Today I want to share another Bible Box activity with you. Even if you haven’t made your own Bible Box yet, you can still easily use this activity with your child(ren). Today let’s look at the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. I like the version in My First Bible.
Read Luke 10:25-37 aloud to your child(ren).
Ask them what props they want to use to act out the story. For this story I gathered a green napkin (grass), a felt path (the road), a few people, a bandaid, and some blocks (for the inn). You can use any toy people you have. Lego people, Barbies, Little People, whatever! I have Tales of Glory figurines so that is what I used. But they certainly aren’t necessary.
Allow your child(ren) to set the scene with the props they collected.
Read the scripture again as your children act it out with the figurines
Here’s a peek at the story in images only…let’s see how well you know the story! 🙂
Hope you and your child(ren) have fun acting out the Good Samaritan!
I’ve talked before about how acting out scripture helps children connect with the story. I can’t think of a better time to pull out items to help children do just that than Christmas time! A nativity version of the bible box!
Each of my boys have their own nativity set. They keep them in their rooms. But as we get closer to Christmas I also pack one nativity into our church bag for them to play with during the service. It’s my hope that as they play with the nativity, the stories they are hearing in the worship will sink in a little deeper.
When I was at Target a couple of weeks ago I saw this little nativity in the dollar section. Not sure if they are still there, but you can definitely check it out!
Below are some amazon links to the other nativity sets I own. Even if you can’t get them in time for this Christmas, you could stock up for next year!
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a Bible Box activity with you. Even if you haven’t made your own Bible Box yet, you can still easily use this activity with your child(ren). As Thanksgiving draws nearer we often talk of thanking God for our blessings. The lectionary scripture for Thanksgiving day is Luke 17:11-19.
Read Luke 17:11-19 aloud to your child(ren).
Ask them what props they want to use to act out the story. I used a green napkin, some felt cut into strips for the road, 10 figurines and a Jesus. You can use any toy people you have. I have Tales of Glory figurines so that is what I used. But they certainly aren’t necessary.
Allow your child(ren) to set the scene with the props they collected.
Read the scripture again as your children act it out with the figurines.
I mentioned that children who “Do the Book Scripture” become more active readers. Characters, setting, events, dialog, conclusions, mood, and motivation become more important and children pay more attention to them when they have to interpret and recreate the drama. Doing the book greatly increases story (or scripture) comprehension. Today I want to walk you through the process of Doing the Scripture.
Choose your scripture story ~ When “doing the scripture” for the first time be sure to choose a shorter scripture story. For this example I am using the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7).
Choose your props ~ For younger children you may want to lay out the props for them before reading the story. For older children you may want to read the passage first and then allow them to choose the props they need. (Note: it is often necessary to allow children a chance to free explore the items in the Bible Box when using it for the first time. Then when you are acting out a scripture story they are able to focus on only the props needed for that story.) Note that props can be anything you find around the house. They don’t have to be Biblical figurines!
Read the scripture story ~ As you read the story have your child look at the props and think about what they might be used for in the story. I use My First Bible (using a children’s Bible is recommended).
Decide how props will be used ~ Discuss which props you will need or how the props you have already chosen will be used. If you have more than one child participating in “doing the scripture” you may need to assign roles. How would you use the props in the photo above?
Re-read the scripture story ~ As you read the passage again ask your child to act out what they are hearing with the props. For younger children you may need to guide their actions.
Read the scripture story again ~ As you read the story again allow your child to re-enact the passage on their own. Or perform it for another member of the family.
Last week I talked about how meaningful “Doing the Book Scripture” can be! Today I wanted to share with you the supplies I use for “Doing the Scripture.” I call it my Bible Box.
We use our Bible Box to act out scripture. I chose to purchase Biblical characters (Tales of Glory
figurines) but I’ve also used Little People, and doll house figures. You just need to have a man, woman, older man, older woman, child, and baby. You don’t have to go out and purchase anything! Feel free to use any characters you have around the house!
However, if possible, it would be nice to have a Jesus figure
. Once again this is a Tales of Glory figure. As far as I know you have to buy these figures online but they are quite inexpensive.
I like to have some things to help set the scene when acting out a bible story. When I first set up my Bible Box I bought a blue and green napkin (for water and grass). Later on I bought some brown and white felt for the desert and to make a path. I also grabbed a yellow washcloth for making fire.
I also bought some trees, rocks, cactus, etc. I found them at a toy store, but these are certainly not necessary. You could also buy some greenery from the floral section of a craft store.
I also like to have blocks (like Lincoln Logs) for building fences, buildings, even logs for a fire.
Once I have the supplies for setting the scene I start looking for key items. Like this little basket (think loaves and fishes, or baby Moses).
Another great thing to have is some netting. You can get some in the floral section of a craft store, or even use net like packaging. I also keep an eye on the endcaps or dollar section at Target for cheap little animals like these fish.
You can also look in the wood section of your craft store for little characters or boats or trees, etc. Lots of options for your Bible Box.
And then you, of course, need animals. And pairs of animals are helpful! I recommend buying farm animals first because so many bible stories involve animals like sheep, or cows, or some other farm animal. I didn’t follow this advice and while I have lots of wild animals but not any farm animals. Just last week we had to use a lion in place of a sheep. We are GOOD at pretending around here. 🙂
Later this week I’ll walk you through a specific Bible Box activity! Can you think of other items to add to a Bible Box? Please share your ideas in the comments!
As a teacher one strategy I used to help children really connect with a story was called “Doing the Book.” Children who “Do the Book” become more active readers. Characters setting, events, dialogue, conclusions, mood, and motivation become more important, and children pay more attention to them when they have to interpret and recreate the drama. Doing the book greatly increases story comprehension. What that says to me is if I want my children to comprehend scripture one excellent activity to incorporate would be Doing the Book Scripture.
Children relate to characters and images they see frequently and recognize as familiar: Mickey, Big Bird, Thomas the Tank Engine, Winnie the Pooh, etc. In order for children to develop a relationship with the images and characters of their faith tradition, they must also see these images and characters often. The spiritual characters in a child’s world need to have a name and personality: King David, Miriam dancing and singing, Noah and the ark. Only when they know enough details about these people will they think of them again and again. One of the easiest ways in which we can cultivate our children’s spiritual lives is by exposing them to religious stories and then providing them with the materials (props) necessary to enact these stories in their imaginary play.
A couple of summers ago our congregation chose to combine all our Sunday school classes because of how small our numbers got while people were on vacation, at camps, etc. One Sunday I was in charge of this multi age group. I had an 18 month old up to a 2nd grader. I read them the scripture of the Lost Sheep. Then I laid out some supplies (cotton balls, one sheep each, a farmer figurine, and some popsicle sticks) and asked them to look and think about how we could use them as I read the scripture a 2nd time. Then I allowed them to set their scene. The third time I read the scripture I had them act it out with their supplies. Then for fun we took our supplies and found someone to “perform” our story for. By then Sunday school was over. So I packed up and we went on to church. About half way through the service my oldest, who was 3 at the time and had been in class with me, asked if he could play with the “lost sheep toys.” I pulled them out and listened as he re-enacted the story from start to finish without any help from me. I was shocked that after only a few readings he already knew every bit of the story. I was even more impressed when a few weeks later he could still tell me the complete story! That speaks to the power of acting out a story! I’ve even used this technique during a children’s moment. I didn’t have toys, I used people instead to act out the scripture about Jesus telling his disciples to let the children come to him. I recommend checking with the people you are going to use first. Or you can do like I did and just call on people in the congregation that you know will be good sports. 🙂
Not every scripture lends itself to this activity. But where it’s appropriate, it can be a very powerful way for your child(ren) to connect with scripture! Come back next week to see the types of props I use when my family is Doing the Book Scripture!