This is a (4-6) week lesson plan. It is designed for preschool-elementary aged children for Sunday School or Children's church settings. Each lesson is wrapped around one theme, in this case The Birthday Party. It was designed with the intention of helping smaller churches with financial limitations. They can be adapted for all sizes of churches. May God richly bless your endeavors to teach his Word.
This lesson plan would be great to be used around Christmas time since a birthday party is planned for Jesus at the end of the lesson plans.
Dress your room up just as you would a generic birthday party. It should not be decorated specifically for boys or girls unless you are teaching only boys or girls. Party hats, goodie bags and other items can be passed out at the end of each week as take home gifts, rewards or reminders to come back the next week.
The four weeks
Week #1- Planning the party
Week #2-The Guest list and invitations
Week #3- The Big Day
Week #4- The Gifts
To help us understand that we should praise God and not boast and brag about ourselves.
Bible verse: Psalm 44:8
"In God we boast all the day long and praise His name forever."
Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him in the Morning, Praise Him at the noon time, Praise Him, Praise Him, Praise Him when the sun goes down.
Week #1 - Planning the Party
Object Lesson Preparation
Buy several helium balloons or buy a helium tank from a department store. Blow up smaller balloons that have several different shapes. Tie strings on them. Have them hidden in the room before the children arrive; maybe in a closet. You may want to give each child a helium balloon to take home. You will need a balloon that you have blown up and drawn a face on it with permanent marker then let the air out. Save this balloon for later. (You may want to get an adult helper for this balloon lesson) You will need a chalk board or dry wipe board with markers.
Have any of you ever been to a birthday party? (responses) So have I. In fact, I went to one not too long ago for a little boy who turned 5 years old. He had lots of friends from his day care there. He had an Incredible Hulk cake and got lots of gifts. Games were played and lots of chatter and laughing went on. The cake was so yummy. We had ice cream too.
You know, it takes quite a bit of time and effort to make a party turn out great. First, you have to decide on the type of party you will have. Let's see what kind of party shall we have? There are so many kinds of parties to choose from. Can you help me out? I'll write down all the different types of parties on this board. Raise your hands if you can think of a special kind of party (birthday parties, New Year's eve party, wedding parties, surprise parties, baby parties, new job parties, skating parties, Christmas parties, Halloween and slumber parties, parties for winning the ball game). My, my, I guess we could go on and on, and on.
Well, after you decide what kind of a party you will be having, you will need to decide on decorations, food, games, and so on. Do any of you have a favorite party game you like to play? (Responses-you may want to list these too) Mine is water balloon throws. You know where you put water in a balloon and tie it tight, then throw it carefully to your partner who must try to catch it without it breaking.
Balloons are great party decorations too, aren't they? They come in all different colors and sizes. They can be placed on the table or hung from lights. They can be used to play games like the one I just told you about. They can be given away for prizes.
You know what? Look what I just found (bring out the helium balloons you had hidden before class and comment on the different colors and shapes) You know, boys and girls, balloons remind me a lot of people. Think about it.
(Take one of the balloons in your hand.) People come in all sorts of sizes; some are tall, some are short. Some are skinny while others are short and plump. Can anyone tell me some things that are different about these balloons? Sure, they are all different in color and size. They all have different shapes. Just like people. You know that song "Jesus Loves the Little Children"? "Red, and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. There are red people (some say they are the Indians) then the yellow people (people tell me they are the people from China and Japan and Eskimos, and places like that). There are the black people. They are the people whose fore-fathers came from Africa. And then there are the white people, those who were born in England, America, and many other places.
But do you know what boys and girls? All these balloons have something in common too. They all have something very special inside of them. These balloons have a special gas in them called Helium which makes them float. People have something special in them too. When God made us he gave us a soul. That part of us that loves, feels sad, lonely, happy and more. Even if every one of us is completely different on the outside, we all have a soul inside.
There's another thing that balloons remind me of. . .balloons remind me of some people because they are full of hot air! Ha! Do you know what that means? (responses) They think they know everything. They like to brag. They think their ideas are better than anyone else, and so on. Do you know anyone like that? They are "puffed up" kind of like a balloon. (Show the deflated balloon) Balloons are flat and very small when you first get them, then as you blow into the balloon it gets bigger and bigger (You may blow it some or get your helper to blow it). Sometimes you blow too much and what happens? Well, sometimes that can happen to people too. They brag too much (blow more) and before they know it they've told a fib (blow more) Now they are in real trouble. Now they must tell another lie (fib) to cover up the last lie. If they think they can do something very important but really can't, (blow more) they may mess up a very important job. We must not be boastful (blow more). When we become boastful for the wrong reasons (blow) and feel like we are better than someone else (blow) we begin to get a "big head" just like a big balloon (blow more) then before you know it (blow until the balloon pops-you may need to help it along using a hidden pin) everything goes to pieces!! (allow the kids time to express their excitement over the broken balloon)
The Bible says we must be careful with our mouth. We must use our mouth to praise God and give glory to Him. Let's say our Bible verse again.( say verse) We must encourage each other; show each other we care by giving kind words and advice. Our testimony of what Jesus has done in our lives should be shared by using our mouth.
The next time you look at a balloon I want you to remember this lesson. Do you have a head full of hot air? Or are you being the kind of person Jesus would want you to be; kind, loving, helpful, and thoughtful.
Craft time: Balloon person
Each child should have one round balloon (blown up), a square 4"x4" piece of poster board in which you have draw a set of footprints where the heels are touching and punched a small hole in the heel of one of the feet, a permanent marker, a sticker or piece of paper with the Bible verse printed on it. They should have a piece of masking tape about 2-3 inches long.
They should carefully push the knotted end of the balloon through the hole in the heel so that the balloon appears to have feet. They should carefully draw a face on their balloon. Glue or stick the Bible verse on the poster board. They now have a little balloon person to remind them of the lesson.
Week # 2 - The Guest List and Invitations
To help us understand that everyone has the opportunity to have Christ in their heart. No one has to be left out.
Bible verse: Rev. 22:17
"Whoever will, let them come and take the water of life freely"
Song "Praise Him, Praise Him"
Object lesson preparation
You will want to buy party invitations to be used as a take home project. Make sure you have enough so each child gets one. You will need a large poster board, fold it in half, and decorate it to look like the invitations you have bought. Make sure you make the inside with the spots for who, what, when, where as close to the actual one as possible. This will be used as part of your lesson. You will need a bulletin board or easel to put it on.
We have all been invited to a party at some time, right? It is always fun to be invited to a party. It's fun to get the invitation in the mail and open it to see who the party is for and when. Sometimes they are surprise parties and it is so fun to keep a secret from someone when the party is for them. Sometimes I am sad because the party is at a time when I have something else planned. But most of the time I am able to make it to the parties.
Sometimes I plan to have a party and when I do I have to decide who I want to come to the party and how many people I want to invite. Once I decide those things then I buy the invitations. I try to buy invitations that will look like the kind of party I will be having. For instance, if I was going to have a birthday party, I would buy invitations that might have a birthday cake on it. I have with me a box of invitations. (Show the invitations) I will pass one out to each of you in a little while. We will write on them later. I made a big invitation for us to use right now. I will put it up here (on the board for you to see. I tried to make it look as much like the ones I will give you later. See? What do you think?
Ok. First of all, let's decide we will have a birthday party. Who can it be for? I know, let's have a birthday party for Jesus. Now, we have to decide when we will have it. How about three weeks from now? After we finish this unit. We can finish up the lessons then the next week celebrate. I think that is a great idea. Ok, so what is the date for three weeks from now? Let me get my calendar, (find the date). Now, let me fill in the date on the big invitation I made. . .there. . .Ok. . .next we must figure out what time the party will be held. . .I guess we should have it right during children's church, so that means we need to write (place the time you have children's church) _____o'clock in this space. There, now I guess we will have it here. . .so let me write that in. . .Of course we must write in that the party is for Jesus. . .great. This invitation looks wonderful. . .now. . .we must decide who is invited to the party. Of course, all of you are invited. Who else should we invite? Any suggestions? (let the kids make suggestions) Those are all great ideas. . .Ok.
You know what boys and girls, this reminds me of an invitation that is given to us from the Bible. God has sent us an invitation through the Bible, His Word. The Bible is like the post office. It delivers mail to us. We decide whether we open it and read it. The invitation God gives us is a way for us to go to heaven. But the invitation is only good if we accept it. It is free. It does not cost one single penny. Like most parties we must purchase a gift to give to the person the party is for, but not this party. In fact, it works the other way around. We are the ones who receive a gift. We can receive forgiveness from God's Son, Jesus Christ. The invitation is for every person in the world. To the oldest person alive to the youngest. From the tallest to the shortest. From the richest to the poorest. It does not matter whether you are famous or not. The invitations are all the same. Someday, however, it may be too late to accept the invitation. Just like if I have made other plans when I get an invitation to a party, it would be too late. My plans were already made and I could not change them. So I would have to miss the party. Someday Jesus will come back; someday we may leave this world un-expectantly. If we have not accepted the invitation to heaven; the invitation to ask Jesus to live in our hearts, our lives, then we will miss it. That would be a terrible thing.
Craft time- The invitation
Hand each child one or two invitations. They should each be given a fine tip marker or pen. They must decide who they will invite to the birthday party you will have at the end of these lessons. It could be their parents, a friend, a neighbor, etc. They should copy the information from the large invitation you made earlier. Have them address the envelopes. Put a sticker with the Bible verse on it on the envelope. Instruct them to give their invitations to the people they have addressed the invitations to.
Week #3 - The Big Day
The world says Christians do not have fun. That is not true. We do have fun. We have a special joy within our hearts that others do not have.
Bible Verse: Ps. 33:21
"For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name."
Song: "I've Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart"
Object Lesson Preparation:
You will need to obtain a cassette tape or CD player with several people laughing; some by themselves and some as a group. Have it last a while so the kids begin to laugh along with it if you can. (the Christian singing group the Cathedrals had a song out several years ago called "The Laughing Song." That would make a great recording.) You will need a player to play it.
Boys and girls, what does it mean to you to have fun? (allow for responses) How do the movies show adults that people are having fun? How does television show you that people are having fun? There are a lot of ways to have fun. Some of those ways are not really fun. Oh, they may start out that way but after awhile it's not so fun anymore. Like for instance, how many of you have ever had a new puppy? They are wonderful when you first get them. But what about when they go potty on the floor and your mommy or daddy tell you to clean it up. . .is that fun? What about when you are in a hurry to get to school or a ball game and your mommy or daddy tells you to feed your puppy? It's not as fun as it used to be. And then, your puppy grows up. They don't play as much as they used to. They are not as cute as they used to be. You stop paying as much attention to them and they get lonely so they eat your favorite shoe, or your homework you worked so hard on to try and get your attention. They are not so fun now?
There are a lot of things that take place in our life that are exciting and make us happy. What are some things that happen in our lives that would make us really happy? (responses: weddings, new babies, graduation, a new bike, vacations, parties, etc)
When someone is getting ready to have a baby they are happy. . .they wait and wait and wait. Then comes the big day. Off to the hospital they go. . .soon the baby arrives and everyone is happy.
Someone you know is getting ready to get married. . .they wait and wait and wait. . .then comes the big day. . .how happy the new couple is.
You get an invitation to a special party. It's not for a week or two, so you wait and wait and wait. . .you get more excited as the big day gets closer. Then comes the big day. You are happy. Everyone at the party is happy. The party giver is happy. You have a lot of fun.
People who do not have Jesus in their hearts do not seem to be as happy as Christians are, in many ways. They have different kinds of fun. Their parties, many times, end up with fights over girlfriends, drinking, drugs, and other things. The television and movies show people doing all kinds of things that are not pleasing to God. But a lot of the people in the movies, not all of them, think these things are what make people happy. They don't. Oh, they may be happy for a short time, but then it's over. If someone goes to a party and drinks all night long, they will wake up the next day not feeling too good. That is not happiness or joy.
I want you to listen to this tape I have here (play the laughing tape).
That was funny wasn't it? Did it make you feel happy? I know it makes me laugh. It is good to be happy, isn't it? Did you know Christians have more to be happy about then anyone on earth? We have our sins forgiven, we know Jesus as our Savior, we have love overflowing from God and we will be in heaven some day. God tells us we should be happy, secure, joyous Christians.
People who do not have Jesus in their hearts think we are "old stuffed shirts" do you know what that means? They think we don't have fun. They think we sit around reading our Bible and praying all day long. Now that's not a bad idea, but they have the wrong idea, right? We do need to read our Bible daily. We do need to pray without ceasing.
What are some things we do here at our church to have fun? Parties, dinners, skating, ballgames, lots of things. We also have communion with others. We have a special friendship with those here at the church. We can go to our church friends and confide in them; talk to them when we are sad or hurting. They help us in our times of needs. That is a wonderful feeling and it makes me happy to know they are there for me. They are an extension of Jesus Christ. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Non-Christians don't always have that support.
The Bible has many verses that tell us about joy. One is the verse we already covered. Let's say it again OK? (have them repeat the verse) Another verse says, "For this day is holy to the Lord, we need not be sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." That verse is found in Nehemiah Chapter 8 verse 10.
When we are invited to a party we look forward to that big day when it arrives. We look forward to the fun we will have. As Christians we can have fun. We must be aware, however, that our actions must reflect Christ. We can have fun and joy and happiness. But most important we can have the joy of knowing that heaven awaits us, and on our big day when we leave this world we can have happiness in heaven serving the Lord for eternity.
Craft time- Party hats
Each child should have one piece of construction paper (any color), scissors, a small amount of glue, sequins, buttons, or other items that can be glued onto their hat, two 12" pieces of string, a marker or two.
Have the children role and glue the construction paper into a cone shape. Cut off the points that hang down. Allow to dry slightly. Glue the sequins, buttons, etc to the hat cone. Using the point of the scissors or a pencil carefully put two small holes on the base of the cone (one above each ear area) Tie a piece of string through each hole. These will tie under the child's chin. Glue a printed sticker or paper with the Bible verse on it to the inside of their hat.
Week #4 - The Gifts
The gift of salvation and eternal life is free to anyone who asks. We need not work for it. We only need to accept Jesus Christ into our heart and ask for forgiveness of our sins.
Bible Verse: John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his own son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Song: Sing the following Bible verse to the tune of Silent Night:
John 3:16, "God so loved, all the world, that he gave his only son. . .
(Silent night) (Holy night) (All is calm) (all is bright ) (round yon virgin mother and child)
. . . Whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have ever lasting life."
(Holy infant so tender and mild) (sleep in heavenly peace) (sleep in heavenly peace)
Object Lesson preparation:
You will want enough very inexpensive gifts so that each child will get one. Wrap in only a bow so the children can see the gift, It could be a Christmas ornament, a candy bar, a pencil, etc. But make sure each one is wrapped. Place a price tag on each one. Make sure the price is outrageously over priced. For instance, a candy bar may cost $25.00!
Ok. We have been learning about lots of things that have to do with a party. Today is our last week. We will be learning about the gifts we bring to a party. Or, maybe the party is for you. . .so the gifts are for you. . .Anyway, I have brought each of you a gift. I will pass them out a little later.
When you are invited to a party it is usually a custom to bring a gift. If it was a birthday party for a 10 year old boy what are some gift ideas you might buy? (responses) If the party was for an 8 year old little girl what might we buy her? (responses). If the party was for your grandfather what might we get him? (responses) If someone was getting married what kind of a gift would we get the new couple? (responses) And what about a new baby? (responses)
As you can see there are a lot of types of parties with lots of different types of gift ideas. . .each one is different. . .but. . .they all do have one thing in common. Do you know what it is? We had to go and buy the gift. We had to pay for it. We had to spend money to get it. Nearly everything we have, we had to pay to get it. Once in a while someone will give us something for free, but most of the time we must pay for the things we have. Every month your parents have to pay many bills in order to live where you live . . .the house or apartment payment, the electricity, heat, air conditioner, the phone bill, food to eat, and so on. All of those things must be bought with a price.
Boys and girls, I am going to pass out the gifts I brought today. . .oh, but wait. . .what is this? it's a price tag. . .hummmm. Ok. . .well let's see, this gift says it will cost you $____. Who would like to buy it? Come on now, surely you have $_____ in your pocket. . . what? Its too much money? Well, they are gifts. . .I want to give them to you. . .what? I should just give them to you? Why? I paid for them so you should pay me back, right? (Allow for responses of protest J ) Ok. . .fine, you can each have one and you won't have to pay for them. . .(pass out gifts)
You know what? I do know of one gift that is completely free for the asking. Do you know what it is? I will tell you. It is mentioned in our Bible verse today. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that who ever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life." The gift I am talking about is everlasting life in heaven with Jesus, boys and girls. Jesus came to this earth and paid for that gift so that we would not have to. All we have to do is ask Jesus to come into our heart, our lives, and live for him. When we live for Jesus, one day, our soul will leave this world and go to heaven. Heaven is full of wonderful things. . .streets of gold, angels, a beautiful house for all of us, friends and loved ones who have gone there before us, and most important, Jesus will be there. It doesn't cost us anything except living for Jesus. That's a pretty good deal, a pretty good gift, I say. Jesus must love us very much to die on a cross and take all the pain and punishment for us. He loves us enough to pay for our sins. . .by suffering in our place. . .what a wonderful gift that is. . .I can not think of anyone on this earth who would do that for me, except Jesus.
All we have to do is ask him to live in our heart. . .have you ever done that? If not, let's all bow our heads right now and follow along as I pray.
Craft time-Box of Love
Give each child a small box, empty crayon boxes work well, some wrapping paper, a few pieces of scotch tape, a small bow. They should also be given a small piece of paper that has the Bible verse printed on it.
They should place the Bible verse into the box. Wrap the box, tape it, and place the bow on it. They should think of someone they know they could give the box to. They should be instructed to talk to that person about Jesus and the free gift he has to offer them.
Copyright 2006 Dianne Richards
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