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You will need: popcorn kernels; a popcorn maker and access to an electricity supply (or oil, a pan and a stove top); toppings eg sugar, salt, golden syrup; small dishes for serving
Popcorn is great for thinking about how a little goes a long way in this story, because a tiny handful of kernels can fill a whole bowl when cooked!
Show the children a small serving of popcorn kernels. Your popcorn maker or recipe should give some guidance as to how big each serving should be. Comment that this amount is unlikely to feed the whole group as it seems very small. Put the kernels into the machine and watch as the popcorn cooks and expands, and the bowl fills. Alternatively, cook the popcorn in a pan on the stove. Relate this amazing expansion of the popcorn to the miracle in which Jesus is able to feed so many with so little. Here we use the power of the machine, but Jesus used God’s miraculous power. Share out the popcorn and let the children choose their topping. A drizzle of golden syrup always goes down well!
You will need: A5-sized pieces of paper (two sheets each); scissors
The way Jesus is able to feed the crowd is a real miracle. This craft appears to be quite miraculous too as it makes something very small stretch a long way.
Give each child a piece of paper and ask them to cut a big enough hole to step through with their whole body. They are highly unlikely to be able to do this! Now demonstrate to them how cutting such a hole is possible (find instructions at youthandchildrens.work/links) and let them have a go. Make sure that you try this out beforehand so you know you will be able to fit through the hole you cut! What seems impossible becomes possible when you know who to ask. Likewise, what seems impossible is possible with God.
You will need: sliced white bread; food colouring; water; clean paintbrushes (brand new ones are best for this); a toaster or grill; little pots or dishes
The miracle of feeding more than 5,000 people with so little celebrates just how amazing God is. This craft uses bread and bright colours to help express that celebration.
Mix food colouring with a little bit of water and have pots of at least three different colours that the children can use as ‘paint’. Give everyone a piece of bread and encourage them to paint designs on it with the food colouring. The children might want to paint a picture of something that happens in the story or a design that represents God, or a celebration of the miracle. Make sure that children wipe the excess liquid off their brushes after dipping so the bread doesn’t get too soggy at this point! When the designs are finished, lightly toast the bread and eat it as part of a ‘celebration’ snack.
THANK YOU PLATES
You will need: paper plates; glue; scissors; food magazines and food packaging, eg cereal boxes and crisp packets
Before performing the miracle, Jesus thanks God. This craft helps children to focus on foods they are thankful for.
Talk to the children about the story, and about what it must have felt like to be fed by Jesus in such an amazing way. Discuss their favourite foods and ask why they would thank God for them. Cut out pictures of their favourite foods and stick them onto paper plates. Use this time to chat to them about the story and what it means to them.
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