I have to be honest, Halloween is not exactly my favourite holiday. But one thing I really like about it is what happens afterwards. After the big rush (and sometimes even before) there are all sorts of skeletons on sale!
Why is this a good thing, you might ask? Why would I need to stock up on skeletons and stow them away in my closet?
It’s simple…I’m a Bible teacher!
Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones
Bones and skeletons are great visual aids and conversation starters for the story of Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones from Ezekiel 37:1-14.
I love to tell this story of hope. This vision has the vital elements needed for a dramatic story. The kids love the “creepy” image of dry bones lying all over a valley. They can relate to how Ezekiel must have felt when the bones began rattling and coming together. Tendons and flesh formed on them and finally God breathed his spirit into them. If Ezekiel was hopeless because his people were in captivity he could finally understand how God had the power to bring a nation back to life.
Teaching Items in Post-Holiday Sales Bins
As a teacher I am always on the lookout for items that will help me share God’s Word in ways children can best relate to. No one has to spend a lot of money or buy new things to teach children about God. But if you live in a place where after-holiday sales provide extremely cheap items then this may be a great opportunity. What are the holidays where you live?
- Creche and manger scenes (angels, wise men, animals, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the manger itself), pictures of Jesus as a baby, stars and spices like the wise men brought. The obvious uses are for stories such as The Birth of Jesus and Wise Men and a Star.
- Gaudy plastic strings of gold and silver garland can make great “treasure” when you later tell the Parable of a Treasure & a Pearl.
- Greenery, artificial trees, candles and even twinkling lights bought in after-Christmas clearance sales really come in handy for costumes and acting out Bible stories later on.
- You’re going to enjoy pulling twinkling lights out of storage when you tell the story of Jesus Teaches about Salt and Light.
After Valentines Day
- Heart decorations of all kinds. These could be used when talking about the heart.
- Stories that come to mind are Let My People Go! , John the Baptist and The Parable of a Sower and the Seeds
- This is the obvious time to find things like books and figurines to help you later tell the story of the Burial and the Resurrection of Jesus.
- Since I teach infants and toddlers I sometimes use the little wind-up bunnies when I teach about Day 6-God Created Animals & People.
- And I like to have a few plastic eggs on hand throughout the year so I can put verses or pictures inside and let the children hunt for them. They are also great for telling the story of death, burial and resurrection of Jesus with Resurrection Eggs.
- Skeletons for teaching about Ezekiel & the Valley of Dry Bones
- Candy and lollies if you use those as game prizes.
- We can give thanks throughout the year so I’ve sometimes used items on sale after this holiday to teach stories such as Jesus Heals Ten Lepers.
- And all of plastic fruit comes in handy for teaching about The Fruit of the Spirit.