Jelly Bean Jesus Lesson and Printable

THE NEW YOUAs promised, I am back with a full lesson and printables for your children’s ministry.  This is designed to be taught around Easter, but it could easily be modified for any time of year (you may need to use Skittles,Lifesavers or M&Ms instead).

One allergy note:  Some children react badly to Red Dye #40 and other food dyes.  Be sure you are aware of any children with this issue and notify parents you will have a snack as part of the lesson (if you plan to allow children to eat the jelly beans during class)

Lesson Overview:

Jelly Bean Jesus Lesson

Age Level:  Elementary (K-5th grade)

Scripture: Ephesians 1:7, 1st Timothy 4:10, John 8:12, 2nd Corinthians 5:17, John 18:37, John 15:9-13, 1st John 2:2

Objective:  Children will begin to understand seven characteristics of Jesus (to be further explored at home with Jelly Bean Jesus Devotions)

Supplies Needed:  White, orange, yellow, green, purple, pink and red paper, timer able to mark seconds, marker, carrot shaped treat bags, twist ties, white, orange, yellow, green, purple, pink and red jelly beans (separated by color in seven Ziploc bags), Jelly Bean Jesus labels (enough sets to label jelly beans and use with craft activity), Jelly Bean Jesus treat cards, Jelly Bean Jesus devotions, large white paper, jelly bean or sensory paint and paint supplies (or craft supplies of your choice), clean up supplies

Notes for Teaching this Lesson:

It may seem like there are a lot of supplies and preparation for this lesson, most of the supplies are printable items available below.  The other supplies are very easily modified to your setting.

It can be tempting to set up the candy in an assembly line and skip hiding the candy and finding it, but this process helps the children be involved in the lesson.  It keeps their attention better in a fairly long Bible lesson if they can be up and moving around.

Use whatever craft supplies you are comfortable with for the craft.  Jelly Bean paint like this one are fun and unusual, keeping students more engaged in their free art time.  This free art allows students to connect with God’s Word on their own.  Even if they choose to paint or draw Minecraft figures or princesses, they are still seeing these words at the top of their paper.  It is an opportunity for children to connect with God, but that opportunity is for them. We cannot force a child to seek God while they are painting, we can only create an environment and expect the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Blessings to all! Tweet me (@mammarousu) or email pictures of your kiddos doing this lesson!


Jelly Bean Jesus Lesson

Jelly Bean Jesus Devotion Elementary

Jelly Bean Jesus Labels

Jelly Bean Color Card

Jelly Bean Jesus

Jelly Bean

Our Easter Eggstravaganza (my non Egg Hunt Egg Hunt) is about two weeks away. I thought I’d feature a cool tool we will be giving families to help them teach kids about the character of Jesus with candy.

Jelly beans are the perfect Easter candy according to my kids. The day a woman shared the Jelly Bean Prayer with the children at children’s chatter, complete with bags of jelly beans for each child might have been the best day of church ever! So when we were looking for new activities for this year’s Easter event, I  remembered itI decided to do my own spin on it for two reasons. 1. I hate black jelly beans and knew they’d be kind of ugly in the layered display I was thinking of and 2. The internet Jelly Bean Prayer doesn’t have quite the discussion possibilities I was hoping to give families.

 My idea was to layer the colors in a carrot shaped treat bag. Kids could eat one color each day of Holy Week while talking about a different characteristic of Jesus, with Scripture verses and maybe even questions or talking points for Mom and Dad I fully realize that kids may just dump their jelly beans together and the papers may get tossed, but that’s not my concern. My concern is always on trying to provide the best tools possible for families to talk about Jesus.

This could be a great Sunday School activity, family devotion activity (because it’s based on the characteristics of Jesus and not the Easter story specifically, you could do it any time, with any colored candy for that matter).

 What you need:

  • Carrot shaped treat bags with twist tie or ribbon to hold closed (the carrot shaped bags hold the layers nicely and each day’s jelly bean dose won’t be enough to give kids bellyaches)
  • Jelly beans sorted by color: red, pink, purple, green, yellow, orange and white
  • Color meaning chart
  • Parent card

 At our event, children move down an assembly line, filling their bags in reverse order of the devotion. Adult and youth leaders will spoon the jelly beans into the bags, telling kids what the meaning of the colors are as they do so.  Then they will close the bags with a twist tie that has a small card attached with the meanings of the colors and Scripture references.  Parents will receive a more detailed explanation with talking points or discussion questions to help families use the jelly beans as a devotion.

My colors and their meanings are listed below in the order children will add them to their bags.  They will eat them in the  opposite order.  Later this week, I will have a mini lesson and printable tags and parent devotions for you to use in your own ministry.

Red- Jesus Sacrificed Everything for Us 1 John 2:2

Pink- Jesus Loves Us John 3:16

Purple- Jesus is the King of all Kings John 18:37

Green- Jesus Makes Us All New 2nd Corinthians 5:17

Yellow- Jesus is the Light of the world John 8:12

Orange- Jesus is our Hope 1 Timothy 4:10

White- Jesus Redeems Us-Ephesians 1:7

Making Craft Time Simple

Craft time

Crafts can be a fantastic way to keep children engaged in a Bible story just a little bit longer, helping them reflect and internalize the truths you are trying to teach them.  But crafts can also be too complicated, messy and boring for children uninterested in crafts.  How do you strike the balance of making something meaningful and unique, yet simple and time efficient?  I have a few tips on finding this balance for all involved.

1.  Make the process more important than the end result.

Most Sunday School or VBS crafts need to be completed in fifteen minutes or less.  This is not the time for a great masterpiece of art. But we can do more than a coloring page to help engage and extend learning and discussion.  How do you do that?  Below are a few ideas

  • Re-read the Bible story while children doodle or draw on their own.  Keeping children’s hands engaged seems to allow them to listen more.
  • Give children the memory verse printed on large paper and allow them to doodle or add illustrations to the words.  As they draw, doodle or paint, children read the words to the verse over and over again, helping them to internalize the verse.
  • Make the craft a way of applying the day’s lesson.  The craft can be more of an activity than a project to take home.

2.  Create a craft kit for each student

For crafts with multiple parts, creating a kit for each student containing what they need (including crayons/markers/glue if possible).  Particularly for younger students, this can greatly simplify craft time.  With all supplies pulled together in a kit, students have a much easier time following step by step instructions.

3. Modify messy crafts to cleaner options

  • Make gluing projects neater by creating a glue sponge
  • If glue sponges are not feasible, pour a small amount of glue into a cup (one for every two to three children) and have children apply with cotton swabs
  • Add dish soap to paint to make it more washable
  • Save dried out markers and use them in place of paint by dipping them in water (the markers will not last for large painting projects)

4. Plan ahead to simplify clean up

There’s nothing worse than teaching a full lesson, keeping kids engaged and then face a mammoth clean up job.  A few tips to minimize this headache

  • Lay out plastic tablecloths or newspaper over tables so you don’t need to spend hours scrubbing them after class
  • Leave wet wipes on each table to wipe up spills or clean messy hands without having to take time to go to the bathroom
  • Keep a stash of paint shirts for kids who are dressed up or mess prone

Craft time can be stressful, but using these tips can help make this more fun for everyone.

Station Days- 31 Days of KidMin Solutions

STATION DAYSOne of the favorite days for kids in our Sunday School is Station Days.  During station days, children rotate between different stations and experiences to accelerate learning.  Stations or Learning centers are a common practice in schools, but we can use them to help foster a growing relationship between the kids in our ministry and God.

There are two types of station days we use:  group stations with a set rotation plan and independent stations where children can come and go as they choose.  Both are fun and have different assets to children’s learning.  Kids love independent stations for the ability to come and go, exploring on their own time table.  Group stations allow you to mix up age levels and tell multiple stories on a theme.  Teachers prepare one part of the story several times in a row.

The first time we experimented with station days, it was Easter and I was looking for something different and fun for our celebration.  I stumbled upon a video I wanted to show, but didn’t have the technology at the time to show a video to the entire group from my laptop (we now have a projector), so I needed to be able to show a small group of kids at a time.  I added a craft station, a snack station and a praise/game station and our first station day was born.  Teachers and kids had a great time and the kids begged for more days like that.

We have used station days as a final celebration day for a unit of study or to kick off a new unit.  Sometimes we follow the story/craft/game/snack formula similar to a mini VBS.  Sometimes it is a variety of activities to help explore a theme like the fruit of the spirit. We’ve introduced prayer station days over the last few months as well which the children really like and give them new ways to experience God.

A few hints about station days

  • Manage your time carefully-the biggest problem with station days is making sure all kids get through all the stations.  If it is a group rotation day, draw up a schedule and stick to it.  If you are doing independent stations, give plenty of warnings as your time together wraps up so that children can rotate to the stations they haven’t visited yet.
  • Explain all stations ahead of time, but have printed instructions as well
  • Make sure to build in time to wrap up stations to drive home the purpose or main theme of your lesson
  • Station days are great opportunities to encourage relationships between multi-age children.  Pair up older children with the youngest kids, which keeps both encouraged and engaged


My Budget Friendly Craft Cabinet-31 Days of KidMin Solutions

Cost Efficien

I’m back with a list I hope will help all those overstuffed craft closets in church basements.  These are my go-to cost effective craft supply must haves.  Many are familiar to the craftier of KidMin leaders, but I have a few standby supplies that may be a bit off the beaten path.

My overall craft philosophy leans more towards keeping it simple.  I really hate projects that call for highly specialized supplies.  Inevitably, we’ll end up with an odd number of leftovers that can’t be re-used for another project without investing in more random supplies (see a super cool mini chalkboard project from 2006 who’s remnants haunted my craft closet until last spring when they went to craft supply heaven).  So this list is not fancy and most items can be purchased for $5 or less.  Budget friendly for the win!

The Basics

  • Paper– Plain white paper, construction paper in a rainbow of colors, card stock and tissue paper
  • Washable Markers and Crayons-some of my teachers prefer colored pencils for neatness, but most kids would prefer to use markers.  We got the old Mr. Sketch Smelly Permanent Markers (NOT Washable) for our older elementary class, which were a huge hit, but definitely not for younger kids or terribly budget friendly
  • School Glue– I have a cool trick I found on Pinterest for making a Glue Sponge which makes gluing less messy for preschoolers and lower elementary children.  I’m not a fan of glue sticks as they dry out quicker than we can use them.
  • Scissors– It is worth it to get good quality right and left handed safety scissors for the rare cutting project.  Fiskars makes great kids scissors.  We don’t use scissors often as it is usually more time efficient to pre-cut craft items.
  • Chenille Wires– We called them pipe cleaners when I was a kid.  They come in all different colors
  • Stickers– I try to keep a variety of stickers on hand at all times.  We seem to use a lot of star, heart and animal stickers in particular, but I keep an eye out for stickers of all kinds that could be added to a project of any kind.
  • Paper Plates– the cheaper they are, the easier they can be transformed into something fantastic
  • Craft sticks– these come in all shapes and sizes and colors.
  • Yarn– I try to keep common hair colors on hand at all times (though as a redhead, it can be a little frustrating finding a reasonable facsimile for me)

A Few Upgrades To Your Craft Closet

  • Washable Paint- I love Crayola’s Washable Kids Paint that comes in a pack of 10 2 ounce bottles.  Just right for basic painting projects (which we do sparingly due to mess and time limits, but the kids LOVE to paint).  You can add a little dishsoap to any tempera paint to make it more washable as well.  If you are going to paint, get good paint brushes.  Using good tools makes the project much more enjoyable.
  • Wiggly Eyes– These come in lots of sizes.  Some are even adhesive, making the gluing process mess free.  Absolutely worth the extra cost for preschoolers.
  • Craft Foam– Again, this is a rare item, but it can be fun for making bookmarks,cards and other projects.
  • Glue Dots– glue dots are so neat and simple to use and have better holding power than basic glue, but they can be expensive, so I save them for special projects only
  • Dry Erase Lap Boards and Markers– Back to School sales at Staples or even WalMart can make these super fun tools more reasonably priced.  Adding a “draw what you think happens next” option to a Bible story adds another level of active listening that even older elementary kids love
  • Felt– A little felt can go a long way.  I picked up a multi-colored package for around $5 several years ago that we’re still using.  Felt can also be helpful for impromptu costume creation

My unique and cheap craft go-to items

  • Coffee Filters– I love to use coffee filters for all kinds of things.  I will be sharing a coffee filter heart activity that is one of my favorite ways to talk about forgiveness later in this series.
  • Toilet Roll Tubes– It is amazing the number of things you can make using a toilet roll or paper towel tube.  We’ve made rain sticks, tree trunks, nativity sets, an assortment of bugs and animals and many more I can’t remember now.  I keep a large tote of these in our craft closet and refill it continuously just in case.  It’s much easier to have a stash of these kinds of supplies than ask for donations by a certain date.
  • Paper lunch bags– We make puppets out of these, but they’re also handy for sending home multi-piece projects.
  • Dried up markers and broken crayons– both can be used to create fun and memorable projects (I used dried markers in a Joseph spoon puppet project that was a huge hit)
  • Plastic Spoons– Spoon puppets are fast and easy and can be used immediately- a great active listening tool for preschool and younger elementary students especially
  • Cotton balls and QTips– forget mini fuzz balls in multiple colors, we run with cotton balls round here. Dip them in paint if you need some color.  You can even color them with markers.  These can double as paint brushes or even glue applicators.  I love a multipurpose supply!

A few clean up/teacher helps

  •  Plastic tablecloths– for keeping tables clean during messy projects without the mess of newsprint which can get little hands full of ink.  Picnic versions can be wiped cleaned and used again and again (though I have re-used the thinner party tablecloths as well)
  • Ziploc baggies of all sizes- I like to create kits for projects with many pieces in a Ziploc baggie rather than passing out all the supplies one by one.  We also keep our crayon packs in sandwich baggies rather than boxes to save space and gallon Ziplocs for any number of storage and craft needs
  • Wet Wipes– to avoid thirty trips to the bathroom to wash messy hands, I keep wet wipes available.  Children with aversions to being messy can wipe off their hands and continue the project, saving the hand washing for clean up time.

One supply it pains me greatly to use- glitter.  A dearly departed custodian of ours would gladly clean up any crafty mess with hardly more than a chuckle at our inventiveness.  But if we brought out glitter, all bets were off.  So in his honor, even many years after his passing, I cannot bring myself to use glitter more than once a year.

What are your go-to craft supplies?  Even scarier- when was the last time you cleaned out your craft cabinet?

Hidden Message Craft- Day 2 of 31 Days of KidMin Solutions


31 Days of KidMin Solutions
It’s day two of my 31 days of KidMin Solutions blog experiment.  We’re kicking off with a super fun craft.  If you ever doubted that God has a sense of humor, this is my proof.  I used to consider myself the least crafty person on the planet.  I can take any simple craft instructions and make a disaster occur (that’s very encouraging, right?).  BUT somehow over the last 18 months of writing Sunday School lessons, God has inspired all kinds of creative and fun and dare I say crafty ideas that have made their way into our lessons.

This craft is a method more than a specific craft as you can use it for all kinds of things.  In my “In The Beginning” Unit of lessons of the beginning of the Bible, our preschoolers made rainbow crafts using this method.  You’ll see a sneak peek of the printable below.  Super fun and simple!

Supplies Needed:

Hidden Messages Marker version

Supplies Needed Marker Version

Supplies needed for Water Color

Supplies needed for water color painting

  1. white crayon
  2. white paper (water color paper is helpful if you intend for kids to paint to find the message)
  3. markers or water color paints
  4. (if painting) soft paint brush
  5. (if painting) water cup
  6. paper towels

How To Make a Hidden Message

Using your white crayon, write whatever your hidden message will be.  This is a little tricky because you cannot see anything you write!  You could write the week’s memory verse, a basic truth or even a hidden drawing.  I have added hidden messages to coloring pages, to add an extra layer of fun to an activity some children think is boring.

How to Uncover Your Hidden Message

Paint or color over the hidden message.  The wax from the white crayon will resist the paint or marker, leaving a hidden message behind!

In Process Marker Hidden Messages

Tips for success:

If using water color paints, be sure to mix the paints well with water to get a vibrant color.


if the paint stars to seep into the crayon, blot lightly with a paper towel and it will come off

Using soft brushes to paint gives more even coverage to paint.