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Sunday School lessons about Jesus' baptismThis topic is for your Art Workshop Lessons and art & craft Ideas for teaching the Baptism of Jesus and/or John the Baptist.

Please keep in mind that we aren't a "craft" site. In general, we're looking for projects where students can be creative and not simply color or assemble something.


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  • Baptism of Jesus Sunday School lessons
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The Baptist of Jesus

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students make a dipped tissue collage and oragami.


Scripture Reference:

Luke 3:1-22

Supplies List: 

  • Scraps of colored tissue paper
  • Diluted (half water, half glue) white school glue in shallow containers
  • Background paper; you could use cream colored or light blue 8 ½ in. X 11in. construction paper.
  • Scissors for everyone
  • Pencils and plain paper for drawing figures to cut out and glued on the collage
  • Old lesson papers (see Resource Room) could provide an alternative source of figures to cut and paste
  • Thin white printer paper 
  • Direction sheets for oragami

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Make sample projects.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.




Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Welcome the children and their guide(s) to the workshop, introduce yourself, and open in prayer. Please try to start on time and end on time, and focus your attention on the children.

Post the Bible memory verses, Matthew 3:17 and the bonus verse, Proverbs 28:13. (“Bonus” means that after a child has learned Matthew 3:17, he or she may try to learn Proverbs 28: 13 also.)


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Teach the lesson. You could introduce the lesson simply by reading Luke 3:1- 22 from the Living Bible, a version that is easier for children to understand. Or you could summarize the story in your own words. Older children could help by reading out loud from their Bible. If the group has already been to the storyteller, ask them to tell you what they’ve learned. If you think the children can quietly work on the art project during the teaching, have them start before you do in depth teaching.

Art Project Suggestions:

1. Make a dipped tissue collage of the scene of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus. Students could copy Matthew 3:17 into their journal and answer the journal question with it.

2. If dipped tissue doesn’t work for you, you can also try dipping colored chalk into a small dish of liquid starch and drawing the scene with chalks. The liquid starch enhances the color and staying power of the chalk. Various color background sheets could be offered as choices.

3. For grade 5 & 6: Provide the students with copies and an example of the winged bird, and provide them with paper so they can try to make an origami dove. It’s actually pretty complicated, and probably too difficult for the younger grades. They might also like to do the collage, or might choose to do the collage instead. These are both things they can do quietly as you and they discuss the lesson, if necessary.

Procedure for dipped tissue collage:
Pass out the background papers. Students should write their names on the back in pencil. Have available the other supplies: tissue, thinned glue, paper, scissors, old lessons. Tell the students they may, if absolutely necessary, sketch their scene lightly on the background in pencil. They will want an area for the sky, maybe with sun or clouds, an area for grass and trees and for a crowd, a river with a place for John and Jesus to stand, maybe a few rocks, and some way of showing “the Holy Spirit descending like a dove” on Jesus. Explain that people didn’t all just SEE a bird-like thing landing on Jesus, but that it was John’s awareness of God’s Holy Spirit coming on Jesus; it was something sensed spiritually by John.

Procedure for oragami:

1. Make a sample yourself so you will be able to demonstrate the procedure and help students.

2. Allow the students to follow along with your instructions and the direction sheet to try to be successful.

Discussion Questions: (Tell students they may use their Bibles in Matthew 3 or Luke 3 to help them answer questions.)

1. What are some things that John the Baptist did or said that tell you that he wasn’t afraid of what anyone but God thought of him? (ANS: He called the Sadducees and Pharisees “vipers” (or snakes). He told them to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). He said their unrepentant religion was about to be cut down at the roots like a bad tree.)

2. What might give you a clue that John often prayed and listened to God? (ANS: He said he saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus.)

3. Why were people coming to John to be baptized? (ANS: They heard him preach that they should repent – “turn away from” – their sinful ways and obey God. Baptism showed they had done this.)

4. Since Jesus did not need to repent, why did He ask John to baptize him? (ANS: Jesus was showing that he was willing to bear our sins on the cross; he was willing to become one of us, even though he was sinless.)

Journal: Write Matthew 3:17 in your journal. What three aspects of God are shown in this verse? In other words, who was speaking, who was he speaking about, and who came and filled the Lord Jesus? (ANS: Father, Son and Holy Spirit)



End with a circle of prayer. Allow children to confess sin if they want to, to pray for one another or to praise and thank God. Then remind them to come to their next workshop next Sunday with their Bible and a friend.


Editors added the following links to explain the art projects:

This site gives fairly good instructions for the collage (BTW, I'd use heavier paper than construction paper, like watercolor paper or card stock.):

The post refers to direction sheets for the origami doves, but doesn't give it. These are good.


A lesson posted by Silverdale United Methodist Church (SUMC)


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The Baptism of Jesus

Art Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will either make a bookmark, a collage, or origami.


Scripture Reference:

Matthew 3:13-17. 



God created John for the special purpose of preparing people for the Messiah. John preached repentance and used baptism as a sign of cleansing so that one might be prepared to receive the blessings of the Lord. Jesus was without sin, but came to John as a public announcement of the beginning of His ministry. In his baptism Jesus takes on the sacrificial role, takes on the likeness of a sinner and fulfills all righteousness. It is the moment of separation of the official duty of Christ and the sinless person of Christ. God himself affirms Jesus as the Christ by sending the dove and the flame and in His own voice claiming “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

Lesson Objectives:

  • God used John to announce the beginning of Jesus’ ministry with the baptism of our Lord.
  • Children will know that baptism is the sign and seal of God’s grace and covenant in Christ. 


Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Make sample projects.

Supplies List:



  • Heavyweight paper
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Gold Braid


  • Paper
  • Water Colors
  • Green tissue paper


  • Paper




Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Open with prayer.

Read the account of the Baptism of the Lord from a Bible Storybook or from Matthew 3:13-17.

For the older children have them read the account from all four gospels. Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22; and John 1:31-34. Then have them note any additional information that is presented from one account to the next.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Define the word symbol, a symbol is a sign or an object representing something else. Lead the children in a discussion of what symbols are present in the retelling of the Baptism of our Lord.

  • What represents the Holy Spirit? The Spirit of God descends as a dove.
  • What represents God? The voice from the heavens says. “This is my son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.”
  • What does the water represent? The water of Baptism symbolizes the waters of Creation, of the Flood, and of the Exodus from Egypt. Thus the water of Baptism links us to the goodness of God’s creation and to the grace of God’s covenant with Noah and Abraham. Prophets of Israel, amidst the failure of their own generation to honor God’s covenant, called for justice to roll down like waters and righteousness like an overflowing stream. They envisioned a fresh expression of God’s grace and of creation’s goodness - a new covenant accompanied by the sprinkling of cleansing water. In his ministry, Jesus offered the gift of living water. So, Baptism is the sign and seal of God’s grace and covenant in Christ. (Book of Order 2.3003)
  • Why does Jesus submit to John for baptism? Baptism is the sign and seal of incorporation into Christ. Jesus through his own baptism identified himself with sinners in order to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus in his own baptism was attested Son by the Father and was anointed with the Holy Spirit to undertake the way of the servant manifested in his sufferings, death, and resurrection. Jesus the risen Lord assured his followers of his continuing presence and power and commissioned them to go throughout the world teaching and baptizing others in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The disciples were empowered by the outpouring of the Spirit to undertake a life of service and to be an inclusive worshiping community, sharing life in which love, justice and mercy abounded. (Book of Order 2.3001)

Remember to simplify the symbols for younger children. The dove represents the Holy Spirit. The voice from the heavens represents God the Father and announces that Jesus is His Son. This is the beginning of Jesus’ adult ministry. The water represents creation of a new person who has been cleansed of their sins and is worthy of God’s forgiveness and community.

Remember to give older children as much information as they can absorb. The learning is what is important, not the product.


You may choose to use any of these projects, adjusting for the age group of that particular Sunday or making available to them the choice of which to use.


  • Cut a 3” by 11” piece of heavyweight paper or posterboard. Make lines with a ruler for lettering. Do printing. Cut shape of bird to represent the Holy Spirit. Fold to create a three dimensional appearance. Use gold braid to represent the movement from heaven to earth and glue to the bookmark. Trim to fit.


  • Paint on sky in light blue water color. Leave a white space 1/3 from the bottom.
  • Paint blue waves at the very bottom leaving white in between the sky and the water.
  • Make a 2 x 21/2 rectangle in left corner and make a decorative Y. Make lines with a ruler for the lettering. When the paint is dry do the printing.
  • Cut out the shape for Jesus and the bird.
  • Make slits in bird. Fold the wings like a fan or accordian and insert in the slit in the bird body.
  • Glue the bird and Jesus shape on.
  • Make strips of green tissue paper for the water.


  • Put an example before the students. Give the students a blank sheet of paper and an instruction sheet and let them work in groups to figure it out.


Have the children read the verse together. Then pray together.

We are thankful that you brought John into the world for a special purpose and that you have a special purpose for each one of use. We thank you that you sent Jesus so that we might be freed from our sins and live as your children. We pray that you will look down on us as we go through this next week and we will be able to hear your voice saying of us, “This is my child in whom I am well pleased.


A lesson posted by Desoto Presbyterian Church


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Jesus’ Baptism Felt board Activity
Mark 1: 1-11

Editor's Note:
The lesson author often writes "storyteller" lessons that use a feltboard. Not having a "feltboard workshop", we chose to move this particular lesson to this ART workshop thread and suggest that you invite the children to create their own felt board and felt pieces as an 'art' project, then have them practice telling the story with you. Intersperse your Bible study/comments/questions with the activity of having the children assemble the story in felt. Then see if they can do it without your help, -telling the story to each other.

In addition to this being an 'art' workshop project, it could just as easily be a storyteller's workshop with a "make your own felt kit" project, so that the kids can become the storytellers.

(Scene: outside - land, water/river, clouds/heavens that can split)

John the Baptist Prepares the Way.
This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

(Add Isaiah) Isaiah, the prophet wrote: God said a special messenger would arrive first to prepare the world for His Son. This messenger would live out in the wilderness and proclaim that everyone must straighten out his life and make the path straight for Him.

This special messenger was John the Baptist. (Add John-long hair) John lived in the wilderness. He preached and baptized people. John said, “Turn away from your sin and be baptized. God will forgive you!”

(Add 2 groups of people) Many people from Judea and Jerusalem went to hear John. They confessed their sins and were baptized in the Jordan River. (John baptized one man)

John wore clothes made of camel hair (Add fuzzy vest/clothes-)or put on a fuzzy vest yourself) and a leather belt around his waist. (Add belt) He ate locusts and wild honey. What are locusts? Grasshoppers. (Add grasshoppers and ‘honey pot John ate grasshoppers for supper!

John told the people of a special person. “Someone is coming soon who is far greater than I. I am not good enough to even untie his sandals. (Add Jesus in the background) I baptize you with water. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

The Baptism of Jesus
Then one day, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. (Move Jesus to the edge of the water) John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. (Baptize Jesus in the middle of the water) The moment Jesus came up from the water, he saw the heavens open up. (Split the clouds) The Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove. (Dove from the sky to Jesus’ shoulder) A voice came from heaven saying, “You are my Son whom I love. With you, I am well pleased.”

John baptized with water. Today we baptize people in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God is at work through the power of the Word. The Holy Spirit comes to stay in us, encouraging us to witness for the Lord and to live a holy life.
(Add ‘swimming pool) Some churches use “emersion” – dunking the person under the water. (Add baptismal fount) Some churches use “sprinkling” – wetting the head with a little water from a fount. Either way, God is present in the action of baptism. God claims us as a part of His family. The Holy Spirit is working within us. Baptism is our entrance into the Christian community.

Baptism is a Holy sacrament. What is a sacrament? A sacrament is a holy thing we do because God instructed us. Baptism and communion are sacraments. It is a special thing we do to honor God. Christ commanded us to baptize people. In Matthew 28, verse 19, Jesus says, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Go and spread the Good News of our Lord!

An activity written by: Rachel Haugland


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The Baptism of Jesus

Art Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
The children will learn that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit came from heaven like a dove. They will make origami doves to decorate meal trays at a homeless shelter, Meals on Wheels, or nursing home.

Scripture References:
Matthew 3:1-17; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-22

Memory Verse:
Matthew 3:17 (NLT)

Teacher preparation in advance: 

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Consider the age level adjustments needed each week (those included in the lesson plan and your own). Confer with the Shepherd on “Stretchers” to use, especially with the youngest children.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model™ at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • Practice the origami folds for the project several times so you are confident about how to execute the project. You may even want to show the Shepherds how to execute the project at the Bible study on November 22 so they will be able to assist the children as well.

Supply List

  • Bibles
  • Index cards with Bible story questions written on them
  • Copies of folding instructions for each child
  • White or silver origami paper-at least 5 sheets per child
  • Scissors PCUSA logo
  • Pictures of symbols: road signs, cross, Christian fish symbol
  • Picture of the PCUSA logo (or your denomination's logo)
  • Memento: dove sticker
  • Shepherd Time: blank pieces of paper


Opening-Welcome and Introductions:
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Tell the children that today they will learn that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit came from heaven like a dove. They will make origami doves to remind them of Jesus’ baptism and to share with other people.

Scripture/Bible Story:
Have the children locate Mark 1:1-11 in their Bibles. Review the organization of the Bible as they locate the passage:

  • The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and New Testaments.
  • Each part is a collection of books.
  • Each book is divided into chapters and verses.
  • Show them that if they open their Bible in the middle, they will usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT.
  • The book name is at the top of each page.
  • Mark is the second book of the New Testament and it comes after Matthew.
  • Remind them that the order of the first four books of the New Testament is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

For older children: Instead of reading the passage ask them to find the following verses (write the questions on index cards and hand them out to the children after they have found the passage. If there are more children than questions, pair the children off and give each pair a question). After they have found their verse have them read the question out loud and then read the verse with the answer.

  • Who was the messenger from God? (vs. 4)
  • Where did John live? (vs. 4)
  • What did he wear and what did he eat? (vs. 6)
  • What message did John preach? (vs. 4)
  • Where did the people come from who came to hear John? (vs. 5)
  • When did John baptize the people who came to see and hear him? (vs. 5)
  • John announced to the people that someone else was coming. How was this person different from John?(vs. 7-8)
  • Who did John baptize from Nazareth in Galilee? (vs. 9)
  • What did Jesus see when he came up out of the water? (vs. 10)
  • What did the voice from heaven say? (vs. 11)

For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read. Before reading the passage give them a fact about the story to listen for. As you get to a verse with one of the answers emphasize the part of the verse with the answer. When you are finished reading ask the children for the facts they were supposed to be listening for:

  • Where did John live? (vs. 4)
  • What did John wear? (vs. 6)
  • What did John eat? (vs. 6)
  • Who did John baptize from Nazareth in Galilee? (vs. 9)
  • What came out of the heavens when they split open? (vs. 10)
  • What did the voice from heaven say? (vs. 11)

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

Define the word symbol. A symbol is a sign or an object representing something else.

Show the children pictures of symbols from their everyday lives: men’s and women’s restroom signs, stop sign, school crossing symbols, interstate symbols for restaurants and gas stations, etc. As you show them the pictures ask them what each symbol represents.

Show the children a picture of a cross and the Christian fish symbol. As you show them the pictures ask them what the symbol represents. The cross can be a symbol for Jesus and for a Christian.

Look at the Presbyterian Church (USA) symbol. What do you see in it? What does it tell us about our church? [cross, open Bible, flames of the Holy Spirit, cup, 3 lines representing the Trinity, etc.]

During our Pentecost rotation in May, 2003, the children learned that a flame is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Remind the children about the story of Pentecost and ask if any of them remember what the Holy Spirit looked like when it came to the believers.

Say: In our Bible story this morning a different symbol is used for the Holy Spirit, instead of a flame. Who can tell me what it is?
If they do not remember, read Mark 1:10 to them.

Tell them that they are going to be making paper doves today. They will make one to take home and several more that we will take to either a Meals on Wheels type program, nursing home, etc. to decorate the trays.

Demonstrate how to make a dove before you give the children any paper. Instruct them to watch you as you describe the steps. Tell them that after they watch you make one, they will be given a sheet of paper and you will go through the steps again slowly so they can make one step by step. Remind the children to crease the paper folds well for a good-looking dove.

After you demonstrate how to make the dove, give each child a piece of paper. Go through the steps for making the dove, one at a time. After each step STOP and make sure everyone successfully completed the step. Ask the children to stay with you and not guess what the next step is going to be.
When the children have completed their first dove all together, give each child the instruction sheet and another piece of origami paper. If they think they understand, they can fold another one on their own following the instruction sheet. For the children who need more help, go through the process step by step again, as you fold a third dove while they fold their second dove.

Remind the children to write their names on the doves they are taking home. They may also put their first names on the doves they are making to give away.

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • What was happening when the Holy Spirit came down from heaven like a dove? [Jesus was being baptized by John the Baptist.]
  • How is a dove like the Holy Spirit?
  • I wonder why God decided to use a dove as a symbol of his Holy Spirit?

Review the memory verse
While seated in a circle, give each child a word to the memory verse, in turn, around the circle. You may have to go around the circle twice, giving some children two words to remember. After each child has been given a word or words, the person with the first word says their word. Each person in the circle repeats their word in order around the circle. Go around the circle several times, reciting the words faster and faster.

By 11:45 a.m. ask the Shepherd to pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a dove or bird sticker to paste in their journals as a reminder of the story.

Shepherd Time:
Have the children design their own symbol for God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. Before asking them to do that the shepherd should ask the children to name some of the characteristics of these three persons of God. Younger children may need more concrete suggestions; suggest they draw and decorate a fish for Jesus or a dove or flames for the Holy Spirit.

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games. See the Workshop Leader’s Background Notes and for ideas.

Before noon, ask the students to stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so they can leave when their parents arrive. Allow them to finish journaling afterwards.

Thank God for sending Holy Spirit to show us that Jesus was his son and for giving us symbols to help understand the Holy Spirit.

Tidy and Dismissal:

  • Ask children to help tidy the room. Give any specific instructions for clearing the workshop room.
  • Collect extra doves the children made and leave in Jamie Senyard’s office. Make sure the children have put their first name on the extra doves.
  • Collect the journal pages before they leave. Make sure their names and the date are on them.
  • Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. In addition to the suggestions in the lesson plans, some ideas:
Older children: Use the instructions for the more complicated origami dove.
Younger Children:

  • Use the instructions for the simple origami dove.
  • For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read.



This lesson was written by Jamie Senyard for River Community Church, Prairieville, Louisiana. 

Copyright 2003 Jamie Senyard. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Art Ideas

Here are ideas moved here from a post in the HELP Forum...

I've got seashells and sand on the mind.

Seashells are often seen in stained glassed windows and carved into founts, but interestingly, I don't think many churches ever use them in baptism. Sand references being a descendant of Abraham. There are small vial pendants that can be made using colored sand and (real) Jordan River water (not a kit, you'd have to Google it, but the pieces are there). Leather necklace or hanging reminder/memento for home. You can also order small scallop shells (the traditional shape) and use hand drills to make a hole for the leather. Might also thread-tie a bit of real camel's hair on it to remember John the Baptist. And instead of just making them for ourselves, I'd have the kids make extras to give out in church.

While reading, I came across the early church's accepted practice of putting salt in the converts mouth to symbolize our 'seasoning' or 'preserving' and 'binding' effect salt of the earth. Probably a Cooking Idea in here somewhere. "Wild Honey and locusts" could inspire a fun snack.

I would not hesitate to re-enact a baptism in the classroom. I would definitely consider having the Sunday School children "help" baptize someone as a culminating event of the Rotation. I once had the entire congregation step forward to help baptize a baby (touching water to it's hand or forehead after passing through a Purell station!) It was very moving. The kids presented gift-promises to the help it grow in faith at the church. That's another art or 'writing' or 'worshop' workshop.

<>< Neil

Last edited by Luanne Payne

More Ideas

Here are ideas offered, moved here from a post in the HELP Forum...

Baptism involves water and the Holy Spirit working/moving in the person.  The Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as a "wind".   This project involves painting using your breath.


  • Newspaper (to protect your table)
  • Larges sheets of white paper
  • Poster paint in a variety of colors (dilute down with a little water)
  • Straws--one per student (you could also get straws in a variety of sizes so each student could have several different straws)

Activity:  Students place a small puddle of paint somewhere on the paper.  Using the straw, they blow the paint about the paper.  Then place another puddle somewhere on the paper and repeat.  They could explore how the different size straws work.  They could create their own free-form abstract painting. Or they could try and "color in" a symbol (such as a shell). Or.............


Last edited by Luanne Payne
The kids presented gift-promises to the child... to help it grow in faith at the church.

This reminded me of something we did a few months ago. We have a new worship service and it was a big deal to have our first baptism in that service. Our elementary kids left the service for their normal "Worship Arts time," but returned to be able to see the baptism. They prepared "welcome cards" for the baby and his family during their time out of the service, then presented them to the family after the baptism. it was really sweet!


An Editor adds:
Also, check out a later project of Jaymie's students - a very cool baptism art banner here.

Last edited by CreativeCarol

John Baptizes Jesus

Art Workshop - Repentance Necklaces


Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will wash away one of their “sins” from a piece of shrinky dink plastic, symbolically repenting and being washed through baptism. Then they will draw a picture of something good they can do instead, and make a necklace to remind themselves of it.


Scripture References:

Matthew 3:1-17, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-18 (John’s sermons about repentance), John 1:6-8,15,19-28 (John talks about Jesus), 29-36 (John recognizes Jesus when the Holy Spirit descends on him and makes him known), 3:22-30 (John says that Jesus is greater than him), 3:22,4:1-2 (Jesus’s disciples baptized people)


Memory Verse:

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  ~ Acts 2:38


Lesson Objectives of the Rotation: The children will learn that:

  • God calls everyone to repent from dishonest, disobedient and sinful lives, and to seek honest, obedient, and helpful lives.
  • Being part of a Christian family is not enough. We have to come to God ourselves.
  • That Jesus the son of God, God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit were all present when Jesus was baptized.
  • When we are baptized, we are telling God that we want Jesus to wash us clean from our sins, and that we want to live the way he taught us.



Materials List:

  • Laces or string for making necklaces
  • Shrinky Dink plastic, a quarter sheet per child, with a hole punched in it for the necklace string. The hole will shrink, so make it 3X as big as you need it. Buy the “frosted” kind that you can write on with pencil crayons.
  • Washable markers
  • Large bowl of water and a towel
  • Pencils
  • Fine-tipped permanent markers (for outlining or tracing)
  • Pencil crayons
  • Pictures/clip-art/greeting cards to trace
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Parchment paper or heavy brown paper to line cookie sheets
  • Cookie sheets
  • Oven
  • Laces or string
  • Beads


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the story and story background.
  • Write memory verse on the blackboard/whiteboard
  • Gather supplies in art room
  • Put parchment paper on cookie sheets
  • Preheat oven to 325F





Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 


Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Have them introduce themselves if there are new ones or any you don’t know. Take attendance. Put the bowl of water, a piece of clean plastic, and a washable marker on the table in front of you. Have the following discussion, asking questions to keep the children involved.

  •  What are some bad things people do? Things that hurt other people? Accept answers.
  • What are some bad things that you have done? Or (if you don’t get any answers) that people have done to you? Accept answers.
  • How do you feel when people do things that hurt you? (sad)
  • How do you feel when you do something that hurts someone else? Accept answers.
  • What do you think God would like us to do when we do something hurtful? (confess to God, say sorry to the person we hurt, make it right, be sorry, decide not to do it again)
  • When we are sorry for something we have done and we decide we don’t want to do it any more, that’s called repentance.
  • But being sorry is not enough. When we do bad things, it is like we are getting all dirty inside. Let’s pretend this piece of plastic is me. When I do something bad, it makes me dirty. (Draw on plastic with washable marker.) When I do something else, it makes me more dirty. Ask the children to name a sin you might do, and then let them add a mark to the plastic. When everyone has had a turn, say, I am so, so sorry for all these terrible things I did. Look at the plastic. But I am so dirty! What else do I need? To be cleaned!
  • Our story today is about John the Baptist, who told people to repent and be baptized, which is being put into water and coming out again. This shows that they are sorry for their sins and want God to wash them clean. (Dip plastic in bowl and wash away the marks.)
  • Then, once they were cleaned, or forgiven, do you think God wanted people to go back and keep on doing the same bad things all over again? (Get out marker, ready to write on plastic again.) No! John told them to go and do good things instead, like share what they had, and don’t steal or lie.
  • He also told them that he was baptizing them to get them ready, because Jesus was coming, and he would take away the sins of the world. He would wash clean everyone who came to him and repented and believed that he came to take away our sins.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:


Last week you heard the story of how John baptized Jesus. I’m going to read it again quickly to remind us how it went. All four gospels talk about John baptizing Jesus, but I am going to read it from the book of Mark. (Mark 1:1-11)  (Read the story, preferably from an easy-to-understand translation such as the CEV.)


Ask questions briefly: 

  • What did Isaiah the prophet say that God would send a messenger to do? (get the way ready for the Lord. That is, get people ready for the coming of the Saviour, Jesus.)
  • What did John tell people to do to get ready for Jesus? (told them to repent and be baptized)
  • What did John say about Jesus before he came? (Jesus is more powerful than John, and would baptize people with the Holy Spirit. –to be talked about next week)
  • Why did Jesus get baptized if he hadn’t done any sins? (to be an example to us, to show that he was willing to take all the world’s sins on himself and be punished for them)
  • What happened when Jesus came up out of the water? (The Holy Spirit came on him like a dove, and a voice from heaven said “You are my dear son, and I am pleased with you.”


What does this story have to do with us today? Do we still have to get ready to meet Jesus? (Yes! And repenting of our sins is how we start.) Our memory verse is something that Peter said. Peter was one of Jesus’ disciples, and we will learn more about him in some of our lessons coming up. Peter taught a lot of people about Jesus, and this is what he told them when they asked what they should do: <memory verse>.


In our church, we baptize people when they are old enough to decide they want to repent and follow Jesus, usually when they are as least 12. You can talk to your parents about being baptized. <Modify this to talk about how baptism is done in your tradition>


Now, we are going to do a craft that will help us remember what it means to repent.



  • Hand out a piece of plastic and put washable markers on the table. Turn the plastic to the smooth side.
  • Part 1: Repentance:
    • Tell the kids to think of something they did that they are sorry for, or know they should be sorry for. (Did they ever do something to someone that made the other person sad?) If they can’t think of anything, can they think of something that someone did to them that made them sad? Draw a picture of it, or write the words, in washable marker.
    • When they are done, they should say a prayer to God, telling him that they are sorry for what they did. OR, they should ask God to help them forgive the person that hurt them.
    • Then they come to the bowl and “baptize” their piece of plastic to wash away the marker. Dry the plastic.
  • Part 2: Doing good:
    • The kids now think of something they can do to “fix” what they did, or make the hurt person feel better. Or if it’s too late for that, they can think of what they can do better next time they feel like doing the same thing.
    • They draw this on the ROUGH side of the plastic, with coloured pencils, and colour it in. Instead of drawing, they can trace something. And add words if they want. It should be something that will remind them of a good thing they want to do instead of something hurtful. (If they chose to forgive someone, they could think of something they can do to be kind to that person to show s/he is forgiven.) If they want to, they can cut out the plastic into a shape.
    • Use the hole punch to put a hole in the plastic so it can go on the string. Remember that the hole will shrink! So make it big. We found that four holes together in a square works well. 
    • When drawings are done and holes are made, put them on the paper-lined cookie sheets and bake them at 325 (in preheated oven) for 1-3 minutes. Watch carefully. When they are flat, take them out. You can rub them with paper right when they come out if they are curling. You can also put them back if they are still curled and need a bit more time.
  • The necklace
    • Let each child choose a piece of coloured string. String the pendant on it.
    • If there is time, let them add beads as well.
    • Tie off the ends of the bead necklaces.


  • Close in prayer, thanking God for washing us clean and asking him to help us turn away from the bad things and do the good things.
  • Have the children help you clean up.


A lesson written by Sharon Hamilton from: Argyle Road Baptist Church

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The Baptism of Jesus

Art Workshop (with some science) – Holy Spirit Activities: Dry Ice and Origami

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will talk about the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus when he was baptized, and also that John said Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit. They will see a dry ice demonstration as a way of thinking about being baptized by the Holy Spirit. Younger children will then make origami boats and do experiments with blowing them around on water to think about how the spirit moves us. Older children will make origami doves and look up Bible verses to fill in a crossword puzzle (provided).

Scripture References:

Matthew 3:1-17, Mark 1:1-11, Luke 3:1-18 (John’s sermons about repentance), John 1:6-8,15,19-28 (John talks about Jesus), 29-36 (John recognizes Jesus when the Holy Spirit descends on him and makes him known), 3:22-30 (John says that Jesus is greater than him), 3:22,4:1-2 (Jesus’s disciples baptized people), Acts 2:1-4 (Pentecost)

Memory Verse: “Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  ~ Acts 2:38

Objectives for this Workshop: The children will learn:

  • About Jesus: that God sent the Holy Spirit down onto him when he was baptized. The Holy Spirit led him to do what God wanted.
  • About us: that Jesus baptizes his followers with the Holy Spirit, as John foretold.
  • That we should: ask Jesus to give us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and help us “hear” what the Holy Spirit wants us to do (not hearing with our ears, but with our spirit, our conscience, our love)
  •  To Share: do what the Holy Spirit “tells” us to do.

Materials List:

  • Dry Ice demonstration:
    • wide-mouth plastic picnic thermos or water bottle with a spout that lifts up. OR Plastic bottle with a tight-fitting lid (e.g. 1 or 2L milk jug)
    • Water
    • Gloves to handle dry ice
    • Dry ice (in small pieces)
    • Scoop and funnel to get it into the bottle
    • Small thermos or cooler to keep dry ice in during class.
  • Origami Boats (younger group)
    • Origami paper
    • Pattern for boats
    • Large bowls or dishtubs of water, one for every 3-4 kids
    • Toothpicks to make sails
    • Scissors
  • Origami Doves (older group)
    • Origami paper
    • Dove pattern
    • Bibles
    • Holy Spirit crossword puzzle with Bible references (attached)

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the story and story background.
  • Write memory verse on the blackboard/whiteboard
  • Dry Ice Demonstration:
    • Buy dry ice, preferably in small pellets. Store in freezer. Don't buy it too far in advance, because it will melt slowly even in a regular freezer. Leave it in the freezer until you need it.
    • If using milk jug, cut a hole near the top of the plastic bottle or in the lid.
    • Take water jugs to classroom with enough water for both activities.
  • Origami:
    • Learn how to fold both items: boat(younger) and dove (older)
    • Print Bible verse references


Opening- Welcome and Introduction:

Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Have them introduce themselves if there are new ones or any you don’t know. Take attendance.


Open your Bible to Matthew 3.

  • If this is not the first rotation, ask the children to remind you what story they did last week. Let them tell you the main parts. If this is the first rotation, tell them the story.
  • Make sure they know what happened when Jesus came up out of the water, and who the Voice and Dove are. (Matthew 3:16,17)
  • Tell them that the Trinity is one God in three parts: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit, and this is one place in the Bible where we see all three of them together.
  • Then tell them that this week we are going to talk about the Holy Spirit.


  • What is a spirit? (like a ghost, invisible, someone who lives but you can’t see him/her, what is inside out heads—the part that thinks and feels emotions, the part of us that lives even when our bodies die)
  • What is God’s spirit like? (God, Jesus, because they are all part of God, like a wind, like a fire)
  • Tell the children to listen to Matthew 3:11 to find out what John said about Jesus. (he will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire.) Wow! Let’s read about when Jesus did that.
  • Read Acts 2:1-4. Did you hear what the Holy Spirit was like? (wind, tongues of fire)
  • Jesus baptizes all of his followers with the Holy Spirit, but he doesn’t usually do it in such an exciting way. Usually the baptism takes place quietly in our hearts.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Dry Ice Demonstration:

Get the dry ice from the freezer and take out the bottle/thermos. Tell the children you are going to show them what being baptized with the Holy Spirit might look like if we could see the Holy Spirit.

  • Show them the dry ice and warn them not to touch it because it will burn them with cold (feels a lot like being burned with fire).
  • Put on the gloves and put the dry ice into the bottle. Add water. Put the lid on tightly and watch the steam pour out of the hole. We can imagine that this steam is the Holy Spirit.
  • “Pour” the steam onto the children, one by one. If they are nervous, pour it on yourself or a helper first. Reassure them that it doesn’t hurt and the steam won’t burn them. (It is carbon dioxide from the dry ice, which is frozen carbon dioxide, along with water vapour. There is carbon dioxide in the air and in our bodies all the time.)
  • Point out how the steam engulfs them and then disappears. This is like when we get baptized in water, because the water dries off. We remember that we were baptized, but we don’t stay wet. We trust God to be with us even after we are dry.
  • It’s the same if we have a feeling that God is very close to us. The feeling doesn’t stay with us forever, but we remember it. Then we have to trust God that he is still near, because he says he will never leave us.

Tell the children that they are now going to do an activity to help us learn more about the Holy Spirit.

Craft Activity:

Younger children:

  • Show them how to make the paper boats and help them each make one.
  • Get out the bowls/tubs and fill them with water.
  • Have the children put the boats on the water (spread out the bottoms so they don’t tip over), and tell them to pretend that they are in the boats and that God’s Holy Spirit is the wind that is guiding them. They should blow on their boats to try to make them move. They may need to take turns so they don’t blow each others’ boats.
  • Have them try to blow their boats to a particular place. Does it work? (it will probably be difficult)
  • Remove the boats from the water. Have them make a sail by cutting a piece of paper into a square, putting a toothpick through it in two places, and sticking the bottom of the toothpick through the top of the little sail on their boat.
  • Try again to blow the boat in a certain direction. Does it help if you move the sail so it is flat against the wind? This shows that we must pay attention to the Holy Spirit so we will know what he wants us to do. We pay attention by reading the Bible and praying for guidance.
  • They should keep doing this. If their boats get waterlogged or while they are waiting for another turn, they can make more boats and sails.

Older Children:

  • Let them follow the pattern to make an origami dove.
  • Give them the crossword puzzle and Bibles. Tell them to look up the Bible references and fill in the crossword puzzle.  
  • If they finish with time left over, they can make another dove.

All Together:

When both groups are done, or when enough time has passed, give the children a two-minute warning to stop their activities. Bring them together. Have one or two younger children demonstrate what they did with their boats and what it teaches about the Holy Spirit. Then have the older children show their doves and tell the younger children some things that God’s word says about the Holy Spirit.


  • Thank God for sending us first Jesus, and also the Holy Spirit. Ask him to help us hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and do what he says.
  • Have the children help you clean up.

Origami: There are lots of origami patterns on the internet, many with printable patterns. Others are not easily printable, but could be brought to class on a mobile device or laptop. Search for “origami traditional boat” for the boat. Use the one that starts out looking like a hat, because it is fairly simple and floats on water. Search for “dove” or “peace dove” for the dove. You might want to choose a couple of patterns, one easier and one harder, for children with different folding abilities.  

The dry ice idea was adapted from Neil MacQueen’s post in


A lesson written by Sharon Hamilton from: Argyle Road Baptist Church
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, 

 A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Files (1)
Crossword Puzzle whose clues are Bible verses about the Holy Spirit. For grades 4-6.
Last edited by Luanne Payne

This idea was copied from our "Ideas for Renewal & Recommitment" forum.

Baptism Shell Soap Project

The seashell is an ancient symbol of baptism, and they make a great mold for quick-setting "melt and pour" soap making. You can also buy silicone shell molds. Great take-home reminder about baptism, and something the kids could give to the congregation as well for a renewal reminder.

Here's a video of DiY "melt and pour" soap making. Takes about 2 to 4 hours to harden this type of soap. Lots of DiY "melt and pour" soap suggestions online. Here's one that has all you need to know, including a supply list and instructions.

You could mix the colors into one shell soap or make different colored shell or shape soaps to represent the symbols of water and fire and spirit.

There are other similar videos. Keep in mind that this is the "melt and pour" type of soap that is easier to work with and hardens quicker. The type of soap you choose to melt will affect how fast it hardens. You can buy blocks of soap and scents at a craft store or online. You can also use soap flakes.

You can hasten the hardening by putting the molded soap into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Wrap with parchment or wax paper (to help keep its shape) and share.

Celebrating Everyone's Baptism Birthday


In addition to teaching the story of Jesus' baptism, this lesson activity could become an occasion for celebrating our "Baptism Birthdays."

The biblical connection between our own baptism, Jesus' baptism, and Pentecost (the "birthday" of the Church) can be found in the words of John the Baptist:

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11)

Concordia Publishing has a bunch of good ideas for celebrating the "birthday" of a child's baptism. These could also be used for a church-wide day of celebrating. There are good suggestions for things you can do at home too, like taking a "cross walk" around your neighborhood to see how many cross shapes you can find (this could be a cellphone photo game too).

When to celebrate everyone's baptism?
Jesus' Baptism is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday AFTER Three Kings Day (Epiphany), which is the first Sunday after January 6th every year. It comes on the heels of the tradition of "New Year's Resolutions" too, so that's a natural thematic fit for renewal and commitment.

The Day of Pentecost is another option for celebrating our "baptism birthdays." Pentecost is the baptism of the Church by the Holy Spirit and is often called "the birthday of the Church." Of course, this is a springtime date.

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