On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey's colt. He came as a gentle and peaceful king-as predicted in Zechariah 9:9-- not as king ready for war on a horse.
The word "Hosanna" is literally translated as "Save". Calling out 'Hosanna' as Jesus enters Jerusalem showed that the people understood that He was there to save as the Zechariah prophecy stated.
This Theme Page that includes preschool lesson plans, activities and Interest Learning Center ideas for your Preschool Classroom!
Bible references for this account:
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.
Fringed Palm Leaves
Materials Needed: green construction paper with a large palm leaf drawn on each one in marker, scissors
The children cut out the palm leaf.
Show the children how to fringe the edges.
VARIATION: If your students have not cut fringes before, draw short, one inch lines around the edges for the children to cut on.
This is a great activity to develop motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
Donkey Paper Bag Puppets
Materials needed: brown lunch bags, googly eyes, yarn for the mane, paper cut into ear and paw shapes, glue sticks
The children glue the items onto the paper bag to make donkey puppets the children can use when acting out this story.
Materials needed: white paper, green and white finger paint, paint brushes
The children either brush paint onto their palms and fingers or press their hands into the paints to make different shades of green "palm" prints onto paper.
EXTENSION: Show children how to make hand prints in a circle (a wreath shape) and then glue a piece of paper in the middle of the wreath with one or all of the Scripture verses on it.
Materials needed: white paper cut into shirt shapes, water color paints
The children create their own cloak to represent the cloaks used on the donkey and on the ground when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Add people, donkeys, small palm trees and pieces of colored paper in shirt shapes. The children can build the Temple and show the path to Jerusalem.
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 theme!
Read the account of Palm Sunday from an illustrated Children's Bible. The passages can be found in:
Copy, color and laminate this story. You will need Jesus, a donkey, a colt, palm leaves, cloaks, people
Show the pieces to the children, talking about what each piece is.
Give each child one flannel piece.
As you read the story, pause to give each child time to place their piece on the flannel board.
Dress Up Story
Provide shirts, palms leaves, a donkey face mask for the children to use to act out the story as you read it.
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 themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Provide rolling pins for children to help roll out the dough. Use leaf cookie cutters to cut out cookies. Use colored frosting to frost when baked!
Living In The Times
Provide shirts, palm leaves (real or paper ones), 2 donkey headbands or masks, a pole decorated to be a tree (that the colt was tied to). Provide 2 cardboard boxes, one to be a house and one for a Temple.
The children can act out the story and live the times of dressing, going to the temple, covering the path with cloaks, etc.
Use palm fronds or palms to paint with!
Parade for Jesus
Using palms, have a parade to praise Jesus. Tell the children that "Hosanna" means save.
Palm Tree Limbo
Use a long stick or broom. Tape paper palms on it.
Use it to limbo! Play music, raise the pole up and down or children to find creative ways to get under the pole!
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
But of course! You can purchase this game or draw a large donkey (without a tail) and draw and cut out donkey tails!
Follow the Cloaks
You will need lots of shirts and a donkey face mask or donkey head band.
One child is the donkey. The children are the crowd.
They place one shirt down and the donkey stands on that one.
The then take turns placing shirts for the donkey to follow to Jerusalem.
Book Suggestions for the Library
Hosanna! The Story of Palm Sunday (God Loves Me Storybooks) by Patricia L. Nederveld
Path to Jerusalem
Materials needed: brown paper, strips of paper cut into thin strips (different colors), glue sticks
The children create their own path into Jerusalem. You may also encourage the children to glue a pattern onto their road.
In advance make, color and cut out donkeys (all identical), palm leaves (all identical) and Jesus (all identical).
Encourage children to copy or create their own patterns. Some examples:
donkey, donkey, Jesus
Jesus, Jesus, donkey
palm, Jesus, donkey, palm, Jesus donkey
My Hand Palm!
Materials needed: crayons, green paper, scissors, glue sticks
The children trace and cut out many hand prints.
They glue them on top of each other to make a palm frond.
Find some of your favorite songs about Jesus.
Dance to the music while using palm leaves (real or paper).
Dance high, dance low, etc.
Purchase palms and put in your sensory children. This is a great opportunity for the children to explore what palm leaves look like. They can separate (peel) them and count them.
Create a palm ecology bottle.
Materials needed: 2 liter clear plastic bottle or each child, soild, small plants
Cut the top 1/3 of the bottle off, put aside.
Fill bottom of bottle 2/3 full of soil and then water it.
Add small plants.
Place top of bottle into the bottom of the bottle (inverted so that the "spout" is facing the soil).
This system should water itself!
Provide paper and crayons and/or colored pencils. The children should draw the story. Ask them to tell you the story in their own words.
Write down their story and attach to their picture to either display or send home.
Provide palm shaped paper and crayons.
The children make thank you cards thanking Jesus for things in their lives they are grateful for (family, His love, etc.).
Ask parents if they know someone who has a donkey that can visit your program or go to a farm that has one!
Click here for the Christian Easter Theme Page!