Miracles can seem like a faraway concept that only happen in fairytales. Make miracles come alive for your little one by teaching her about the miracles of Jesus. With hands-on activities to demonstrate and illustrate, you’ll inspire your toddler or preschooler’s faith in Jesus in a big and glorious way. Who knows what miracles Jesus might work in her life?
People talk about miracles in an off-hand way – but what is a miracle, really? Sit down in a cozy spot with your little one and have a chat about miracles. Instead of focusing on the world’s definition of miracles, give miracles a new source – they come from God. Tell your little one, “Miracles don’t make sense and we can’t explain them because they are too amazing and too awesome.” Give a little more information about miracles to substantiate your claim. Say, “When Jesus walked the earth, He performed lots of different miracles to show God’s love, to help people and to encourage people to believe in God. Would you like to learn about some of these amazing things that Jesus did?”
Loaves and Fishes
Jesus’ miracle of feeding the multitudes can be a cool lesson to share with your little one. Give your child a brief overview of the story. You might say, “Jesus had been teaching a big crowd of people for a long time and everybody was really excited what he was saying. Eventually, people got hungry and they didn’t have any food. Jesus didn’t want people to be hungry, so he found a small boy who had a basket of bread and fish. He thanked God for the food and then started passing it out to all the people. The basket never ran out of food, and it fed more than 5,000 people -- enough so that everybody was stuffed!” Show your child a small picnic basket and tell her that you’re going to make some loaves and fishes for the basket. Draw five loaves of bread and two fish on a sheet of paper. Have your little one color the loaves and fish, and then help her cut them out. Place the food into the picnic basket and talk about what a tiny amount of food that is for it to have fed over 5,000 people – miraculous!
Use the story of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the dead to teach another miracle. Tell your child, “Jesus’ good friend Lazarus got sick and he died. Jesus knew he was going to die and he decided that he would use this as a way to show a miracle. When Jesus got to the tomb where Lazarus was, he called ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ and Lazarus walked out of the tomb alive!” Create a simple puppet show or role play of this miracle. Use a puppet to depict the dead Lazarus and hide Lazarus away in a tomb. Use another puppet to be Jesus arriving at the tomb. In a strong and commanding voice, call out: “Lazarus, come forth!” and then have the Lazarus puppet jump up and come out of the tomb. Encourage your little one to act out the scene with the puppets, too.
Calming the Storm
Ask your little one if she’s afraid when it storms. She’ll probably say, ‘yes.’ Give her a squeeze and tell her that even big people are afraid of storms sometimes. Share the story of Jesus calming the storm when Jesus and his disciples were on a boat at sea and a storm blew up. Say, “Jesus was sleeping on the boat when it suddenly got very stormy. The disciples were afraid and they called to Jesus that they were going to die. Jesus woke up, looked around and told the wind and the sea to be calm. Instantly, the storm stopped and the sea was calm.” Have your little one make a little boat with half of a toilet paper roll (cut in half lengthwise). With the concave edge of the roll facing up, stick a small piece of modeling compound into it and have your little one push a few toothpicks into the compound as masts. Make sails for the masts with triangles of white paper, taped to the toothpicks.
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