Space Academy: Under-5s Day 1 Daniel 1:8 21

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1 Space Academy: Under-5s Day 1 Daniel 1:8 21 Aim: To see that God is great and helps us choose to do the right things Bible story with visual aids What you need: two paper plates, pictures of food, vegetables (optional) On one plate glue a picture of an attractive meal which includes meat; on the other glue pictures of vegetables or simply place some sliced vegetables on it Tell the story: What should we do? Daniel asked his friends. He looked at the food on his plate. (Show the children the first plate of food.) It was good food. The king himself had chosen this food for Daniel and his friends, but Daniel did not want to eat it. His friends said, It is delicious food, but we have to think about what God wants. (Talk about what the children like to eat. Explain that there is nothing wrong with eating lots of different things. God wants us to enjoy our food.) God s rules about food are clear, Daniel said. The people who make the king s food don t keep God s rules. If we eat it, his friends said, we will be doing the wrong thing. But Daniel and his friends knew they d be in trouble with the king if they didn t eat the food he d given them. Well, what should we do? Daniel asked again. He knew it would be wrong to eat the king s food, so he chose to do the right thing. He went to see Ashpenaz who had brought the food for Daniel and his friends. We cannot eat the food the king has given us, he told Ashpenaz. It s not what God wants. Ashpenaz said, The king will be angry. You will look weak and thin if you don t eat the king s food. Daniel scratched his head, wondering what to do. Then he said, Let us try, for ten days, just eating vegetables and drinking water. If we look weak and thin after ten days, you can give us the king s food.

2 So Ashpenaz stopped giving them the king s food. (Put down the first plate of food.) And he started giving them vegetables to eat. (Show the second plate.) Daniel and his friends ate the vegetables for ten days. After ten days, Ashpenaz looked at them. You are not weak and thin, he told them. You look fit and strong. I won t give you the king s food again. You can eat vegetables every day. Daniel and his friends were pleased. They had chosen to do the right thing, as God wanted. Bible story with puppets What you need: finger puppets (Daniel, his three friends, King Nebuchadnezzar, Ashpenaz) from Day 1 Resource Sheet A) Take the finger puppets one by one and place them on your fingers, explaining the names and something about each one, for example This is Daniel who is far away from his own home and here are his three friends...' As you tell the story, put the appropriate puppets on and off your fingers. Tell the story: Daniel s family used to teach him: Always try to live God s way. It s the best way. Now Daniel was grown up and his family was far away. In the new place where he had to live, most people didn t know that God s way was the best way, not even King Nebuchadnezzar! What shall we do, his friends asked Daniel. if the king tells us to do things which are wrong? He ll be angry if we don t obey him. God's way is best, Daniel told them. 'We must obey God even if it means not obeying King Nebuchadnezzar.' One day, the king gave his servant, Ashpenaz, an important order. Find some young men who are clever, good-looking and fit. Make them read lots of books. After three years, they will be my advisors and help me decide what to do. Yes, your majesty, said Ashpenaz. I will do that. And, added the king, you must make sure they get the best food just the same as I have. Yes, your majesty, said Ashpenaz. I will do that. Ashpenaz obeyed the king. He found men who were clever, good-looking and fit, including Daniel and his three friends. Ashpenaz told them, King Nebuchadnezzar wants you to read lots of books. After three years, you could be his advisors and help him decide what to do.

3 All the young men said, Yes, we will do that. Ashpenaz said, The king has ordered you to eat the best food, just the same as he eats. Most of the young men said, Thank you. We will do that. But Daniel and his friends said, We can t do that. Ashpenaz looked scared. You must, he said. The king will be very angry if you don t eat his food. God has given us rules about what we can eat, explained Daniel. We can t eat the king s rich food and wine. The king is very powerful, Ashpenaz said. Everyone has to obey him. God is even more powerful, Daniel replied. We must obey him. Look, when you bring the king s rich food and wine for the others, bring us vegetables and water just for ten days. If we look weak or ill after ten days, then you can decide what to do. Ashpenaz agreed. For ten days, he brought Daniel and his friends just vegetables and water. And after ten days, he saw that they didn t look weak or ill. They looked even stronger and more handsome than the others! He smiled, You can have vegetables and water all the time, he told Daniel. Well, said Daniel, God s way is the best way just as my family always told me. Prayer and praise Hands and feet What you need: a Bible storybook, finger puppets to recap the Bible story, percussion instruments (optional) Recap the Bible story using The Big Bible Storybook (page 99). Alternatively use another picture book based on Daniel 1 or the finger puppets used earlier. Say that Daniel chose to do things God s way and can we do the same. Ask everyone to stretch out their hands. We could do something kind with our hands; that would please God. See whether the children can think of kind things they can do. If not, give a few ideas and then pray, Dear loving God, we want to do kind things with our hands. Please help us choose to do what is right. Suggest that we could do helpful things with our feet. Ask the children to hold their feet and see if they have suggestions, for example, running to fetch something at home, hurrying to

4 come when they're called. Pray, Dear loving God, we want to do helpful things with our feet. Please help us to do what is right. Give out the percussion instruments and stand up. Say God is great!, then bang, or shake the instruments three times. Repeat this rhythmically until the children begin to respond to the beat. Then say God is good! in the same way, stamping your feet three times. If you are ambitious, you could try interspersing God is great! with God is good! Simple craft Vegetable people What you need: clean unprepared vegetables, plain stickers, craft materials, glue sticks, felt-tip pens Provide each child with a vegetable and suggest that they could make it into a person perhaps one of the characters in today s Bible story (though they may choose a different character). They can add features using stickers, pens or other craft materials. When the vegetable people are finished, the children could use them as puppets, making them move and talk. Try getting the puppets to say together, God is great! God is good! Messy craft Nebuchadnezzar What you need: an enlarged copy of the picture of Nebuchadnezzar (see Day 1 Resource Sheet B), shiny paper cut into small pieces, glue sticks (or paste and brushes), off-cuts of wood (or other material for making prints), paint trays, powder paint mixed thickly, flat sponges, sticky tape, cover-up and clean-up facilities Prepare one table with glue sticks and shallow trays of shiny paper pieces. If necessary, cover the table with newspaper or oil cloth. Prepare the other table with trays of paint into

5 which a flat sponge is pressed. Ensure that the off-cuts of wood have no splinters and place these ready. Show the children the outline of the king and say that there are two activities to do. One is to give him a king s robe made by printing shapes on to the outline. The other is to make him a shiny crown and shiny shoes. Let the children choose which activity they would like to do. Cut the head and feet from the outline so that the gluing activity can take place separately from the printing. The outline can be taped back together when all the pieces are dry. Space Academy craft Splash stars What you need: a large piece of black or dark blue craft paper (or several sheets taped together), white or yellow paint, paint brushes, cover-up and clean-up facilities Make sure that the paint is mixed thickly. It should not drip from the brush. Let the children (a few at a time) flick paint from the brush onto the paper to look like stars in the night sky. This activity forms the background of a frieze which will be built up over the five days of Space Academy. It is probable that the children will want to continue splashing stars past the point where the result looks like stars, but you could have some extra paper (newspaper would do) for those who wish to do more. Activity Fruit and vegetables Bring in a selection of fruit and vegetables, for example cabbage, peppers, oranges and maybe some more unusual ones, like star fruit, sharon fruit. Let the children handle them, encouraging them to notice the shapes, colours, smells and different skin textures. Cut some in half to show the lovely patterns inside. Under close supervision, let them have a little taste of each of the foods. Have they had them before? Which ones do they like?

6 Rhyme With everyone together, introduce the following actions. When you say 'Nebuchadnezzar, make a crown by stretching out the fingers of one hand, and pressing your palm against your forehead. The children will enjoy his unusual name. When you say 'Daniel', tap your temple to indicate cleverness. Say the rhyme: None so proud and no one stronger, None so rich and no one grander, Find me helpers, strong and clever, Said King Nebuchadnezzar. Teach them, feed them, make them fitter, Said King Nebuchadnezzar. None so good and no one wiser Than Daniel, God s messenger. This king s great, but God is greater, Said Daniel, God s messenger. I ll learn to be the king s helper, Said Daniel, God s messenger. But I can t eat the royal dinner, Said Daniel, God s messenger. None so proud, but God is stronger None so rich, but God is greater

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