When little ones learn the power of prayer and see examples of faith, these lessons can make a huge impact. Use the Biblical example of Hannah and Samuel to teach a vivid, engaging lesson to your toddler. Craft activities can make teaching Biblical principles a creative adventure with paint, scissors and glue galore.
Tell the Story
Your toddler may be little, but she's not too little to understand how much a mommy wants a baby. Grab one of her dollies and sit with her in a cozy spot. Tell her that a long time ago, a lady named Hannah was very sad because she wanted a baby very badly. Rock the baby back and forth in your arms as you begin the story. You might say, "Hannah was sad, but she also knew God. Hannah prayed very hard to God, asking Him to give her a baby. She even promised God that if He gave her a baby, that she would give the baby back to God to serve him. Guess what? God heard her prayer and he gave her a baby boy named Samuel. Hannah was so thankful and she kept her promise to God, too. Samuel grew up living in the temple, serving God and helping Eli, the high priest."
Tell your little one that "Samuel" means "God hears." Ask her if God hears her prayers. When she says 'yes,' tell her that you're going to make a prayer picture. Look through a magazine to find some pictures of good things that your youngster might pray for. Pictures of healthy food, happy people, a sunset, a nice house, a teddy bear, a dog or a swing set might be possibilities. As you find suitable pictures, help your little one cut them out. Once you have a nice stack of prayer pictures, glue them onto a sheet of construction paper. Write your child's name across the top -- "Samantha's Prayers," for example.
Talk with your little one about some of the things she prays about every night. This might include praying for Mommy and Daddy, brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends, pets and health. Get a sheet of white paper and trace around your little one's hands. After tracing, cut out the hands and ask your little one to choose one of the most important things that she prays about. Write whatever she says onto the palm area of one of the cut-out hands. Ask her to tell you one more important thing that she prays about and write this item down on the other hand. Encourage her to color her praying hands with crayons to make them pretty. Then help her glue them onto a sheet of construction paper to show her prayer works hands.
Talk about what little Samuel must have done to help at the temple where he lived with Eli. You might say, "Samuel was just a little boy, but God had great plans for him. I bet when he was little, Samuel helped keep the temple clean...what do you think? Should we pretend we're Samuel and clean our temple?" Give your little one a feather duster and keep one for yourself. Show her how to carefully dust the furniture, the walls, the doors and the walls. While you dust, you might sing some church songs that your little one knows like "I've God Joy in my Heart" or "This Little Light of Mine."
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