The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids, taken from Matthew 25:1-13, is a biblical story often told to children at Sunday school in Christian churches. Although the moral of the story can be somewhat difficult for young kids to grasp without an explanation, parents and teachers can help them understand the main concepts through stimulating discussion and fun activities that correspond with the parable. Some of these activities are appropriate for older children while others are best for little ones.
Moral of the Story
It's important to understand the morals of the parable that direct the topic of conversation as well as certain types of activities. The story uses the analogy of bridesmaids with lamps waiting for the bridegroom to arrive for the wedding to compare what happens to those who are wise about it versus those who are foolish. The key concept from the story is that Christians must be vigilant and prepared for Jesus Christ's return as the "bridegroom" of the Church, or the "bride."
Encourage the children to discuss examples of not being prepared for something important, and talk about the consequences of it. You might need to bring up examples such as not studying for school or missing a fun trip to the zoo because of not being ready. Explain the difference between the definition of the word "wise" and the word "foolish." Talk about how thinking ahead and getting prepared helps everything to run smoothly. Compare this to what things we can and should be doing now to prepare for when Jesus returns.
Look online for coloring pages with the story's theme to print out for the kids to color during the lesson. The children can use crayons or markers to decorate them. For more of a challenge, cut the picture out as a puzzle for kids to assemble by taping or gluing the pieces together onto another sheet of paper.
Since the parable involves an oil lamp, try to find one to bring in for a visual during the discussion of the story. Explain how the oil lamp works and then have them create one out of playdough. If you're feeling extra-brave and the kids are old enough, have them craft their lamps out of clay for you to bake and return to them at a later time.
Have the children begin to memorize the last verse of the story, Matthew 25:13. This will help them remember the main point of the parable. You might want to give them a piece of paper with the verse printed out. Make it fun by letting them decorate it with crayons, markers, beads, glitter or other craft items.
Don't forget that the concept can be difficult for very young children to understand, so be patient and keep the activities light and fun. Also, sometimes the story is also referred to as the Parable of the Ten Virgins or the Parable of the Ten Maidens depending on the bible translation. Keep this in mind when searching for activity pages online.
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