Understanding the importance of forgiveness is a basic lesson for children of all ages. Teaching forgiveness helps children learn about compassion, and having respect and empathy for others. By using crafts, you can demonstrate practical ways of forgiving each other, as well as engage in some fun and creative activities.
Crafts can help children understand the message of the Bible. Forgiving each other is a key factor in Christianity, and there are a number of ways crafts can help illustrate this. Jesus asked God to forgive the people who crucified him; children can make a cross out of cardboard or draw a picture of the scene. Luke chapter 15, verses 11 through 32, tells the story of a father forgiving his prodigal son. Children can also make their own puppets or clay figures to act out the parable.
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Teaching children to forgive each other can be done through sharing experiences. Get the children to help you fill an empty shoebox with small candies and decorate it accordingly. Make the children sit in a circle, and invite them to give the shoebox to a child they want to forgive. The child then passes the box to someone else. Children can also make a special forgiveness tree out of cardboard or paper and attach it to the wall. Cut or print out leaf shapes. Each time a child forgives someone, he writes down what he forgave on a leaf and puts it on the tree.
Demonstrating practical acts of forgiveness help children to understand ways to show their forgiveness. Bake cookies, which can then be given to another child or family member who the child wants to offer forgiveness. Children can also make their own cards. They can fold a piece of card stock, draw a picture and write a short message. The cards can then be given out or included with the cookies.
Drawing and painting are good ways to engage children learning about forgiveness. They can paint a picture of someone asking forgiveness or draw a symbol of forgiveness such as a handshake. Read a children's book or Bible story based upon forgiveness and ask the children to draw their own pictures.