Use this free preschool Bible lesson to teach some basic concepts about sin and the saving love of God. We’ve included several learning activities and object lessons to help make these concepts concrete for younger children. You could easily adapt this Psalm 51 Bible lesson for any age children. Please modify this material for the needs of your class and leave a comment below with your suggestions for other readers.
Objectives: To help preschool students comprehend the extent of sin; to identify sin, its consequences, and an initial reaction to it. To identify God as the only One who can cleanse us from our sins. To enable students to look at snow and be reminded of God’s gift to them in salvation.
Supplies: chocolate pudding, “sin signs” (small signs made out of red construction paper to look like a stop sign – write the words sin, transgression, evil, and iniquity on them – one for each child; attach signs to popsicle sticks with tape), construction paper with the word SIN on it, shaving cream, glue, dixie cups, popsicle sticks, glitter, music for the game.
Optional: “Forgive our Sins” coloring page or “Covered by Christ” coloring sheets
Welcome: Create interest in the lesson by welcoming the students into the room with chocolate pudding (or something of the sort) all over your hands. Leave marks on various (easy to clean surfaces.) Exaggerate the issue.
Say: Ugh! Look how dirty my hands are! They are filthy! I’m getting this chocolate pudding everywhere! What should I do about my dirty hands?
When students suggest washing, pretend like you hadn’t thought of the solution before. Wash your hands and pretend to be relieved. Make a parallel between unclean hands and an unclean heart.
Bible Lesson: Psalm 51:1-9
Say: Wow! My hands sure were dirty before. Ew… they reminded me of awful, stinking, messy sin. Can anyone tell me what sin is? Allow for responses.
Sin is when we do what is wrong in God’s eyes. It can be something that we do, think, feel, or say. Sin is when you lie to your mom. Sin is when you argue with your brother. Sin is when you yell or cry or complain to get what you want. Sin is when you do something when no one is looking.
Sin makes God’s heart sad. Sin hurts other people. Sin leaves a mess behind it (point to the chocolate marks.) Sin hurts us. The Bible says that the punishment for sin is death. That means, if you sin, you die. That is serious!
Sometimes, God uses other words for sin like iniquity and transgression and evil. They all mean the same thing. The Bible has a lot to say about sin. Wait till you hear how much! I am going to pass out what we’ll call “sin signs” to everyone. Each sign has a word on it that means sin. I want you to listen carefully for your word, as I read the Bible. When you hear it, lift your sin sign up high for all to see! Let’s listen to hear what God says about sin.
Distribute “sin signs.” These are stop signs with the words sin, iniquity, transgression, or evil written on them.
Read Psalm 51:1-9. Emphasize the words sin, iniquity, transgression, or evil. Encourage them to hold their sin signs high. Paraphrase if needed, so that students comprehend the passage.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Did you hear how many times sin was mentioned in just a few verses? It was a lot! Did anyone hear what we should do about our sin? Allow for responses. Wash it away! That’s right!
Just a moment ago, I washed the pudding off of my hands. That made my hands clean. Hooray! But how can we wash our hearts – our dirty, messy, stinky, yucky sinful hearts? I can’t get water and soap to my heart. Does anyone know how we can wash our hearts?
We actually can’t do it ourselves. Jesus is the only one who can wash our hearts and make us clean. When He died on the cross, He died for our sins. Remember how we said that the punishment for sin is death? If we sin, we will die, but we don’t have to. He chose to die instead. To save us and to clean us! His love is a saving love.
When we understand what Jesus did and accept his forgiveness for our sins, our hearts get washed. We get clean. But just like in the verses we read, we have to ask for that. We have to say, “Wash me, Jesus.” And when He does, guess what? Our hearts will be cleaned and we will be whiter than snow! Let’s make an art project today to help us remember what we learned.
Art Project: “Snow Art”
Prepare Ahead: Have the word SIN written on a piece of dark construction paper. On the back of it, either write or glue a print out of Psalm 51:7b: “Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.”
Distribute these pieces of construction paper, along with a Dixie cup of glue, shaving cream, and a popsicle stick to each child. Have the students stir the mixture and create a snow scene to cover the word SIN. Use an example to demonstrate. Once finished, have students sprinkle glitter on their projects. Emphasize how God makes our black sin whiter than snow. His love takes away our sins. His love makes us beautiful like freshly fallen snow.
The object of this game is for students to get up and moving and to identify a healthy reaction to sin – getting away from it as quickly as possible. This game, in and of itself, is a great object lesson and a ton of fun!
Play this game in a wide open area. Have teachers and helpers dispersed around the room, with the children. Adults should be holding the “Sin Signs,” used earlier in the lesson. (Only 4-5 are necessary.) Play music for students to move around and act silly. Pause it without warning and have everyone freeze. (We use the “Freeze” song from a Kids in Motion CD by Greg and Steve; this song has “built in” pauses.) As soon as the music gets paused, one adult should hold up his/her sign quickly. When the children see it, they should turn and run away as quickly as they can! When the music starts back up, continue to move around and mingle until the next pause and repeat with a different adult holding up sign. (The adults should coordinate an order to go in prior to the game.)
When the game is over, discuss briefly with the students. You may want to give brief case scenarios to help them understand a proper response to sin. (When you see a friend getting bullied, run away and tell an adult. When you see something on TV that you know is wrong, turn it off. When you want to take something that is not yours, do not do it! Run away from the temptation.)
Songs: Teach the songs: “Create in Me a Clean Heart” (an extension of Psalm 51:10-12) or the Hymn “Whiter Than Snow”