(This Children’s talk is appropriate for a Harvest Thanksgiving Service.
It is based on John 6: 35 where Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life”.)
Theme: Jesus gives the daily nutrients.
Aim: 1. To teach the meaning of the word nutrients.
2. To teach that we all need daily nutrients.
3. To teach that Jesus gives the daily nutrients for eternal life.
Key words: 1. Daily nutrients.
Materials: 1. An open cane basket.
2. Some smaller food items to go into the basket for example: banana, apple, can of sardines, a small box of cereals, jar of peanut butter, a jar of fish oil capsules.
3. A small Bible to go into the basket.
4. Light coloured card, a black crayon or pen, and sticky tape.
5. An orange safety vest (like the ones the road workers use.)
6. A bag of suitable lollies for the children.
Preparation: Cut the card into two strips for the words nutrient and man to be written on them. These two words will be tapped to the back of the vest. The lettering of the words needs to be as large as possible for people to see them from a distance. (The vest with the words Nutrient Man is in the theme of super heroes.)
From the remaining card, cut five strips of bookmark length and size.
Write on each of the bookmarks one of the following words: peace, hope, love, joy, and faith.
Place the completed bookmarks throughout the Bible.
1. Have someone invite the children out for the children’s talk while you make a noisy entry from somewhere else (In my case I was able to come out of the vestry door).
2. While wearing the vest and carrying the basket I came out shouting, “Nutrients, get your daily nutrients here”.
3. As you head towards the group of children take some time to move around the congregation. Hold up the items from the basket as you go shouting, “Nutrients, get your daily nutrients here; banana, apple, fish oil capsules; get your daily nutrients here”. (This is done in character for example of a vendor selling their wares at a sporting venue).
4. Sitting with the children. “Hello everyone, today I’m Nutrient Man, that’s my name written on the back of my vest. Usually, I have a cape like superman, but that’s at the dry cleaners today, so I’m wearing my vest instead”. (I like to throw in a little humour where I can; it keeps the parents attention as well.)
5. “I have here a basket full of daily nutrients. Nutrients are things in food that keep our bodies healthy and give us energy to work and play.
6. “When we are hungry or tired we are missing nutrients and we need to eat something, perhaps a banana, or apple, or some sardines. They will take the hunger away, and give us energy for work and play”. (Hold up the items from the basket as you mention them.)
7. “Sometimes we are missing nutrients that normal food can not give us. Sometimes we can feel sad about something that has happened at home or at school. Sometimes we can get into trouble, or feel afraid, or we can be hurting in some way. It means we are missing important daily nutrients.”
8. Ask the children the question, “Can the fish oil capsules or the sardines take away our fear, and make us happy again?
9. “No, they can’t they have the wrong nutrients for what we need”.
10. Pull out the Bible from the basket. “I have here the Bible, it will give us the daily nutrients that we really need.”
11. Open the Bible to John 6: 35 and read out, “I am the bread of life” says Jesus.
12. “Jesus says, that he is bread, that he is food, and that we can feed on him”.
13. “When ever we read the Bible, or listen to Jesus, or whenever we pray to Jesus, he gives us our daily nutrients.”
14. “Let us now open the Bible and find some of these nutrients.”
15. Pull out a bookmark, read it out and show the children.
16. ___“Here is a nutrient, ‘Peace’. Jesus gives peace, and it is a good nutrient to have because it makes our troubles look small.”
17. ___“Here is another nutrient, ‘Love’. Jesus gives love, and it is a good nutrient to have because with love there is no fear.”
18. ___“Here is another nutrient, ‘Faith’. Jesus gives faith, and it is a good nutrient to have because faith reminds us that we have a friend in Jesus who can help us.
19. ___“Here is another nutrient, ‘hope’. Jesus gives hope, and it is a good nutrient to have because it helps us to believe that tomorrow will be a better day.
20. ___“Here is another nutrient, ‘Joy’. Jesus gives joy, and it is a good nutrient to have because it helps us to sing even on a rainy day.
21. “All these foods and nutrients in the basket are important for our daily good health.”
22. Conclude with prayer: “Dear Jesus, we thank you for all the daily nutrients that you give us for our good health. Help us always to listen to you when we read the Bible everyday so that you can feed us with the daily nutrients that we need. Amen.
*Don’t forget the lollies. It’s time to open the lolly bag. Give each child a piece of energy food to help them on their way back to their parents.