I'm excited to share our activities from the story of Jesus Healing the 10 Lepers with you. It was great because it was easy and fun. Easy because I found a free online lesson plan from Ministry to Children that was really good. Finding free lessons plans is not always hard. Finding free ones that are GOOD is a different story. This lesson was actually intended to be used at Thanksgiving, so the little craft they do is catered toward that and the emphasis of the lesson plan is giving thanks, but the ideas worked well for us and I'll show you how we adapted the idea to make it less Thanksgiving-y and more about the gospel.
I was surprised by how many of our Children's Bibles didn't have this story in it. I found it in three and we read it from all of them. (My 123 Bible Storybook , Read Aloud Bible Stories: Volume 1, and NIrV Read with Me Bible)
I also found this super, super, super cute nesting doll craft here. (It also has a couple of alternative crafts using these pieces that are really cute too!) There are 10 lepers, (dressed in Bible time clothes and everything!) that you print out on cardstock and color. We just made one set and the boys did sort of a tag-team effort on the coloring. Even then, some of the men got little more than a colored line across their foot. :)
We used these to sing a fun song to the tune of the 10 Little Indians that we found in the lesson plan from Ministry to Children and we even made up another verse to sing at the beginning that went like this:
One sick, two sick, three sick lepers
Four sick, five sick, six sick lepers (This line is really hard to say!!!)
Seven sick, eight sick, nine sick lepers
Ten sick lepers needing help.
Then we talk how Jesus sent them to the temple and on the way they were healed, which leads us to the 2nd verse found over at Ministry to Children (near the bottom of the lesson plan)
The nesting dolls were also a great counting, sequencing and fine motor activity and they actually can "nest."
The numbers are on the bottom of the dolls stands, so you can use them to count up or down as you nest them. You can put them in order of size. Gluing them together and standing them up takes some concentration and finger work. It felt like a mini-preschool lesson and it was lots of fun too! And Isaac came up with an ingenious way to make them stay standing up so that he didn't have to keep messing with them. Love that kid!
I also printed out a few coloring pages from here, here and here that we spent a few minutes coloring on.
Then we did a little heart craft that ended up being a fun way to tie the gospel into the story. Remember The Gospel in the Bible Printable I made a while back? I really try to tie the Bible stories we read into the gospel as often as I can remember. (And it's getting so much easier to think of connections on my own as I get used to looking for elements of the gospel in every story). We talked about how Jesus healed the 10 men and that Jesus can not only heal our physical bodies, but something even more important. We talked about how our hearts are "sick" because of sin. We talked about how Jesus came to make our hearts better and forgive us of our sins by dying on the cross. Admittedly, it's still a little abstract, but the last few weeks, Isaac has really been grasping the definition of sin (we're defining it as "when I do something wrong" right now). I know that he doesn't understand all of it yet, but it's good for both of us to go back to the gospel over and over and over again. And my prayer is that God would open his heart and one day it will click.
So, the craft. I adapted it from Ministry to Children's idea that was catered toward Thanksgiving. I cut out a red heart and then I wrote "Jesus heals our sick hearts" on it and Isaac put bandaids all over it. It was so easy and a good visual. And, hello, he got to play with bandaids. No arguments from him.
We also pretended I was a leper and he covered my "sores" with bandaids (he didn't want any stuck on him). Apparently both of my shoes were in pain too. :)
I thought the presentation of the story in the lesson plan was really fun. The story is read straight from Scripture, but the teacher has the kid(s) stop at each verse and do some sort of action or say some sort of phrase to go with it. It's really cute! And she has a great idea of introducing Jesus as the Great Physician by getting out a dr. kit and letting the kids play with it and discussing how even doctors couldn't even make these men better, but Jesus could! We had this discussion, but not while they were playing with the doctor kit because I couldn't get my little cuties to listen to what I was saying while they were playing. It might be more appropriate to try that with kids that are a tad older than mine.
Like I said, I was just so pleased with the quality activities that were already prepared for this great lesson. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!