Younger Students: Jesus’ Life

Lesson 1 – Adventure Island: Jesus is Born

Series: The Life of Jesus

Adventure Island—For Younger Students


Key Point:  Trust God

Repeat this phrase throughout the lesson.

Bible Story: Matthew 1:18-2:13, Luke 2:1-7

Challenge Verse: Psalm 56:3—“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.”



At least one balloon per child.

One balloon with today’s challenge verse written on a slip of paper and put inside.

Bible Lesson Signs for: Mary, Joseph, Inn Keeper, Angel

1 Memory Verse Poster



– Play the island or Hawaiian music as the kids enter.

– Depending on the age of your students, you may need to blow up the balloons before they arrive.

– You will need to blow up at least one balloon before the students arrive. However, before blowing it up, insert in it the Challenge Verse for today in one of them. As kids arrive you could even be hitting this balloon in the air.

– Set out Hawaiian flower-necklaces and a balloon to give the students as they enter.

– Set out the Bible Lesson signs in the area where you will be teaching.

– Have the items for the Flame Cakes and snack items in a convenient location.

– Pray for each student by name.


Greet your students by name as they enter.

Give each child a nametag.

Give each child an attendance sticker for your attendance chart.


SAY: Aloha! Welcome to Adventure Island.

Give each student a Hawaiian necklace and a balloon as they enter the room and ask them to blow the balloon up. (Some students may need help tying them off.)

Challenge #1:

Tell them to begin hitting the balloon in the air as many times as they can without it hitting the floor.

Challenge #2:

Challenge your kids to hit their balloon in the air, spin around, and keep hitting it without it touching the floor. Tell them every time they hit the balloon to say, ] “Trust God.”

Challenge #3:

Ask your students to hit their balloons, see how many times they can clap their hands, and then continue hitting the balloon before it touches the ground. Tell them every time they hit the balloon to say, ] “Trust God.”


SAY: On the count of three, find a spot anywhere in the room and sit down. 1-2-3. Go!

SAY: On the count of three, hold your balloon in your lap with both hands. 1-2-3. Go!

Praise different kids by name for their obedience—i.e., “Good job, Johnny!”

Praise the children who were the fastest, holding their balloon the stillest, biggest smile, etc. Then move on quickly.

SAY: Today we are going to take a census of the balloons. A “census” is a count.

Ask the students: So if we were to take a census of the number of people in this room. How many would we have? Raise your hand if you know.

SAY: But in Jesus’ time when they had a census, people had to return to their hometowns to be counted. That’s what our balloons are going to have to do. The “hometowns” are the corners of the rooms, but there’s one catch. The balloons have to be batted to the correct corner for its color, but you can’t stand up or move from your spot.

Point out which color goes into each “hometown.


Once all the balloons are to the corners of the room, instruct the students to leave them there and come to the circle.

Ask the students: What was it like to move your balloons to a certain corner. (Hard; frustrating; silly; I had to have others help me.)

SAY: Today we are going learn about how Joseph and Mary had to travel to their hometown of Bethlehem and how Jesus was born there.


Purpose: To help the students understand what the Bible teaches, presented in a creative and interactive manner.

Choose a boy and girl volunteer—Give the girl the Mary sign. Give the boy the Joseph sign.

SAY: Everybody say, “Hello, Mary and Joseph,” (Kids: Hello, Mary and Joseph!) And congratulations, you’re still not married!

SAY: God chose Mary and Joseph to be the earthly parents of Jesus, and while Mary was expecting to give birth, they both had to travel to Bethlehem, their hometown, for the census.

Ask the studentsHow do you think Joseph felt? His wife is expecting to give birth at any time, and they have to travel several days, through the weather, probably by donkey or by walking over rough ground. There were also many robbers in that day who would attack people on the roads outside the cities.

Ask the studentsDo you think Joseph might have been scared?

Choose a volunteer—Give him/her the Inn Keeper sign.

SAY: When they finally arrived at Bethlehem, all the inns were full.

Have the Inn Keeper volunteer say, “We don’t have any room for you.”

Ask the studentsHow do you think Joseph felt?

SAY: And then when the inn keeper let them stay in the stable, do you think he might have been concerned about a newborn baby being around all those animals? (These are rhetorical questions. Don’t take answers. You want to keep the story moving quickly.)

SAY: I need some volunteers to add sound effects to our story. Mary and Joseph (refer to your volunteers) are in the stable. Now in Jesus’ time a stable wasn’t like a barn, but it was the lower floor of the inn. Inns back then were usually cut out of stone, like a huge cave. The upper levels would have large holes cut into the sides for rooms. They didn’t even have doors. The stable was the bottom part where all the animals stayed. So I need some animal sound effects.

Choose volunteers— for the following sound effects (more than one person can have the same sound.) Give as many parts as you have volunteers, even if it is every student in the class.

Sound effects:

Donkey—There were probably many of these.

Horse—There would have been a few of these.

Dogs—Wild dogs would hang around the stables in hopes of getting left-over food. Sometimes these wild dogs would even attack people.

Goats—It is possible that some people would have a goat with them.

Sheep—Most sheep were kept in the pasture in large flocks although some might have been in the stable.

SAY: On the count of three I want you to make your noise and keep going until I say, “Jesus was born!” Ready…1-2-3…Go! (Encourage kids to be louder and to keep going.)

SAY: In the middle of all of this, JESUS WAS BORN!

(Kids should stop their noise; if not, say, “STOP!”)

SAY: Let’s try that again. 1-2-3…Make your noise. In the middle of all of this, JESUS WAS BORN!

SAY: Joseph trusted God and God took care of them, and you can trust God too.


Any time I say, “When you’re afraid, what should you do?” Everybody say, “Trust God!”

Practice a few times.

SAY: Later on something happened that probably really scared Joseph. (Ask your Joseph volunteer to lay down on the ground and pretend to be asleep.) After the shepherds came and worshipped Jesus, Mary and Joseph probably stayed in Bethlehem for a year or two. During this time the Magi or wise men came bringing gifts, but after they left, Joseph had a dream from God.

Choose a volunteer—Give him/her the Angel sign.

SAY: An angel appeared to Joseph and said, “Get up.” (Have the volunteer repeat after you.) “Go to Egypt because King Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

Ask the studentsHow do you think Joseph felt when he heard that the king was going to try to kill Jesus? (Answer: Probably afraid.)

Ask the studentsSo what do you think Joseph did? (Answer: He obeyed God and trusted him. Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus went to Egypt until God told them it was safe.)


Leader:  When you’re afraid, what should you do? (Kids: Trust God!)

(Practice once more.)


Purpose: Help students understand and learn to use their Bibles. This year we will be helping our children locate references in the Bible, learning the outline of the Bible and the Bible books, as well as helping them develop a sense of the Bible Time Line.

SAY: On the count of three, I want everyone to grab a balloon and spread out some where in the room. Ready…1-2-3…Go!

After your students have spread out in the room SAY: When you’re afraid, what should you do? (Kids: Trust God!)

SAY: Inside one of these balloon is our verse for the day. When I say go I want you to pop your balloon by stepping on it, sitting on it, or hugging it real tight but remember to be sure to look for the Challenge Verse. Go!


Leader:  When you’re afraid, what should you do? (Kids: Trust God!)

SAY: On the count of three, touch two walls, grab your Bible, and come back to the circle as fast as you can without pushing, shoving, or picking anybody’s nose. 1-2-3 Go!


Leader:  When you’re afraid, what should you do? (Kids: Trust God!)

Announce who found the verse. The paper only says where the verse is found.

SAY: Let’s see what the Bible says about trusting God. Our verse is Psalm 56:3.

Ask the studentsWho remembers how to find Psalms in the Bible? (Answer: Hold your Bible sideways and open it to the middle. Usually this is the book of Psalms.)

SAY: Hold your Bibles. (You may need to have extra Bibles ready for those who didn’t bring one. Encourage everyone to bring their Bibles next week.) When I say, “Ready,” hold your Bible between both hands, but you cannot open it. Then I will say a Bible reference and “Go.” If you open your Bible before I say “Go,” you will be out. Once you find what I ask for, raise your hand.

Ready…The book of Psalms—Go!

SAY: Now try to find chapter 56. (Explain that every book in the Bible is divided into chapters.)

SAY: Now try to find chapter 56, verse 3. (Explain that every chapter is divided into verses.)

– Explain that you say it, “Psalm 56-3,” meaning chapter 56, verse 3.

– Point out the memory verse poster and show them how Psalm 56:3 is written.

SAY: The dot-dot (:) tells you which is the chapter and which is the verse.

Ask the studentsIn Psalm 56:3, what’s the chapter number?

Ask the studentsWhat’s the verse number?


Read Psalm 56:3 from your Bible

SAY: On islands, many times people use drums to communicate a message. That’s how we’re going to learn this verse. Do what I do and say what I say.

Using both hands pat your legs to make a drum beat on every syllable. Pause at the slashes below and allow the students to repeat after you.

Read Psalm 56:3 from your Bible

“When I am afraid, / I will trust in you. / In God, whose word I praise, / in God I trust; / I will not be afraid.” /

Psalm 56:3

SAY: Let’s try it faster. (Do it again—the same as above, only faster.)

SAY: Now let’s go a little faster. Try to keep up!

Pause at the slashes below:

Read Psalm 56:3 from your Bible

“When I am afraid, I will trust in you. / In God, whose word I praise, / in God I trust; I will not be afraid.” /

Psalm 56:3

Repeat this after me: “When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee” (Kids repeat)

Psalm 56:3 (Kids repeat).

SAY: “Thee” is an old way of saying, “You,” but this is a great way to remember what this verse means. Try it again. (Say the entire verse and reference and then let the students repeat after you.)

Leader: “When I am afraid, I will trust in Thee—Psalm 56:3” (Kids repeat)


Leader:  When you’re afraid, what should you do? (Kids: Trust God!)

SAY: He loves you and He’ll never let you down.


Instruct your students to go to the table. Ask the following questions while getting their snack ready.

Ask the studentsHow many of you sleep or used to sleep with a night-light?

SAY: Sometimes at night, you might get scared and it helps to have a light. Who does the Bible say is the Light of the World? (Answer: Jesus…and also you if you know and live for Him [Matt. 5:14-16])

SAY: Today we are going to make some Tasty Torches. After all, Jesus is the light of the world and when we have Extreme Trust, others will see His light shining through us.

SAY: Today we are going to make some Flame Cakes. After all, we’re on an Island Adventure and on islands many times they use torches for light, so instead of cupcakes, these are “flame” cakes.

Pass out the cupcakes and cones, but tell the kids not to eat or lick them yet. Have the students push the cupcake down in the cone. Then pull out your whip cream and food coloring. Let a volunteer put the food coloring in and then you can stir it while you explain the following:

SAY: This food coloring is going to bring a great change to this whip cream, and when someone gives their life to Jesus, He brings a great change to them.

Pass the whip cream around and let the students dip their torches in it and begin eating. (You can also use a spoon if you have rather them spoon the whip cream on top. This would be less messy but less island-like too.)

Ask the studentsWhat are some of the changes that comes to a person’s life when they receive Jesus as the Lord and Boss of their life? (Answer: They can know for sure that they’re going to heaven. They are adopted as a child of God. They now know Jesus.)

SAY: Knowing Jesus is the best part of life.

As the students eat, here are some other topics to discuss:

– Who can say where today’s Challenge Verse was found?

– Who remembers what it says?

– What does that mean?

– How did Joseph trust God? (Answer: He listened and obeyed God.)

– Who remembers where last week’s Challenge Verse was found?

– What does the 56:3 stand for? (Answer: chapter 56, verse 3)

– How would it be written? (56 dot-dot 3)

– Who remembers where the Gospel of John is found? (Answer: It is one of the four Gospels in the New Testament—Point students to the Bible Book Chart.)

– What does Gospel mean? (Answer: Good News)

– What are the other Gospels? (Answer: Matthew, Mark, and Luke)

SAY: The Gospels are all about Jesus’ life and they are also the first four books of the New Testament.

– The story we learned today about Jesus being born is found in two of the Gospels. Who can guess which two? (Answer: Matthew and Luke)


SAY: We are so glad you are a part of our class, and even though class is almost over, we need to go over the three rules that everyone needs to follow, not just here but in life every day. These are our Classroom Rules:

Everybody say “R”

Respect God—Obey God in all that you do.

Everybody say “R”

Respect Your Teachers—Do what your teachers ask you to.

Everybody say “R”

Respect Each Other—Treat others the way you want to be treated.


SAY: When I say, “You can trust God,” I want everybody to say, “Mahalo!” (Muh-hah-lo) and do your hand like this. (Show kids how to place their palms on their hearts, then raise their hands up. It’s as if they’re giving thanks from their heart to God.) “Mahalo” means “Thank You” in Hawaiian and since we’re on an island adventure, I want us to all say Mahalo because You can trust God. (Kids: Mahalo! with the hand motion.)

SAY: If you were going to say, “Thank You” to another person you would take your hand from you heart, using the same hand, and hold it out, palm up, towards that person you are thanking. Let’s all try that.

SAY: Now let’s get ready to pray and thank God that we can trust Him and that we don’t have to be afraid because God is bigger than anything we could ever face.

What are some things we can be praying for?

Is there anything that you are afraid of or concerned about that you want to talk to Jesus about?

List Prayer Requests

Before you pray, ask the students to bow their heads and close their eyes. Tell them to pray and thank Jesus for always being there and for them to remember to trust Him when they are afraid.

Thank God that we can trust Him and that no matter what we may go through, He will never let us down.

Be sure to pray specifically for each request.


Use any extra time to help your students memorize the verse for today.

*Adapted from Group Publishing, Lava, Lava Island VBS,  “Jesus Brings Hope” Day 1.

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