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Video, A-V Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Prodigal Son

Post your Sunday School video, A-V lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for the Prodigal Son here.

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Including: Prodigal son, Lost son, Older brother, Father, Lost and Found, Luke 15:11-32, etc.

Bible lessons and ideas about the Prodigal Son -with video, audio-visual, movie, video-tape, animated Bible, etc.

The Prodigal Son

Video Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:  Uses the video: The Prodigal Son (from Nest)

Scripture Reference:  Luke 15: 11-32

Key Verse for this lesson:  "Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we must love each other” -- I John 4:11


  1. God loves us even when we do wrong things.
  2. When we are truly sorry God forgives us.
  3. Making bad choices can hurt yourself and others. 

Lesson Objectives: 

  1. Children will view the video “Prodigal Son” and learn the story.
  2. The children will learn that God wants to forgive us when we do wrong and are sorry.
  3. The children will ask God to forgive them for something they have done wrong.

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Read the scripture ahead of time. 
  • Preview the video.

Supplies List:

  • The Prodigal Son (from Nest)
  • Popcorn

Lesson Plan

Opening - Welcome and Introductions: 
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Distribute the popcorn.

Tell the children that today they will be watching a video about the story of the Prodigal Son. The word “prodigal” means wasteful, reckless. Today we might use this word to describe someone who lived a bad life, doing bad things being reckless and wasteful but then decided to change these bad ways and live better – as God would want that person to do better. The father in the story is like God. God doesn’t stop us from making bad decisions, but God is joyful when we return to better ways.

The story is told by Jesus. Jesus uses the story to tell us something about God. As you watch the story, look for ways that the father is like God.

Dig - Main Content and Reflection:

Bible Story:  Show the video. 

Discussion: recap the main events of the story with the children. 

Younger children: Help them to get the sequence of the story. Ask what happened first, then what happened, then what? Ask if they ever do things that they know is wrong? How does it feel when we do bad things? How did the son feel when he wasted all his money? Is God happy with us when we do bad things? Who else gets hurt when we do bad things? Relate God to the father in the video. What does God want us to do? (ask for forgiveness and to do better) Talk about praying to God for forgiveness and saying “I’m sorry” to those you hurt. Does it make you feel better to say I’m sorry? How does it make the other person feel when you say you are sorry? How did the father feel when the son came home and gave up his wasteful living? How do you think God feels when we admit our mistakes and plan to do better? 

Older Children: Ask the children if they have every done something bad and then realized it was wrong. Talk about what pressures the children have to do bad things. What tempts them? What do they do that they know is wrong? Who else gets hurt by the bad things they do? How did the father feel when his son decided to go away? How do you think God feels when we do bad things we shouldn’t? 

Talk about asking for forgiveness. How do we ask for forgiveness? (we pray to God for forgiveness and help in doing better. We say “I’m sorry” to others who are hurt. We explain why it won’t happen again. We try to correct our mistakes.) How is God like the father in the video? Will God forgive us? Why will God forgive us? Refer to the key verse for this lesson. Have the children recite it.

Reflection Time:
Younger children: draw a picture of someone praying to God for forgiveness. They could trace their own hands in prayer. 

Older children: What can you do better? Write down something you would like God’s help in doing better or something you did that you want to ask God to forgive. Suggestions might be to stop fighting with a sibling, to not lie, to help with chores. Finish the sentence “I am sorry for ____________”. Remind the children that God loves us and wants to forgive us if we ask. Tell the children you are going to pray in the closing prayer about what they have asked God for help in doing. 

Thank you Jesus for giving us the story about the prodigal son who did bad things but was forgiven by his father and by God. Please God, forgive us for the things (we wrote in our journals) that we have done wrong. (You might pause for a silent moment and let the children silently give up their request.) Help us to do better. Thank you God for loving us so much you will always forgive us if we are truly sorry, just as the prodigal son was forgiven. 

Optional: distribute activity sheets to the children to take home or take to worship. Use the Activity and Resource Book that accompanies the video. Offer a couple of choices.


  • Nest Entertainment – Prodigal Son, distributed by Nest Family Entertainment Series
  • Nest Entertainment – Prodigal Son, Activity and Resource Book, distributed by Nest Family Entertainment Series


A lesson from the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, 
Cary, NC  

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

"God's Trombone", by Billy Budd.

Three African-American poems: James Earl Jones' narrates "The Creation"; Dorian Harewood narrates both "Go Down Death, and "The Prodigal Son".  The Prodigal Son is done in clay animation. Approximately 17 minutes.

Try an internet search for "10-Movie Children's Holiday Classic (Billy Budd's Clay Classics) DVD, 096009743291 which includes the stories: "The First Christmas", "Martin the Cobbler", and "The Chimes".

Plus God's Trombones (17 mins), which includes:
- Creation-- runs 1:04 - 8:55 (total 7:51 mins)
- The Prodigal Son-- runs approx. 8 mins.
- Go Down Death-- runs approx. 1:04 mins


Other titles included are: RIP VAN WINKLE, LITTLE PRINCE, THE STAR CHILD, MICHAEL THE VISITOR, THE CHIMES, A CHRISTMAS GIFT (Based on "A Christmas Dinner," a ballad by Peter, Paul and Mary),  and THE VELVETEEN RABBIT.


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Last edited by Luanne Payne

We used the Veggie Tales episode:

Veggie Tales: The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's

We enjoyed it very much and it does get to the end of the story with the father welcoming the wayward son home with open arms. No segment about the brother.

The humor is great, if you are a Wizard of Oz familiar. My 12 year old got 90% of the jokes, my 9 year old got 60% and my 5 year old enjoyed the movie but didn't understand the Wizard of Oz references. For him, the old "Yellow McToad" was a funny character, but he didn't get the association when the characters are told to "Follow Yellow McToad". But my husband and I giggled & giggled.

The heavier weight of theme, imho, is "you can't always have what you want", more than forgiveness, but it does a reasonably accurate job of following the basic story.


What did the son want?  What did the father want?  

Does God always get what he wants with us? 

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

We used segments from the popular Pixar movie: Finding Nemo.  

One of the reasons I liked using it was that next time the kids see it at home, they'll think of the Prodigal Son.


Here are the clips that we used.


4:00 the opening title. About 1 minute, where Nemo's dad finds the fish egg Nemo and promises to always take care of him.


11:55-16:10 Nemo and his friends are playing by the drop off. He and his dad fight. Nemo is caught by the diver. End when Marlin is looking for his son above the water.


55:45-1:00:00 Marlin is telling other animals about his journey. Nemo is in the dentist's tank and decides to help the fish escape. End after Nemo puts tha rock in the filter.


1:24:00-end (or however long you have time for) Nemo is in the ocean and finds his dad. If you have lots of time, you can watch until the end. Otherwise, end after their happy reunion. Or watch the reunion, then skip ahead to Nemo going off to school to the end.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The Prodigal Son

Posted by member Anne Camp.

Sunday Software's Prodigal Son software has a wonderful modern-day retelling of the story that could easily be shown as an A-V using a projector attached to a laptop.

Note: The Prodigal Son software is now FREE to supporting members, Learn more here!

The whole software is terrific: close to the text, engaging, thoughtful. Lots of built-in discussion questions that are graphically presented.

We have also used the video (Son TV) found in the software  just with a projector so that the whole class could watch the re-telling at the same time. It is set to music. Very effective.

The contemporary setting of the video is a young man who leaves his father's farm for wild living in what appears to be a college setting. We just used it this spring and it was a big hit.

The video has the advantage that it's brief enough that you could repeat it several weeks and it has a very catchy tune which the students will enjoy taking with them. (You will also have this stuck in your brain all day -- as I said, very catchy.)


Last edited by Luanne Payne

DVD - “The Prodigal Son” (NEW Superbook Series)

"Justin gets in trouble with his father. He hides. Chris begins to wonder if what Justin did can be forgiven. Superbook sends Joy, Chris, and Gizmo to a time when Jesus tells stories. One story shows us that no matter what we do, God will always accept us back into His family with open arms when we say we are sorry." (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

See reviews of the "New Superbook" DVD Series link.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

DVD - "The Prodigal Son" (Beginner's Bible)

Was re-released in a collection called "Beginner's Bible Vol. 3" (610583501896).

Great for your younger children.

It includes 3 of the original titles:  The Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, and Jesus & His Miracles.

Looks like they may be taking this out of print as Beginner's Bible are now posting full episodes on YouTube. The Good Samaritan followed by the Prodigal Son (at approximately 29 minutes) is found here

Last edited by Luanne Payne

"Known" (and loved by you) by Tauren Wells
set to scenes from the Son of God movie 

I cannot find the reasons why you give me so much"  sounds like the Prodigal's song to me!

The song is "Known" by Tauren Wells, a Christian musician and worship leader. The full lyrics can be printed from Excerpt below.

This would work as a reflection piece for older children, and definitely for youth.

It is called a "Mashup" when you combine video clips from one source with a song from another. They are also known in copyright terms as "transformative works" and are generally protected fair use when used for non-commercial purposes. Youtube grants its standard license to such fan works.

Some lesson possibilities:

  1. Give the kids a copy of the full lyrics.
  2. Play the video once, then before you play it a second time, ask, "What scenes in the video stuck out to you and seemed to particularly 'fit' the song lyrics?" Discuss.
  3. Check out the lyrics. Which phrase is your favorite? Which one needs explained?
  4. How does realizing that you are "fully known and loved" make you feel inside?
  5. How is it that God "knows" us so well?
  6. How does it make us want to turn around our lives and come home?
  7. What does the Father want us to do with such knowledge (that we are fully known and loved)?  ...share it with our brother.
  8. Who high and wide is God's forgiveness?
  9. Who else in the New Testament could have sung this song?  Peter?  
  10. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you"  Jeremiah 1:5


[Verse 1]
It's so unusual it's frightening
You see right through the mess inside me
And you call me out to pull me in
You tell me I can start again
And I don't need to keep on hiding

I'm fully known and loved by You
You won't let go no matter what I do
And it's not one or the other
It's hard truth and ridiculous grace
To be known fully known and loved by You
I'm fully known and loved by You

[Verse 2]
It's so like You to keep pursuing
It's so like me to go astray
But You guard my heart with Your truth
A kind of love that's bullet proof
And I surrender to Your kindness

This video contains a simple paper craft and an animated version of the story of the Prodigal Son.

Bible images copyright Kirsty McAllister from Lamp Bible Pictures used with permission:

The template for the paper craft was made by me and is free to use. The template can be downloaded with the attachment. Instructions are on the template, but the video make it a lot more clear!


Last edited by Meghantoo

Illustrations for the Parable of the Prodigal Son from the Annie Vallotton Bible Illustrations Collection


In Luke 10, Jesus told a parable about a prodigal younger son who took his inheritance and spent it all, and ended up feeding the pigs.


Jesus told how the son came to his senses, and his father welcomed him home.


The older brother was angry that his prodigal brother was welcomed home so extravagantly.


Jesus concluded the parable of the prodigal son: the father explained to his older son how the younger brother had been lost and now was found.

Link to larger and higher resolution versions of the Vallotton illustrations and color background options as well in our Vallotton Bible Images Forum (Supporting Membership required, get one today). Copyright and usage information here.


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  • Jesus-Lost-Found-Brother-Vallotton: Parable of the Prodigal Son, 4
  • Jesus-Older-Brother-Luke10-Vallotton: Parable of the Prodigal Son, 3
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

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