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

Saving the Easter Egg Hunt

EasterI’ve blogged before about how much I hate Easter Egg Hunts.  Traditional Egg Hunts seem to bring out so much ugliness in kids and more disturbingly, their parents.  The behavior I’ve witnessed at egg hunts over the years makes my stomach turn.  Not only that, the whole hunt lasts only a few minutes.  Families leave the candy war without much evidence of the miraculous event that the egg hunt is supposed to be celebrating.

So over the last two years, we have been re-vamping our Easter Egg Hunt to be a kinder, more Jesus centered event.  You can read about last year’s very successful event here.  This year, we’ve expanded our event to include a glow in the dark egg hunt, an Easter Symbol Scavenger Hunt, a twist on the jelly bean prayer, a craft station that will create decorations for our Easter worship celebration and games.  It’s going to be a ton of fun and send families home with two tools to help talk about and celebrate Holy Week.

But what if your church is committed to a traditional egg hunt?  How can you tweak or reinvent a traditional egg hunt to be more Jesus centered?  I have a few ideas for you.  It’s not too late to make a few simple tweaks to your Easter event.

1. Don’t put candy inside the eggs you hide

If kids know that no matter how many eggs they find, they will receive the same candy prize, they will be less likely to push, hit and steal eggs from each other.  Fill those candy treat bags full of sugary goodness and hide hollow eggs.  (This also makes the preparation a whole lot simpler)

2. Fill the eggs with Easter symbols

Again, give a huge candy bag at the end, but inside the egg put pictures and a brief explanation of symbols of Easter.  Think Resurrection Eggs, but by the ton.  You could put different symbols in each color to help insure children will not have a basket full of palms for Palm Sunday. Have a stash of eggs at the candy area for kids to swap if they missed a color.

3. Make the Egg Hunt the grand finale

Do a puppet show, a short play, even a dramatic reading of an Easter storybook (Jesus focused instead of bunny focused) first.  Invite your pastor to welcome everyone and say a prayer of thanksgiving.  Hold a mini worship concert (with a kids choir) as people arrive and register.

4. Have additional stations or events

Face painting, balloon artists, other games, crafts, food- all opportunities for your church members to share hospitality and kindness with the community.

5. Make sure families take home more than candy

Whether you stuff eggs with candy and do a totally traditional egg hunt or try one of the above ideas to mix it up a little, don’t just give them candy.  Find a way to give them Jesus.  Maybe it will be a coloring page with a verse of Scripture on it.  Maybe you tuck an Easter (Jesus themed) coloring book or storybook inside the treat bag.  It can even be as simple as a postcard with your church’s information, Holy Week services and a thank you for attending.  But don’t let them leave your event with the same candy they could get at any community egg hunt.

Egg Hunts can be a great way to reach out to the community.  Find creative ways to encourage positive behaviors and send families home with ways to talk about Easter together.