Children's Activities on the Parable of the Rich Fool

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Jesus' parable of the rich fool is told in Luke 12:16-21. Jesus recounts the tale of a rich man who wonders what to do with his abundant crops. He decides to build larger buildings to hold his bounty, but does not realize that he will die that very night. The parable is a classic warning against greed, encouraging us to look after our souls as well as our physical possessions.

1 What Lasts?

A key lesson in the parable is that our material possessions will not last eternally. Brainstorm with your children a list of their favorite things and write these items on paper. Then, discuss which of these things will last into eternity. Discuss with your children that physical things will not remain, but qualities such as love and hope will.

2 Making Silos

The rich fool planned to build larger barns and silos to hold his bounty. Help your children make silos from toilet paper tubes. You can either paint the tubes or cover them with construction paper. Then, help your children to write blessings on small pieces of paper. Fill their silos with these blessings (rather than with "things").

3 Sharing vs. Hoarding

Discuss with your children the rich fool's actions. Was it wrong that he had many crops and a good harvest? (No.) What action might he have taken instead of building more barns to hold his bounty? (He might have shared his crops with others.) Can your children apply this lesson to their own lives? (Perhaps with sharing vs. hoarding candy or toys.)

4 Giving vs. Taking

Fill a jar with pennies, then instruct your children to sit in a circle. For the first activity, give each child a handful of pennies and tell them they have one minute to try to pick up as many additional pennies as they can, or take some from their siblings (all pennies must be in their hands at all times). The child with the most pennies wins. For the second activity, your children must give away as many of their pennies as they can in a minute. The child with the fewest pennies wins. After participating in both activities, discuss with your children: Which activity did they prefer? How could this activity relate to their life and the things they do? What could the pennies represent? What would Jesus like us to do?

After teaching for 8 years, Susan Braun has been doing freelance writing since 1999. Her writing has been seen in "Parents," "Children's Ministry,", Associated Content and Braun has a Bachelor of Arts in retail from Indiana University and an Master of Science in education from University of Alabama.