The Prodigal Son Surprise Bible Lesson

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Scripture: Luke 15: 11-32

Materials: Copy paper box, craft paper, party hats, stickers, labels with memory verse printed on them, graham crackers, Popsicle sticks, small plates, icing, markers/crayons, The Storybook Bible

Memory Verse: “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:24

Pre-class Preparation:
1. Using a copy paper box (or similar size) and craft paper (or blank wrapping paper), wrap the lid and the box as separate pieces. Once you wrap the “gift,” place all the supplies for today’s special snack inside the box.
2. Research the links below for ways you can share today’s passage to best reach your group.

Prodigal Son Opening Activity: Decorate a present
Welcome each child to your class and invite them to help decorate the present lid and box. As they decorate, encourage them to share a time that they received a surprise. Tell them that today we are going to learn about how a father was surprised when his son returned home.

Prodigal Son Bible Lesson:
Today’s passage is Luke 15:11-32.
Read the Wayward Son from the Jesus Storybook Bible or you can watch the video.
Ask the following questions–>
1. Why did the son leave his father?
2. What happened when he left? At first? Later on?
3. What brought the son back to his father?
4. How did the father react? Were you surprised by his reaction?
5. How did the brother react?
6. How does this passage show us God’s Sovereignty?

Game: “Pass the Present”
{Play the following game (similar to musical chairs).}
Have the students sit in a circle, and play worship music (example: “Luke 15”). Stop the music. Whoever is holding the present when the music stops sits out. Begin the music again until each student sits out. The last student holding the gift gets to open it. Inside are all the materials for the special snack: “Graham Cracker Homes.”

Snack: Graham Cracker Homes
{Make sure to place an allergy alert outside the room so parents know of today’s special snack. Once you have opened the present, set out plates, Popsicle sticks (to use to spread icing on the graham crackers), graham crackers (each student will need 1 ½ crackers to build a house).}

Invite students to build their own graham cracker house. Use 4 small graham crackers as the side of the house, using the icing as glue. Place two graham crackers as the roof. As they work on their houses, review what you learned today as a father welcomed his wayward son home and talk with them how God welcomes us – no matter how dirty/needy/sinful we are, He forgives it all!

Prodigal Son Craft: Party Hats
You will need: One party hat per child, stickers/crayons/markers, label with the verse
Give each child a party hat and invite them to decorate it with crayons/markers. Give them each a label with verse to add to the hat to remind them of what we learned today. As they work on their project, talk about how in today’s passage the father was surprised at the return of his wayward son and that he celebrated his return in a grand way.

Prodigal Son Song Suggestions:
Luke 15
Prodigal by Sidewalk Prophets

Other Ideas for the Prodigal Son:
For Younger Children
For Older Children

Stephanie Jackson serves as the director of Children’s Ministries at North Wake Church, located in Wake Forest, NC since 2003.  She enjoys partnering with parents of children ages birth to 5th grade in teaching kids about Jesus.


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