Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Birth of Jesus

Luke 2:1-7

At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order to all people in the countries that were under Roman rule. The order said that they must list their names in a register. This was the first registration taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone went to their own towns to be registered.

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea. This town was known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary because she was engaged to marry him. (Mary was now pregnant.) While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, the time came for her to have the baby. She gave birth to her first son. There were no rooms left in the inn. So she wrapped the baby with cloths and laid him in a box where animals are fed.

Discussion Questions

· Where did Joseph go to be counted?  To Bethlehem
· Who went with him? Mary, because she was engaged to him.
· What happened while they were in Bethlehem? It was time for Mary to have the baby.
· Did she have a bed for him? No, she laid him in a feed box.
· What was the baby’s name?     Jesus!


Dear God,Thank you for the story of Baby Jesus.  Thank you for teaching us that you do what you promise, and you help us to always be happy.Amen.

Bible Verse for December

“God loved us and sent his Son.”   1 John 4:10


Singing: Mary Had a Baby Boy
(tune: Mary Had a Little Lamb )

Mary had a baby boy, baby boy, baby boy
Mary had a baby boy, and she named Him Jesus

He was born in a manger, in a manger, in a manger
He was born in a manger, among all the hay

Mary had a baby boy, baby boy, baby boy
Mary had a baby boy, and she named Him Jesus

The shepherds came to visit him, visit him, visit him.
The shepherds came to visit him, because the angel told them.

Mary had a baby boy, baby boy, baby boy
Mary had a baby boy, and she named Him Jesus

The three wise men brought him gifts, brought him gifts, brought him gifts.
The three wise men brought him gifts, Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh

Mary had a baby boy, baby boy, baby boy
Mary had a baby boy, and she named Him Jesus


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Angels Tell The News

Luke 2:8-20

That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep. An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and suddenly they became very frightened. The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am bringing you some good news. It will be a joy to all the people. Today your Savior was born in David’s town. He is Christ, the Lord. This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box.”

Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel. All the angels were praising God, Saying: “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace to the people who please God.”

Then the angels left the shepherds and went back to heaven. The shepherds said to each other, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened. We will see this thing the Lord told us about.”

So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph. And the shepherds saw the baby lying in a feeding box. Then they told what the angels had said about this child. Everyone was amazed when they heard what the shepherds said to them. Mary hid these things in her heart; she continued to think about them. Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything that they had seen and heard. It was just as the angel had told them.

Discussion Questions

  • Who told the shepherds about Jesus’ birth?  The angels.
  • Where did the angels tell the shepherds they would find the baby?  Lying in a feeding box. 
  • What was the first thing the shepherds did? They went to Bethlehem to see Jesus and then told everyone about his birth. 
  • How did people feel about what the shepherds told them? They were amazed. 
  • What did the shepherds do after they visited Baby Jesus? They went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him.


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of the Angels who told the good news, and for the Shepherds who went to see Baby Jesus.  Thank you for sending us your son, Jesus, as a baby.

Bible Verse for December

“God loved us and sent his Son.”  1 John 4:10


Angel Matching

Begin by cutting out pictures of angels from Christmas cards, gift wrap, ads, napkins, computer printouts, etc (NOTE: each picture should be different from the others).  If you use only Christmas cards, simply cut off the front flap of the card. Otherwise, glue the angel pictures to construction paper or cardboard to make them easier to handle.  Then cut each picture in half, horizontally.  Keep the top and bottom halves separate. Mix up the top halves. Then mix up the bottom halves.  Give your child one of the top halves and then ask her to find the  bottom half that matches the top half.  Continue until all the matches are made.

Talk About:
  • What do you think angels look like?
  • Who did the angels visit in our story?
  • How do you think the people in our story felt about seeing the angels?
  • Who sent the angels? 

 Which Animal?

Choose one family member to be a stable keeper. The stable keeper stands on one side of the room, and the rest of the family stands on the other side.  Ask the stable keeper to think silently of an animal that might have been in the stable the night Jesus was born.  Then the stable keeper should make the noise of that animal. The other family members now pretend to be that animal and make its sound while moving like that animal, across the room to the stable keeper. Once all the animals have made it to the stable keeper, the stable keeper goes to the opposite side of the room. Play continues as the new stable keeper thinks of an animal and makes the sound. (If your stable keeper needs help thinking of an animal, whisper a suggestion to her: cow, horse, donkey, dog, cat, chicken, sheep, bird, mouse, etc).

Talk About:
  • What is a stable?
  • What kinds of things might you see in a stable besides animals?
  • What might a stable smell like?
  • Why was Baby Jesus born in a stable?
  • Who visited him at the stable?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mary Hears the Good News

Matthew 1:18-25

The mother of Jesus Christ was Mary.  And this is how the birth of Jesus came about.  Mary was engaged to marry Joseph.  But before they married, she learned that she was going to have a baby.  
She was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man.  He did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly.

While Joseph thought about this, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream.  The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife.  The baby in her is from the Holy Spirit..  She will give birth to a son.  You will name the son Jesus.”  Give him that name because  he will save his people from their sins.”

All this  happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will be pregnant.  She will have a son, and they will name him Immanuel.”  This name means “God is with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do.  Joseph married Mary.  And Joseph named the son Jesus.

Discussion Questions

  • Who was Jesus Christ’s mother?  Mary
  • Mary was going to marry a good man.  What was his name? Joseph.
  • Why did they name him Jesus?  He will save his people from sin.
  • What does Immanuel mean?  God with us.


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of Joseph and Mary.  Please help us remember that God so loved the world he sent his son Jesus to save us from our sin.  

Bible Verse for December

“God loved us and sent His son.    1 John 4:10


Song:  Three Little Angels

God placed three little angels round my head
one to sing one to pray and one to keep me safe at play

God placed three little angels round my bed one to sing one pray and one to keep me safe 'til day

God placed three little angels round my head
one to singone to prayand one to keep me safe at play

He gave me Jesus on Christmas Eve,
I am celebrating,
I do believe.
Jesus is born! Angels sing on high!

God placed three little angels round my bed
One to sing
One pray
And one to keep me safe 'til day

He gave me Jesus on Christmas Eve,
I am celebrating,
I do believe.
Jesus is born! Angels sing on high!

God placed three little angels round my bedone to singone prayand one to keep me safe 'til day

He gave me Jesus on Christmas Eve, 
I am celebrating, 
I do believe. 
Jesus is born! Angels sing on high!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


“I will praise God in a song.  I will honor him by giving thanks.” 

“Let’s come to him with thanksgiving.  Let’s sing songs to him.” 

Psalm 69:30; 95:2

As the name indicates, Thanksgiving is a time for us all to pause and give God thanks for the blessings we have received in the past year.

Each one of us on the Children of Hope staff is blessed by the precious little ones you bring to this school. We are thankful for them, and for all of you — parents and caregivers — for giving us the opportunity to teach them the basics they’ll need for Kindergarten, but more importantly, about Jesus.

This issue of “Hope for Families” is simply an assortment of ideas for you to use or be inspired by to praise to Lord for His goodness, and to help teach our children to do the same.

 Discussion Questions

  • Who gives us all of our blessings? God
  • Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving?  To thank God for all the things he has given us and all the blessings we have received
  • What are you thankful for?


Dear God,
Thank you for all the blessings you have given us this year.  Thank you for teaching us that you do what you promise, and you help us do good to others.

Bible Verse for November

“Give thanks to the Lord. His love is forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:34


Thanksgiving Thank You Note
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show others how much they’re appreciated. With a little help, preschoolers will enjoy writing thank you notes to special family members and friends this holiday season. The Thanksgiving thank you note activity is a wonderful exercise to help preschoolers take stock of the blessings in their life and is certain to become a cherished holiday tradition for both the thank you note writer and the recipient.

Thanksgiving Tablecloth Family Activity
Give thanks as a family this holiday season by creating a uniquely personal tablecloth for your Thanksgiving table. For this family activity, invite family members young and old to preserve festive drawings and sentiments of thanks with crayons on a paper tablecloth, prior to sitting down to your Thanksgiving meal. This activity could also be done using paper placemats instead of a paper tablecloth

Make a Thankfulness Turkey

· Several sheets of construction paper in fall colors (brown, orange, red, & yellow)
· Black marker
· Scissors
· Glue
· Pinking shears or decorative scissors (optional)

  • Trace your child’s foot on a brown piece of paper and  cut each one out. This part will be the head and body of your turkey — the heel is the head and the toes are the belly.
  • Draw on the eyes with the marker. Write on the body “(child’s name) is thankful for…”
  • Using the pinking shears, decorative scissors, or regular scissors, cut out 5-6 “feathers” from the additional construction paper. It seems to be easiest make them “football” shaped and each one should be about the same length as the body.
  • Cut out the red “waddle” and an orange triangle for the beak from the scrap paper, and glue them on the face.
  • Help your child write one thing on each feather that he is thankful for. Glue one end of each feather to the back side of the body so you can see the writing from the front.
  • This makes a great decoration for Thanksgiving, as well as allows us to think about all the things with which God has blessed us.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Baby Moses

Exodus 1:22; 2:1-10

So the Pharaoh commanded all his people: “Every time a boy is born to the Hebrews, you must throw him into the Nile River. But let all the girl babies live.”

There was a man from the family of Levi. He married a woman who was also from the family of Levi. She became pregnant and gave birth to  a son. She saw how wonderful the baby was, and she hid him for three months.

But after three months, she was not able to hide the baby any longer. So she got a basket and covered it with tar so that it would float. She put the baby in the basket. Then she put the basket among the tall grass at the edge of the Nile River. The baby’s sister stood a short distance away. She wanted to see what would happen to him.

Then the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt came to the river. She was going to take a bath. Her servant girls were walking beside the river. She saw the basket in the tall grass. So she sent her slave girl to get it. The Pharaoh’s daughter opened the basket and saw the baby boy. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. She said, “This is one of the Hebrew babies.”

Then the baby’s sister, Miriam, asked the Pharaoh’s daughter, “Would you like me to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the baby for you?”

The Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Yes, please.” So the girl went and got the baby’s own mother.

The Pharaoh’s daughter said to the woman, “Take this baby and nurse him for me. I will pay you.” So the woman took her baby and nursed him. After the child had grown older, the woman took him to the Pharaoh’s daughter. She adopted the baby as her own son. The Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses, because she had pulled him out of the water.

Discussion Questions

  • Who wanted to kill the Israelite baby boys?   Pharaoh
  • How did Moses’ mother protect him from the Egyptians? She prayed to God and then she hid him in a basket.
  • Who found the basket with Baby Moses inside? Pharaoh’s  daughter


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of Moses and the way you protected him from harm. Help us to be thankful for all the great things you have done for us.  Amen.

Bible Verse for November

“Give thanks to the Lord.  His love is forever.”      1 Chronicles 16:34


Make a Basket for Moses

This project is to make a basket like the one made from reeds used to float Baby Moses in the Nile River. This easy craft boosts counting and fine motor skills. You can also use the same technique to make woven placemats or picture frames.
· Construction paper in two different colors
· A 5-inch paper plate
· Glue or rubber cement
· Scissors

  1. Start by cutting your construction paper. You’ll need 8 strips, each about 12 inches long and 3/4-inch wide.
  2. Now, arrange the strips, two at a time, so that they form an X. Use glue to secure each X in the center. You’ll make four of these.
  3. Once the glue is dry, arrange the Xs fanned out in a stack so that they look like a star or an asterisk. Keep the spaces between each arm of the shape as even as you can. Use glue to connect all the Xs together. Let dry.
  4. Use your paper plate to trace a circle on a sheet of construction paper. Cut out the circle and glue it carefully in the center of the star shape. This makes the bottom of your basket. Let the glue dry.
  5. While you wait for it to dry, prepare your weaving strips. You’ll need to cut four strips about 16 inches long and ½-inch wide. (If you’re using standard-size construction paper, you’ll need to glue two pieces together at the edges to make the size you need.)
  6. Once the circle has dried, fold up the long arms of the star from the edge of the circle one by one to make the body of the basket.
  7. Take one of the long strips. Use a piece of tape to secure it to the first of the arms and begin weaving over and under all the way around the basket until you reach the tape. Carefully remove the tape and use glue to attach the beginning of the long strand to its end. Hold in place to dry.
  8. Repeat for each of the four long pieces, then let basket dry.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Daniel and The Lion's Den

Daniel 6:1-28

King Darius thought it would be a good idea to choose 120 governors. They would rule through all of his kingdom. And he chose three men as supervisors over those 120 governors. Daniel was one of these three supervisors. Daniel showed that he could do the work better than the other supervisors and governors. Because of this, the king planned to put Daniel in charge of the whole kingdom. So the other supervisors and governors tried to find reasons to accuse Daniel, but they could not find anything wrong with him.

Daniel was trustworthy. He was not lazy and did not cheat the king. Finally these men said, “We will never find any reason to accuse Daniel. But we must find something to complain about. It will have to be about the law of his God.”

So the supervisors and the governors went as a group to the king. They said, “King Darius, live forever! We have all agreed on something. We think the king should make this law that everyone would have to obey: No one should pray to any god or man except for you, our king. This should be done for the next 30 days. Anyone who doesn’t obey will be thrown into the lions’ den.” So King Darius made the law and had it written.

When Daniel heard that the law had been written, he went to his house. He went to his upstairs room. The windows of that room opened toward Jerusalem. Three times each day, Daniel got down on his knees and prayed. He prayed and thanked God, just as he had always done.

Then those men went as a group and found Daniel. They saw him praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king. They talked to him about the law he had made. They said, “Didn't you write a law that says no one may pray to any god or man except you, our king? Doesn't it say that anyone who disobeys during the next 30 days will be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “Yes, I wrote that law.” Then those men spoke to the king. They said, “Daniel is not paying attention to the law you wrote. Daniel still prays to his God three times every day.”

So King Darius gave the order. They brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May the God you serve all the time save you!” A big stone was brought. It was put over the opening of the lions’ den. Then the king used his signet ring to put his special seal on the rock. And he used the rings of his royal officers to put their seals on the rock also. This showed that no one could move that rock and bring Daniel out. Then King Darius went back to his palace. He did not eat that night. He could not sleep.

The next morning, King Darius got up at dawn. He hurried to the lions’ den. As he came near the den, he was worried. He called out to Daniel. He said, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Has your God that you always worship been able to save you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “My king, live forever! My God sent his angel to close the lions’ mouths. They have not hurt me, because my God knows I am innocent. I never did anything wrong to you, my king.”

King Darius was very happy. He told his servants to lift Daniel out of the lions’ den. So they lifted him out and did not find any injury on him. This was because Daniel had trusted his God.

Discussion Questions

  • Why didn't the other supervisors and governors like Daniel?  Because Daniel was not lazy and did not cheat the king.
  • What law did King Darius make? Everyone had to pray to him.
  • Did Daniel obey the king’s law? No, Daniel prayed to God.
  • What happened to Daniel for disobeying the king’s law? He was thrown into the lions’ den.
  • Who protected Daniel? God!


Dear God,
Thank you for the story of Daniel and the Lions’ Den.  Help us to remember that you do mighty miracles in heaven and on earth. 

Bible Verse for November

“Give thanks to the Lord.  His love is forever.”   1 Chronicles 16:34


Science Experiment: Making a Volcano

  • Aluminum foil
  • One short paper cup
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • tablespoon

 Guide Your Child to:
  • Help wrap foil around the paper cup so that the foil slope outward like the sides of a hill.
  • Put the baking soda in the cup
  • Pour vinegar over the baking soda, one tablespoon at a time.

 Talk about with Your Child:
  • Have you ever seen a picture of a real volcano? What was it like? (you might want to have one from a book or magazine, or one printed from the Internet to show your child)
  • A volcano brings trouble for people who live around it. What kind of trouble did Daniel have
  • in our story? What happened to him?
  • Who helps us and takes care of us in times of trouble?
  • Share with your child about a time when there was trouble for you but God helped you.
  • Encourage your child to do the same.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

God is kind to Widow

1 Kings 17:7-16

After a while the brook dried up because there was no rain.  Then the Lord spoke his word to Elijah, “Go to Zarephath in Sidon.  Live there, I have commanded a widow there to take care of you.”

So Elijah went to Zarephath.  When he reached the town gate, he saw a widow there.  She was gathering wood for a fire. Elijah asked her, “Would you bring me a little water in a cup?  I would like to have a drink.”  As she was going to get his water, Elijah said, “Please bring me a piece of bread, too.”

The woman answered , “As surely as the Lord your God lives, I tell you the truth.  I have no bread.  I have only a handful of flour in a jar.  And I have only a little olive oil in a jug.  I came here to gather some wood.  I will take it home and cook our last meal.  My son and I will eat it and then die from hunger.”

Elijah said to her, “Don’t worry, Go home and cook your food as you have said.  But first make a small loaf of bread from the flour you have.  Bring it to me. Then cook something for yourself and your son.  The Lord, the God of Israel, says, “That jar of flour will never become empty.  The jug will always have oil in it.  This will continue until the day the Lord sends rain to the land.”

So the woman went home.  And she did what Elijah told her to do.  So Elijah, the woman and her son had enough food every day.  The jar of flour and the jug of oil were never empty.  This happened just as the Lord, through Elijah, said it would be.

Discussion Questions

·   God sent Elijah to Sidon so that someone could care for him.  Who was it?  A Widow
·   What did Elijah ask her for? A drink of water and bread
·   What was the widow running out of? Flour and oil to make food
·   Did Elijah, the widow, or her son ever run out of food?  No, God provided every day.


Dear God,

Thank you for always giving us just what we need.  Please help up remember to trust you completely for all things.   Amen.

Bible Verse for November

“Give thanks to the Lord.  His love is forever.”    1 Chronicles 16:34


Rhyme:  The Widow Kneads the Bread for Elijah

Material Needed:  Play doh

As you read in the Bible story the Widow made bread for Elijah.
Have your child knead the play doh pretending it is bread.  While
kneading have your child sing the rhyme below:

One, two, God loves you!
Three, four, do it some more!
Five, six, knead and mix
Seven, eight, God is great!
Nine, ten, say amen!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Jonah and the Whale

Jonah 1-3:3a

The Lord spoke his word to Jonah son of Amittai: “Get up, go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it. I see the evil things they do.”

But Jonah got up to run away from the Lord. He went to the city of Joppa. There he found a ship that was going to the city of Tarshish. Jonah paid for the trip and went aboard. He wanted to go to Tarshish to run away from the Lord.
But the Lord sent a great wind on the sea. This wind made the sea very rough. So the ship was in dan-ger of breaking apart. The sailors were afraid. But Jonah had gone down into the ship to lie down. He fell fast asleep. The captain of the ship came and said, “Why are you sleeping? Get up! Pray to your god! Maybe your god will pay attention to us. Maybe he will save us!”
Then the men said to each other, “Let‟s throw lots to see who caused these troubles to happen to us.” So the men threw lots. The lot showed that the trouble had happened because of Jonah. Then Jonah said to the men, “I am a Hebrew. I fear the Lord, the God of heaven. He is the God who made the sea and land.”
The wind and the waves were becoming stronger. The men said to Jonah, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down?”
Jonah said, “Pick me up, and throw me into the sea. Then it will calm down. I know it is my fault that this great storm has come on you.”
“So the men cried to the Lord, “Lord, please don‟t let us die because of taking this man‟s life. Please don‟t think we are guilty of killing an innocent man. Lord, you have caused all this to happen. You wanted it this way.” Then the men picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea. So the sea became calm. Then they began to fear the Lord very much. They offered a sacrifice to the Lord. They also made promises to him.
And the Lord caused a very big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the stomach of the fish for three days and three nights.
While Jonah was in the stomach of the fish, he prayed to the Lord his God. Jonah said, “I was in dan-ger. So I called to the Lord, and he answered me. I was about to die. So I cried to you, and you heard my voice. You threw me into the sea. I went down, down into the deep sea. The water was all around me. Your powerful waves flowed over me. I said, „I was driven out of your presence. But I hope to see your Holy Temple again.‟ The waters of the sea closed over me. I was about to die. The deep sea was all around me. Seaweed wrapped around my head. I went down to where the mountains of the sea start to rise. I thought I was locked in this prison forever. But you saved me from death, Lord my God.
“When my life had almost gone, I remembered the Lord. Lord I prayed to you. And you heard my prayers in your Holy Temple. People who worship useless idols give up their loyalty to you. I will give praise and thank you while I give sacrifices to you. I will make promises to you. And I will do what I promise. Salvation comes from the Lord!”
Then the Lord spoke to the fish. And the fish spit Jonah out of its stomach onto the dry land.
Then the Lord spoke his word to Jonah again. The Lord said, “Get up. Go to the great city of Nineveh. Preach against it what I tell you. “
So Jonah obeyed the Lord. He got up and went to Nineveh.

Discussion Questions

  • Where did God tell Jonah to go? Nineveh 
  • Did Jonah obey? No, he tried to run away from God 
  • How did the sailors get the storm to stop? They threw Jonah into the water 
  • What swallowed Jonah? A very big fish 
  • How did Jonah get out? He prayed to God 
  • Did Jonah finally obey? Yes, he went to Nineveh


Dear God,

Thank you for the story of Jonah and the reminder that we should obey your commands. Help us to be thankful for all the great things you have done for us.   Amen.

Bible Verse for October

“God is with you wherever you go.”     Joshua 1:9


Taste the Difference

Materials: 1/4 cup salt in a bowl 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl Orange, peeled and sectioned One square unsweetened baking chocolate, unwrapped One plain milk chocolate candy bar, unwrapped Paper towels

Guide Your Child to:

  1. Look at the bowls of salt and sugar and guess which is which without tasting them.
  2. Dip an orange slice in one bowl of his choice. Taste it and tell whether it was salt or sugar.
  3. Look at the two pieces of chocolate and tell which one looks like it will taste best.
  4. Break a small piece off of the one that looked the best. Try it to see how it tastes. Now try the other one to see how it tastes.

Talk About:

  1. Was it easy or hard to tell the difference in the salt and sugar, or the sweet and the bitter chocolate by just looking? Did you make the right choice and get the taste you wanted?
  2. Sometimes it‟s hard to choose what‟s right. What choice did Jonah make at the beginning of the story? Did he make the right choice or the wrong choice? What happened?
  3. How about at the end of the story? Did he make the right choice or the wrong choice?
  4. What choice would you make?