When the Israelites wandered in the wilderness after fleeing Egypt, God provided manna for them to eat. It appeared on the ground each morning, and it’s described as a kind of sweet wafer. Teach kids more about manna and the Israelites by making crafts that illustrate the theme.
Kids will love making edible manna, but first explain to them that nobody knows for sure what manna looks like. This craft will give kids an idea of what manna possibly looked and tasted like. Give each child a plain tortilla, and let them spread honey and cinnamon on the top. Let them rip their tortilla into small pieces, and explain that this is similar to what the Israelites saw each morning when they awoke. The people were only supposed to gather the manna they needed for that day. If they tried to sneak more, the manna would become rotten. Have kids mix gummy worms in with the “manna” to represent maggots that infested the hoarded food.
Set the scene for younger children by letting them create a picture of what the Israelite camp looked like. Give each child a piece of brown construction paper, and several fabric squares. Let kids glue the squares to the construction paper to represent the Israelites’ tents. Next, give kids a handful of dry Israeli couscous, which they can glue on the paper to represent the manna that the Lord provided. Cooked couscous mixed with honey could make a plausible representation of manna. Cook a batch before class, and let kids try a spoonful.
Explain that the Lord provided food for the Israelites so they wouldn’t go hungry in the wilderness. Tell the kids that millions of people in the world who go hungry each day, and it’s our job to help. Give each child a large paper grocery bag turned inside out. Tell kids to write, “Hope for the Hungry” on the outside of the bags and decorate them with eye-catching colors and embellishments. Each child will take the bag home and use it to collect nonperishable food items. On an appointed day, kids will bring their filled bags back to church, and everything will be donated to a local food bank or homeless shelter.
Heavenly Wind Sock
Tell the children that even though God doesn’t literally give us manna, his word nourishes us. Jesus is described as “the bread of life” (John 6:35). Make a wind sock that illustrates this concept. Give children construction paper, and instruct them to write, “Jesus Is the Bread of Life” on their piece. Roll the construction paper into a cylindrical tube, and tape together. Cut strips of crepe paper in 2-foot long lengths. Let kids use markers to write one thing Jesus has given them on each strip. Tape the strips to the inside of the tube, and let the streamers flow downward. Tell children it’s like God’s blessings flowing down from heaven to us.