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In addition to these public lesson and ideas topics below, supporting members can view the Writing Team's lesson set, "Jesus, the boy who went to the Temple." Its lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all.

This topic is for posting your Carpentry or Construction workshop lessons and ideas which seem to fit the story of "Jesus the Boy"

Why carpentry? Jesus' father was a carpenter. What would Jesus Build for others? What wooden object could we build to represent the carpenter?

"Construction" Workshops often involve building with LEGOS or story table supplies (playmobil characters, etc).

Some older posts have been moved in here from their original location.

A Challenge from "Wormy":

Doing "any old carpentry project" without considering how the project teaches the story or reinforces life application --is the same MISTAKE made by traditional curriculum which stick a "craft" project into a lesson where the craft and materials are at best, tangential, to the story's meaning.

The activity/project should be designed in such a way so that it teaches/reflects on the central WORD or Good News or life application of the story.

While renovating this thread, we have archived the following project suggestions made in response to a member's question, "Help I need carpentry projects for the Boyhood of Jesus rotation!"

  • Birdhouse  --Jesus promises God cares more for us than the birds of the air
  • Jacob's ladder (toy)
  • Cross
  • Fish
  • Carpenter's nails craft-wired together to form a cross. Use as a necklace.
  • Picture frame for a picture of your family who you know will always come looking for you

See the "Building a House" post below for some new details and thoughts.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Simple Wood Box


We made a simple wood box with a "slide on top". We asked men from the congregation to lead the project and fathers or moms to participate with their children. Our focus was how parents teach children just as Joseph taught Jesus. We follow up by adding something to the box from each lesson group, so it becomes a remembrance box. Even when we interrupted lessons to deal with the 9-11 tragedy, the leaders & parents requested extra days to finish this project properly! It has been a wonderful learning center for us.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer



When we did our "Jesus was a child" unit we did a carpentry art project -- mezuzahs out of wood. Their appearance was like a rectangle box without a lid. We provided wood pieces precut and predrilled for the younger kids. They sanded, hammered in the nails and used markers to write the Hebrew letter Shin on the outside, and of course enclosed the Shema inside it. Wikipedia has info on mezuzahs and the text in Hebrew at this link:

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Candle Holders


I was speaking with an artist friend, Will Christine, who works with pre-K kids on art projects. He suggested this woodworking project: candle holders: have kids saw off a sections of a 2x4, drill a hole partway in (possible using bit and auger non-power drills) sand rough edges.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Jesus as a Child:
Wood Working / Art Lesson

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Students will create a simple wire art project while discussing what the life of Jesus may have been like while he was a boy.


(We promoted this class as "bring a parent to Sunday School"- kids were encouraged to come with a parent or other adult, and to bring some tools- hammer, screwdriver, pliers. The parents provided the extra hands for safety with the tools, and provided a connection to think about Jesus working with Joseph as a child. This was very well received and brought parents into class that we've never seen in a classroom.)


Scripture Reference:
Luke 2:41-52

Key Verse:

Luke 2:52 NIV
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Supplies List:

  • Bible
  • Key verse written on chalk board
  • 2x6 boards cut into squares, circle drawn in pencil on the board with marks for 5 points of a star
  • nails with flat heads
  • screws with a flat bottom (not tapered) to the head
  • Sandpaper
  • craft wire, 20 gauge works best, a variety of colors is nice
  • screwdrivers
  • hammers
  • awl 

Leader Preparations:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Do the project.




Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.


Open with a prayer.


Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Give each child a board and a piece of sandpaper. Have them start sanding the edges while you introduce the story. The amount of sanding is unimportant- its more symbolic as part of the process.


  • What are some of the things you like to do for fun?
  • What are some of the things you have to do because your mom & dad tell you to?
  • Do you think Jesus had fun as a boy?
  • What kind of things do you think He did for fun?
  • What kind of things do you think He had to do for His mother and earthly father, Joseph?

Joseph worked as a carpenter. What does a carpenter do? Many times a boy would learn the work of his father as he grew up. Sometimes, people still learn the work of their fathers today.

3rd grade and up: Have the students find Luke 2:41 in their Bibles. Read through the story. You may read from a children's bible for the younger classes.


  • Do any of you help your moms or your dads around the house?
  • What kinds of things do you help them with?
  • Do you think Jesus would have helped Joseph with his carpentry work?

We are going to pretend we are working in a carpentry shop. While we are working, we are going to talk about some things from our story.


Have them select nails or screws (they could do some of each if they want). For screws, they should use a hammer and awl to pound a pilot hole. For nails, someone should hold the nail with a long nose pliers while the child hammers. They should put a nail or screw at each of the 5 marks. Older children may put additional nails/ screws on the circle midway between the marks, so they'd have 10 total.
Once the nails or screws are in place, wrap a wire around one of the screws. Wrap it around other screws to form a star shape. (Where do we see a star in Jesus' life? Over the stable where he was born.) Wrap the wire tightly around the final screw, which should be the same one you started on.

Discussion starters for during or after the project...

  • Do you ever help your parents do things?
  • Do some of you help your parents with things involving their job?
  • What kind of things have your parents taught you? What kind of things do you think Joseph taught Jesus?
  • Is there anything you have taught your parents? Or anything that you can do better than them?
  • In our story Jesus showed that he knew alot about God and about the bible. We can see here a hint of the kind of things Jesus would do when he grows up.
  • Do you think some of the things you enjoy now are hints to what you'll do when you grow up?

Clean Up:
Have the students help clean up. They can take their projects home. Make sure everyone takes home the right tools.


Read the key verse from the blackboard. Get some ideas about what characteristics this might be talking about.

Close in prayer: Dear God, please guide our lives so that we, too, may grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Amen

A lesson written by member Chris18 from: Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Lanesboro, MN


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.



Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

Some Lesson Ideas about Building a Bird House

Joseph the Carpenter undoubtedly taught his son how to work wood. Was it houses or furniture or fences, chicken coops and farm implements? We don't know. Perhaps all of the above.

In this lesson idea, student will build a bird house using a ready-to-assemble kit. It is the process and care which are the teachable points. The finished bird house serves as a reminder:

Jesus called The Temple "My Father's House"
When David said he would build a Temple to the Lord, the Lord reminded David that it is HE who builds the house, not David. 2 Samuel 7:27

"House" in Hebrew can mean dynasty or something like family. Jesus was among his family, even though he was separated from his parents who had left him behind.

Jesus at age 12 was taking part in the celebrations, worship, and LEARNING that characterize God's family, God's "house."   Isn't it interesting that his father was a carpenter, then!  

What did Jesus build? He once said, "tear it down and in three days I will build it up." (John 2:19).  What does Jesus tear down and build up?  Jesus doesn't build with sticks and stones. Rather, Jesus was talking about the other kind of Temple.... the people of God, --or what we call the Body of Christ. What is THAT built out of?

By making a bird house, we are basically creating an "object lesson"  ---creating a prop (an objection) that represents the ideas we are teaching. But the process of creating it right, and perhaps creating it wrong to demonstrate some points about "building" are also part of the object's lesson. Thus, the birdhouse becomes a reminder.

Building a house....

Psalm 127 ESV - Unless the LORD Builds the House

Unless the LORD Builds the House - those who build it labor in vain.

Matthew 7:24-27  ...a wise man who built his house on rock

And as Jesus noted, where and HOW you build that house is important.

24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”

Some reflection questions and possible project ideas to stoke some thinking in this workshop:

  • What kind of "house" does Jesus the Carpenter want to build?
  • What kind of "tools" do Christian use? Did Jesus use?
  • Examples of "how not to build a relationship with Jesus."
  • Flimsy faith.
  • What's the glue?
  • What are the instructions? Blueprint.
  • Who's the master carpenter?
  • How to build a strong house.
  • How does "The Lord build"?
  • What is "the house" that the Lord wants to build?    "House" can mean family/dynasty.

Ready to Assemble Bird House Kids are plentiful online. Shop around as some are quite inexpensive.

The teacher will lead the assembly, realizing that the assembly process, steps, "right and wrong ways" can be teaching points about the kind of "house" God wants for us. You might even make a house that falls apart or is made the wrong way so that it visually demonstrates how not to "build" God's family (house).  Parts of the house can be LABELED (what "parts" does God want us to have in our house?  Worship, Compassion, Study, etc.)    What's the purpose of the house you are building? What does God want you to have a home FOR?    What was the purpose of your home, parents, upbringing?  (Jesus had these same things.)    

I might bring a drill to drill more than one size hole in my bird house. Why? To visually demonstrate that God's family is made up of different kinds of "birds."  

Example of the kinds of kits and prices online:


Oriental Trading Co has birdhouse kits by the dozen

Jesus Refers to Birds

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

Matthew 13:32   Mustard Seed grows into the Kingdom of God which gives birds a place to nest.
"it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Your suggestions welcome!


Images (2)
  • birdhousekit
  • mceclip0
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Use LEGOS or DUPLOS to build the Temple in Jerusalem where Jesus as a boy went to learn from and speak to the elders. Tell the story as you move characters/action figures through the scene.

See other lessons in this forum that discuss the features of the Temple that Jesus traveled to.

Time-lapse video of Temple being built with LEGOS.

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