The fruit of the spirit refers to a list of qualities that Paul the apostle writes about in Galatians 5:22. These qualities are love, joy, gentleness, kindness, peace, faith, goodness, self-control and patience. Christians teach that those who love God can acquire these qualities with the help of the Holy Spirit. Teach children about the fruit of Joy, an intense, soul-deep pleasure that is evident in Christians with fun fruit-of-the-spirit activities.
Children love to listen to stories. Whether you read a passage from the Bible, a children's storybook or you tell a story you have made up, you will be sure to hold their interest in a lesson about joy. Skits and puppet shows are other ways to share the message of joy with the children. Bible passages about joy include Job 33:26 and Psalms 5:11. A children's story about joy that is appropriate for grades two through six is "Joy of Sacrifice," a story of a young girl who finds joy in helping others.
Children learn through song and movement, and they enjoy themselves doing it. Singing songs is an important part of Sunday school because many Christians enjoy praising the Lord through song. A popular Sunday school song that can be used when teaching about the fruits of the spirit is "I've Got the Joy". Children can sing the song as a group and use the hand motions that go with it. You can make up hand motions, or use American Sign Language signs for joy and heart. Other songs about joy include "Song of Joy" and "Fruit of the Spirit Song".
Making crafts in Sunday school can reinforce the lesson you have taught. Children can make a "Joy" necklace using a piece of yarn, Froot Loops cereal, and small cardboard circles. Have the children decorate the cardboard circles and write "joy" on one and things that they can be joyous about on the others. Then instruct children to string the cereal and cardboard circles on the yarn. Help them fasten their necklaces to wear home. Create fruit of the spirit beanbags out of felt. Let children cut out the felt into the shape of a fruit. You can sew them later at home, or older children may enjoy sewing them in class. Play a game of toss, and when each child catches the bag, have him share a reason to be joyful.
Wrap up your lesson about the fruit of the spirit by serving a simple and nutritious snack. Assign each of the fruits of the spirit a piece of fruit to represent it. For example, joy could be represented by an orange, love by a strawberry, and kindness by a banana. Draw each fruit on the board and list the fruit of the spirit it represents next to it. Involve the children in making the snack by putting out bowls of freshly cut fruit, and allowing them to arrange the fruits of choice on a skewer. While making the snack, discuss ways to incorporate more joy in life. Suggest finding joy in helping others, or being joyous about God's salvation. When everyone has a completed skewer, enjoy the fruit kabobs as a snack.