Toddler group Mother’s Day Celebration!

Ready: Decorate a table with a jug of flowers and plates of homemade biscuits (such as gingerbread people!) and cake as a treat for Mums and other carers. Slices of simnel cake would be traditional.

When they arrive, let the children play with any toys that represent the things Mums do (for instance a doctor’s set, toy computer, shopping trolley, household items, etc).

Teddy: Bring Teddy, plus a bigger Teddy to represent his Mum/Granny/ carer! Teddy could be holding a “thank you” card or other gift that you are going to make as a craft.

Go: You’re ready to help the children think about all the things their mums/carers do for them and to say “thank you”.

Story-telling tips: There are lots of actions in this story (based on the boy Jesus in the temple in Luke 2) to keep everyone engaged. You might like to ask them to practise these beforehand and then to listen carefully for the cue to join in.

The story involves everyone walking to another area of your meeting place (the temple), or perhaps going from a hall into church and back again. You might like to invite your minister to be a “teacher” in the temple and to say the prayer. You could use a boy doll to be Jesus and to leave in “the temple”. Divide the story between as many storytellers as you like.

 . . .

Welcome everybody! Introduce Teddy and his Mum/carer. Explain that as it is nearly Mothering Sunday, Teddy wants to thank her for all the things that she does to look after him. Ask the children what their Mums/carers do for them and mime any actions from the story.

 Storyteller: When Jesus was a baby, his mother Mary was very busy looking after him and taking care of Joseph, too. I wonder what she did? Perhaps she cooked delicious food . . . (all mime stirring) Perhaps she swept the floor . . . (all mime sweeping) And I’m sure that she rocked baby Jesus to sleep in her arms . . . (all mime rocking)

Storyteller: Mary watched Jesus grow from a baby into a toddler and then into a small boy. Perhaps she measured him each birthday – to see how much he had grown.

Storyteller: “Wow! You’ll soon be taller than me!” said Mary when Jesus was twelve years old. But what pleased her the most was that Jesus was so kind and helpful.

Storyteller: One spring day, Mary began to pack a basket with some food and clothes. “Where are we going, Mum?” asked Jesus. “It’s time to go to Jerusalem,” said Mary. “We’re going to visit the temple – God’s house – to thank him for looking after us.”

Storyteller: On the way there, Jesus always met all his aunts and uncles, cousins and friends, who were all going to Jerusalem too! Come on everyone, let’s pretend that we’re all going to Jerusalem. Let’s have all the Mums at the front of the line and all the Dads at the back, just like they used to travel! Right, are you ready? We’ll sing a song to help us along!

SONG: To the tune “The Grand Old Duke of York”

It’s a grand day for a walk,

In sunshine or in rain,

Let’s walk all the way to Jerusalem,

Then we’ll walk back home again.

And when we are there we will say,

And when we are there we will say,

And when we are there we will say a prayer,

For the ones we love, hooray! (Repeat as necessary)

Storyteller: Ah, here we are in Jerusalem at last, at the temple – God’s house. It’s like a very big church. Shall we say a prayer to thank God for the people who look after us?

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the people/our Mums who love us and look after us. They do so much for us! Thank you for loving us too! Amen

Storyteller: When everyone in the story had finished saying “thank you”, it was time to go home again. Mary walked at the front with all the Mums and babies. And Joseph walked at the back with all the Dads and the big boys. Come on everyone, can you line up again? Ready? Then off we go . . . (stop after a short distance)

Storyteller: Wait a minute everyone! On the way home, Joseph came to the front and asked Mary, “Where’s Jesus?” Mary stared at him. “I thought he was with you!” she cried. “No!” said Joseph. “I thought he was with you!”

Storyteller: Oh no! Mary and Joseph looked all around for Jesus . . . (all shield eyes with hands). Where could he be? They asked the uncles and aunts, “Have you seen Jesus?” But they shook their heads and said . . .

All: No!

Storyteller: They asked the cousins, “Have you seen Jesus?” But they shook their heads and said . . .

All: No!

Storyteller: They asked all their friends, “Have you seen Jesus?” But they shook their heads too and said . . .
All: No!

Storyteller: Oh dear! Poor Mary and Joseph were so worried. Let’s sing, “Where, oh where has my Jesus gone?”

SONG: To the tune, “Where, oh where has my little dog gone?”

Where, oh where has my Jesus gone,

Oh where, oh where can he be?

With his eyes so bright,

And his smile so warm,

Oh where, oh where can he be? (Repeat)

Storyteller: So Mary and Joseph went all the way back to Jerusalem to look for him . . . They looked for him in the streets . . . and in the market place . . . but they couldn’t see him anywhere. Can anyone guess where they found him . . ?

Storyteller: Yes! They went back into the temple – and there was Jesus! He was sitting with the teachers, learning about God. He listened to the teachers . . . Ssh! Can you keep very quiet and listen like Jesus? And he talked to the teachers . . . Can you make your hands talk to each other? And everyone was amazed at the sensible things that he said, especially as he was only twelve years old!

Storyteller: But Mary couldn’t keep quiet any longer. “Jesus, we’ve been searching everywhere for you!” she said. “Have you?” said Jesus. “ I thought you would guess that I was in my Father’s house!”

Storyteller: “Come on!” said Joseph kindly. “It’s time to go home.” So Jesus did as he was told and waved “Goodbye” to the temple . . . (all wave) Goodbye until the next year . . . Is everyone ready for our travelling song again?

SONG:

It’s a grand day for a walk,

In sunshine or in rain,

We walked all the way to Jerusalem,

Now we’re walking home again.

And when we are there we will say,

And when we are there we will say,

And when we are there we will say a prayer,

For the ones we love, hooray!

 

Storyteller: Well, I’m sure that became a family story, don’t you? And I’m sure that Mary never forgot the time when she looked everywhere for Jesus and found him in the Temple – God’s house! I wonder why she found him there?

* * *

 

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