Teaching Kids about the Body of Christ

Here are four fun activities to teach kids about the body of Christ. They were successfully carried out at Faith Methodist Church's 43rd Anniversary Programme for P1-P3 children on 12 July, 2009.

Preparation of name tags

Write names of body parts (e.g., nose, ear, eye, mouth, hand, foot, head) in sets on white label stickers and stick one label (name tag) on each child as he/she enters the room. Alternatively, you can use pieces of paper with masking tape folded at the back (to act as double-sided tape).

Distribute the name tags in sets so that the different body parts are approximately the same in number (i.e., equal number of hand, foot, mouth, etc). THEN HAVE THE CHILDREN GATHER TOGETHER ACCORDING TO THEIR BODY PARTS.


Activity #1: The missing body part (in a human body puzzle)
Teacher-in-charge: Selena Tan

14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
  1. Prepare a human body (jigsaw) puzzle in advance and put it in an envelope (one envelope per group of children)

    • You may want to use a different picture of a human body for each group of children. Here are some pictures of the human body that you can cut up to create the puzzles.

    • Enlarge the pictures before printing and mount the puzzle pieces on cardboard or laminate the puzzle pieces.
    missing body part
  2. Intentionally leave out one part of the body (e.g., an eye or a nose)

    • Have a different body part missing for each puzzle

    • For those body parts that come in pairs (e.g., the ears) then both parts should be "missing" from the envelope.

  3. Instruct the children to put the available pieces together to "complete" the puzzle

    Ask the children in each group, "What body part is missing from your puzzle?" Go through the deficiency for each puzzle ... "What can this child in the puzzle NOT do?"

  4. Read and explain 1 Cor 12:14-16 ... feeling of inferiority

    The foot and the ear are comparing themselves to the hand and the eye, and in their own mind think they are less important than the hand and the eye and concluded that they do not belong to the body.

    "Do you think the missing body part (i.e., foot or ear) is correct in what it said? Why or why not?"

  5. Ask, "What will happen to the body if the missing body part continues to be missing?" OR
    "What will happen to the body when a body part stops working?"

    Answer: The whole body suffers!

  6. Relate, "You may think you are not like the others or that you are not useful but the truth is that

    1. we all are different
    2. you are special/unique - nobody can do what you can do
    3. you are needed in the body of Christ."

  7. Have the children go look for their missing body part(s) which are all laid in a pile. Alternatively, hide the missing body part(s) in the room and now have the children go look for them. They are to ring a bell or press a buzzer when they complete their puzzle.

Activity #2: All one part ... one BIG part
Teacher-in-charge: Chan Lai Cheng
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
  1. All one part

    1. Ask the children, who should still be in their (body part) groups, ...

      • "Where are the noses?" - Wait for a response then say, "Stop talking as you are not the mouth!"
      • "Where are the mouths?" - Say "Stop moving as you are not the hand or foot"
      • "Where are the hands?" Ė Say" Huh? You are not the ear, how is it that you can hear me?"
      All one part in the body
    2. Have each group use actions to show or demonstrate their functions.

      Present these "challenges" to the various groups ... how would your body part do the following:

      • Send a SMS on a mobile phone
      • Ride a bicycle
      • Eat an ice cream

      A body that had only one part would not even be a body and there would be many things that it could not do. The eye is a beautiful part of the body. But what if the whole body was just one big eye, what would happen to the body? It would probably die!

  2. One body, many parts

    1. Ask, "What can you do to function better?"

      Answer: Form one body with many parts!

      NOW HAVE THE CHILDREN FORM NEW GROUPS - a complete human body ... with no repetition of body parts. Have the children ring a bell or press a buzzer when they have one complete human body.

      Say "I will name a few activities and for each activity, each body-group is to send (to the front) the parts needed for the activity."

      • Sending a SMS on a mobile phone (Answer: eyes, hands, brain)
      • Riding a bicycle (Answer: feet, hands, eyes, ears, brain)
      • Eating an ice cream (Answer: mouth, hands, brain, eyes)

      Explain, "Everything that we do requires the cooperation of a number of parts working together. We need one another."

    2. Read and explain 1 Cor 12:17-20

      There is one body with many parts. Every part of the body has a purpose and created to serve God and build up the whole body. Some parts work behind the scene while other parts are loud and obvious.

Activity #3: Pin a body part on the body
Teachers-in-charge: Tan Lian See and Jennie Soh
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, ...
  1. Modified "Pin the tail on the donkey"

    1. Instead of a donkey, a human body outline is tacked to a wall within easy reach of children.

    2. Instead of a tail, children have to pin different body parts onto the body.

    3. Instead of one child playing at a time, we have three children locking arms and working together to get the job done.

        locking arms
      • Child #1 (blindfolded and holding the body part) = Hand
        - cannot move his hands unless instructed by Child #3
        - cannot walk unless dragged by Child #2

      • Child #2 (blindfolded; between Child #1 and Child #3) = Foot
        - cannot walk unless instructed by Child #3

      • Child #3 = Eye and Mouth
        - cannot walk unless dragged by Child #2
        - can shout out instructions to Child #1 and Child #2 accordingly

    4. The group, who pins the assigned body part closest to its correct location, wins.

    5. Debrief of the activity: The eye cannot say to the hand, I don't need you. And the hand cannot say to the foot, I don't need you. All three body parts are needed to win this game. We all need one another to function effectively and efficiently.

    6. Read and explain 1 Cor 12:21 ... feeling of superiority

  2. Object lesson to illustrate 1 Cor 12:22 - The ballpoint pen

    • Before the activity, remove the spring (or any other small seemingly insignificant part) from a ballpoint pen
    • Ask, "What is the most important part of this pen?"
    • Let several children attempt to write with the pen
    • Explain that the pen is not working because one small part is missing
    • Produce the missing part and put it back into the pen
    • Allow a child to confirm that the pen is now working properly.

    Explain, "The spring may seem small and delicate but without it, the ballpoint pen cannot work."

Activity #4: Follow that body part
Teacher-in-charge: Kwan Foong Kuen
25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
  1. A few groups of children will participate in the activity simultaneously. Each group consisting of five children.

    • One child to be the head and torso (preferably seated on a chair, with legs crossed and arms folded)
    • One child to be each of the four limbs

  2. As a warm up, get the children to do the following simple exercises. Demonstrate the exercise and have the children follow after you.

    • Say "Good morning!"
    • Nod the head, turn head to left and right
    • Lift up right arm, lift up left arm, lift up both arms above head and clap
    • Stamp right feet, stamp left feet, jump with both legs
    • Bend forward and touch feet with hands

    The above exercises are structured from simple to complex to help the children understand the activity and have an idea of how to co-ordinate among themselves.
If you think the above exercises are too difficult for five children acting as one child (see #1 above) then have one child to do the activities below and all children to follow his actions.
  1. Suffering / Concern for each other

    • "YOUR STOMACH HAS A TUMMY ACHE, HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND?"

      Answer: Body bent in pain and hands clutching the tummy. Ask one group to demonstrate then have each group follow that action.

      "Only the stomach is in pain, why are the other parts of the body responding as well?"

    • "You fell down and injured your left knee, how would you react?"

      Have a volunteer-group (of five children) or a volunteer to demonstrate ... body bending down and hands holding the left knee in pain. Then ask the other groups (or every child) to follow that action.

      "Only the left knee is hurt, why are the other parts of the body responding as well?"

  2. Honouring / Rejoicing with each other

    • "WHEN YOU LEARN THAT YOU HAVE WON A PRIZE IN AN ART COMPETITION, HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND?"

      Fists in the air and shout "Yay!" Have a volunteer-group (of five children) or a volunteer to demonstrate their reaction. Then ask each group to follow that action.

      "I thought the hands are the real winners in the art competition, why do all these body parts feel happy as well?"

    • Ask, "When you are happy, how would you respond?"

      Answer: Jump for joy and clap your hands. Then have each group (or every child) follow the action.

  3. Read and explain 1 Cor 12:25-26

    "What did you observe from the above activities?" Explain, "You noticed that when one body part is happy, the legs jump for joy and your hands clap. Similarly, when one body part is in pain (e.g., you injured your knee or you have tummy ache), other parts of your body are affected. Our body is made up of many parts and they are all connected to one another. If one part is not well it affects the whole body."

    Relate, "Similarly, the church, the Body of Christ, is one body with many parts connected to one another. So when we notice your friend feeling down or sad, what should we do?" Answer: "We can lend them a listening ear, give them some encouragement, a hug or a pat on the shoulder. When our friend are happy over something, we can congratulate him/her or give a high-five!"

POSTSCRIPT
  • Review: Slideshow on "The Body of Christ" to summarise the lesson

  • Application: Do you know what body part you are in the body of Christ?

    If you donít know what body part you are then you donít know what you are supposed to be doing. And if you are not doing your part, then the body is disabled!

    Maybe you are hands that serve or comfort others. Maybe you are the feet that bring others to where Jesus wants the whole body to go. Maybe you are the mouth that sings or talks to encourage others.

    How do you find out what part of the body you are? Help out in Sunday School and in church. Find out what you love to do and what you are good at. The next time, your teacher asks for volunteers to help out in Sunday School or church, raise your hands.




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Alan's Gleanings | Copyright © July 2009; Updated May 2013 by Alan S.L. Wong