This Prodigal Son Theme page includes preschool lesson plans, activities and Interest Learning Center ideas for your Preschool Classroom!
Let the Theme planning begin! This parable can be found in your Bible in Luke 10:25-37
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your theme.
Or you can click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: brown fingerpaint, fingerpaint paper, pictures of pigs (colored and cut by children in advance--see Writing Activity ideas at the bottom of the page), glue, grass (optional)
Let the children paint with the brown paint as you talk about pigs, why they roll in the mud (to keep cool) and how it is a messy job to take care of pigs.
When done, the children squirt glue on the paper and stick on some of their pigs.
Addition: Have the children glue a person on the picture as well to represent the prodigal son. Perhaps they can make their own at the writing table or you can precut some from magazines.
Invitations to the Feast
Materials needed: white paper, watercolor paint, brushes, cups of water
The children paint the paper in any designs they want. Tell them they are making invitations to the feast the father had when his son returned.
Add people, play food and play pigs to the block area. The children will know what to do with them!
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!
Pass the Pigs
I LOVE this game! You can find it on Amazon. The way to play this game with keeping score is beyond a preschooler's ability, but would be fun to have and show the children (trust me, they will come up with their own way to play!)
You roll the pigs and see how they land (on their back, on their nose, on their side).
For adults, you are trying to match how they land to the cards in your hands. For preschoolers, have all the cards out and face up to see if they can match the way their pigs landed to any of the cards.
During circle time, have the kids act out how their pig lands when they roll it on the carpet!
EXTENSION: Put this game in the math/manipulatives area for more fun throughout your week!Click here to check out the game!
Give each child some playdough to use while you talk with them!
Talk about mistakes. Tell them we all make mistakes. Provide an example of a mistake. Make a sculpture of one (perhaps a lamp you've broken). "Break" the lamp and show them that you have broken it and tell your story.
Fix your sculpture. Talk to the children about forgiveness. That although sometimes we can not fix mistakes, we can ask for forgiveness and that our heavenly Father wants us to come to Him, even with our mistakes.
Materials needed: plastic person, pig, cow, piece of fabric (for the robe), ring, piece of play food, play money
Place all the items in front of you. Hold each one up and ask the children what it is. Ask if they remember that item from the story.
Have the children all cover their eyes.
Hide one item behind your back or in your hand.
Tell the children to uncover their eyes and guess what's missing!
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!
Feast For All
Invite the families to a snack feast at the end of your theme! Have the children help sort and count fruit for fruit salad cups, pour juice etc.
Use the fruit salad at an end of the theme party where you count how much change you've collected for your service project!
Provide pig puppet masks (made out of paper plates) and bathrobes and fabric to use for headdresses or headbands.
The children can act out the story all dressed up!
Encourage the children to cook a huge feast in your housekeeping area to represent the story.
Encourage the children to paint their own version of the story at the easel.
Games to Help Your Preschoolers Build Their Muscles While They Have Fun Together!
Hide and Seek
Encourage your children to play hide and seek in a large indoor or outdoor area. When a person is found, the seeker gives the child found a hug (or high five) and then those 2 continue looking for the rest.
Everyone participates in a group hug or group high five once everyone is found!
Hurry, Prepare for the Party!
Materials needed: 2 large boxes or laundry baskets and items from the story: play food, stuffed animals (pigs and cows), rings (perhaps tossing rings!).
The children work together to toss the items in the boxes or baskets.
Provide pig and people puppets along with a copy of the Prodigal Son book for the children to act out.
VARIATION: Provide flannel board pieces and a flannel board in your library area.
Book Suggestions for the LibraryThe Lost Son by Mission City Press, Inc.
To Help Your Preschoolers Develop Their Math Skills AND the Small Muscles in Their Hands!
Make your own board game on a large piece of construction paper. Glue the son on one end of the paper and a father character with arms outstretched at the other end.
Use or draw dots on a curvy path going from one character to the other across the paper.
Draw pictures on the board that go along with the story such as the brother, a pile of money, people having a party, pigs in mud, etc.
Use dice for the children to roll to take turns going across the board.
Use playing pieces to move (such as bingo markers or even mini pigs!).
Materials needed: a huge variety of plastic rings (you can find them in party sections of stores), a muffin tin or several bowls.
Allow the children to sort them by the attributes they find such as color, picture, size, etc.
Party Clothes Match
In advance, prepare many "robes" from paper and label them with numbers 1-10.
Provide a large bowl of rings (plastic rings from a party store).
The children count out the number of rings needed for each robe.
To Get Your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!
5 Little Pigs (italic--sung to the tune of 5 Little Ducks)
Have the children sing this version of 5 Little Ducks, replacing the word "ducks" with "pigs" and replacing "quacks" with "snorts"!
5 little pigs went out to play. Over the hill and far away.
Father pig called "snort, snort, snort, snort" but only 4 little pigs came snorting back.
4 little pigs went out to play. Over the hill and far away.
Father pig called "snort, snort, snort, snort" but only 3 little pigs came snorting back.
Continue until "no little pigs came snorting back".
No little pigs went out to play. Over the hill and far away.
Father pig cried "snort snort snort snort".......
And all 5 pigs came snorting back!
Talk to the children about the similarities between this song and the parable of the Lost Son. The father in the song did not stop calling for his pigs and welcomed his pigs home with great joy.
The father in the parable welcomed his son back with great joy.
God, our heavenly father, always wants His children to come back to him and celebrates with great joy when they come to Him!
What a great theme to make mudpies! Okay, confession, I think every day is a great day to make mudpies!
Add dirt and spray bottles with water to your table this week. Add spoons (I suggest wooden spoons or metal ones, as plastic spoons will break and be dangerous). Add farm animal pigs and people.
Water to Clean With
Provide water and dish detergent to your table. Add dishes or farm animals to wash.
Be sure to provide towels to dry with.
For Your Preschool Scientists in Training!
Materials needed: dirt/soil, food (peas), grass, water, banana peels
Let the children put layers of these items in a jar.
Add some water.
Seal jar and watch over time.
Materials needed: paper, pig stencils, colored pencils, scissors
The children can either trace pigs or draw their own and then color and cut them out. Use them for the "Pig Sty" art project in the Art section of this page. Or, have the children glue their pigs to paper and draw a picture of their own prodigal son on the picture.
Provide a piggy bank in your classroom. Collect change as part of a service project. There are many needy organizations in all of our areas. Search one out that is in need.
Let your families know what the project is. Use this bank as an opportunity for your children to count and practice rational counting!
A shelter or home that provides services for families to stay together would be a great connection to this parable.
End of the Theme Feast!
Under the Cooking Section above, I suggested an end of the theme feast. Ask families to bring in snacks that might go along with the story (a great opportunity for them to read the story with their children and family at home!).
The children can send home the "invitations" they made in the art section! You add the details of the date and time!