Free Sunday School Lessons for Children

The following Sunday School lesson for children is a free Sunday School sample lesson.
There are many more Sunday School lessons available on The Resource Room.

This lesson is also available in Spanish.

 

The Big Mistake

Written by Carolyn Warvel

 

Prodigal Son Activity SheetBible Verse: Psalm 86:5

Scripture Reference: Luke 15:11-31

Printable Bible Verse Cards - (Younger children) Print out onto card stock, write the Bible verse on the cards and make copies. KJV (PDF Pattern) or NLT (PDF Pattern)

Teaching concept: Children learn that God is a kind and forgiving God.

 

 


Early Arrivers Activities

Pig Activity sheetWhat you will need: Paper, crayons, brown kid's paint, pieces of sponge.

What to do:

1. Print out the pattern and make copies onto heavy paper. Muddy Pig Pattern NIV (PDF Pattern), Muddy Pig Pattern KJV (PDF Pattern).

2. In class have the children color their pictures and then use brown paint and paint mud onto the picture using pieces of sponge.

2. Work on the "Help the prodigal son find his way home" (PDF Pattern) sheet.

Pig Bulletin Board

Preparation: "You are Kind and Forgiving" Bulletin Board Display. Print out the Title Verse Pattern (PDF Pattern) and the Bible Reference Pattern (PDF Pattern) onto bright computer paper and cut the rows of words part. Tape the words together to make the verse. Print out the pig pattern (PDF Pattern) onto pink computer paper and cut them out. Staple them to your board as shown. Staple the Bible reference below the title and use the extra pig on top the it.

How to Print or Copy these instructions.

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The Lesson

Did you ever make a mistake or do something you knew you shouldn't do? Our story today is about a young man who made a big mistake. Listen to find what he did and where he ended up.

Jesus told a crowd of people this story:

Prodigal SonThere once was a father who had two sons. Hold up the picture of the two sons (PDF Pattern). The two young men had everything they could possibly need. They had nice clothes, good food, and even servants to wait on them.

(Ask the children what they see is different about the two sons.) Point out the younger son who has a sad face. For some reason the younger son was not happy. Maybe he felt like he couldn't be good enough because his big brother was always doing things better than him. Maybe he was tired of his father telling him what to do. Maybe he thought his father made him work too hard. Or maybe he thought that his father loved his brother more than him.

Jesus doesn't tell us why the young son wasn't happy at home. He just tells us that he wanted to leave. One day he went to his father and asked him to for some money. His father gave it to him because he loved him and wanted him to be happy.

As soon as he got the money he left home. He went out and bought all new clothes. Everyone thought he was cool. He threw parties every night with lots of food, fun, and dancing. Everyone wanted to be his friend.

After awhile, though, his money ran out and he found that the people he thought were his friends only liked him for his money.

About that time there was a famine in the land. That means that the food people planted didn't grow. There wasn't enough food to go around and jobs were hard to find. The young son went everywhere looking for a job, but no one wanted to hire him. Finally, he talked a farmer into giving him a job feeding his pigs. The son was so hungry that the pig's food began to look good to him.

Does anyone know what pigs eat? They are fed the parts of the plants that we throw away--the pods that are left over after collecting the beans or the husks and cobs left over after eating the corn and other things like that (garbage).

What do you think the young son was thinking now? He had everything he wanted when he lived with his father. Now he was living with the pigs and eating their food. (Let the children respond.)

The young son began to realize that he had made a big mistake. His only friends were pigs. He had no where to live and nothing but pig's food to eat. He began to see that he should have been happy with what he had at home. He did the wrong thing. He wasted all the money his father gave him. He missed his family and decided to go back home.

When he was still a long way off his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran up to his son and hugged and kissed him and held him in his arms. The son tried to tell his father how sorry he was, but his father wasn't listening. He was so happy to see his son because he had finally come home.

The young man's father didn't yell at him and tell him how stupid and wasteful he had been. Instead, he forgave him for the things he had done. He had his servants bring his son some new clothes. He put a ring on his finger and threw a big party and invited everyone he knew to celebrate with him.

Jesus told this story to show us how much God loves us. God loves you no matter what you do. He is sad when you do wrong and make bad choices, but he will never leave you, and he will forgive you when you come to him and say you are sorry.

David described God perfectly when he wrote this verse in Psalms 86:5, (Open your Bible and read the verse).

Even though this is a free lesson it is still copyrighted. It is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except for local church, school, or home use. It is illegal to copy this material and publish it on another web site even if you include the copyright notice. You must have permission to copy the material. To request permission to copy this material for any other use contact me by email.

How to Print or Copy these instructions.

Copyright 2000, Digital by Design, Inc. - See Copyright Information

 


Praise

Sing "God is So Good". Go to Kid's Corner web site for the music and the lyrics to this song.

 


Prayer

Father, we thank you for your loving kindness. We thank you that we can come to you whenever we have a problem and that you will always be there for us. We know that you are quick to forgive us when mess up and will always welcome us back when we return to you. Amen

 


Activities

1. Pretend to be Pigs and Find the Bible Verse Game.

What to do:

Before class print out the Bible verse pea pods (PDF Pattern) and cut them out. Write one word of the verse on each pea pod. Make enough so that each child can spell out the complete Bible verse with a set of pods.

Write the Bible verse on the board and display it so that all the children can see it. Go over the verse so that all the children understand it.

How to play:

Tell the children that they are going to pretend they are pigs. Let them practice their "Oinks" and "snorts". Tell them that you are going to be the young son who had the job of feeding the pigs. You are going to throw out some pea pods with the words to the Bible verse written on them. They can only pick up one pod at a time, read it, determine if they need the pod, keep it or put it back down again, and then pick up another pod.

If your children make the pigs in the basket craft below, they can store their pea pods in the basket and use them to take home and study their Bible verse.

*If you have kindergarten children, color code the pods. For example, you can put a red dot on the pods with the word "you", a green dot on the pods with the word "are", etc. That way you can tell the children to find five pods with different colors of dots on them. You could also use shapes or other markings to help them distinguish between the pods.

*If you have even younger children, print out the Bible verse pea pod pattern only once. Use only one set of pea pods and then cut pea pod shapes from the same paper you printed the pattern. Spread all the pea pods out on the floor face down. Have the children take turns picking up a pea pod and bringing it to you. You can pretend to be the pig and they can pretend to be the younger son. If the pod doesn't have a word written on it, make some grunting sounds and pretend that you don't want it. If it does have a word on it, read the word and pretend to eat it and then place it so that all the children can see it. Each time a child brings you a word, read it and put it in the correct order. Keep doing this until you have the completed verse. Have all the children say the verse together. If you don't want to be a pig you can use the large pig pattern for the Bible verse review. And have the children that find a word on their pea pod put it in the pigs mouth.

2. Play a Pig Snorting Game - Here is a fun game to play although it may not be appropriate for Sunday morning Sunday school.

The object of this game is to pass a snort around the circle as fast as you can without laughing. Have the children sit in a circle. Start by snorting at the children to your right. That child then snorts to the person on his right. Have the children keep going until someone laughs when they are snorting or receiving a snort. If a child laughs while someone is snorting at him or he is snorting, he is out of the game. He can laugh at all other times. If a child does not want to snort he can say "oink" The object of the game is to get the person you are snorting at to laugh so making faces while snorting you are snorting or acting silly is okay. Keep up the snorting until there is only one child left.

3. "Feed the Pig" Bible Verse Review Activity - This is a great way to review the Bible verse and story next week when the children return. Print out the big pig pattern (PDF Pattern) and the big pea pods (PDF Pattern). You may want to put some clear contact paper or laminate your pig. Cut the pig out and cut a slit in his mouth with an Exato knife. Cut out the big pea pods. Staple the pig to your bulletin board. Use thumb tacks to tack up the pea pods in random order at the feet of the pig. Have one child come up and pick out the first word of the verse and stick it in the pig's mouth, then have another child pick out the second word, keep going until the pig has eaten all the words to the verse.

You can also use this as a game. Play several times until all the children have had a chance to "feed the pig".

How to Print or Copy these instructions.

Copyright 2000, Digital by Design, Inc. - See Copyright Information

 


Crafts

Prodigal Son Craft from www.daniellesplace.com"Pig in a Basket" Craft - This Craft Goes with the Lesson "The Prodigal Son" for Primary Children.

What you will need: Small paper plates, pink and peach fun foam or construction paper, crayons or markers, scissors, yarn or jute string, raffia or ribbon for a bow, hole punch, glue and stapler.

What to do:

Before class print out the pig pattern (PDF Pattern). You can print it out on pink card stock or print it out on white card stock and have the children color the pigs. You could also use the pattern to cut pigs from pink fun foam. Cut the snout from a different shade of pink so that it will stand out. Cut the small paper plates in half. Print the Bible verse on the front of each paper plate half. Have the children color the paper plates. When they are finished staple them together to form a basket. Punch holes in the sides and tie string or yarn to form a handle. You can tie raffia or ribbon on top of the handle to form a bow. Glue the pig face and hoofs onto the front of the basket so that it looks like the pig is hanging out.

Even though this is a free lesson it is still copyrighted. It is for personal use only. It may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except for local church, school, or home use. It is illegal to copy this material and publish it on another web site even if you include the copyright notice. You must have permission to copy the material. To request permission to copy this material for any other use contact me by email.

How to Print or Copy these instructions.

Copyright 2000, Digital by Design, Inc. - See Copyright Information

 


Copyright 2000, Digital by Design, Inc.
Danielle's Place of Crafts and Activities
http://www.daniellesplace.com

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information or storage retrieval system, except for local church or school use only. This copyright notice must be included on all copies. Requests for permission to copy this material for any other uses should be addressed to Carolyn Warvel, 588 Duran Street, Henderson, NV 89015 or e-mail me at care@daniellesplace.com


Comments

We would love to hear your comments about this lesson. If you have done this lesson with your class we would love to hear how it went, if you changed anything, added anything, what age you taught and was it appropriate. Any comments that would help other teachers would be greatly appreciated and posted here for everyone to read

I just got back from teaching Sunday School and I wanted to tell you how TERRIFIC the lesson went thanks to Danielle's Place. We did the lesson of the Prodigal son. We played both games......the snorting one, (which was a BIG success) and the memory Bible verse feeding the pigs. They enjoyed working as a team on this. We then made pigs in a basket and I really left feeling good. The kids and I both enjoyed our Sunday. I always recommend Danielle's Place to all the teachers. Sincerely, Joni Wilson

When the son finally returned home, his father gave him a robe, new sandals, and a ring. I used costumes from our supply closet, bought rings (a party pack) and we made sandals. I devised a pattern by tracing around my granddaughter's sneaker. Then I cut a felt piece which had sides attached to the foot, much like a butterfly. I punched three holes in each side. Then I cut another felt piece and a cardboard piece of just the sole. In class we glued the cardboard, for stability, onto the sandal and covered the cardboard with the felt sole to hide it. Then the students laced their sandals using yarn. I put glue on the ends to make the yarn stiff and easier to thread. The kids really liked this project. Jane Chubb

I USED THE LESSON "THE BIG MISTAKE". THE CHILDERN LOVED IT. I NEVER HEARD SO MANY OINKS AND SNORTS. THE CHILDERN PLAYED THE GAME AND LOVED IT. I TAPED PICTURES OF PIGS ALL AROUND THE CLASS ROOM. THEY REALLY LOVED TO SPONGE PAINT. THEY UNDERSTOOD THE STORY BETTER BECAUSE IT WAS AT THEIR LEVEL. THANKS AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR LESSONS. MY KIDS LOVE TO GO TO THE SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS BEFORE I GET THERE JUST TO SEE WHAT THEIR LESSON IS ABOUT. THANKS, SHARA McDANIEL

I did the lesson about the Prodigal Son with the Muddy Pig. The kids just loved it. We also played the two games given (pea pod memory verses and Snort). They loved this lesson and responded well to it. It really touched me, I was giving an altar call for those who felt they needed to ask forgiveness because they had done something to make God sad and before I could complete what I was saying, children began dropping on their knees and praying at their chairs. It was awesome. Thanks. Rita

I did this in my Toddler class (ages 24 mos to 47 mos) --- it worked really well. To impress upon the children that eating pig food would be a really "yucky" thing and to impress upon them how much trouble the prodigal son was in given he was ready to eat the pigs food, I mailed a letter to each child containing a card placed inside a ziplock bag. On one side of the card was a picture of a pig. On the other, a note to the child asking that they bring left-overs (nothing spoiled) to class in the ziplock bag that i mailed to them ----- We were going to make pig food! The note also included reassurance to the moms that we were not going to sample any of the food or send any of it home with the children.

On the day of the lesson, I brought a large clear container and a spoon. We made note of the kind of food each child had brought and whether or not they liked it. I then helped each child take a turn emptying their ziplock bag of left-overs into the container. After all the left-overs were emptied, we turned the container upside down and over to mix the food together. We all agreed it did not look good. The kids took a turn smelling the "pig food" and agreed they would not want to eat it. After service, the kids brought their parents into the classroom to let them see the "pig food" they had made. This was easy to do and turned out really well. Marisa

I taught children's church during our Revival for ages 4 yrs. - 4th grade. We had it for 6 nights and I used 6 lessons from the Resource Room. One night I used the lesson on the Prodigal Son. The kids were really interested in the story. We used the coloring picture, but instead of using brown paint for the mud, we used chocolate pudding to finger paint the mud. The kids really enjoyed this and thought it was neat that you could 'finger paint' with pudding. I thought the kids would be tempted to eat the pudding, so we had pudding and animal crackers for snack time. The kids tried to find a pig in their crackers but I don't think we had any. We also used the idea for the Bible verse game, but I changed it. I enlarged the pig as big as I could fit it on the page. I copied it onto pink construction paper, cut it out, laminated it, and cut out the mouth. I used the 5 pea pods with the Bible verse words plus 15 blank ones and made them the right size to fit through the mouth opening of the pig. We had 2 teams and each had a pig and 20 pea pods turned face down on the floor. They had to pick a pea pod and bring it to the pig. If it had a word, they laid it by the pig. If it was blank, they fed it to the pig, and had to say the verse. The first team to find all 5 words and put them in order, won. (They kept 'feeding' the pig with the blank pods even after they won.) We played this game 2 times and then played variations of it until church was over. The kids really enjoyed learning their Bible verse using this game. We decided to use the pigs during our VBS to learn some of the Verses.

Thank you for your wonderful web site and ideas. They are a great ministry. God bless you all. Melissa Jones

I am using your lessons to teach our first grade Sunday morning Bible class. Last week my co-teacher, Lisa, and I taught the lesson The Big Mistake - The story of the Prodigal Son. Our children colored the"Muddy Pig" Picture at the beginning of class. Following the Bible lesson, we passed out wet wipes, placed a small bit of chocolate pudding on the pig pictures and allowed the children to finger paint mud on their pictures. After the first brave child tasted the "mud" it was fun to see the children's delight as they all tasted their mud. We ended class by spreading the chocolate pudding on vanilla wafers and giving each child several mud cookies to eat.; Thanks for all you do. Your lessons are a joy to share with my students! Cheryl


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