And Fall-Autumn Activities - Sent in by Dianne Bracher
The Peter Pumpkin Story
When the light of Jesus, shining through us flickers and goes out because of sin in our life, Jesusí death can restore that light.
One pumpkin, ready to carve, sharp knife, candle for inside of pumpkin, matches
Have children offer their suggestions on how to carve a face in the pumpkin. Proceed to carve a mouth, nose, and two eyes. Insert the candle and light.
"Now letís pretend that this pumpkin is one of our friends. Letís name him Peter Pumpkin. Pete Pumpkin is in (pick a grade or class that matches your group) like us."
Peter woke up one morning bright and happy and ready for the day. His light was shining and he felt good. Letís see what happens Peterís day.
"Oh, Peter!" cried his mother, "Did you remember to brush your teeth this morning?" "Yes, Mother," Peter lied. He really hadnít brushed his teeth, but if he stopped to do it now, heíd be late for school! So Peter lied. Peterís mouth wasnít shining quite so brightly any more.
(Put the mouth piece from the pumpkin back in the mouth hole)
So Peter went on his way to school. He felt kind of bad lying to his mother, but he wasnít going to let it spoil his day. When he got to school, some of his friends were playing with the toys already. Peter went over, too, but they had already started using the ones he wanted. (you can adapt this to be art supplies or whatever matches your group) Peter wanted the toys too. When one of the boys left, to go talk to his teacher, Peter took the toy. Oops, there goes part of Peterís happy face. (insert eye piece)
Continue with similar stories for the remaining parts of the pumpkin face, each time, inserting another piece until the whole face is back in place. Watch what happens to the light.
"Peterís light has gone out. His face is all dark and sad now."
(Relate this to sin in our lives.)
"There is a way for Peterís face to get bright and happy again. Itís the same way that our sin can get taken care of. Do you know who helps our sin?"
With the answer of "Jesus" --carve a cross into the other side of the pumpkin. Pop out the face pieces again, and light the candle.
"With Jesus in your life, your light will never go out. The Bible tells us that Jesus is our light and that when He shines through us, our sins are forgiven and His love shines through instead!"
Relate how we may still sin (at this point put the pieces back into the face, except the cross) but with Jesus, the light will not go out--He is with us always!
Use your "Christian Jack-O-Lantern" at home and shine the cross out the window on October 31st. A witness for all the passers-by!
(Originally sent in from *Karen Schuster, Redeemer Lutheran--Flint, MI)
Perky the Orange Pumpkin
Once upon a time, there was a little orange pumpkin named Perky. One day he looked around in the pumpkin patch and saw that all his friends were orange. He thought he would like to be some other color. So he sat up proud and said, "Iím a pumpkin round and fat, (make a round shape with hands) and I can change my color (point to self) just like that!" (on that, snap your fingers)
All of a sudden, at the snap of his fingers, he was a green pumpkin. Green as the grass. Perky went to play with the other pumpkins, but what do you think happened? His friends did not see him because he was the same color as the grass. He was disappointed. He didnít think it was fun to be a green pumpkin. So he said, (encourage the children to join in and repeat motions as above) "Iím a pumpkin round and fat, and I can change my color just like that!"
And then what color was he? He was blue, all over! Blue like the water and blue like the sky. Perky was so proud of his pretty new color that he decided to go for a walk and let everyone admire him.
He came to a little pond of water. But do you know what happened? Perky leaned over to look at himself and kerplop! Splash, he went into the water. Poor little Perky did not know how to swim. He was scared. He called for help. He called so loudly, his friends came rolling over to help him. They looked in the water but they could not see him because he was blue like the water.
Luckily, his friend, Timothy Turtle came swimming by. He told Perky to climb on his back. Timothy Turtle gave him a safe ride back to the shore. Perky thanked his friend for helping him. Right there he decided he didnít want to be blue anymore. So he said, "Iím a pumpkin round and fat, and I can change my color just like that!"
And what color was he then? He was yellow like the sun. He was so proud of his new color. He decided to go back to the pumpkin patch and show his friends. Well, when his friends saw him they laughed and said, "You look silly." How do you think that made Perky feel? He felt embarrassed and sad. He decided to show them and make himself into a better color. So he said, "Iím a pumpkin, round and fat, and I can change my color, just like that!"
And what color was he then? He was red, red like an apple. He began to go back and show his friends, when he saw people coming to pick a special pumpkin to take home. He thought for sure that he would get chosen because he was such a beautiful color red. But the people walked right past him. They looked at all the others and said "This one is nice and round and fat, AND such a beautiful ORANGE color." Many of Perkyís friends found new homes that day. But not Perky.
Perky decided he didnít want to be a red pumpkin anymore. He decided he didnít want to be yellow, or blue, or green either. Do you know what he thought? He thought he would just like to be himself, round and fat and a beautiful orange color - maybe he would find a nice home like his friends. So Perky said, "Iím a pumpkin round and fat, and I can change my color just like that!" And what color do you suppose he was now? A beautiful orange!
Just then a family came to the pumpkin patch. The children got out and ran to Perky. "This is the best one weíve seen all day." Said the little girl. "Can we take him home, please?" Said the little boy. And they scooped Perky up in their arms and took him home. Now Perky was a very happy pumpkin just being himself. Just the way God made him - an orange pumpkin.
*I do this story as a flannel story. I trace a good size pumpkin cookie cutter and cut all the pumpkins the same way/size. You can draw a face on it if you like. You can cut them out of flannel or out of paper and then laminate. Put Velcro on the back to use on flannel board or a magnet and use on a cookie sheet for storytelling. I am told this is a re-telling of a popular childrenís book. It opens the discussion of being happy with how God made us. He knows best. I received it from Janet Stoll, Kindergarten teacher at Zion Early Learning Center, in Bay City, Mi. Enjoy!
"I am a Jack Oí Lantern" Craft
Large pumpkin shape out of orange paper (fill an 8 1/2 by 11"), two yellow star eyes, green cross nose, red Christian-fish shape for mouth, poem for back of pumpkin.
*Cut out pumpkin shape from tag board, construction paper or poster board. I fill an 8-1/2 by 11" paper so I can run pattern through copier. Type up poem to glue to back of pumpkin. Use the poem as a devotional as you have children glue on features. Display them.
Jack Oí Lantern Poem
I am a Jack Oí Lantern
My lights will shine so bright
For Iím a Christian pumpkin
My symbols tell whatís right
My nose is like the cross
On which our Savior died
To set us free from sin
We need no longer hide
My mouth is like a fish
The whole wide world to show
That Christians live in this house
And love their Savior so!
The story starts at Christmas
My eyes are like the star
That shone on Baby Jesus
And wise men saw from far
My color, it is orange
Just like the big bright sun
That rose on Easter Day
Along with Godís own Son
And so on Halloween
Letís set our pumpkins out
And tell the trick or treaters
What Godís love is all about!
* Diane Bracher writes, "I got this from my sister. She has taught preschool for over 20 years."
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