Free Toddler Lesson - Week 6

THE LITTLE LOST SHEEP

picture of little lost lamb
Concepts Children Learn:
We are like little sheep. We are lost without our shepherd.
Jesus is our shepherd who leads us. He loves for his little sheep to stay close to him and follow him.
Our shepherd, Jesus, wants us to depend on him.

Prep: Mark your bible with the memory verse: John 10:14, and Matthew 18:12-14. Print either color story pages or black & white story pages to use with the story: Color: 1, 2, 3, 4. B & W Story Pages , 1, 2, 3, 4. Cover with clear shelf paper. For Story Page 2, Make Lift-the-Flap craft (directions on craft page).

Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do. The numbers in parentheses tell you what Story Page to hold up while you are telling the story.

LESSON: THE LITTLE LOST SHEEP
Main Bible Verse: John 10:14 Other verses used in lesson: Matthew 18:12-14. Verses used as reference: John 10:3-16; Matthew 10:29-31.
Intro: Today we're have a story about a kind shepherd and his little sheep named Marshmallow. As you will see in the story, Marshmallow tries to be good, but sometimes he gets into trouble.

(1) (Point to the shepherd.) This is the kind shepherd. Do you know what a shepherd is? He is the one who takes care of the sheep. There are lots of ways the shepherd takes care of his sheep: He finds pastures with green grass for his sheep to eat. He makes sure they have lots of water to drink. And, he makes sure they are safe from danger. The Good Shepherd counts his sheep every evening to make sure they are all there. Let's count the sheep with the shepherd. One...two...three... four...five ...six.... seven... eight... nine....Uh-oh! One little sheep is missing! The shepherd is upset. It makes him very sad to know one of his little sheep might not be safe! Let's see...which one is missing? Is it Cotton Candy? No. Is it Fluffy? No. Is it Marshmallow? Yes! He's the one who is missing! Oh, no! He's the littlest one! Quickly, the shepherd grabs his staff and his rod and goes out to look for his little lost sheep.

Let's help the shepherd look for, Marshmallow. The shepherd calls out, "Marshmallow, where are you?" The shepherd looks high up on the hill. Let's all get up on our tippy toes and help the shepherd look for his little lost sheep. (Show children how to get on tiptoes, and place hand above eyes, as if looking far out.) Marsh-mal-ow! My precious little sheep, where are you? The shepherd looks way down low under the cliff. (Encourage children to bend down and look under the table.) Marsh-mal-low! Can you hear me? The shepherd turns around and looks behind him. (Lead children to turn around and look behind them.)

(2) Next, the shepherd looked over by the big tree. Who can show me where the tree is? (Let child point to tree.) No little sheep there. Then he looked behind the big rock. (Lift up rock flap.) No little sheep there either. Where could that little sheep be? The kind shepherd loved Marshmallow so much! So, he kept looking for him. He would not give up! Next, he looked behind the log (Lift up log.) No little sheep there either. The shepherd was so sad. He couldn't find his little lamb anywhere. "Marshmallow, Marshmallow, Where are you?", the shepherd called out once again. Then the shepherd heard something. "Ba-a-a-a Ba-a-a!" Let's listen close. (Cup your ear.) "Ba-a-a-a Ba-a-a!" That sounds like a little sheep! The good shepherd looked behind the bush. (Lift flap on bush.) There was little Marshmallow! The silly little lamb was caught in a prickly bush! "My poor little lamb", said the shepherd. "Don't worry. I'll get you out of there." Patiently the kind shepherd clipped away at the prickly bush. Let's show how the shepherd clips with his scissors. (Show children how to move fingers in a cutting motion.) Clip, clip, clip. Then the shepherd gently snipped away at the little sheep's wool. Snip, snip, snip. (Lead children to move fingers in a cutting motion again.)

(3) Finally, his little sheep was free from the prickly bush! How happy he was to have his little lost sheep back in his arms! The shepherd gently picked up the little sheep and hugged him tight! "I knew you were missing, so I came to look for you because you are so precious to me. Please stay close to me so you don't wander away, my precious little lamb!" Marshmallow looked up at his shepherd shyly and said, "O.k." As the shepherd set Marshmallow down, he saw that he had been crying. The kind shepherd gently wiped away his tears. (Use real tissue to wipe lamb's eyes.) "Aw-w-w, you must've been scared, huh Marshmallow?" asked the shepherd. "Yes, I was scared that a big bear or tiger would come and get me when my wool was caught in the prickly bush", Marshmallow answered shyly. "Thank you for coming to find me. I'm so happy to be back home with you! I'll keep close to you from now on, and follow you everywhere you go." "Oh, that's good to hear!", said the kind shepherd, "I love my little sheep so much, and I love having you close to me!" "I love my shepherd, too!", said Marshmallow.

(4) So the shepherd picked up Marshmallow, laid him on his shoulder, and carried him all the way home. Little Marshmallow and his shepherd were as happy as they could be!

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

That story has a happy ending, doesn't it? In Bible Times, Jesus told a story that means a lot to us today. The story is in the book of Matthew. Here's what Jesus said: (Read Matthew 18:12-14) That's kind of like our story, isn't it? The shepherd is so happy to find the lost lamb. Have any of you ever been lost? That's no fun, is it? Its scary because you don't know which way is home. Does anyone want to share about a time when they were lost? (Let a few children tell their stories).

Thank you all for sharing. Did you know that people who don't know Jesus are lost too. They are lost in a different way. They are lost because they don't have Jesus to lead them. Remember our Bible verse today? Let's say it together: (Read John 10:14). Jesus loves us so much that he wants us to stay near him.

Remember how the shepherd was calling out the little lamb's name? He was calling out, Marshmallow, where are you? Well, Jesus, our shepherd, knows each one of our names too. He knows ______'s name, and _______'s name.... (Keep repeating, filling in the blank with each child's name). Each one of you is so precious to him that he knows all about you. He knows your name. He knows when you are happy or sad. He even knows how many hairs are on your head. That's how important you are to him!

Remember, in the story, how Marshmallow made the sound, baa-aa, ba-a-a-a, when he knew his shepherd was there? He made the sound so his shepherd could find him. He was calling out to his shepherd for help. And, the shepherd was so happy to find him. That's like Jesus. Jesus is always there for us too; and Jesus loves for us to call out to him. He loves for us to come close to him and pray to him. He wants us to depend on him. Jesus loves us to stay as close to him as we can be!

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.

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