Interactive Group Activities
by Carol Williams & Charles Kirkpatrick

Sermon Title: "Sunrise Surprise"

Scripture Reading: John 20:1-18

SURPRISE HIDE AND SEEK: Have all the children run and find a good place to hide. When the "seeker" gets near a hiding place, the child will JUMP out and say SURPRISE! Continue to let children hunt for others and the hiding children will shout SURPRISE when someone gets close to their hiding spot.

SURPRISE MUSICAL CHAIRS: Play this game like the original musical chairs, except there will be enough chairs for ALL the children. Each chair will have a number on it. As the music plays, the children will walk around the chairs until the music stops and each child will stop in front of a chair. The teacher then calls our a chair number. The child in front of that chair will go to the prize table with small prizes that the teacher has numbered to match chair numbers and placed on the table. The game will continue until all the children have won a prize.

SURPRISE BALLOON POPPING: Before class begins, the teacher will have enough balloons blown up for each child. Inside the balloon will be a slip of paper with sentences that relate to today's lesson or a Bible verse. Divide the children into teams and let each child run to a box of ballons, take a balloon and pop it by stomping on it. They will then go back to their group and another child will go to the balloon box. The game will continue until each child has popped a balloon. The children will then take turns reading what is written on their piece of paper. (Examples: one balloon can have JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS; another balloon could say MARY WENT TO THE TOMB WHERE JESUS WAS BURIED. Another balloon paper might say THE STONE HAD BEEN ROLLED AWAY; another balloon could say THE GRAVE WAS EMPTY; another would say THEY WERE SURPRISED TO FIND AN EMPTY GRAVE; another balloon paper could say, MARY DIDN'T RECOGNIZE JESUS UNTIL HE CALLED HER NAME; another could have written JESUS JESUS WAS NOT IN THE TOMB; another could say HE HAS RISEN JUST AS HE SAID.

CLAY TOMBS: Give the children some clay to mold a tomb and a cross and talk about the Easter story while molding! Toothpicks can be used to write JESUS IS RISEN on the tomb or the clay cross, or to make other decorations on the clay.

HAPPY FACE POSTERS: Give the children supplies to write and decorate a poster with the cross and JESUS IS RISEN, THE GRAVE IS EMPTY, JESUS LOVES ME, JESUS IS ALIVE, etc. Give children many HAPPY STICKERS to place on their posters, as well! Colored markers would be great for children to write the various phrases around their posters.

CROSS BOOK MARKER: Let the children trace cut out a cross on card stock. After cutting out the cross, the children can decorate it with stickers and colored markers and write JESUS IS ALIVE, JESUS IS RISEN, JESUS LOVES ME on the cross to make a bookmark. Some children may like a RED ribbon to hang from the top of their cross, to remind them of Jesus' shed blood on the cross.

CROSS PAINTING: Let children paint a CROSS on a large piece of poster board. Write, JESUS DIED FOR ME across the top of the poster and let children use colored markers to go to the Cross poster and write their own names on the poster.

BALLOON BOUQUETS: Bring balloons for the children to blow up and hang on strings. Before blowing up each balloon, the children can use a marker to write a saying about today's lesson, such as JESUS IS RISEN, THE GRAVE IS EMPTY. After all the balloons have been blown up, create several balloon "bouquets" by tying the balloons together.

SNACK TIME: Give each child a plastic Easter egg with a "surprise" inside. (A piece of candy, for example.)

Song:  "He Is Lord"

Words and Music (pdf)

Piano Accompaniment (MP3)

About Carol Williams
Carol and her husband have served churches in Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana.  Carol loves to work with children so you will find her teaching in Junior Church and children's Sunday School.  She also has clowning ministry in which she is known as Bubbles tc (the clown).
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