Week 24 of Play Through The Bible is the story of Zacchaeus meeting Jesus. K really liked this story. Something about a little guy climbing a tree really sparked his interest!
I really enjoyed this week as well. There was so much to talk about and do! I hope you and your little one enjoy this week as much as we did!
Week Twenty Four – Zacchaeus
Zacchaeus met Jesus and it changed his heart.
Story Time Tips
- We read “Little Zacchaeus” starting on page 224 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook for Toddlers and “Little Zacchaeus” starting on page 308 of The Rhyme Bible Storybook.
- After reading both stories, I told the story again from memory, adding a few details. We talked about what Zacchaeus’ job was – tax collector – and reinforced that he lied and stole money from people. We talked about how no one liked Zacchaeus and I asked K if he thought Jesus would like him. Most importantly, we talked about Zacchaeus’ heart. We talked about how when Zacchaeus met Jesus, Jesus changed his heart. He didn’t want to do bad things after meeting Jesus and he gave all the people their money back. We’ve talked a lot about our hearts ever since The Parable of the Sower, and K really seems to be starting to understand.
If you have a small tree nearby, be like Zacchaeus and climb it! If you don’t have a good tree, find something you could use to pretend to climb a tree (a playground, bunk-bed, counter top, etc).
Parent: “What was Zacchaeus’ job?”
Child: “Taking money.”
Parent: “Yes, but he lied and stole lots of money didn’t he? Did people like him?”
Parent: “Why did Zacchaeus climb a tree?”
Child: “So he could see Jesus.”
Parent: “Yes, and what did Jesus say to him?”
Child: “Come down from that tree!”
Parent: “And then where did they go?”
Child: “To Zacchaeus’ house.”
Parent: “What happened to Zacchaeus’ heart after he met Jesus?”
Child: “He wanted to do good things.”
Parent: “Right, and what did he do with his money?”
Child: “He gave it back to people!”
Parent: “That’s right. Jesus loved Zacchaeus even though he was doing bad things and that made him want to do good things for Jesus.”
Day One – Zacchaeus Small World
- Peg people or figurines – Jesus and disciples, extra for the crowd
- Figurine for Zacchaeus
- Small cardboard box
- Small branches from a bush or tree
- Small cup
For this small world, I used a recycled box (ours is actually a piece of packing material that we have used for a lot of different things!) with an opening cut into the side as Zacchaeus’ house. I scattered around disciples and people to be the crowd, putting Jesus over by the tree. For the tree I clipped a few branches from a bush and made them stand up by sticking them into a small cup filled with Play-doh. I stuck Zacchaeus in the tree and everything was ready for pretend play!
Day Two – Coloring Page
Day Three – Z in a Tree
- Printable Zacchaeus (got ours here)
- Paper towel tube (I cut this one down a little)
- Green construction paper cut into tree top shape
- Red dot marker (optional)
Use the dot marker to add some fruit (or flowers) to your tree, optional.
Glue Zacchaeus onto the tree top.
Cut a slit on each side of the paper towel tube and insert the tree top. All finished!
Day Four – The Tax Collector’s Coins
- Circles cut out of cardboard (we made six)
- Aluminum foil, cut into six small pieces
- Permanent marker
For this simple craft all you have to do is wrap the aluminum foil around the cardboard circles. K would start the wrapping process and then I would finish to make sure it was all wrapped tight.
We used the permanent marker to write numbers on our coins.
Day Five – Zacchaeus Meets Jesus Handprint Craft
- Green and brown paint
- Blue piece of construction paper
- Jesus and Zacchaeus clip art (here and here)
The inspiration for this craft came from here.
First, using the brown paint, cover your child’s arm from wrist to elbow.
Press the brown arm down onto the paper, wipe up a bit, and then paint both of your child’s hands with the green paint.
Press green handprints at the top of the brown arm to make the leaves of the tree.
Glue Zacchaeus up into the top of the tree.
Glue Jesus down on the ground.
We used our extra green paint to make some grass and we were finished!
You can’t miss this classic song!
I hope you enjoyed week twenty four of Play Through The Bible. I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or use the hashtag #playthroughthebible on Twitter or Instagram!
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