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Miscellaneous Ideas for Teaching about Baptism or Jesus' Baptism or John the Baptist.


Some of these ideas were posted on our original message board in a 'writing' forum.

You are invited to add your own lesson ideas to this list by 'replying'.

If your idea belongs more appropriately in one of the WORKSHOP threads in this topic, you can post it there.

(Neil's original starter post in this topic contained a Bible study on "Correcting the Mistaken Idea about John's Hairy Coat". It has been moved to the Bible Background Thread in this forum.)



A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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Baptism Boxes


We had our kids help make "Baptism Boxes" which we give to each infant and child when they are baptized in our church.

We tell parents when they feel their child is ready, they should take out the box and explain to them the signs of baptism found in the box. It's been very well received. Kids are always present in worship during baptisms so future baptisms they'll know they helped to create a box.

The idea originally was published in a PCUSA Sunday school teachers periodical called "Ideas". I think it was in 2001 that I saw this and cut it out and have used it ever since. The author was Linda LeBron of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Dallas, TX.


  • 6"x8"x1" gift box (jewelry type box)
  • "Gifts of Baptism" printout - glue to inside of the lid of the box (see below)
  • Rebirth certificate (see below)
  • Small cross (wood or plastic)
  • Washcloth (small piece 2"x2")
  • Robe (cut from white felt)
  • Dove (cut from white fun foam)
  • Candle (birthday cake candle)
  • Photograph of the kids: "Your New Brothers and Sisters in Faith"
  • Take a digital photo and print, then paste on a nice piece of posterboard and have the kids write messages on the back, like "Welcome to the Family".

Gifts of Baptism

Rebirth Certificate – Romans 8:15-16
You have been adopted into God’s family, the church. Jesus is your brother.

Cross – Romans 6:3-8
You share in the death and resurrection of Jesus. You never need to be afraid of death. Your eternal life has already begun.

Washcloth – Acts 22:16
You have been washed clean of all your sins. God will always forgive you.

Robe – Galatians 3:27-28
You have been clothed in Christ so that others will see Christ in you.

Dove – Acts 2:38
You have received the Holy Spirit in a new way, to guide you and comfort you always.

Candle – Matthew 5:14-16
You have the light of Christ in you. Share it with your world.

Photo of Students
"Welcome to our family"

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

A Godspell "Prepare Ye the Way" Rotation...

We did a 5 week rotation on John the Baptist and took a little different approach in the way we combined kids because we wanted an integrated end result that culminated in a Worship Service presentation for the first week of Advent.

Week 1:
On the first week everyone was in Cinema and saw clips from "Godspell" and something else I don't remember in January and did an activity. Moderator adds: Here is a link to a Scene Guide created by Matt Page (UK). Note: the DVD chapter index follows the Songs.

Week 2: Everyone was in music and learned "Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord" from "Godspell."

Week 3: We rotated our three grade groups between Art, Drama and Tent.

Art: In art they did monoprint banners -- shades of blue and purple -- that looked like paths.

Tent: In tent they made stoles -- blue or purple. On one side each person wrote his or her name with puff paint and on the other side they drew symbols of ways in which we prepare the way for Jesus today. When finished they made ribbon sticks.

Moderator Adds:

Ribbon sticks: wooden dowel (or paint stir stick, etc) with ribbon or crepe paper (you determine length you want to use - not so long as they will be stepping on it) attached at one end with tape (suggest as you add each ribbon wind the tape around it and stick so each piece attaches well as the children will be waving them).

Drama: In Drama, they spent the first 30-40 minutes in the sanctuary learning choreography to the song.

We used our November 30 -- first Sunday of Advent -- session as a run through and at the second worship service that day, the K-5 did the Call to Worship. Banners were hung in the Narthex. Kids -- wearing their stoles -- surrounded the congregation on three sides. Huge sanctuary. Someone blew a shofar. A woman played the flute in the back of church and a third grade boy walked down the long center aisle singing "Prepare Ye ..."

Once he reached the front, all kids started singing and waving their ribbon banners. As they then came to the back to walk down the center aisle as pairs, they handed off their ribbon sticks to members of the congregation and motioned for them to keep waving them.

Once they reached the front they did sign language to the song, and came back down the center aisle singing until they sat in the pews.

Whew! It was amazing. Powerful. Everything they did made the same point.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

Photograph Collage

Originally posted by member 'found'....

We asked parents to bring in pictures of their children's baptism.
We copied the pictures and made a collage.

Neil MacQueen added this Video or Photo idea...

Not everyone will remember to bring in photos, or have photos, so here's an alternate idea based on a funny Video lesson I once did that could easily be done as an A-V or DRAMA Workshop lesson, or used to create printable digital photos for the ART collage.

We wrapped one of the students in a baby blanket and gave him a pacifier, and had him make a funny face during close-up video shots of his face for the following "re-enactment of a baptism". The kids LOVED THIS.

You could follow this basic idea for an A-V lesson, or stop right here and take digital photographs of EACH of your students wrapped up like a baby (while water is being poured on them) --to print and use in your collage.

Here's a sketch of the Video Drama we did...

In the video we dressed two kids as parents holding a blanket-wrapped doll. We dressed a kid as the pastor, and others as "god parents". Each had something to say which was scripted by the kids as part of our study.

During the re-enactment, the video camera zoomed in to show the REACTIONS of the various participants as the words of the service were spoken by the pastor. When it came to a close-up of the baby, we refocused on the real kid wrapped in a blanket instead of the doll in the parent's hands.

The script had words from the pastor about baptism as he "koochey-koo-ed" the doll. It has "a charge to the parents and god parents", which we captured on the video using closeups. (The godparents and parents had to make some pretty crazy commitments, -which the students came up with during their study about "what your parents promised").

At various points in the script we paused the video camera to refocus it on a close up of the real kid wrapped in the blanket to get face shots/reaction.

In addition to the basic words of the service and the charge to the parents/godparents, --which the kids had to come up with as part of their study... we also had a HUMOROUS but POIGNANT POINT in the skit was about "how much water does the baby need?" ...with the "Pastor" (another kid) reciting a long list of all the things which the baby did wrong, and was EVER going to do wrong (the kids came up with that list).

As the camera focused on the kid wrapped in the blanket, we heard the words of the pastor reciting the long list of the baby's "present and future sins" the students had come up with, and the pastor kept pouring water onto the poor baby (the kid was sputtering), at least two pitchers worth, depending on how many sins the students had come up.

It was extremely memorable to say the least.

<>< Neil

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"What If" Skits

  • What if John the Baptist had lived by a waterfall? Or a geyser?
  • What if John the Baptist used flowers instead?
  • What if John hadn't baptized people's heads and had to use something else from the desert?
  • What if John the Baptist was alive today? Where would he baptize people and how might he do it? (What are OUR symbols and props for getting clean).

Kids really enjoy thinking "differently" and the laughter makes it a memorable lesson.

These can be ACTED OUT or drawn with markers then shared.

[move here by rotation volunteer]

Last edited by Moderator

Cooking Ideas:

  • The Book - "Incredible Edible Bible Fun" has a recipe for "Locust and Wild Honey Bites". (Group Publishing ISBN: 0764420011) You shape bugs out of a mixture of powdered milk, peanut butter, and honey. (Be careful of peanut butter if you've got peanut allergies. Substitute Soy Nut Butter instead (which has, despite it's name, no nuts in it).  CreativeCarol posted November 11, 2002


Object Lesson Ideas:

  • "Crafts & More for Children's Ministry" published by Group suggests discussing right and wrong choices -- illustrated by providing toothpaste to put on celery sticks, discussing how it's not the right choice and then providing peanut butter and/or cream cheese. They suggest moving the discussion to "our story today is about a choice Jesus made ..." to be baptized even though he didn't HAVE to he knew it was the right thing to do. Matthew 3:15 NLT: "But Jesus said, 'It must be done, because we must do everything that is right.' So then John baptized him." Follow up with helping kids make decisions about how in the coming week they will do what's right in God's eyes, even if they don't feel like it.  Jan FPC Napa posted January 06, 2004


Curriculum on Jesus' Baptism

  • Our next unit from PowerXpress is "Jesus is Baptized". They have an excellent Music Movement workshop that includes: Deep and Wide, Wade in the Water, Peace like a River ... also look for background CDs that focus on water sounds.  Judi Leaming posted January 08, 2004


A "short presentation" for any Workshop about John the Baptist using the 5 Senses.

  • I would like to share this little presentation we used to engage students in the story.

    After reviewing why the water is used and showing how water cleans we had some time left so we discussed who John was and as a filler in the drama classroom (but could used anywhere), we review who John was by using our 5 senses. Have the children close their eyes to do Touch, Listen, Smell. Touch – camel fur, Listen – running water, Smell – honey, Sight – picture of wilderness, Taste – grasshoppers or honey (all the children decided they only wanted to try the honey) I did not realize how the children would react and remember this experience.  In God's SeRvice Lisa

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Books on Baptism

  • Follow and Do: Holy Baptism, By: Joni Walker, Concordia, 2005, Hardcover 
  • Water, Come Down!, By: Walter Wangerin Jr., Augsburg,1999, Hardcover
  • Cokesbury's "Touch the Water, Taste the Bread".
    Half of the book has lesson plans for baptism, the other half for communion.There are 2 books, one for ages 3-5 and one for grades 1-3.
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Art - Baptism Banner

 finished banner

We created a Baptism Banner this morning as a Family Faith Fun activity. It was very easy (we had a 3 year old helping), though it wasn't cheap. Fabric is EXPENSIVE nowadays. But if you planned ahead and gathered fabrics on sale it might not be too bad.


I bought four different shades of blue fabrics - some solid and some printed, plus some really neat shimmery blue fabric. We also used rolls of glitter tulle. We tore the fabric into strips about 2.5-3 inches wide (if you buy 100% cotton, you can snip the ends and kids can easily tear the strips). You'll need the strips to be twice the finished length you want -- our completed length of the banner is about 6 feet long. Once the strips are torn, you just fold them in half and loop them over a curtain rod, pulling the tails through the loop (is that a half hitch??) until it is snug on the curtain rod. I also cut out simple baptism symbols - shell, cross and descending dove from white heavy fabric (2 of each), and sewed them together to make them a little thicker. The kids painted over top of the symbols with white glitter paint. Once dry, we'll tie the symbols from the curtain rod also, so they dangle from the banner at different heights. We'll screw the curtain rod into a closet rod and place it in a flag holder so it stands up. Or you could hang it from a wall. 


The whole project took about 1 hour and that included reading the story of Jesus' baptism and spending about 10 minutes discussing the meaning of baptism. 


This was SO EASY and it is absolutely beautiful! We plan to display it in our worship space whenever we have a baptism. I'll update the pictures once completed, but here are two pictures to show what it looked like. I've made a lot of banners in my day, but this just might be my favorite! 



Images (4)
  • P1060379: The participants (minus the parents)
  • IMG_0488: The symbols hanging up to dry
  • IMG_0487: The body of the banner
  • finished banner: Here is the finished banner. Pictures don't really do it justice. It's gorgeous!
Last edited by Moderator

This is my first post, although I've been a fan of for years!  I loved the extra information about John and lesson ideas from Neil MacQueen--have not really focused much on John before in my baptism of Jesus lesson (but now I will!).  My baptism lesson includes an activity (which might have been inspired by where the children have to categorize various pictures cut out from magazines related to water under the categories "Water Refreshes Us," "Water Cleanses Us," "Water Gives Life."  We also make origami doves.  My favorite thing about the baptism story is that it is a huge public proclamation from God that Jesus is His Son.  How can there be any doubt when the sky opens up and there is the booming voice of God declaring this?  I ask kids to imagine being there and what they would have thought being a witness to this.



Austin TX

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