Hands on activities, like Daniel in the lion’s den crafts, are good ways to extend Sunday school lessons and help children internalize the concepts. The more their senses are engaged, the deeper the learning experience and the longer the lesson is retained.
One of the crafts includes making an edible lion cupcake, so be sure to check the student’s records for any food allergies.
Paper Plate Lions
This craft is an oldie but goody that children always enjoy. It takes just a few simple supplies and is quickly modified to suit the motor skill levels of different classes.
You Will Need
- Paper plates (these work better than foam ones)
- Art media (see the age appropriate suggestions below)
Give each child a paper plate and encourage them to decorate it to look like a lion's face and mane.
For toddlers who are still developing fine motor skills, yellow and brown chunky crayons are the best choices for coloring the lion’s manes. Preschoolers can glue on cut-up pieces of yarn, or dip their hands in yellow finger paint and press them around the edge of the plate to make an unusual looking mane.
Tip: parents love getting crafts that include their children’s handprints and will treasure them for years. Be sure to write each child’s name and the date on the back of the plate.
Making edible Bible crafts is one of the best ways to teach a lesson without sounding like you are preaching, and as a bonus, the kids get to eat their crafts. To make the lions, you will need:
- One cupcake for each child (make or buy them prior to class)
- One can of white frosting
- One tube of yellow food coloring
- One package of shredded coconut
- One box of raisins
- One package of red licorice strips
- Kitchen shears
- Paper towels or napkins
- Plastic knives or spoons
Before the class starts, take the kitchen shears and cut the licorice into tiny strips to represent the lion’s mouth. Pour a small amount of coconut in one bowl, and place the white icing in another.
When you are ready to start the craft, have the kids to sit at the table. Show them the yellow food coloring and talk about the color of a lion’s fur. Add a few drops of food coloring to the white icing and allow the kids to take turns mixing it in (if class size allows). Keep adding food color until the frosting is the desired color.
Give each child a paper towel or napkin and a cupcake. Scoop a small amount of the frosting on top of the cupcake, and encourage them to spread it out with a plastic knife or spoon.
When they finish spreading out the frosting, give each one a small quantity of coconut, and demonstrate how they should sprinkle it around the edge to make the lion’s mane. Use the raisins for eyes and the cut-up licorice strips for mouths. While the kids enjoy their snack, read or tell the story of Daniel and the lion’s den to them.
While these Daniel in the lion’s den activities and crafts seem deceptively simple, they make a huge impact on the kids. You will be amazed at how well they remember the story of Daniel and the lions for years to come.
Author's own experience as an educator and lay children's minister
The KJV Kids' Study Bible, Zondervan, 1991