2) Songs: Start the Story Hour with the learning our names song. Go around the circle or table and introduce each child.
4) Theme: Remind the children of the theme of the unit: Our joy in the Lord. “Sing of psalm of joy!” Tell them that they are going to learn about a psalm today that teaches us about our joy in the Lord.
5) Reading the Psalm: In order to simplify things for the children, first summarize the main point(s) of the psalm. In Psalm 150, the psalmist is singing praises to the Lord. There are so many ways to praise the Lord: by singing songs, clapping our hands and playing instruments like the trumpet, pipe, timbrel, stringed instruments, flutes and cymbals. Ask the children to list all the instruments they know. Then, read the psalm from the Bible. Then, repeat the main point(s) again.
6) Sing the Psalm: Sing today’s psalm with the children. You may sing all or only one stanza depending on what is appropriate for your psalm. If possible, include some hand motions to highlight key words. In this psalm (stanza 1 &2), try:
praise… both hands up in the air
spacious… open your arms wide
Instruments (you can act out playing them or really play them!)
7) Text… you may use a verse from the psalm in the Bible or choose a key line or two from the stanza that you chose to sing with the children. “Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150
- Any instrument craft… there are tones of ideas on the internet or in craft books and any simple instrument works well here. The only thing that you may want to be careful of is that you do not repeat any craft that has recently been done, as some of the crafts here are also in other lessons.
- Shakers… children can choose a handful of colorful beads to put into a clear snack sized container (available cheaply at any dollar store). Use a strip of clear tape to secure lid. Practice playing music for God while singing today’s song!
- Tambourines… put several small bells (available cheaply at any dollar store) into between two small paper plate. Secure the edges with a strip of masking tape (or lots of staples). Children can decorate the outside with stickers or you could punch some holes and tie strips of curling ribbon around the edge. My girl decided to use pipe cleaners to make handles for the sides of her tamborine - and that worked well too! Lots of options to be very creative here...
- Rice Maraca… Take a toilet paper tube and put 1-3 pieces of packaging tape and put it on one end of the tube. Put a handful of rice in the tube next. (Be generous with the rice because some of it will stick to tape!!!!!) Put 1-3 pieces of tape on the opposite end of the tube. Decorate your rice maraca with markers or any thing else.
- Horn… Cover one end of the paper towel roll with waxed paper, secure it with a rubber band. Punch a row of holes along one side of the roll with the tip of a pen. To play, sing a tune into the open end of the horn.
10) Going Home: Round up all the children around the table or sit in a circle again. Sing today’s Psalm together and then sing the closing. Then, check to see if all the children have collected their crafts and coloring sheets before they go home. Say goodbye and tell them that you enjoyed learning about God together and were happy to have them today! You were, weren’t you?