Samuel is an interesting character in the Old Testament. His mother, Hannah, brought him to the temple to serve under the priest, Eli, in fulfillment of a promise she made to God before Samuel was born. While sleeping at the temple one night, Samuel heard God calling him. Samuel went on to become a mighty prophet to spread God's teachings. You can help children in your family or class understand Samuel by presenting activities that stimulate children's imagination.

Keeping Promises Craft Project

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Every year after Hannah delivered her beloved son to the temple to be raised by Eli, she would bring Samuel a new coat, robe and other articles of clothing. Help Hannah pack a suitcase containing clothes for Samuel. Before the activity, cut out two suitcase shapes from craft foam for each child. Staple them together along the two sides and the bottom. Allow the children to cut out pictures from magazines showing the clothing they think Hannah should bring Samuel. If the children are older, have them draw pictures of clothing. They can either put the clothing inside the suitcase or glue it to the outside.

Balloon Game

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Samuel's mother, Hannah, fervently prayed to God each year asking for a child. Hannah promised God that her son would dedicate his life to the Lord. God heard Hannah's prayers and gave her a son. When Samuel was older, he listened to God's voice and His teaching; he didn't let any of it fall unheard to the ground. A balloon game can be used to remind children that God still answers prayers today. Blow up a dozen or more balloons; do not use helium. Tie them tightly and have the children keep them in the air using only their hands. The more balloons you have, the crazier it gets. Explain to the children that the balloons represent either Hannah's prayers or God's words.

Cardboard Candlesticks

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One of Samuel's main chores in the temple was keeping the candles and lamps lit. Talk to the children about the chores they're assigned at home, such as making their bed and brushing their teeth. Engage the children in creating cardboard candles to represent the ones Samuel kept lit. Toilet paper and paper towel tubes make perfect candlesticks; paint them different colors for a pretty display. Use gold foil wrapping paper, yellow tissue paper or yellow cellophane for flames in the top. Stand them up individually around the room or group them together for a lovely decoration.

Bible Songs

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Many children love to sing songs and can learn new ones very quickly. Introduce a song about Samuel to help them remember the Bible story of Samuel. This song is sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot":

"Samuel's a boy short and stout. Watch him grow inside and out. When he gets all grown up, look about. Praise the lord and give a shout!"

Another song you can sing goes with the familiar tune of "Zacchaeus was a Wee Little Man":

"Samuel was a wee little boy, A wee little boy was he. He went to live in the temple, A helper to Eli was he. He lit the candles and swept the floors, He did as he was told. And when he heard, 'Samuel, Samuel,' He listened to the Lord."