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Jesus and the Children Preschool Theme

This Jesus and the Children Preschool Theme is based on:  Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16 and Luke 18:15-17.  

The account listed in all three Scripture references remind us how important children are to Jesus.  Children live in an adult world.  They need to know how important they are!

In addition, as teachers: Do we have child-like faith?  We need to get back to that!

Let the Theme planning begin!

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

JESUSANDTHECHILDREN Art Activities Block Area Circle Time Activities Cooking Recipes Dramatic Play Ideas Easel Ideas Gross Motor Games Library and Literacy Math And Manipulatives Activities Music and Movement Sand and Water Table Science Activities Writing Activities

Art Activities

Jesus and the Children Theme Art

Come To Me!

Materials needed:  Paper, markers, brad fasteners, hole puncher

In advance, draw "arms", 2 for each child.  If you are using 8X10 paper, make the arms 4" wide (each arm).

The children draw a picture of themselves on the paper.

The hole punch the right and left sides of their picture.

Help them to add arms to the picture of themselves.  Fold arms so that they are "hugging" the child!

During the activity, talk to the children about how much Jesus loves them and wants them to come to Him!

Ask them how we can "come to Him".  (Through prayer, talking about him, etc.)

All the Children of the World

Materials needed:  white paper plates, green and blue markers, magazines (or precut pictures of children).

The children color the plate to be the Earth.  They then cut out pictures and glue them on to the world.

Teach them the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children" (See Music section below for lyrics).

Jesus Loves Us All: Jesus and the Children

Materials needed:  Paper plates, markers or crayons or watercolor paints, a long ribbon placed on your wall

The children paint or color themselves and thier family and/or friends--one on each paper plate.

Have them print their name or the name of the person they drew on the paper plate.

When done, attach to the ribbon on your wall.

Print a sign over it that says "Jesus Loves us ALL".

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Block Area

Jesus and the Children Theme Block Center Ideas

Jesus is Coming

Add rocks, stones and toy people (adults and children).

The children can make a path that the children took to go and see Jesus.

They can use the adults as the disciples telling them not to bother Jesus or as the families bringing the children to see Jesus.

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Circle Time Activities

Jesus and the Children Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Jesus and the Children theme!

Jesus Blesses the Children

You will need one other adult to help you tell the Jesus and the Children Bible story.

Tell the adult to sit with the children and act like a child during the story (fidgety, etc.).

When you are done, ask the children what they liked about the story.  Give time for them to respond.  Then have the adult respond, acting/talking like a child (I wiked when Jesus bwessed the kids, etc.)

Ask what the children did not like about the story.  Give time for them to respond.  Then, have the adult give answers, too, like "The men were mean.  They were rude".

Ask the children what they think Jesus meant when he said the needed to be like children?

Tell the children that __________ (fill in your adult helper's name)  is acting like a's pretty silly isn't it?

Let's pretend to be a grown-up.  Now let's pretend to be babies.

It's fun to pretend, isn't it?  

Well, when Jesus told his disciples that they needed to be like children, he didn't mean to pretend and ACT like children.  What he meant was that they should trust Jesus like children do!  

You all trust or believe that your friends will always be nice and tell the truth.  

How Much or How Far? Jesus and the Children

In advance, tape two parallel lines at circle time, far enough apart that the children can jump from one to the other.

Have them take turns standing behind the line and jumping to the next one.

Once everyone has had a turn, have the children sit ON the line.

Discuss how far they jumped (if you want, measure how far).

Tell the Jesus and the Children Bible story.

Ask them to tell you something they remember from the story.

When all who want to have had a turn, tell them:

Jesus loves us all.  He wants everyone, even grown ups, to trust him as children do!  How much do you think Jesus loves us?

Let them reply.

Tell them that some things we can measure, like how far we can jump or how tall we are.  

But we can not measure how much Jesus loves us because it is more than we can measure!

Acting It Out:  Jesus and the Children

Assign every child to a part for the Jesus and the Children story.  One to be Jesus and the others to be disciples and adults in the crowd.

Tell the story in your own words, pausing to let the children act out what you say.

Example:  Moms and Dads heard about Jesus and wanted their children to meet him.  So they all went to where Jesus was teaching (let them act that out).

When the children tried to walk closer to Jesus, the disciples stopped them (give time to act out).  

At the end, let each child go over to "Jesus" to receive a hug and then return to circle area.

Ask the children questions about Jesus such as:

Why do you think Jesus thinks each one of us is special?

Remind the children that Jesus always loves us and provides for us.

You Are Important To Jesus:  Jesus and the Children

In advance, print a picture of each child in your class.  Attach to an index card with their name printed on it.

Materials needed:  Index cards with pictures and a footstool.

Read the Jesus and the Children Bible story.  Discuss any parts of the story the children want to talk about (Ask what they think about the story).

Ask who they think is important to Jesus.  Let them answer.

Tell them, well, I KNOW who is important to Jesus in our group!  I have the names of those who are important to Jesus.  I will hold up the card, and you all can read the name.

If it is YOUR name, come step up on this stool and say "JESUS LOVES ME!"

Show each card, one at a time.  Be sure you have your own name and picture!  We are ALL important to Jesus, and by not having your own name, you are discounting Jesus love for you in front of the children!

Ask again, when done, Who is important to Jesus?  That's right, we all are. Jesus loves ALL of us!

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Cooking Recipes

Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Jesus and the Children Theme!

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific Jesus and the Children themed questions while making these fun snacks!

Important Recipe Ingredient--and YOU!

You are going to offer lemonade at snack today.

In advance, make one container of lemonade.

Make another container of UNSWEETENED lemonade.

Give the children a little bit of the unsweetened lemonade without saying anything about it.

Let them respond.  If they don't mention that it does not taste good, then bring it up. 

How is the lemonade?  I made it kind of quickly this morning, does it taste right?

Ask what they think is missing.  Right, sugar!

Sugar is an important recipe ingredient for lemonade.  Without it, the drink tastes not quite right.  It's important.

Well, like the sugar is important to lemonade...YOU are important to Jesus! He loves each one of you more than you know!

Going To See Jesus Trail Mix

You will need 3 or 4 ingredients to make trail mix, keeping allergies in mind (suggestions are raisins, cheerios, chex cereal, pretzels, goldfish crackers, etc.).

Place each ingredient in its own bowl.

Provide a 1/8 cup measuring cup in each bowl.

Provide each child with a zip type baggie.

They should scoop one scoop of each into their baggie.

Help them seal it.

Then they shake it.

Take a walk around your classroom or school (follow the leader style) talking about the Bible story.  Tell the children that you are going pretend you are the children in the story and take a walk to meet Jesus.

Walk around and then, when you are close to your snack table area, remind the children of the disciples.  What did the disciples say or do when the children got near Jesus?

Right!  They tried to make them go away!  But, what did Jesus say?  (Let them respond).

Sit at the snack table.  Tell the children:

Jesus told the disciples not to stop the children, but to let them come to Him because he loves them and wants to bless them!

Let's say a prayer of thanks right now before we have our snack.


Thank you for how much Jesus loves us and wants to bless us!  Help us to learn more about him everyday.  

In Jesus name,


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Dramatic Play Ideas

Jesus and the Children Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Acting Out the Story

Provide items to your housekeeping area this week.  Provide biblical times clothes (robes, headpieces, etc.); babies; dress up clothes and add pieces of brown paper (or large, paper grocery bags opened up) to make a road for the children to follow to go see Jesus.

EXTENSION:  Add the red light/green light signs from the Red Light/Green Light Come to Me activity from the Gross Motor Section below.

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Easel Ideas

Jesus and the Children Theme Ideas for your Easel--

More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)

I Am Important to Jesus

Provide paper and paint.  Talk to the children about how important they are to much so that there is a whole story in the Bible about it!

Suggest that they paint about WHY they are important (could be a "special gift or talent" they have, like helping, or painting, etc.) or "just because I'm me"!

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Gross Motor Games

Jesus and the Children Theme Large Group Games 

that help build their muscles while they have fun together

Follow Me

Materials needed:  2 blindfolds and an obstacle course set up.

Talk to the children about the obstacle course.  Let them guess what they need to do at each point (step over the mat, climb under the chair, etc.)

Choose 2 children to go through the obstacle course.  Tell them they are going to do it without being able to see by wearing a blindfold (respect the children who say no to using a blindfold).

Have an adult helper talk the children through the obstacle course.

Give them a huge round of applause when they make it through!

Remove the blindfolds.

Ask the children what it was like:  to have the blindfold on, to go through the course without being able to see.

Ask what would have happened if they didn't have the leader to tell them what was coming next?

Discuss with the children that Jesus tells us that he leads us like a shepard leads his sheep...he looks out for them.

Jesus looks out for us, too.  We can not see what is coming up sometimes in life, but Jesus sees it and he helps us through it--sometimes we know how when we pray to Jesus and sometimes we know because of the people Jesus has put in our lives.

Like your family and teachers who look out for you when you are walking outside, or at the park.

We can follow Jesus and know he has a plan for us and loves us and provides for us.

Bless You!

Materials needed:  a large ball and a large space for you all to gather in a circle.

In our Bible story, Jesus said to let the children come to him.  He wanted to bless them.

Tell the children that they will each have a turn but they need to listen for their name.

Give the ball to one child.  Tell him or her that they should toss the ball in the air and say a friend's name.

That friend is the ONLY one who should catch the ball. If they don't catch it, it's okay, they should go and pick it up if it rolls away, but ONLY the child whose name is called can touch the ball!

When that friend gets the ball, all of us will say loudly, "Bless You, _________(fill in child's name)".

Play until every child has a turn.

After the game, talk to the children about the game.  What do they think it means to be blessed?

Being blessed means God has given us HIMSELF!  He sent Jesus to us.  He will provide for our needs and we can learn more and be closer to him by reading his word and praying!

Jesus and the Children-STOP!

Ask one child to be Jesus and another to be a disciple.  Give that child a piece of red paper that says STOP.

Teach the children this song (sung to Farmer in the Dell)

We're going to see Jesus.

We're going to see Jesus.

Hi!  Ho!  We're Happy, OH! 

We're going to see Jesus.

Have "Jesus" stay on one side of the area.

All the children should sing this song while dancing around the room. When done, they should all hop (skip, crawl, change it up!) over to see Jesus.

The "disciple" should hold up the sign and yell "STOP!" and all the children freeze.

Let each child take turns being either Jesus or the Disciple.

Then, have all the children sit down with you.

Tell them that it is so sad that "we" couldn't see Jesus.  Why couldn't we?

Discuss the Bible story with them.  The disciples surely thought Jesus had more important things to do than bless children.

They stopped the children from seeing Jesus.

But, Jesus did not allow this to continue, he said (teach this line to the children):  "LET THE CHILDREN COME TO ME!"

Practice that line a few times.  And go on to explain the rest.  

Yes, Jesus said "Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children."

Red Light/Green Light--Come To Me!

Materials needed:  Red stop sign and green go light made out of paper.

After reading the Bible story or reviewing the story, play this game of red light/green light!

Tell them they should tip-toe when the green paper is showing (green means GO!) and freeze when the red paper is showing (red means STOP).

Tell the story in your own words as you play:

"The children were going to see Jesus (green paper).

The disciples said NO! (red paper), etc.

At the end, the children all keep going to you and you give them a hug.

Put the red light/green light papers in Dramatic play for more use!

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Library and Literacy

Jesus and the Children Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom

Book Suggestions for the Library

Jesus Blesses the Children by Arch Books

Jesus Loves the Little Children by Debby Anderson

Jesus Loves Me by Debby Anderson

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Math And Manipulatives Activities

Jesus and the Children Theme Activities

to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!

Disciple and Children Sorting

In advance, print out the pictures of each of your children and attach to a craft stick; print out pictures of 12 men (disciples) and attach to sticks.

Let children sort by child/disciple or other attributes.

Or, provide bowls with numbers 1-5 and have the children count that many children and/or disciples into each.

Let the Children Come To Me Path Game

Make up your own path game!

Draw Jesus on the upper left side of the paper.  Make stone shapes for the path.  Draw "Start" on the lower, right side of the paper.

Decorate to look like a biblical times town on the sides.

Provide a dice or a number spinner.  

The children take turns letting the children get to Jesus.

For game markers/pieces, print out and laminate the children's pictures to use!

Jesus and the Children--Big and Little

Jesus loves all of us, big and little.  

Provide articles of clothing that are big and little (children and adult) for them to sort:  shoes, gloves, hats, etc.

Jesus and the Children--Make a Joyful Noise

The children want to go to Jesus and Jesus loves them!  Let's make a joyful noise!

Provide 3 plastic tubs of different sizes and wooden spoons. 

The children play a "joyful" noise to the Lord!

This activity will help them to notice the different sounds that are made from different sized containers.

It can also help them with sound patterns:  tap on the:  big, big, small, small, medium, big, big, small, small, medium. etc.

VARIATION:  Provide 3 small, thick glasses, a metal spoon and fill each glass with different levels of water. 

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Music and Movement

Jesus and the Children Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas

to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

There are so many songs to teach the children about this theme!  If you don't know the tunes, do a quick YouTube search for it!

First are some quick songs/fingerplays and then some traditional songs.

Come To Me  (sung to the tune of Rock a Bye Baby)

Come to me children, when you are sad.

Tell me what's making you feel so bad.

I promise to listen and care for you.

Remember the promises I made are true.

You and Me  (Sung to the tune of Farmer and the Dell)

Jesus loves you and me.

Jesus loves you and me.

Heigh Ho!  Praise the Lord!

Jesus loves you and me!

Let Them Come!  (sung to the tune of Are You Sleeping?)

Jesus sat

Upon a hill

With his friends.  With his friends.

All the little children

Wanted to see Jesus

So they ran, so they ran.

"Stop the Children"

"Stop the Children"

said the men, said the men

Jesus said, "I love them,

and I want to bless them.

Let them come.  Let them come."

Jesus Loves The Little Children

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black or white

They're all precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world

Whether you're rich or whether you're poor

It matters not to Him

He remembers where you're going

Not just where you've been

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black or white

They're all precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world

If your heart is troubled

Don't worry, don't you fret

He knows that you have heard His call

And he won't forget

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black or white

They're all precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world

All around the world tonight

His children rest assured

That He will watch and He will keep us

Safe and secure

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow, black or white

They're all precious in His sight

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Jesus Loves Me (Look online for the sign language movements for this!!!)

Jesus loves me! 

This I know, 

For the Bible tells me so. 

Little ones to Him belong; 

They are weak but He is strong.

Jesus loves me! 

Loves me still, 

Though I'm very weak and ill, 

That I might from sin be free, 

Bled and died upon the tree.

Jesus loves me! 

He who died 

Heaven's gate to open wide; 

He will wash away my sin, 

Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! 

He will stay 

Close beside me all the way. 

Thou hast bled and died for me; 

I will henceforth live for Thee.


Yes, Jesus loves me! 

Yes, Jesus loves me! 

Yes, Jesus loves me! 

The Bible tells me so.

Jesus Loves Even Me

I am so glad that our Father in Heav’n

Tells of His love in the Book He has giv’n;

Wonderful things in the Bible I see,

This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.


I am so glad that Jesus loves me,

Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,

Jesus loves even me.

Oh, if there’s only one song I can sing,

When in His beauty I see the great King,

This shall my song through eternity be,

“Oh, what a wonder that Jesus loves me!”


I am so glad that Jesus loves me,

Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me;

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,

Jesus loves even me.


Jesus loves me, and I know I love Him;

Love brought Him down my poor soul to redeem;

Yes, it was love made Him die on the tree;

Oh, I am certain that Jesus loves me!


If one should ask of me, how can I tell?

Glory to Jesus, I know very well!

God’s Holy Spirit with mine doth agree,

Constantly witnessing Jesus loves me.


In this assurance I find sweetest rest,

Trusting in Jesus, I know I am blest;

Satan, dismayed, from my soul now doth flee,

When I just tell him that Jesus loves me.


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Sand and Water Table

Jesus and the Children Theme Activities for the Senses!

The Road to Jesus--Jesus and the Children

Provide sand and gravel in your table.  Add toy people (adults, children, and yes, dogs and students have insisted upon them!).  Also include STOP signs!

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Science Activities

Jesus and the Children Theme Science Activities--

for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Come to Me:  Jesus and the Children

Materials needed:  Two 8-inch balloons; a large plastic container (butter container or cool whip sized) and a small, plastic container (like a yogurt container or paint cup)

Tell the children:

Jesus has a special love for children.  In the Bible, the disciples asked Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus had a child stand near him and then told his disciples, "...unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3)

Wow!  I'm sure the disciples wondered what Jesus meant.  I mean, they are grown-ups!  How can they be children again?  

Well, it's kind of like these containers.  Let's pretend this big one is like the grown-ups, this little one is like the children and the balloons are Jesus.

We are trying to get close to Jesus, to get to know him.

(Blow up a balloon and tie it off.  Place it next to or in the large container.  It will not stick or fit inside the container enough to pick up the container).

Grown ups try to get close to Jesus, but sometimes, they just don't know how!

(Now blow place the second balloon into the yogurt container.  Blow it up and tie it off.)

Look, the children are close to Jesus.  How were they able to do that and the grown ups weren't?

Well, because children, you are so great at letting other people be who they are.  Children accept Jesus for who he is, the Son of Man, God!  

Grown ups don't always just accept this, so they learn ABOUT him, but just don't get as close.

That's why Jesus told them that they need to "become like children"...they need to accept Jesus for who he is!

Following Jesus--Jesus and the Children

Materials needed:  a small, aluminum can (a soda can); a balloon; a piece of fabric (preferably wool or something that will create static on the balloon--socks work great!).

Inflate the balloon as large as you can and tie it off.  Write the name "JESUS" on the can with a marker.

Tell the children:

Jesus told the disciples to let the children come to him.  He wants ALL of us to follow him...little kids, grown-ups, all of us.  And we can!

It's kind of like this.  This can is like us.  This balloon is like Jesus--see, his name is right here!  J-E-S-U-S!

We (point to the can) can follow Jesus (point to the balloon).

Let me rub this balloon on this sock and make it super staticy..there.

Now watch... (put the balloon near the can and slowly move it away from the can.  The can will follow.  If not, rub it some more!  It's probably best if you don't do it on a carpet, but something smooth and flat).

See that can is following the balloon........the person is following Jesus!

We CAN (get it.... a CAN!! ;) ) follow him, too!  We do this by learning about him in the Bible, attending Sunday school and living the way Jesus wants us to live:  Loving God and loving one another.

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Writing Activities

Writing Activity Ideas for Your Jesus and the Children Theme!

Jesus Loves __________

Provide heart stencils, markers, pens and scissors.

Have the children trace and cut out a heart.

Have them print their name as best they can on their heart.

They can decorate it as well.

Have a bulletin board or area on your wall where they can tape the hearts.

Have a sign over them that says "Jesus Loves....."

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