Nicodemus is a leader of a powerful Jewish group called the Pharisees and appears in the Gospel of John in the New Testament, when he meets with Jesus in support of the messiah’s teachings. Jesus tells Nicodemus of the need for man’s spiritual rebirth through baptism and faith to be accepted into the kingdom of heaven. Through crafts on the story of Nicodemus and Jesus, preschoolers can learn about God’s love and the promises of spiritual salvation.
Transform simple paper bags into Nicodemus and Jesus puppets for children to use in a dramatization of their meeting. Preschoolers can use a plain brown or white paper lunch bag, crayons, glue, scissors and construction paper. Have the children glue construction paper facial shapes, hair and costumes to create the characters of the story. Using the puppets, they can play out the meeting between Nicodemus and Jesus.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Through molding clay crafts of the earth, children can explore this scripture verse and how it relates to their life. Have children roll large or small spheres from molding clay and decorate them with green landform shapes or hearts to symbolize God’s love.
Preschool children can use colored markers to turn a plain coffee filter into a stained “glass” craft with a construction paper frame. This will illustrate God's love for the world, as explained to Nicodemus by Jesus. Blue and green washable markers can transform an uncut coffee filter into an image of the earth. Or have children use red markers to color a coffee filter cut into the shape of a heart to represent God's love. To make the stained glass effect, children can use markers to make marks on the coffee filter, then spray it with water to blend the colors. After drying, glue or tape the coffee filter image to a piece of construction paper with a scripture verse, such as John 3:16.
Jesus’ lesson to Nicodemus is of God’s love and acceptance of men through spiritual rebirth. Preschoolers can explore this concept through simple stuffed crafts made from construction paper. Have children trace and cut a heart, Earth or butterfly shape from two pieces of colored construction paper. Using markers or paint, let them decorate the shape as you explain the significance of Jesus’ message to Nicodemus. Next, staple three corners of the shape with one left open. Fill the remaining hole with crumpled newspaper before stapling the last hole shut.
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