Bible Story: “Deborah and Barak” (Judges 4)

Our Bible story for this week is about making choices. Babies have lots of choices—they hear music in the room, see toys on the mat, and watch your face as they hear you talk to them. You will notice they want to be near you. Babies learn how to play with a particular toy because of the way you offer it to them. Use language as you show them something new. Include words that describe the actions they take during play. The play babies begin during these months will encourage them as they make choices in future play decisions. Make comments such as: “Thank You, God, for hands to hold the toy. Thank You, God, for eyes to see the toy.” The soft tone of your voice will help set an attitude of reverence for God. You have an important part in helping children develop a foundation for faith.

Gather two of each type of toy (shaker/rattle, musical, ball, and a cardboard block). Place one set of toys on the floor and the other set in a large paper bag. Ask the child to choose a toy from the bag, and then direct him to find the matching toy on the floor. Tell the child that he is making choices. Try to encourage two children to play beside one another as they take turns finding a toy in the bag. A child may choose one toy and decide to move to another toy. Ones will not stay with any activity for long, but they will enjoy trying something new as they interact with you. Say, “Thank You, God, for hands to play with the toy.” They will make choices throughout the morning. Encourage new skills as ones learn to play along-side one another.

Set up two obstacle courses. Draw arrows on paper for the directions you want the children to move. You may want to make the activity weave through the learning centers in the room. Encourage them to choose which way they want to walk. Give them an option of going through both obstacle courses. The choice is theirs. This week’s biblical learning is about making good choices. Use the words “making choices” often. Say, “Thank You, God, that ________ (use child’s name) can make choices.” Twos are learning to play together, and this activity may encourage them to play with friends.

As you tell the Bible story in Group Time, ask a child to find the Bible Verse Marker in the Read-to-Me Bible. Repeat the Bible verse together. Guide that child to choose a friend to find the Bible Marker. Continue letting each child choose a friend to find the Bible Marker after he/she has a turn finding the verse. The children will enjoy “choosing” friends and saying the verse with you. The repetition of saying the words will help them remember the verse. Say: “In our Bible story today Deborah and Barak made good choices. Today you were able to choose friends to find the Bible marker and say the verse.”

Locate the Bible-learning activity “Make a stand-up verse” on page 10-BTH in your leader guide. (These are the additional “Bonus Teaching Hour” activities in the back of the book.) The following suggestion is a small change to the activity. Instead of drawing pictures on the back, place the cards on the table after they have finished copying the verse. Ask the children to make identifying marks (circle, triangle, X, etc.) or use matching stickers in front of and after the words on each of the cards. Then the Bible verse word cards can be put in order by matching the marks/stickers. The activity can become a game for the children when they get home. Provide a small zip-lock bag so each child can take his Bible verse cards home.

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