Every week we are diligent to teach our children stories from the Bible and lessons about the character of God, but how often do we step back and put these lessons into the context of the whole Bible? As a child I was regularly taught from the Bible both at church and at home; it was not until I attended a Christian university while taking Bible courses did I start to understand the Bible as one continuous story.
This Bible timeline activity for kids can be spread over several weeks and be completed as a multi-step project to involve all school-aged children in your church. The craft project can be adapted to fit the size of your church and how many children attend on a typical Sunday.
The following pictures are a mini-version created on poster board to demonstrate the idea. Please leave a comment to let us know what you think. If you use this idea in your ministry, we’d love to see your pictures too. Just upload them to our Facebook page.
Age Appropriate: K-5
Activity Objective: The children will create a mural to help them see how familiar Bible stories fit into the context of the greater biblical narrative.
- White drawing paper
- Copies of chosen coloring pages
- Variety of colored construction paper to use as backing/matting for the drawing and coloring pages (at least 31 total sheets needed)
- Butcher/Bulletin Board paper of any color, cut into 12 pieces to be hung vertically on the wall
- Colored pencils
Activity Set Up:
- Assign one or more sections of the biblical narrative to each grade level: Creation, Fall, Promise, Exodus, Judges, Kings, Exile, Return, Silence, Jesus, Early Church, End Times
- Each grade level/group will be given a length of butcher/bulletin board paper. The group will write the title of their biblical narrative section at the top of the paper as a heading for when their butcher/bulletin board paper hangs vertically on the wall for display.
- Assign a Bible story to each child or a small group of children within the topic of their section:
- Creation- each day is a separate “story”
- Fall-Adam and Eve’s temptation
- Promise- Abraham, Noah, Joseph
- Exodus- Plagues, Parting of Red Sea, 10 Commandments, Wanderings, Joshua and the Promised Land
- Judges- Ruth
- Kings- David and Goliath, David and Saul, Solomon builds the temple
- Exile- Esther, Daniel
- Silence- 400 years
- Jesus- Birth, Miracles, Death, Resurrection
- Early Church- Paul’s conversion, missionary journey, Paul writes letters to churches
- End Times- John’s vision in Revelation
Activity Plan of Action:
- Pass out coloring pages which correspond to the child’s assigned story. If no appropriate coloring page can be found, then pass out a blank drawing page for the child to recreate the story on paper. Every paper should include a key verse from the assigned story. The stories for which you have coloring pages should be assigned to the younger children and the stories which need to be drawn from scratch should be assigned to the older children.
- Once finished with their coloring page or drawing, the child will glue it to a piece of colored construction paper to mat it.
- The coloring/drawing pages will then be glued to their corresponding biblical narrative section butcher/bulletin board paper in the order the stories happened.
- Once all biblical narrative section butcher/bulletin board papers are complete, they will be hung side by side on a wall in the church in order of the biblical narrative. This will be your children’s department Big Picture Bible mural!
- Use this mural to walk/teach your children through the entire story of the Bible. The mural becomes a visual tool to see where the familiar isolated Bible stories fit into the big picture of God’s story. This mural can also be used to show how all events of the Bible point to Christ. This mural can be displayed for an extended period of time to use as a teaching tool in future weeks. You may even find this mural beneficial for the adults in your church as they, too, can observe how the story of the entire Bible fits together.
- With this activity, you can create multi-grade level groups where children of all grade levels work together on one of the biblical narrative sections.
- Make sure to have the corresponding Bible passages ready with the assigned stories, so the children can reread their Bible story as they color/draw their page for the mural. This will be essential for the stories where the children need to draw from scratch.
- The Ministry to Children website includes free coloring pages for the Days of Creation, Joseph, Moses and the 10 Commandments, David, Jesus’ Birth, and Jesus’ Resurrection.
- For homeschoolers, you might use the poster board version like pictured above.