If you regularly incorporate songs of worship and praise into your Sunday School class, have children make musical instrument crafts that they can use while singing. This will give you the opportunity to discuss why it's so important to praise God. Keep the crafts in your classroom and use them during songs, or let each child take her creation home so she can praise God there, too.
A paper plate and small jingle bells make a quick and easy tambourine. Give each child a sturdy paper plate. Let children decorate their plates. Show them how to write Psalm 100:1 on the eating side of the plates. In the King James Version of the Bible, the verse reads, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." With a hole punch, make eight holes around the lip of the plate. With yarn or ribbon, attach one jingle bell to each hole.
There are many ways to make shakers, which are like maracas without handles. All you need is a container with small, hard objects that can rattle around inside. For containers, you can use empty plastic food containers with lids. If it's spring, use plastic Easter eggs. Or, make your own container by stapling two paper plates together at the edges or connecting the open ends of two plastic cups with colorful masking tape. For the inside of the shaker, you can use dry beans, dry corn kernels, uncooked rice, beads or even paper clips. Let kids put these items inside the containers and have fun shaking them to the music.
Give each child a toilet paper roll to decorate with paint, markers and stickers. Cut circles from wax paper that are about 6 inches in diameter. Cut one circle per child. Show kids how to place the wax circle on one end of the roll, bring the sides down around the roll and secure them tightly with a rubber band. When children blow into the open end of the kazoo, they will hear a buzzing noise. Lead the group in a kazoo version of "Jesus Loves Me."
Pass out heart-shaped balloons to the class, and instruct each person to find a partner. One child blows up his balloon and holds the end tight without tying it. With a felt-tipped marker, his partner writes the Bible verse Psalm 9:1 on the balloon. The King James Version of the verse reads, "I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart." The child holding the balloon lets out the air, and the pair repeats the activity with the other person's balloon. Then each child inserts noisemakers into his deflated balloon. Noisemakers can be fashioned from any small object, such as dried beans or corn, beads or jingle bells. After that, children can blow up their balloons and tie the ends. Talk about the balloons' heart shape and what it means to praise God with all your heart. Let children shake their balloons and praise God.
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