Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Don't Be Afraid! - It's the Bear & The Teeny Tiny Woman

Don't Be Afraid - God is Bigger Than Your Fears

Introduction: For an object lesson, fill a bowl with some water. Sprinkle some pepper over the surface of the water. Explain that the pepper represents bad things in our lives, like being afraid, danger, and sin. Pour a single drop of dishwashing liquid in the center of the water. Explain that the drop of soap represents God living in our lives. Watch with the children as the pepper is instantly repelled and sent to the edges of the bowl. Tell the children that having God in our hearts is like the soap chasing the pepper away; God's holiness (goodness) repels (makes go away) sin, evil, and bad things that come against us.

Story #1: The Teeny Tiny Woman by Paul Galdone. Enjoy this classic with the children and take some time to discuss some of their fears and experiences with them.

Song: "God Is Bigger Than the Boogeyman" from Veggie Tales "Veggie Tunes" CD.

Bible Verse Bracelets: (Print out, on a brightly-colored sheet of paper, today's verse repeated down the page. Cut between each verse so that you have 10-15 strips, (make as many as you anticipate needing,) each with the verse printed on it. Ask the children to form a line, and using tape to stick the ends together, wrap a "Bible Verse Bracelet" round each little wrist. Some children do not want to wear it; in that case, hand it to them and tell them to use the verse as a bookmark. The children love these, and come to expect them at each session! The verses also find their way home to parents and siblings, and help to spread the news about the storytime topic.) 

James 4:7b-8a: "Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." Take a moment to discuss this verse with the children to help them understand its implications.

Song: "Prove It #1" and "Jesus Is the Mighty Mighty King" from Colin Buchanan's "Follow the Saviour" CD.

Story: It's the Bear! by Jez Alborough. Who is more frightened - the little boy Eddy or the great big silly bear?

Activity: "Goin' on a Bear Hunt" chant. This familiar children's tale will let them experience some make-believe fear while encouraging them that it's all in good fun. Have the children repeat each phrase and perform motions after you:

"We're going on a bear hunt, and we're going to catch a big one!"

"I'm not's a beautiful day!"

"Uh-oh! Grass! Long wavy grass! Can't go over it! Can't go under it! Gotta go through it!" (Pretend to trudge through long thick grass.)

(Repeat again:) "We're going on a bear hunt, and we're going to catch a big one! I'm not's a beautiful day!"

"Uh-oh! Mud! Thick gooey mud! Can't go through it! Can't go over it! Have to go around it! (Make an exaggerated to-do about going around a LARGE mud puddle.)

(Repeat opening lines.)

"Uh-oh! A river! A wide, deep river! Can't go under it! Can't go around it! Gotta swim through it! (Pretend to swim across a strong current.)

(Repeat opening lines between each action. Other obstacles could include climbing over a mountain, slinking through a thick forest, crawling through a hollow log, and finally ending in the bear's cave:)

"Uh-oh! A cave! A dark, scary cave! Can't go under it! Can't climb over it! Must go INTO it! Oh no! What's that? (Pretend to feel way through the dark and bump into something.) It's furry! Cold, wet nose! ("Feel" bear's nose.) Giant paws! (Grow increasingly "panicked.") Sharp, snarling teeth! It's a BEAR! RUN!!"

Pretend to run (in place) with the children as you repeat each obstacle in reverse: go out of the cave, swim back through the river, jump around the big mud hole, trudge back through the long grass, until you're all safely back home!!

Prayer: "Thank you, Jesus, for always being with us and for telling us we do not have to be afraid of anything. Help us to learn how to live closely with You. Amen."

Art: Bear's Picnic Collages: Collect a variety of photos from magazines related to picnics, lunches, etc. Give each child a piece of sturdy construction paper and a glue stick and let them choose "picnic" photos to make a bear's picnic collage. You might want to include some scraps of picnic table cloth or other items to help with the picnic theme.