then sit to listen, then sing a song, etc.,
be dramatic!) so plan on switching activities often. Another thing I
learned long ago is that they don't have to sit like statues in order to
pay attention; in fact, the effort to sit totally still could mean they'll
miss what you're saying. Fidgeting, playing with a shoe string, etc. is
natural/normal for 3 year olds. My rule always has been "touch only
yourself or what belongs to you - put your hands on your lap, in your
pockets, on your shoes, etc."
One last thing : they're still learning basic concepts, so it may be hard
to get them to sit in a group without being right on top of each other.
Carpet samples work well to give them their own space, and can be used for
story time, as "base" for games (ex. walk around the room like an
elephant, until I say "home", then go back to your carpet), as their space
for action songs, etc.
Hope this helps.
Linda in cold, snowy Ohio

--from SSTN: type the titles into the Bookstore search box to locate these

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4) Parables of Jesus

I am interested in lessons and puzzles, crafts, etc, on the Parables of
Jesus. Does anyone have any ideas on this subject?  I recently bought the
book "The Parables of Jesus" published by ChristianCrafters.com, but there
are so many more parables mentioned in the Bible that the book does not
cover. I would appreciate any ideas or web sites anyone would have.
Thank You,
Cincinnati, Ohio
--from SSTN: See "Vineyard Workers" below.

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More Sample Lessons....download them today!

"Vineyard Workers"

"Blind To See" skit from "Amazing Miracles of the Bible":

"Living Water Relays" game from "Spirit Gifts":

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5) Less Cutesy Crafts...Need Spiritual meat

While it is true some teachers over use crafts or use them exclusively, it
also true children learn in different way.  Some children use a "hands on"
approach to hear the lesson.  Games reinforce what has been taught. 
Children need to hear in many different ways.  I think it is important to
plan for each of the learning types in your class.
Sincerely in Christ,

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6) Igloo made from milk jugs?

I have been searching the igloo pattern made from milk jugs - I found your
site and it gave the link to go to your site but I can't locate it once I
am on the site.  Can you help?

--from SSTN: yes, the picture was in the site a few years ago, but it is
no longer there. Hopefully someone will remember how it was made.

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7) Attendance Consistency?

We have two services on sunday and offer ss in the second service only.
The numbers didn't warrant a program in the first. I know there has to be
other churches experiencing the same as us with consistancy in ss. One
week the numbers are up the next way down and some kids come every other
sunday as  they come from blended families. This has become very
frusturating for planning classes.  Please any advice out there for us up
here in Canada. Also curriculuum you can use with any amount of kids and

Thanks so much  Penny ontario canada

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8) Star Craft

I did a neat star craft with my Sunday school class this year. I took five
popsical sticks and used a hot glue gun to glue them into the shape of a
 star (the night before). Then I mixed yellow paint with some white glue
(quite a bit so glitter and stick on) and the kids painted them. When they
finished one side I sprinkled some gold or silver glitter on.  Let the one
side dry then do the other side. Tie ribbon or string to the top. The kids
loved this craft. Hope this helps

Melissa Green

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9) Pine Tree Crosses


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