Ark Kids Elementary: Thanks & Giving

Thanks & Giving Week 4: No Gift Is Too Small!

Rusty is fighting over a Black Friday deal. He hopes to sell it to Prince Second Tuesday and use the money to give something big to the local toy drive. Rusty needs to learn that no gift is too small when God is at work.



Large Group Full

Large Group Full Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

Prop needed for Engage 3 The 8ft appearing candy cane is an illusion that can be purchased online. If that illusion is not available, then you use an alternative such as toys that grow in water. Have two available and show the before and after. Usually, you will need to place the toy in the water a few days or even a week prior to allow it to grow.

Materials: Lab Coat (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host Welcome to the Lab! Did you enjoy Thanksgiving break?

Co-Host Me! Me! Me!

Host You don’t go to school. You’re a grownup.

Co-Host That would explain why I haven’t had homework in twenty years. This is going to be a great week. I’m going Christmas shopping with Herman and Rusty.

Host Has anyone ever gone shopping the day after Thanksgiving? It’s pretty crazy out there. The stores hold massive sales and the people cram through the doors to snatch them up.

Co-Host It sounds like a blast. Last year I nearly got clobbered by a really angry eight-year-old.

Host You weren’t fighting over a (Popular toy) again, were you?

Co-Host I refuse to answer that question…yes.

Host Let’s get the day started out right. Everyone, stand up and find someone nearby. Ask that person to tell you one item on their Christmas list.

Materials:
Materials: : Lab Coat (2), Button
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host Rusty and the Swede are really going after each other about that lunch bag.

Host It sounds like they could get a lot of money from the prince.

Co-Host Rusty told me that he wanted to go for a big present because he didn’t feel like he gave enough last year in the Toy Drive.

Host Both kids and adults sometimes feel like their gifts are too small to matter. Let’s choose a lab assistant to reveal our Big Point. It teaches us an important principle about giving.

(Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.)

Co-Host Press that button after we count down from three to reveal the Big Point.

  • (Kid volunteer presses the button. Lights flash and the Big Point is revealed)

Co-Host Repeat the Big Point after me, No Gift Is Too Small! Do you guys really believe that no gift is too small?

Host There is a catch to the Big Point. No gift that God asks you to give is too small. No gift given with a cheerful, faith-filled heart is too small.

Co-Host Let’s see if we can figure out some ways that different kinds of gifts could be used by God.

Host We’re going to show you some pictures of things people could give, and I want you to think of how God could use that gift.

Play the following slides and ask kids in the audience to explain how they think the gift onscreen could be part of God’s big plan.

Co-Host Some of those were pretty easy to figure out, but even the tougher ones made sense once you thought about it.

Host Thankfully we serve an all-powerful, all-wise God. He creates plans that will blow our minds. The good news is that we don’t have to understand how everything in the plan works. We just have to be willing to trust the plan-maker. I wonder if Rusty found the Swede yet.

Materials: Lab Coat (2), Button
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host The Swede is not a nice guy.

Co-Host Nope, but I’m more concerned that Rusty thinks he has nothing to give because he lost the lunch bag.

Host He just doesn’t seem willing to believe the Big Point is true.

Host No Gift Is Too Small! We didn’t make that up. It comes from the Bible. Let’s check out the Big Verse.

(Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.)

Co-Host I need our lab assistant to hit the button after we count down from three to reveal our Big Verse from the Bible.

Co-Host 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIrV), “God loves a cheerful giver.” Let’s play a little game where we see if you can resist laughing. I need to choose a few volunteers to come on stage and play the game.

Host You, the audience, are going to try to make these kids on stage laugh. Stand up. When I say go, make the funniest faces, weirdest noises, and nuttiest movements you can make. Let’s see who can keep a straight face.

(Play the game.)

Host Some of you are good at resisting the urge to laugh. Cheerfulness is more than just smiling or laughing. It’s an attitude that comes from your heart.

Co-Host Our attitudes are important to God. In fact, they are more important than the size of our gift.

Host Let’s have our assistant ask this question. Why do you think your attitude is more important to God than the size of your gift?

Co-Host That question really makes you think.

Host Our Big Point gives all of us hope that we can give meaningful gifts. It’s not the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart behind the gift. Let’s say the Big Point again,

Host No Gift Is Too Small! Now stand up, and let’s sing to God!

Materials:
Materials:
Leader

Let’s all bow our heads and close our eyes and take a moment to think about what you can give to God. You might give some money in our offering bucket, or bring a toy for a toy drive, or ask your parents if you could buy lunch for someone. You might think it’s small, but with God, no gift is too small. What’s important is that you give your best. If you have only a few pennies, but you give them with a cheerful heart, you’ll be amazed at what God can do with them. Let’s take a moment now to pray and ask God to show you what you can give this holiday season to help someone else. (Pray) I’ll pray for all of us.

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat (2), 8ft Appearing Candy Cane, Peppermint Stick, Paper Bag
Hosts
Note:

The 8ft appearing candy cane is an illusion that can be purchased online. If that illusion is not available, then you use an alternative such as toys that grow in water. Have two available and show the before and after. Usually, you will need to place the toy in the water a few days or even a week prior to allow it to grow.

  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host Rusty’s old toy was worth way more to the Prince than that signed lunch bag.

Host Now Rusty has more to give than he ever thought he would. The important thing is to listen to God and be willing to give your best.

Host No Gift Is Too Small! Take this peppermint stick, for instance. What if I shared this with this whole group?

Co-Host How much do you guys think you would get? A nibble, right?

Host That’s probably true. When you give your best to God, then you’re using your faith. (Place the peppermint stick in the bag)

Co-Host That’s a good point. You are trusting God to take your gift and make it into something that can help a lot of people.

Host Yep, and when God gets hold of a gift given in faith, then amazing things happen. (Pull the 8ft appearing candy cane out of the bag)

Co-Host Now that’s a candy cane! I’m glad that we can trust God to use any gift that we give. Remember our Big Point,

Co-Host No Gift Is Too Small! Let’s gather with our small groups and talk about what we learned.

Materials:
Small Group Leader
  • Gather the kids into small groups and discuss the following.

  1. Share a time when you gave a gift to someone.
  2. Why did Jesus say that the widow’s two coins were a bigger gift than the bags of gold? Do you agree? Why?
  3. How can you choose a cheerful attitude when you give?
  4. What did Herman tell us to do in the Big Do? Give Something!
Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  1. Our Big Point says No Gift Is Too ______! a. Small b. Large
  2. Why was Rusty fighting over the toy? It was on sale and valuable to re-sell
  3. How much did the widow give in the offering at the Temple? a. Bags of gold b. Two coins
  4. What happened when the Prince saw Rusty’s old toy? He wanted to buy it
  5. Who did Jesus say gave more in the offering? a. Widow b. Rich people
  6. Complete the Big Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIrV), “God loves a _______ giver.” a. Big b. Cheerful
  7. Why did Jesus say that the widow’s gift was larger? She gave all she had
  8. Is it possible for a kid to give a helpful gift to God? a. Yes b. No
  9. If you have a smile on your face when you give, but inside you’re angry, is that giving cheerfully? Why? No; God wants us to give our best with a good attitude
  10. What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Give something


Large Group Abbreviated

Large Group Abbreviated Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Materials: Lab Coat (2)
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host Welcome to the Lab! Did you enjoy Thanksgiving break?

Co-Host Me! Me! Me!

Host You don’t go to school. You’re a grownup.

Co-Host That would explain why I haven’t had homework in twenty years. This is going to be a great week. I’m going Christmas shopping with Herman and Rusty.

Host Has anyone ever gone shopping the day after Thanksgiving? It’s pretty crazy out there. The stores hold massive sales and the people cram through the doors to snatch them up.

Co-Host It sounds like a blast. Last year I nearly got clobbered by a really angry eight-year-old.

Host You weren’t fighting over a (Popular toy) again, were you?

Co-Host I refuse to answer that question…yes.

Host Let’s get the day started out right. Everyone, stand up and find someone nearby. Ask that person to tell you one item on their Christmas list.

Materials: : Lab Coat (2),
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host Rusty and the Swede are really going after each other about that lunch bag.

Host It sounds like they could get a lot of money from the prince.

Co-Host Rusty told me that he wanted to go for a big present because he didn’t feel like he gave enough last year in the Toy Drive.

Host Both kids and adults sometimes feel like their gifts are too small to matter. Let’s choose a lab assistant to reveal our Big Point. It teaches us an important principle about giving.

(Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.)

Co-Host Please help us read it after we count down from three to reveal the Big Point.

Co-Host Repeat the Big Point after me, No Gift Is Too Small! Do you guys really believe that no gift is too small?

Host There is a catch to the Big Point. No gift that God asks you to give is too small.

Co-Host No gift given with a cheerful, faith-filled heart is too small.

Host Thankfully we serve an all-powerful, all-wise God. He creates plans that will blow our minds. The good news is that we don’t have to understand how everything in the plan works. We just have to be willing to trust the plan-maker. I wonder if Rusty found the Swede yet.

Materials: Lab Coat (2),
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Host The Swede is not a nice guy.

Co-Host Nope, but I’m more concerned that Rusty thinks he has nothing to give because he lost the lunch bag.

Host He just doesn’t seem willing to believe the Big Point is true.

Host No Gift Is Too Small! We didn’t make that up. It comes from the Bible. Let’s check out the Big Verse.

(Host and Co-Host choose a kid to volunteer.)

Co-Host I need our lab assistant to help us read it after we count down from three to reveal our Big Verse from the Bible.

Co-Host 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIrV), “God loves a cheerful giver.”

Host Cheerfulness is more than just smiling or laughing. It’s an attitude that comes from your heart.

Co-Host Our attitudes are important to God. In fact, they are more important than the size of our gift.

Host Let’s have our assistant ask this question. Why do you think your attitude is more important to God than the size of your gift?

Co-Host That question really makes you think.

Host Our Big Point gives all of us hope that we can give meaningful gifts. It’s not the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart behind the gift. Let’s say the Big Point again,

Host No Gift Is Too Small!

Materials:
Leader

Let’s all bow our heads and close our eyes and take a moment to think about what you can give to God. You might give some money in our offering bucket, or bring a toy for a toy drive, or ask your parents if you could buy lunch for someone. You might think it’s small, but with God, no gift is too small. What’s important is that you give your best. If you have only a few pennies, but you give them with a cheerful heart, you’ll be amazed at what God can do with them. Let’s take a moment now to pray and ask God to show you what you can give this holiday season to help someone else. (Pray) I’ll pray for all of us.

Materials: Lab Coat (2),
Hosts
  • Host and Co-Host enter.

Co-Host Rusty’s old toy was worth way more to the Prince than that signed lunch bag.

Host Now Rusty has more to give than he ever thought he would. The important thing is to listen to God and be willing to give your best.

Host No Gift Is Too Small!

Host When you give your best to God, then you’re using your faith.

Co-Host That’s a good point. You are trusting God to take your gift and make it into something that can help a lot of people.

Host Yep, and when God gets hold of a gift given in faith, then amazing things happen.

Co-Host I’m glad that we can trust God to use any gift that we give. Remember our Big Do this week.

Co-Host Give Something! And our Big Point, No Gift Is Too Small! Let’s gather with our small groups and talk about what we learned.

Materials:
Small Group Leader
  • Gather the kids into small groups and discuss the following.

  1. Share a time when you gave a gift to someone.
  2. Why did Jesus say that the widow’s two coins were a bigger gift than the bags of gold? Do you agree? Why?
  3. How can you choose a cheerful attitude when you give?
  4. What did Herman tell us to do in the Big Do? Give Something!
Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  1. Our Big Point says No Gift Is Too ______! a. Small b. Large
  2. Why was Rusty fighting over the toy? It was on sale and valuable to re-sell
  3. How much did the widow give in the offering at the Temple? a. Bags of gold b. Two coins
  4. What happened when the Prince saw Rusty’s old toy? He wanted to buy it
  5. Who did Jesus say gave more in the offering? a. Widow b. Rich people
  6. Complete the Big Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIrV), “God loves a _______ giver.” a. Big b. Cheerful
  7. Why did Jesus say that the widow’s gift was larger? She gave all she had
  8. Is it possible for a kid to give a helpful gift to God? a. Yes b. No
  9. If you have a smile on your face when you give, but inside you’re angry, is that giving cheerfully? Why? No; God wants us to give our best with a good attitude
  10. What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Give something


Midweek / Classroom

Midweek / Classroom Instructions

Countdown / Rules
Materials: Lesson Plan
Leader
Note:

Question of the Day: What is the best gift you ever received?

Optional music selections for this lesson:

  • Game music for Lab Wars
  • Beat Box for Lab Wars
  • Soft instrumental music for Big Story
Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters, dressed in a lab coat.

Hey, everyone, welcome to the Lab! Raise your hand if your house is officially decorated for Christmas! If your house looks anything like mine, the tree is up, the stockings are hung, and the Christmas lights are shining bright. All the music and decorations are fun, but it’s important to remember what this season is all about. We celebrate that God gave us the best gift of all, Jesus! That is a great reason to worship Him. Let’s do that now!

Materials:
Materials: Lab Coat, Ball, Tiny Boxes (1 Per Group), Wrapping Paper, Tape, Tables
Leader
  • Leader enters, dressed in a lab coat.

You guys did a great job worshipping God! It’s now time to break up into your small groups. Go ahead and turn to your small group leaders.

Play optional game music.

Small Group Leader
  • Introduce yourself to your group. Use these two minutes to go over the rules you have for your kids. This will set the expectation and show the kids clear boundaries, setting your group time up for success.

Leader

It’s time for Lab Wars! This is a time when group competes against another group in a quest to bring home points for your team. Tonight’s lab war is all about practicing our wrapping skills.

  • Play optional beat box music

No, not that kind of rapping. I am talking about gift wrapping! The tricky part about this game is that the gifts are a bit small. Small group leaders, send up a representative from your team! You have 30 seconds, and whichever gift looks the best wins!

  • Play optional game music

  • Whichever team wraps the best present in 30 seconds wins! You can be the judge or have the volunteers be the judge!

Congratulations to the winning team! Be honest; on Christmas morning, when you walk into the living room and see your gifts, do you get more excited about a giant gift or a tiny gift? We tend to think the size of the gift matters, especially when we are the ones giving it. No one wants to give a puny gift. Let’s check in with our friends at the lab to see they think the size of a gift matters.

Materials: Lab Coat, 1/3 cup of Insta Snow, Glass Jar, Tin Tray, Water
Leader
  • Leader enters.

Rusty and the Swede are really going after each other about that lunch bag. It sounds like they could get a lot of money from the prince. Rusty told me that he wanted to go for a big present because he didn’t feel like he gave enough last year in the Toy Drive. Both kids and adults can feel like their gifts are too small to matter. But is that true? Let’s take a look at our Big Point. I am going to choose a small group to help me count down from three.

  • Choose a small group

No Gift Is Too Small! When you give your best, God can take the small amount you give and use it in big ways! You’re about to do a super fun activity that illustrates just what I mean.

Small Group Leader
  • Each small group has a 1/3 cup of Insta Snow in a clear container and a tray to set it in. Have your kids sit in a circle so everyone can see. Begin by asking the following question:

  • Have you ever felt like what you have to offer is too small?
  • When you feel that way, should you give anyway?

When we give our best, we can give with a cheerful heart, even if the gift is small, and God can take it and use it in amazing ways!

  • Add the water to your Insta Snow and watch as it multiplies. Let the kids take turns feeling it!

Leader

Wasn’t that amazing! God is so faithful to take even the smallest gifts and turn it into something incredible. Let’s head back to the lab to see if Rusty and The Swede are still fighting over that silly lunch box.

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters.

The Swede is not a nice guy. Nope, but I’m more concerned that Rusty thinks he has nothing to give because he lost the lunch bag. He just doesn’t seem willing to believe the Big Point is true,

No Gift Is Too Small! Our Big Point really is true, but there is a catch. No gift given with a cheerful, faith-filled heart is too small. It’s all about the attitude you have when you give it! Check out our Big Verse,

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIrV) says, “God loves a cheerful giver.” I have a fun game that will give us a little practice. Your small group leader will choose someone to sit in the middle of the circle. Everyone will try to make them laugh, without touching them. You can make faces, silly sounds, whatever you can think of! You have about 30 seconds, then someone else will get a turn to try it. Let’s play now!

Small Group Leader

Choose a child to sit in the center of the circle. Everyone will try their hardest to make that child laugh, without touching him/her. If the child in the middle laughs, or their turn lasts for about 30 seconds, choose another kid to have a turn.

Leader

I saw a lot of people who couldn’t hold back their laughter. When it comes to giving, being cheerful isn’t a bad thing! God loves it when we give with a cheerful heart. Even if our gift is small, if we have a cheerful, faith-filled heart, you can be sure God has a huge smile on His face. Let’s listen to a true story from the Bible about a woman who gave a gift that looked pretty small, but to Jesus, it was incredible.

Materials: Lab Coat, Ball
Leader
  • Play optional soft instrumental music

The thought may come to you that you don’t have much to offer or that your gift is too small. Whenever you feel that way, remember the woman from our story. All she had was two pennies, but she gave her best, with joy, and God was very pleased. Let’s take a moment and talk about this in our small groups.

Small Group Leader
Note:

The goal in this segment is to create a place where kids can openly share and to bring accountability to becoming more like Jesus. Do this by listening, responding with love, and showing them what it looks like to be a friend and follower of Jesus.

  • Share about a time when you gave a gift.
  • Have you ever felt like you didn’t have anything big enough to give? How did that make you feel?
  • What did Jesus say about the widow’s gift?

Let’s take a moment to pray on our own. I want you to think of a gift that you could give someone. Now pray and ask God to use your gift to bless this person.

Leader

Raise your hand if you thought of a person to give to. That’s great! When you get home tonight, or tomorrow when you wake up, get your gift ready and give it to that person! Even if your gift is small, if it’s the best you can give, God can use it. It’s just like our Big Point says,

No Gift Is Too Small! Let’s check back in with Rusty to see if he has grabbed a hold of this truth yet.

Materials: Lab Coat
Leader
  • Leader enters.

Rusty’s old toy was worth way more to the prince than that signed lunch bag. Now Rusty has more to give than he ever thought he would. The important thing is to listen to God and be willing to give our best.

No Gift Is Too Small! Let’s turn to our small group and wrap up tonight’s service.

Small Group Leader
  • Use this time to hand out any positive reinforcement tools. Tell your group how much you enjoyed spending time with them this week. Finally, end your time together with a prayer and maybe even a group cheer.

Materials:
Leader
  • Choose two kids from the audience to come on stage and answer the question.

  1. Our Big Point says No Gift Is Too ______! a. Small b. Large
  2. Why was Rusty fighting over the toy? It was on sale and valuable to re-sell
  3. How much did the widow give in the offering at the Temple? a. Bags of gold b. Two coins
  4. What happened when the Prince saw Rusty’s old toy? He wanted to buy it
  5. Who did Jesus say gave more in the offering? a. Widow b. Rich people
  6. Complete the Big Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIrV), “God loves a _______ giver.” a. Big b. Cheerful
  7. Why did Jesus say that the widow’s gift was larger? She gave all she had
  8. Is it possible for a kid to give a helpful gift to God? a. Yes b. No
  9. If you have a smile on your face when you give, but inside you’re angry, is that giving cheerfully? Why? No; God wants us to give our best with a good attitude
  10. What challenge did Herman give us as this week’s Big Do? Give something

About Ark Kids Elementary

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