Good Shepherd Learning Activity and Craft

Today I’m posting an activity you can do with children to teach them the story of the Good Shepherd. After you have done it with them several times, they should be able to do it on their own as kind of a Catholic Montessori activity. My preschoolers love this! And the best part is- I’m going to provide you with the necessary printables and directions to make your own set!.

How to use  your Good Shepherd Set-The directions are below. What’s in red you say to them, and what’s in parenthesis you “act out” for them using the new Good Shepherd set you’re going to craft yourself :-)
(Based on John 10 and Luke 15)

“This is the Good Shepherd, and these are his sheep” (hold up coordinating pieces and set them inside the fence as you talk) “The Good Shepherd always enters through the gate.” (bring the shepherd in through the gate) “The sheep know his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out” (Take out shepherd, and take out the sheep one at a time behind the shepherd. Have him call them by your kid’s names. For example: “Come on Lydia!” (bring a sheep out) “Come along Julian!” (bring out the second sheep). “When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (Walk the shepherd around to other side, and have the sheep follow him one at a time.) “A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (Continue with the shepherd around with the sheep following, and have him bring them back inside the fence) “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own, and my own know me.” (hold up the Shepherd) “The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (Lay the Shepherd on his side, using his body to close the fence and keep the sheep in- shown below) “I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep, and my sheep know me- Just as the Father know me and I know the Father- and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (Now put one of the sheep outside the fence at the length of your arm) “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd. If a shepherd has 100 sheep and one of them gets lost, will he leave the others and go in search of the lost one.” (Have the shepherd go and find the lost sheep). “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing! And when he comes home, he says ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my sheep which was lost’ and all the sheep are filled with joy! They are all together again with the Good Shepherd.” (Put them all back inside the fence along with the shepherd.)

 (Demonstration of the Good Shepherd “laying down his life” 
for his sheep. And yes, he was happy to pose like this for me.)
Then ask them questions about the story:
-“Who is this? What kind of animal does God say that we are like sometimes? Who’s voice do the sheep listen to? Who’s voice should we listen to? Who is our Good Shepherd?

If you’re following along with Catholic ABC’s, the first quarter will concentrate on The Good Shepherd. I will be posting the preschool script and class layout tomorrow, which will include needing this set, or something similar.

How To Craft Your Own Good Shepherd Set- I designed these printable sheep and the shepherd for my printable nativity set. When you click on the links to the files below, download them before you print because otherwise they print the wrong size. Trust me on this.
Free Printables:

All you do is print, color, cut, and then glue them around toilet paper tubes with a glue stick. It’s that easy! You can make as many sheep for your set as you want. I would say one for each child you’re teaching, but you need at least 2. Now for making their little pasture with a fence.

Supplies Needed for Pasture:
  • Foam Board (from the Dollar Tree. $1)
  • Green Paper
  • Glue Stick 
  • Something for “hole poking” (I used a corn on the cob holder)
  • Pipe Cleaners (also from the Dollar Tree. $1)
  • School Glue 
  • Scissors

Make Your Pasture:

  1. Trace a circle onto your foam board and green paper using a mixing bowl, and cut them out. It will be easier to cut the foam board using a box cutter if you have one on hand.
  2. Glue the green paper circle onto your foam board circle with a glue stick.
  3. Poke holes around the outside edge of the “pasture” for the fence. Leave an opening for the sheep to come in and out. (see pictures below)
  4. Cut the pipe cleaners into thirds and insert them into the holes for the fence. You can put one drop of glue on each hole before inserting the pipe cleaner for a permanent hold.

When poking your holes and inserting your pipe cleaners, go all the way around the circle putting them side by side first, like this:

Then poke holes in between each section of fence and insert a second layer of pipe cleaners, so that the fence pieces appear to cross each other. Don’t forget about leaving your opening!

Now you’re ready to start teaching your kids about the Good Shepherd! Come back tomorrow to get the preschool script that coordinates with this set! I’m so excited about this preschool curriculum!

Hope your kids enjoy this set! Let me know if you make this, or better yet, send me pictures! Getting pictures is my favorite! :-)

Catholic ABC's Curriculum

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Nicene Creed Craft- One God

Today we start the new Catholic preschool curriculum- Catholic ABC’s! Yay! For the first week, we are learning the number 1. Here’s the craft we made (this craft is a good one for preschoolers with adult assistance, and a good one that elementary school aged children could do themselves).

Supplies needed:

  • 2 colors of paper
  • pencil
  • glue stick
  • a piece of yarn, string, or ribbon
  • scissors
  • marker
  • hole punch

Only you know your child’s abilities, but I would always encourage you to allow your child complete a craft as independently as possible, helping only when you’re needed. The finished product doesn’t have to be perfect.

  1. Start by having your child trace his or her hand on the paper, and cut it out with scissors. Assist where necessary.
  2. Have your child use a glue stick to glue the thumb and middle finger together, then fold the ring finger and pinkie down so only the pointer finger is pointing up as a number “1”.
  3. Cut out fingernail shapes for your child out of a seperate color of paper, and have him or her glue them onto the finger tips. You can help with the placement. Again, nothing has to be perfect.
  4. Write out the beginning of the Nicene creed for your child “We believe in one God, the Father the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Of all that is seen and unseen”. I wrote ours out lightly with a pencil, and had my 4 year old trace over it with her marker.
  5. Punch a hole in the bottom of the hand, and the top of the prayer. Your preschooler can lace the yarn or string through the holes, and you can tie them together.
  6. Practice drawing the number 1 on the hand, and/or write out the word “One”.

The hopes of this craft is to teach your preschooler to recognize the number 1, be able to draw a number 1, and know that we believe in only one God. This seems very basic, but when I first told my 4 year old yesterday that we believe in one God, her reply was “No, Mommy. There are lots of Gods in all the churches!”. Glad I decided to start with the basics…

My 4 year old really surprised me with her ability to trace such a long prayer. I haven’t been giving her enough stuff to work on for sure!

If you don’t want to write out the prayer, I created this image that you can print and hang from the bottom of your hand in stead. (Each week for this preschool we are also going to be working on a memory prayer or bible verse that coordinates with the theme, and for the first week this is it).

I know I promised curriculum- not just crafts, and it’s coming! Over the next 2 days I’ll be posting everything you need to teach the first quarter with your preschooler at home. :-) I’m very excited about this!

If you have older children you’d like to do a “We believe in ONE God craft” with, try making some God’s eyes! Hope you and your kids enjoy this craft- I know we did! Send me pictures of your kids with their completed crafts if you can :-)

Lydia with her “1 God” craft. She’s so proud!

Catholic ABC's Curriculum

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Know Your Catholic ABC’s?

This year, I am teaching my son’s class for our preschool co-op, and I’m really excited! You should be excited, too. Want to know why? Because I’m going to be posting it here for all of you. Want to follow along with your kids? You got it! The curriculum will be for preschoolers, but a lot of the crafts/food etc will be great for elementary aged kids as well.

Our curriculum will be covering numbers, then moving onto the alphabet- one letter per week. There will be a different craft for every number 1-5, then a craft for every letter of the alphabet. I’ll be posting one themed craft each week on Wednesday, starting September 1st!

In celebration, we’re kicking off this school year with this Catholic ABC themed muffin tin meal! A is for Angel, B is for bible, and C is for cross. (Second row- A is also for apple, B is for banana, and C is for carrot.)

The angel is made from a bugle, some pretzels, an oyster cracker, and a cheerio- all stuck together with cream cheese frosting. (I’ll be posting some more detailed directions for these later this week).

The bibles are made from fig newtons. I got the idea to make books from fig newtons over on Shower of Roses. I’ll be posting the full directions for making the bibles later this week as well.

So watch for Catholic Preschool A-Z starting here at Catholic Icing on September 1! 

Also, check out other alphabet themed muffin tin meals today over on Muffin Tin Mom! She’s a good bloggy friend of mine. She’s a Christian cancer survivor, and she posts lots of great food and craft ideas for kids :-)

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

*Updated in an Attempt to Clarify Some Questions*
I am going to be teaching my son’s preschool for our co-op. His class is for ages 2 1/2 – 3 1/2. However, I really wanted my daughter to learn her letters this year, and she is 4. So the curriculum will be flexible for all preschoolers through kindergarten. The crafts will also be good for older kids- they will just need less help. I am going to post the whole curriculum, not just crafts. Class is exactly the same each week, but doing the same routine with the new letter. The craft each week will be different to coordinate with the letter (or number) and I will post the new craft each Wednesday. Each week will also have a coordinating bible verse OR prayer for them to learn, and may or may not include a snack idea, song, or coloring page. I am homeschooling both of my preschoolers this year in addition to teaching this co-op, but I will only be posting the Catholic stuff here.

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Who’s Ready to Celebrate Pentecost?

Pentecost is coming up this Sunday- 50 days after Easter (the official end of the Easter Season). It is also the birthday of the church. On Pentecost, the holy spirit came upon the 12 apostles and gave them “tongues of fire”. Because of this, the color for Pentecost is red and is often symbolized with fire. You also see a lot of doves for Pentecost because doves are the most common symbol of the holy spirit. Intrigued? Read up some more on Pentecost. Looking for some fun celebration ideas? Read on, my friends!

Lets start with the basics- wear red to mass! This is a fun tradition 
I remember from being a child, and you’ll fit in amongst 
the red crowd in the pews- plus you’ll match the priest! :-)

Try giving your kids red hots or fireballs as treats on 
Pentecost so they too can have “tongues of fire“. :-P

Make the church a birthday cake! May I suggest red velvet in keeping
with the Pentecost theme? These Pentecost cakes are from 4 Real 
Forums. Tons of symbolism going into these- your family could learn a lot!
The Catholic Toolbox has multiple posts on Pentecost! :-)
Endless great links- don’t miss these posts!
Gladdest Hours celebrated Pentecost with these great cupcakes
and more! Check out the post to see it all.
And don’t forget about this Pentecost Coloring Page
from Sermons for Kids.
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