This object lesson (really, an activity) teaches the story of Jonah swallowed by a fish and his prayer. You construct kid-size paper fish that kids can slip into like a sleeping bag. This gets the kids laughing and having fun, and plants the story of Jonah into their memories.

Click the image to watch. Runtime: 3:14

AGE LEVEL: Best for Pre-K age.

POINT: Aimed at little kids, this object lesson is really just a fun activity that helps kids learn and remember that Jonah had a really, really bad three days (amid all his other bad days!).

BIBLE STORY SUGGESTION: The story of Jonah's problems with the fish is told in the first chapter of Jonah; his prayer is in chapter two.

OBJECT LESSON: Jonah and the Big Fish - A hilarious Preschool learning activity.
Materials needed: A roll of thick paper used by painters and carpenters for tarps and floor protection. A roll from Home Depot is three feet wide by 166 feet long. Use seven feet per fish, folding it back upon itself to form, when finished, a 3-½ foot long fish. You can make one fish per child, but that might mean a lot of work. Another option is to make three fish and let kids take turns.

IN THE CLASSROOM: Read the first chapter to your group. Mention that Jonah was in serious trouble; no one had ever been inside a fish for three days! Ask the kids what they think Jonah should do. When ready, tell them the answer: he prayed to the Lord.

Choose three kids to crawl inside the fish. Give them a minute to snuggle and giggle and call to each other. Then, lead in a prayer something like this: “Dear God, it’s me, Jonah. Help me! I’m stuck inside a fish because I didn’t obey You! Please get me out of here!”

Say that God has answered their prayer—they can all come out now. Do this all again with as many kids as want to.

ACTIVITY PAGE: Have the kids scribble on the Jonah coloring page. Print their names on the finished pages; these are treasures to send home.

EXTRA FUN: Provide Goldfish crackers to eat and an aquarium net to scoop them out of a small bucket. Let each child have a go.

Be sure to download the 100% free lesson plan and activity page! Get it HERE.

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