Monday, December 5, 2016

Jesus is Born

Luke 2:1-7

Mary loved Joseph.  Mary and Joseph were going to be married soon.  Joseph lived in Nazareth, but his family lived in Bethlehem.
A new leader named Caesar ordered all people to go back to their homeland.  He wanted to count all the people in his kingdom.  So Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem.
Mary was going to have her baby soon.  When they arrived in Bethlehem, they looked for a safe place to sleep, but all the inns were full.
Finally, a man was able to help them.  He said, “I do not have any rooms left, but you are welcome to sleep in the stable.”
Joseph made a warm place for Mary to rest.  While they were there, little baby Jesus was born.

Mary wrapped Jesus in strips of cloth and gently laid him in a manger.

Discussion Questions

  • Where did Mary and Joseph live? Nazareth
  • Why did Caesar want all people to return to their homeland? He wanted to count them in his kingdom
  • Where did Mary and Joseph go?   Bethlehem
  • Was Mary going to have a baby?  Yes
  • Where did they sleep? Stable
  • Did Mary have the baby in the stable? Yes
  • What did they name the baby boy?  Jesus


Dear God, thank you for birth of Jesus.  Your love is such a gift!  Amen 

Memory Verse

“She will name him Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.”   Matthew 1:21

Craft:  Baby Jesus in a Manger Handprint

  1. Paint your child’s hand with brown washable paint. Push it against a white piece of paper and let dry.
  1. Take some yellow paint and make a circle with outward strokes. This is going to be the hay that the baby will lay on.
  1. Cut out an oval and a circle from white paper. Color the face skin color and the body with a blue crayon. Draw the eyes and a mouth with a black marker. Glue them on top of the yellow paint and you’re done!

Baby Jesus Song

To the tune of "Are you Sleeping Brother John”.

Baby Jesus, baby Jesus,
please don't cry, please don't cry.
Don't you know I love you, Don't you know I love you,
Very much, very much.

Baby Jesus, baby Jesus,
born to us, born to us.
Come let us adore Him, Come let us adore Him.
Joyously, joyously.

Baby Jesus, Baby Jesus   (cup and rock your arms) 
Born to us, Born to us
You came to save us, You came to save us   (raise hands to heaven)
Amen, Amen.           (prayerful hands)

Baby Jesus, Baby Jesus   (cup and rock your arms)
We love you, We love you   (hug yourself)
We're going to heaven, going to heaven  (point upwards)
Thank you, Thank you   (prayerful hands)

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Red Sea

Exodus 14

Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt.  During the day, God went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud.  During the night, God went ahead of them in a pillar of fire.
God led the Israelites to the edge of the Red Sea.  Pharaoh and his army were close behind.  The Israelites did not know what to do.
They screamed, “We are trapped!  What have you done to us, Moses?”  Moses said, “Do not be afraid.  God will protect us,”  God’s cloud came between the Israelites and Pharaoh’s army.  They could not see anything!
God told Moses, “Raise your staff over the sea.”  Then the Lord pushed back the sea to make a path.  Moses and the Israelites followed the path through the sea and to the other side.  But Pharaoh’s army followed close behind.
Moses raised his staff again, and the sea swept away Pharaoh and his army.  Moses and all the Israelites sang praises to God.  They were free!  They weren’t slaves anymore!

Discussion Questions

  • Where did God lead the Israelites? To the edge of the Red Sea
  • Who was following them? Pharaoh and his army
  • Were the Israelites scared?   Yes
  • What did Moses tell them?  Don’t be afraid God will protect us.
  • How did God protect them? God pushed back the Red Sea to make a path so that the Israelites could cross to the other sides.
  • Did Pharaoh and his army make it across? No, the sea swept them away


Dear God, thank you for your protection each day.  May we always remember we can trust You!  Amen 

Memory Verse

“Be strong and brave. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9

Snack:  Pane of Glass Jell-O (with optional fish)

  • Use Very Berry Jell-O (or some other variety of gelatin) to make regular Jell-O
  • according to directions on the box.
  • Place mixture in a long thin pan – like a baking sheet. (So that it is not very deep.)
  • Put in Fruit Snacks shaped like fish
  • Allow to cool according to package directions
  • Cut into rectangular shapes and serve on white paper plates to the children
  • Looks like the “pane of glass” of an aquarium

Song:  How did Moses Cross the Red Sea?

(to the tune of Glory, Glory, Alleluia)

How did Moses cross the Red Sea?
How did Moses cross the Red Sea?
How did Moses cross the Red Sea?
How did he get across?
Did he swim? No! No!
Did he row? No! No!
Did he jump? No! No! No! No!
Did he drive? No! No!
Did he fly? No! No!
How did he get across?
God blew with His wind, huff, huff, huff, huff.
He blew just enough, ‘nough, ‘nough, ‘nough, ‘nough’
And through the sea He made a path
That’s how he got across

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


“Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  Psalm 106:1 

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

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. 

Activity: 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) Directions: 
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. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Burning Bush

Exodus 3

When Moses was a man, he left the palace.  Pharaoh was still being mean to the Israelites.  Moses tried to protect them, so Pharaoh tried to kill Moses. 
Moses escaped from Egypt.  He went to a place called Midian and became a shepherd.
One day, while Moses was watching his sheep, he saw something strange.  A bush was on fire, but it wasn’t burning up.  From the inside of the bush, God spoke, “Moses, bring my people out of Egypt.  Take them to a new land that I will show you.  This new land is called Canaan.”
Moses was worried that Pharaoh would not listen.  God told Moses to throw his staff on the ground.  When he did, the staff became a snake!  God told Moses to reach down and grab the snake.  It became a staff again!  God said, “I will use signs like this to show Pharaoh I have sent you.”
“But I cannot speak very well,” complained Moses.  God said, “Do not worry.  Your brother Aaron is a good speaker.  I will send him with you.”

So Moses returned with Aaron to Egypt.  When they arrived, Moses told the Israelites what God had said.

Discussion Questions

  • Pharaoh tried to kill Moses.  What did Moses do? He escaped Egypt and went to Midian to become a shepherd.
  • What happened while Moses was caring for his sheep? There was a burning bush that talked!
  • Who was speaking from inside the bush?   God
  • What did God ask Moses to do?  Take his people from Egypt  
  • Moses was worried that Pharaoh would not listen.  God told him he would use special signs to get Pharaoh to listen.  What is one example? The staff turned into a snake
  • Who helped Moses speak to Pharaoh? Moses’ brother Aaron


Dear God, thank you that you are all-powerful and the beginning of everything! Thank you that you care about us and that you love us!  Amen 

Memory Verse

“Be strong and brave.  The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9

Song: My God is so Big

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do

The mountains are His, the rivers are His
The stars are His handiwork too
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do, hey, hey

My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do

The mountains are His, the rivers are His
The stars are His handiwork too
My God is so great, so strong and so mighty

There's nothing my God cannot do

My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do

The mountains are His, the rivers are His
The stars are His handiwork too
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do

There's nothing my God cannot do
There's nothing, nothing, nothing He can't do

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Baby in a Basket

Exodus 1 - 2:10

Many years passed.  A new pharaoh ruled over Egypt  He did not know about the good things Joseph had done.
By now there were many people in Jacob’s family.  They were called Israelites.  
Pharaoh did not like the Israelites.  He made them work hard.  One day, Pharaoh decided to get rid of all the Israelite baby boys.
A woman named Jochebed had a baby boy.  She wanted to save him.  So she gently laid her baby inside a basket and placed him in the river.  The baby started to cry.
Pharoah’s daughter saw the basket and opened it.  She gently picked up the baby and hugged him.  “I want to keep you,” the princess whispered.  She named him Moses because she pulled him out of the water.
Miriam, the baby’s big sister, had been watching nearby.  She said to the princess, “I know a woman who can help you take care of the baby,”  So Miriam ran to get her mother.  Jochebed was so happy!

Discussion Questions

  • What were the people called in Joseph’s family? Israelites
  • Did Pharaoh want to get rid of all the baby boys? Yes
  • Jochebed had a baby boy.  She wanted to save him.  What did she do?   She laid him in a basket and placed him in the river
  • Who found him?  Pharaoh’s daughter 
  • What did she name him? Moses
  • Miriam (the baby’s big sister) told the princess she knew a woman who could care for him.  Who was it.  Jochebed
  • Did Jochebed return him to the palace when he was a young boy?  Yes


Dear God, thank you for this story of protection.  You love us and keep us safe from harm.  We thank you for that blessing.  Amen 

Memory Verse

“Be strong and brave.  The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”   Joshua 1:9

Activity:  Baby Guessing Game

Place as many baby items on a tray as desired, such as a pacifier, bottle, baby food jar, spoon, blanket, clothing, etc. Cover the tray until your family is ready with paper and crayons or colored pencils. Then show the tray of items to the children for a few minutes and tell them to try and memorize as many of the items on the tray, and then take the tray away. The children can either write the names of the items (older children), or draw small pictures of all the items that they can remember on the tray. Then give a red crayon or pencil to place an X over the top of all the ones that they see on the tray as you show them the tray again! See who remembered the most items. All the rest of the players will make a BABY CRY sound as the game is over!

Song:  Jesus Loves the Little Children

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world.

Jesus died for all the children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus died for all the children
Of the world.

Jesus rose for all the children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus rose for all the children
Of the world.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Joseph Saves His Family

Genesis 42-46

For the first seven years, Joseph was in charge of gathering extra food for the people of Egypt.  That way, when hardly any crops grew, there would be plenty to eat.
The seven bad years began, and people in other countries had no food at all.  Even Joseph’s family did not have enough to eat.  So Joseph’s father sent his sons to Egypt to buy some food.
When the brothers arrived in Egypt, they went to Joseph and bowed down to him.  They did not know he was their brother.  But Joseph knew.  Joseph sold them some food.  Then the brothers left to go home.
Sometime later, they returned to buy more food.  Just as Joseph had dreamed, they bowed down to him—again.
“I am your brother!”  His brothers were afraid!
But Joseph told them not to be afraid.  “God meant it for good.  He had a special plan for me,” he said.  They all hugged.
Joseph’s brothers rushed home.  They told their father what had happened.  Jacob was so happy to hear that Joseph was alive.  The whole family moved to Egypt.

Discussion Questions

  • What was Joseph in charge of in Egypt? Gathering extra food for the first seven years
  • What happen the when the bad years began? People from other countries did not have enough to eat, even Joseph’s own family
  • Did Joseph’s brothers know who sold them the food?   No
  • Did Joseph know who they were?  Yes
  • Joseph’s brother returned another time to buy food.  How did he know for sure they were his brothers? Joseph had a dream they would bow down to him again.
  • Were the brothers afraid?  Yes, but Joseph told them don’t be afraid God meant no harm!


Dear God, thank you for this story.  We pray that we are always faithful to follow God and forgive others.  Amen 

Memory Verse

“Lead me in your truth, teach me, for you are God my Savior.”   Psalm 25:5

Activity:  A Family Reunion

In our story Joseph was reunited with his family.  In today’s time, we often have a gathering called a family reunion to reconnect with family we don’t see very often.

Take time to plan a small family reunion!  Nothing fancy….gather at the park or picnic in your living room.  Invite your grandparents or other family members over to share a snack or meal.
During this time discuss the bible story!  

Forgiveness Activities:

MINDING MONEY: Scatter money over a large designated area inside your home. Divide your family into two teams and have children take turns running after ONE money bill and bringing back to offering plate for their team. Continue until all the money has been collected. Then count the money and see which team has the most money.

FORGIVING MUSICAL CHAIRS: Play musical chairs in the usual way but when someone is OUT (left without a chair), that one will share an idea about who or what we may need to forgive or ask forgiveness for and then will stand or sit in the middle of the musical chairs as the game continues.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Pharaoh’s Dreams

Genesis 39-41

The traders took Joseph to Egypt.  He was thrown into jail  But he did nothing wrong.  Joseph trusted God to help him.  He made friends with some of the prisoners. 
One of them had been a wine taster for Pharaoh.  Pharaoh was the leader of Egypt.  The wine taster said, “Last night, I had a dream.  I was picking grapes and squeezing them into Pharaoh’s cup.  Then I put the cup in his hand.  What does this mean, Joseph?”
Joseph answered, “You will be Pharaoh’s wine taster again.  Once you are free, please don't forget about me. Help me get out of jail, too.”
A few days later, the wine taster’s dream came true.  He got out of jail and became Pharaoh’s wine taster once again.  But he forgot about Joseph.
Later, Pharaoh had two strange dreams.  In one dream, he saw seven heavy cows and seven skinny cows.  The skinny cows ate up all the heavy cows.
In another dream, Pharaoh saw seven healthy plants.  Then he saw seven dried-up plants.  The dried-up plants ate all the healthy plants.  Pharaoh was confused.
Pharaoh’s wise men were confused, too.  Then the wine taster remembered Joseph.  He told Pharaoh that Joseph could explain his dreams.
With God’s help, Joseph told Pharaoh what his dream meant. “For the next seven years, plenty of food will grow.  For the next seven years after that, not enough food will grow because there will be no rain.”  Pharaoh said.  “Joseph, you are a very wise man.  I will make you a ruler over  Egypt.”

Discussion Questions

  • Where did the traders put Joseph?  In jail
  • Joseph was able to tell what dreams meant.  What did the prisoner’s dream mean? He would be Pharaoh’s wine taster again.
  • Joseph told the prisoner to remember him when he got out of jail.  Did he remember?   No
  • Pharaoh had some very odd dreams.  Who helped him understand his dreams?  Joseph
  • Pharaoh gave Joseph a very important job.  What was it?  He was the ruler over Egypt.


Dear God, thank you for teaching us to help others.  We know there will be times we don’t understand but You know what is best for us.  Amen 

Memory Verse

“Lead me in your truth, teach me, for you are God my Savior.”  Psalm 25:5

Treat to Eat: Black-Spotted Cows

Pour a bag of small chocolate chips into a bowl. Give your child a banana half, a craft stick, and a paper plate. Have him peel the bananas and push them onto craft sticks to create “banana-sicles.” Then show him how to press some chocolate chips onto their banana-sicles to make “black-spotted cows.” 

Distribute napkins, and let your family eat their creations. Remind your child of the dream about the skinny cows who swallowed up the fat cows just as they are swallowing up their bananas.

Lively Learning:  Family Fun Jailbreak

Use small, foam balls or crumpled newspapers to play this game. Direct family members to all stand along one wall. This will be your jailhouse, and family will pretend to be Prisoners. Choose one person to be “It,” and have that person toss balls at the Prisoners. Any person a ball touches can break out of jail and run to help “It” toss the balls. Play the game until the last Prisoner makes his or her jailbreak, and then talk with your child about what it might have been like for Joseph in jail.

Activity:  Camels

Supplies:  Brown paper bags or brown construction paper, scissors, cloths pins, google eyes, brown marker, and glue.

Instructions: Sketch a camel on the paper, cut it out, glue eyes on, and draw mouth with brown marker.  While the glue dries, color the cloths pins with brown marker.  

While you are helping your child with the project talk about how the camels are incorporated into the story.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Joseph's Colorful Robe

Genesis 37

Joseph was one of Jacob’s twelve sons.  Jacob loved him more than all of his other sons.  
Jacob made Joseph a colorful robe.  His brothers were jealous.  They wanted nice robes, too.  And they wanted to be loved as much as Joseph was loved.
Joseph had a dream.  He told his family, “We were bundling grain from the field.  Your bundles of grain bowed down to mine.”
Then Joseph had another dream.  He said, “This time, the sun and moon and even stars were bowing down to me.”  His father asked, “Does this mean our family will bow down to you someday?”
The brothers were even more angry.  They threw Joseph into a dry well.  
Along came some traders.  The brothers sold Joseph to them as a slave. 
They lied to their father and said Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.  But God was with Joseph.

Discussion Questions

  • Who was Joseph’s father? Jacob
  • Jacob loved Joseph him more than his brothers.  What gift did he give Joseph? A colorful coat
  • Were his brothers angry?   Yes!
  • What did his brothers do to Joseph? They threw him in a dry well and then sold him to traders as a slave.
  • The brothers lied to their father about Joseph’s whereabouts.  What did they tell him?  They told him that Joseph was killed by a wild animal.
  • Was God with Joseph during this time?  Yes!


Dear God, thank you for reminding us that you are always with us.  Amen 

Memory Verse

“Lead me in your truth, teach me, for you are God my Savior.”   Psalm 25:5

Craft:  Joseph’s Colorful Coat

Use craft items around your house to decorate Joseph’s coat!   You can use crayons, markets, yarn, pom poms, tissue paper and more!