While most famously known for his experience in the lions' den, the Old Testament prophet Daniel also gained notoriety among Christians for the 21 days he spent fasting in an effort to maintain Christian virtues concerning eating while he was in Babaloynian court. By demonstrating his devotion to God, Daniel showed both the Babaloynians and his Lord that he valued faith over his own nutritional needs. Teach children about Daniel fasting in the Bible with a craft that centers around the lessons learned in this biblical story.
In the Old Testament, the book of Daniel tells the story of the prophet's fast. Located in Daniel 1:1-21, the scriptures detail how Daniel and followers refused to eat the food ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar and chose to fast for 21 days. During this time, Daniel and the men ate only vegetables in an effort to keep God's word about clean versus unclean food. After fasting in this way, Daniel and his followers were much healthier than those who were eating King Nebuchadnezzar's chosen cuisine. Upon witnessing the power of God to keep Daniel and the men healthy while fasting, the king switched his desired cuisine to Daniel's.
Before beginning the construction of the craft project, lead kids in a discussion of the story's morals. Talk about Daniel's choices to hold steadfast to God's virtues versus giving in to King Nebuchadnezzar's demands. Ask the kids to discuss instances in their own lives where they have not given in when faced with peer pressure to do wrong, and tie these examples back to Daniel and the need for Christians to follow God's word, even if it is the more difficult choice.
Instruct each child to use construction paper to cut out a basket and fill it with cutout fruit and vegetables. Depending upon the age of the kids, you can either provide them with templates to trace and cut, or allow them to make their own on colored construction paper. The kids can use glue to attach the basket to a piece of tagboard. As they complete the fruits and vegetables, they can glue them in the basket and fit them accordingly. Note that the kids should not overlap the fruit and vegetables too much as they will be writing their values on the food. The fruit and vegetable basket symbolizes what Daniel and his men lived off of for three weeks while fasting.
Adding Children's Values
Ask the kids to write values that are important to them on each piece of fruit in their basket. Remind them how Daniel showed incredible strength, integrity and faith during the fast. When the children are finished writing their values on each piece of fruit, ask each kid to take a moment to tell everyone what his fruit basket means to him and how he wants to apply these values to his daily life.
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