This Jesus Washes Feet of the Disciples Theme for preschool is based on John 13:1-17.
Jesus is the model servant in this passage.
He wrapped a towel around his waist, as the household servant would have done in his time, and did the job that a servant would do.
This passage serves as the opportunity to teach our children to be humble servants; to look to who we can serve in our own lives. If Jesus--God incarnate--is willing to serve, we should follow that example as well.
This page includes preschool lesson plans, activities and Interest Learning Center ideas for your Preschool Classroom!
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!
Materials needed: Children's Bible, a pair of sandals, a small dish of sand and/or dirt.
Introduce the biblical times reason for foot washing:
What is the first thing we do before we sit down to eat?
We wash our hands.
Our hands get very dirty, so we need to wash them before coming to the table.
What are some ways our hands get dirty?
In Jesus' time, people wore sandals all the time (show sandals) because of the weather. Back then, roads were dirt roads. (Sift some dirt or sand in a bin for the children to see). They were not paved like ours are now. People's feet got very sandy and dirty from walking around.
When they came into the house, they would wash their feet before walking through the house so they did not track dirt throughout the house.
Read John 13:1-17 to the children.
Jesus was their teacher--their leader, but he washed their feet. Why? As a way to show how to be a servant and serve others.
When Jesus served the meal, he talked to his disciples (another word for followers) about him becoming a servant for them again.
Think "Ours" Instead of "Mine"!
Bold goal for preschool, I know! For this circle time activity, bring some new sheets of stickers to circle (or a bucket of new chalk) and place them in front of you at circle. Pour it out of a bag very dramatically and excitedly!
"Look what I have for us!!!"
The children may get excited and begin taking one or more!
After a minute or so, remind the children that you brought these items in for ALL of us! Tell them,
"We get so excited to see new things that we like and want! The first thing we do is think 'I LOVE those--I want some' and take what we want. What we need to do is serve others, as Jesus taught his disciples.
Let's put all these items back into the bag for now. We'll play with them a little later."
Read the Bible story.
Talk about the story. Discuss what serving others means (thinking of what others need or want before what we need or want).
After discussion, ask "So, based on this story, what do you suppose Jesus would want you to do with all these (items) that I brought in for ALL of us?"
Hopefully one of your children says you should share with everyone!
Pass out the items, one at a time. Give one to the first child, and tell him to pass it to the next friend and so on until the last person in your circle has one.
Keep doing this until every child has one.
Discuss the importance of serving (helping and sharing) with others as Jesus wants us to do.
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Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your 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 themed questions while making these fun snacks!
Use your favorite cookie dough.
Allow the children time to shape the cookies into foot shapes.
Jesus Washes Feet Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!
Materials needed: cleaned baby food jars (with labels off) and covers, spoons, clear shampoo, pitcher of water, foot stickers, ribbon, hole punch, small cards (cut from card stock or index cards), marker.
In advance, print "John 13:1-7 Jesus washes the Disciples feet" on the cards. Hole punch the card in a corner of the card. Make enough for each child to have one.
Have the children pour shampoo and water into the jars (equal amounts of each) and gently stir with the spoon. Rather than pour the amounts in, have them spoon amounts into the jar (great hand muscle/motor coordination activity)coarse salt, baking soda,epsom salts (adult handling only), food coloring and lightly scented perfume or body spray.
Cover jar. Have children lace a piece of ribbin through their hole-punched Scripture verse card.
Tie ribbon around the jar and send home.
Materials needed: many bars of different colored soap; bowls, cheese graters, warm water, metal forks or spoons
Help the children use the cheese graters to grate some soap, placing their grated soap into a bowl. (keep all the scrapings sorted by color)
Give each child a bowl and let them scoop some of the colors they want into their bowl.
The children add warm water to their bowl to moisten (not drown!) their shavings.
They use their hands to mix the shavings and water together to make almost a playdough consistency.
VARIATION: Use white soap to grate. Add warm water and a drop of food coloring. Let harden after mixed. Use as colored crayons!
Hey there! Welcome to Preschool Plan It! I’m Cheryl, a preschool teacher of over 20 years.
I KNOW, I know, you spend hours of time developing your preschool themes, activities and preschool lesson plans each week. You are commited to planning preschool themes and activities that are engaging hands-on, interactive, fun AND meet the goal of supporting each child’s level of growth and development.
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You’ll receive a weekly email with planning tips and teaching ideas. You'll also receive (on the 1st of each month) a free theme starter pack with some printables and activity ideas to get you started planning a theme!