Here is a lesson based on the story of Balaam and his donkey! You can use this story from the Old Testament to remind your kids that we serve a mighty God who can do amazing things AND if God can do amazing things through a donkey, He can do amazing things through us!
God Can Do Amazing Things Lesson (Printable)
Beforehand, make your own donkey puppet. You can use a sock and make a sock puppet, or a paper bag and the template found here.
Also beforehand, find a recording of the sound a donkey makes. (If possible, put the sound on your phone and play if from there. A fun youtube video that the kids will enjoy hearing is “The Sound of a Donkey” by Theo Werkman found here:
. (The actual donkey sound starts at :05 seconds).
Bring the kids all together for the lesson time. Say: Today’s lesson is about a time when God did something amazing through a donkey. Has anyone heard of donkeys before? Do you know what a donkey sounds like? Sometimes we say a donkey makes a sound like this “ee, aw”. (Make a donkey sound). Can you make that sound? (Have all the kids make that sound).
Donkeys also walk around on all four of their legs – kind of like a horse. Can you get down on the ground and walk around like a donkey? Be sure to make a donkey sound as you walk! (Encourage the kids to walk and make noises like a donkey. Have fun doing this for awhile and then bring them all back together again)
When the kids are sitting down again, say: Listen to this sound of a real donkey! Play the sounds of the donkey that you found earlier. You might also choose to show the kids a picture of a donkey at this time, too.
Now, what would you think if a donkey started talking to you? What would you think if a donkey stopped moving around, looked at you, and talked to you just like I am talking to you now? That’s what happened to a man a long, long time ago named Balaam. Let me tell you his story . . . No, wait. I have a friend who is going to tell you his story instead.
Take out the puppet you prepared beforehand. For the rest of the lesson, pretend you are having a conversation with the puppet and tell the story to the kids using the following script.
Donkey: Hello, boys and girls. I want to tell you about something that happened to a donkey a long time ago.
Leader: Wait a second! I thought this story happened to a man named Balaam.
Donkey: It did! But it also happened to a donkey! Now, are you going to let me tell the kids the story or not?
Leader: So sorry . . . please go on.
Donkey: Well, this donkey worked for a man named Balaam. Everywhere that Balaam wanted to go, this donkey went. This donkey never complained. He never disobeyed. He always did exactly what Balaam asked him to do. This was a very good donkey. Just like me.
Leader: Please just tell the story.
Donkey: Okay, I’ll just tell the story. Well, one day Balaam was riding on the donkey and the donkey did something really strange! The donkey turned off the road and walked right into the field. Balaam got mad at his donkey for going into the field and struck her to get her to go the right way. The donkey went back and started walking until she came to a narrow path with a wall on both sides. The donkey pressed against the wall – pressing Balaam’s foot against the wall as well!
Leader: Wow! I bet Balaam was really upset about that.
Donkey: He was! He struck her again! She got up and kept walking, but then the next thing you know, the donkey laid straight down on the ground and refused to move. Balaam got so angry that he struck her with a stick!
Leader: Sounds like this wasn’t such a good donkey after all.
Donkey: WRONG! At that moment, God allowed the donkey to speak and the donkey started talking to Balaam – just like I’m talking to you right now!
Leader: What did the donkey say?
Donkey: The donkey reminded Balaam that she had always been a good donkey and had always done what Balaam asked. Then God let Balaam see the same thing the donkey had been seeing. There was an angel of the Lord standing in the way with a sword in his hand!
Leader: Really? An angel with a sword? So the donkey had saved Balaam’s life!
Donkey: That’s right! When the donkey went into the field, he was moving away from the angel. When he went against the wall, he was doing it to stay away from the angel, and when he stopped and laid down under Balaam, he was doing it because there was no place to go to avoid the angel!
Leader: Wow! God did something amazing through a DONKEY!
Donkey: That’s right, and God can do amazing things through each of these kids, too!
Have the kids say good-bye to the puppet as you take it off your hand and put it away. Then say: Isn’t it great to know that we serve a GREAT BIG GOD who can do amazing things like cause a donkey to talk!!
At this time, you might choose to sing the song “Our God is so Big” with the kids. Teach the kids motions to do while they are singing the song. You can use the video “My God is so Big, Bible Adventure Worship, LifeKids” by Lifekids found here:
1. Help the kids make their own donkey puppets and then have fun as they retell today’s story through their new puppet friends! Find the template here.
2. Print off one of the coloring pages found here and let the kids color their own donkeys!
3. Use bananas and angel food cake to make a fun angel craft with the kids. Give each kid two thin slices of angel food cake for the wings and a long half of banana for the body. Use a banana slice (circle) for the head. Let them use whipped cream or yogurt to decorate their angels . . . as well as for halos or clouds. Give them a pretzel rod for the sword (or some other food of your choice) since this angel did have a sword! Talk about the story as you make the craft and then have fun eating the craft together!
4. Have donkey races! Encourage the kids to get down on their hands and knees and “run” across the room making donkey sounds as they run. Set up a start and finish line for the races. Then have them run across the room, but when you shout “Angel!” they have to stop running and lay down on the ground until you say “All clear!”. Have lots of fun with this . . . but be sure to talk to them about how God can do amazing things – including making a donkey talk!
5. Make a “God Can do Amazing Things” collage. Get a large piece of paper and have the kids draw pictures of things that God can do. Talk about how nothing is impossible with God! (Optional: Provide other art supplies to use and/or pictures that the kids can glue on the paper)
6. On a large piece of paper write, “God can do amazing things through . . .” and then have each kid write his/her name on the paper and draw a picture to represent himself. Close the time in prayer, thanking God that He can use ordinary people like ____ (fill in the blank with each child’s name) to do amazing things!