Let the Children Come to Me (Preschool Lesson)

This grab-and-go lesson teaches children that they can always come to Jesus because He loves them.
13 min read

“We should love each other, because love comes from God.”

1 John 4:7

TEACHER PREPARATION

Heart to Heart Teacher Devotion

Preparing lessons, setting up activities, and guiding conversations toward biblical truths show that you and Jesus have a common characteristic: love for children. Love is not merely an emotion; it is framed by actions. What a privilege to share Jesus’ vivid display of love for children with those you will be teaching today!

Bible Background for the Teacher

ide view of teacher and students reading book in classroom
Image Credit: Maskot/Getty Images

Today’s text indicates that Jesus’ disciples believed Jesus was too busy or too important to bless little children. This event occurred late in Jesus’ ministry. Jesus had healed people who were blind, deaf, and lame.

He had raised the dead. But Jesus felt that blessing the little children was of great importance. He even said that we must become as little children—innocent, humble, trusting—in order to enter His kingdom. (See also Matthew 19:13-15 and Luke 18:15-17.)

Focus

Jesus loves children

Leader Resources

Below are some resources that will help you plan and lead this lesson.

You will want to make a squirrel puppet to use throughout the lessons. See the Scout Bag Puppet available here.

GETTING STARTED

Welcome

Save all visuals for reuse throughout the quarter.

  • Use your Scout puppet to greet the children.
  • Place a name tag on each child and gather necessary information from the adult bringing the child; then guide the child to a learning center.
  • Provide a container in which children can place their offering money.

Quick Step

Things Children Do (Special Needs Friendly)

Supplies

  • Paper lunch bag

Before class, put the photo cards in the lunch bag.

SAY: The Bible tells us Jesus loves children. Let’s play a game and talk about things children do and how these things make others feel.

Have children take turns showing a card from the bag and telling what the children in the picture are doing. Talk about how the children in the picture might feel about doing the activity.

ASK: What are some fun things children do?
What is your favorite thing to do?

Bible in Life Curriculum Trial
Bible in Life curriculum trial

Time to Do It!

Supplies

  • Variety of clocks and watches

SAY: Many people love children! Grandparents do. Parents do. Jesus loves children  too. When you love someone, you like to know what that person does. Let’s look at and listen to these clocks and watches. Then we’ll talk about what children do at different times.

Show the clocks and watches; let children hear the various sounds of the clocks. Move the hands to various times. At each time, ask the children what they do at that time of the day.

ASK: What’s one thing you like to do at 8:00 in the morning? at 6:00 in the evening? 

Does Jesus know what you do?

Sunday’s To-Do List

Supplies

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Before class, make a list of jobs children can do when they are at your church building.

SAY: Jesus loves children so much. A church building is a place where children can come and learn about Jesus—and do jobs. Let’s pretend we are doing jobs at our church building. I’ll whisper to someone a job a child can do to help; then that person will act out what I whispered. The rest of us will try to guess what is being done. 

Ask for a volunteer. Whisper to that child the first job on the list. Let other children try to guess what the job is. Continue until each child has had a turn.

ASK: What else can children do to help at our church building?
Does Jesus want every child to be a helper?
 (yes)

BIBLE DISCOVERY

Happy Young Australian Aboriginal Girl Learning to Sing and Dance to a Song
Image Credit: davidf/E+/Getty Images

Sing and Pray

Supplies

  • CD tracks 3 and 6
  • CD player
  • Bible

Sing “Yes, I Know Jesus Loves Me” and “We Should Love Each Other.”

PRAY: God, we know You love children. We know Your Son loves children too. Thank You for telling us in Your Bible how Jesus showed love to children. In Jesus’ name, amen.

SAY: Give yourself a hug. Have children do so. Show the picture. Our Bible story today is from the Bible book of Mark in the New Testament, chapter 10. Show Mark 10lt’s about a time when lots of children felt loved.

Bible Time

Supplies

  • 4 rulers (or paint-stirring sticks)
  • Tape (or glue)

Hand the cards to four children. Have child holding card 10a hold up his card. SAY: Jesus did wonderful things for people while He lived on earth. Can you tell me some of these things? Let children answer. He made sick people better. He taught people how to live the way God wants them to live. Many people wanted to see Jesus.

Have second child hold up card 10b. One day some grown-ups brought some happy children to Jesus. Step, step, step. Have children walk in place. The grown-ups wanted Jesus to ask God to take care of their children. Wouldn’t it be exciting if someone had taken you to see Jesus? Show me on your faces how you would look. Have children do so.

Ask third child to hold up card 10c. But then some of Jesus’ followers thought Jesus was too busy. They tried to stop the grown-ups from taking the children to Jesus! Have everyone hold out one hand, as though signaling to stop. Now the children were sad.

Do you think Jesus was happy about this? No, He was not. He told His followers they should not stop the children. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me!” Have everyone motion with hand, “Come.” Have fourth child show card 10d. Now the children were happy again. Jesus took the children in His loving arms. He put His hands on them and asked God to care for them. We can be happy because Jesus loves children. Give yourself another hug because Jesus loves you too! Do so.

Bible Review

Supplies

Give the cards to four children. Ask them to stand in sequence and tell what is happening in their picture. Repeat until all children have had a turn.

ASK: What happened first in this story? (People liked Jesus.)
What happened second?  (Happy children came to Jesus.)
What happened third?  (Jesus’ followers tried to stop the children.)
What happened fourth?  (Jesus held the children and asked God to care for them.)
Why did Jesus want to do this?  (because Jesus loves children)

Bible Memory

1 John 4:7

Supplies

  • Bible

Read 1 John 4:7, pausing between the first and second phrases. Divide the class into two groups. The first group can say the first phrase while doing its motions; then the second group can respond with the second phrase while doing its motions. Repeat several times; then reverse groups.

GROW AND GO

mom-hugs-nothing-quite-like-them
Image Credit: PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images

“I Love You” Cards

Supplies

  • Blunt-tip scissors
  • Washable markers (or crayons)

SAY: Jesus loves children, and we can love children too. We can love children in our families, in our neighborhoods, and at our schools. Let’s make some fun cards to give to children we love.

Give each child a card to color and add stickers to. Assist children as needed in cutting out the cards and then folding so the balloons pop up when the cards open. Help them fill out the “to” and “from” lines. Remind them to deliver the cards after class and show love to another child.

ASK: How can you use a card to show love to another child?
What else could you do to show love to children?

Tell Me How

SAY: Jesus loves children, and children love games. Let’s play a game called Tell Me How. Two of us will hold hands and raise our arms for everyone else to go underneath. When I think it’s time, we will lower our arms, catching one of you. Whoever is caught can tell one way to show love to another child.

Form a bridge with one child and sing the following words to the tune of “London Bridge” as children go under the bridge: Jesus loves children, so do you, / so do you. You love them too! / Jesus loves children, so do you. / Tell me how. Catch a child on the last word, how. After the child tells how to show love to another child, let him take the place of the child who is part of the bridge.

ASK: What are some ways to show love to children?
How has someone shown love to you?

Bible Memory Poster

Supplies

  • Washable markers (or crayons)

Before class, make copies of the Bible Memory poster.

SAY: We have talked about how Jesus loves children. Can you remember our Bible Memory? Let’s say the verse together. Then we’ll make posters to help us remember the verse.

Have children repeat 1 John 4:7. Hand each child a copy of the poster. Give these step-by-step instructions: Somewhere on the page, draw a picture of yourself showing love to someone else. Next, draw a heart around the word love; it’s on the page two times. Finally, draw a cross on the word God in yellow or gold to remember God in Heaven.

ASK: Why should we love one another? (because love comes from God)
What are some other ways you can show love to children?

EXTRA HOUR

Transition Time

  • Greet new arrivals, giving each a name tag.
  • Gather children to play a game of charades, acting out things they like to do.
  • Serve a snack. Follow your church’s policy for restroom breaks.

More! Getting Started

Use one or more of these learning centers to help children explore what children do.

Save all visuals for reuse throughout the quarter.

Quick Step

What Did You Do? 

Supplies

  • Yellow and black paper
  • Glue (or tape)

Before class, glue the black paper to the yellow paper, back to back.

Add pictures of common daytime and nighttime activities so children can have a prompt.

SAY: Jesus loves children, and He knows all about what they do, all day and all night. Let’s talk about what you did yesterday during the day and what you did last night.

Show children the yellow side of the paper. Tell them it stands for the daytime. Show them the black side. Tell them it stands for the nighttime.

Have children stand when you show the yellow side; then call on one child to tell you what he did yesterday during the day. Have children sit when you show the black side, calling on another child to tell you what she did last night. After children practice getting up and down, randomly show the black or yellow side, calling on a different child each time.

ASK: What do children do when it’s daytime?
What do children do when it’s nighttime?
What kinds of things are you going to do today? tomorrow?

Let’s Make Music!

Supplies

  • CD track 6
  • CD player
  • Wooden blocks

Before class, print the motions.

SAY: One thing most children like to do is sing. Let’s listen to our Bible Memory song. We can sing with the CD, march to the song, and do motions.

Play “We Should Love Each Other.” Lead children in various ways to accompany the song: singing, marching, and doing the motions.

ASK: Do you know children who like to sing or play songs? 
What is your favorite song? 
What other kinds of things do children like to do?

Children of All Ages

Supplies

  • Items used by younger children
  • Items used by older children
  • Grocery bag

Before class, place a variety of items in the grocery bag. Be sure you have items used by both younger and older children.

SAY: Jesus loves children, no matter how young or old they are. Children of different ages like to do different things. Let’s play a game and tell what things younger or older children do.

Call on a child to reach into the bag, choose an item, show and name it, and tell whether a younger or older child would use it. Continue in this way until all the items have been shown.

ASK: What do children who are younger than you do? 
What do children who are your age do? 
What do children who are older than you do?

More! Bible Discovery

Use all these activities to help children tell how Jesus showed love to children.

More! Sing and Pray

Supplies

  • CD track 3
  • CD player
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin
  • Marker
  • Bible

Before class, cut a circle of paper to use as a name tag. Write on the circle, “Hello! I’m a follower of Jesus.” Pin the tag to your shirt.

Sing “Yes, I Know Jesus Loves Me.”

PRAY: God, You are so good to people. Thank You for telling us in Your Bible how Jesus showed love to children. In Jesus’ name, amen.

ASK: Did you see my name tag? It says, “Hello! I’m a follower of Jesus.” Let’s pretend we are with Jesus today. Listen carefully, and I’ll tell you what the Bible says (show Mark 10happened one day with Jesus.

Bible Time—Another Way!

Supplies

  • Optional: Bible-times costume

Assume the role of one of Jesus’ followers. SAY: Hello! I am one of Jesus’ followers. Today Jesus has been very busy. He has been doing things that only the Son of God can do. Jesus has been making sick people well and teaching people how they should live. Large crowds have been coming to see Jesus.

See, He’s over there in the middle of that crowd. Point into the distance. Have children stand on tiptoes and pretend to look into the distance.

Turn and look in another direction. Oh no! I see some grown-ups coming with their children. Don’t they know Jesus is too busy to be bothered with children? I’d better stop them. Take a few steps in the direction you just turned.

Abruptly turn around. Place one hand behind your ear. What’s that? I hear Jesus saying something. What, Jesus? Are You sure?

Hold arms in a surprised pose. Jesus just told me to let the children come and see Him. He told me not to stop the grown-ups from bringing the children. He wants to see the children.

Turn and call out in opposite direction. Grown-ups, come on over. Motion toward yourself. Bring the children. Jesus wants to hold them and pray for them. Jesus loves children. Bring them! Bring them all!

More! Bible Review

Supplies

Show the teaching picture and let children tell what happened first, second, and last in today’s story. Then ask yes and no questions. Children can stand if the answer is yes and sit if it’s no. Possible questions:

ASK: Is today’s story from the Bible? (yes) 
Was Jesus too busy teaching to see the children?  (no) 
Did the grown-ups tell the children to stay away from Jesus?  (no) 
Does Jesus love all children?  (yes)

More! Bible Memory

1 John 4:7

Supplies

  • Bible
  • Stickers

Before class, print and display the Bible Memory motions from the CD.

Help a child open the Bible to the New Testament part of the Bible. Show 1 John 4:7. Read the verse. SAY: I have a sticker to give each child who will try to say the Bible Memory. Give a sticker to each child who says the Bible Memory. If some children are shy or new to the class, have children say the Bible Memory with partners.

More! Grow and Go

Scout The Watchdog

Supplies

  • Binoculars (or magnifying glass)

Scout comes out, holding the binoculars. SAY: Scout, what are you doing with those binoculars? Scout whispers to you. You were watching your family? Scout nods. Let’s tell the children what you saw. Use Scout to act out the story as you tell it.

Scout loves his family. Yesterday Scout decided he would watch the children to see what they do during the day. Scout looks around. You didn’t even take a nap, did you? Scout falls asleep in your arms.

Whisper as you continue the story. Oh, look! Scout’s tired from all the hours he didn’t sleep! Well, I can tell you the end of the story because Scout already told it to me. Scout saw that all day long Dad and Mom showed love to their children. They woke the children, fed them breakfast, helped them brush their teeth, helped them get dressed . . . Continue with a list of typical activities a child would do during the day. Finally the parents helped the children say their prayers and get into their pajamas. Scout was happy to see what his family does to show love to the children. Scout wanted me to remind you that you can show love to children too! He wants you to do this because love comes from God.

As you say the final phrase, Scout wakes up and barks happily. Thanks, Scout!

ASK: What did Scout see the dad and mom do that showed love to children?
What can you do to show love to children?

A Giveaway Snack

Supplies

  • Recipe ingredients
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Washable markers (or crayons)
  • Mailing labels (or paper and tape)

SAY: Jesus loves children, and He wants children to love each other. One thing that children can do to show love is share. We’re going to make a giveaway snack to share with other children. First, let’s wash our hands. Then we’ll make snacks to share to show that we love children.

Read the recipe from today’s Heart Tugs.  Help children mix the ingredients and fill bags with equal amounts of the snack items. Make “To” and “From” labels for the bags. Encourage children to give their snack bags to other children. Make extras so they can serve each other in class.

ASK: What did you just do that will show love to another child?
What are some other ways you can show love to children?

Saying Good-bye

  • As children wait for parents, look through the binoculars and name specific children who have shown love to others. (Example: I saw Haley sharing a toy.)
  • Be sure to say something about each child. Be sure children have projects made in class. Give parents this week’s Heart Tugs.  Point out the giveaway snack recipe and encourage them to do the activity with their children at home.

For more fun lessons like this one check out this post!

post article end mark
  Updated on April 21, 2021

About the Author

  • HeartShaper® Children’s Curriculum is designed to help your kids discover God through His Word. From toddlers to preteens, we take them on a journey like no other through the Bible. By the time kids reach 6th grade, they’ve gone through the Bible 5 times! No matter where your students go or what they do, the lessons you teach them in Sunday school will be with them for a lifetime. Come along on the journey—shape hearts and change lives. Learn more at heartshaper.com.

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