Saturday, February 2, 2013

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

A Preschool Lesson About Love - for Valentine's Day or Any Old Day
This storytime lesson plan provides a platform for discussing God the Father's unconditional love for us. By showing an imperfect example of the love an earthly father has for his son, teachers and parents can help bring some illumination to the perfect example of love: God's love for His children. Joosse's book, Papa, Do You Love Me?, set in the plains of Serengeti, will tie in to multicultural units and African themes as well.

Introduction: Bring in some photos of children and parents from other cultures. You might show the Maasai, as highlighted in this lesson's storytime book, as well as Native Americans, Chinese, Peruvians, Indians, or Australian Aboriginals. Talk with the children about the similarities and differences these sets of children and parents may have compared to American children. What about European children and their parents? What kinds of things might they do together? How is that the same and different from the experiences of the children in your group?

  Story: Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse and Barbara Lavallee. Discuss how much the father in the story loves his son. What happened when the boy asked his father whether he would still love him if he did something awful? What was the father's response? What do the children think our Heavenly Father would do if we do something bad? Do we do bad things everyday? (Usually!) Do the children think God stops loving us when we mess up? Explain that God loves us even more than any earthly father. And that's a lot!

Music: Bring out some rhythm instruments for the children to experiment with. Explain that these are the types of instruments the boy in the story will have heard and probably played. Tap out a rhythm as you sing "Jesus Loves Me" with the children.

Bible Verse Bracelets:
(Print out, on a brightly-colored sheet of paper, today's verse repeated down the page. Cut between each verse until you have enough Bible verse strips for all the children in your group. 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 that day's storytime.)
Romans 8:38-39 "Yes, I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor ruling spirits, nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything else in the whole world will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (New Century Version)

  Story: Guess How Much I Love You, by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram. Emphasize that just like the little hare, we can never outdo God's love for us!

Song: "You Can Tell the Lord That You Love Him" by Colin Buchanan from his "Follow the Saviour" enhanced CD. You can view more information about Colin Buchanan (a fantastic singer and songwriter in Australia with a real heart for sharing God's word with children) and hear samples of his music at and entering "colin buchanan" in the search box. I use his music in many of my lessons and highly recommend it.

Art: Maasai Hearts. Give each child a large heart shape cut out of sturdy paper or card. Provide the colors of the Maasai for them to decorate their hearts, to remind them of the love of the father for his son in the opening story. Use fabric scraps, beads, buttons, bits of shredded tissue paper, strips of construction paper, paints, and anything else you may have on hand. Let the children give these extra-special African hearts to someone they love.