Fishes & Loaves Bible Activity for Children

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The miracle of the five loaves and two fish--also referred to as "the feeding of the 5,000" -- is a story told in Matthew 14:13–21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15. A boy shared his small lunch of five little loaves of bread and two small fish. Jesus broke the bread, giving thanks and prayer, and his disciples passed out the food to a hungry crowd. Once all 5,000 were satisfied, there were still 12 baskets of food left over. Teach children about this miracle with crafts and games.

1 Games

Play a fish and loaves relay game. Place a basket of fish-shaped crackers ("fish") and pretzel sticks ("loaves") in the center of the room. Divide children into two teams, and provide each team with a basket and spoon. A player on each team must race to the basket, pick up a spoonful of crackers, then race back to their team and dump the crackers in the team's basket before handing the spoon to the next player. The race continues until the central basket is empty. The team with the most crackers in the team basket is the winner. Make fish and loaf shapes from card stock and attach paper clips to each shape. Give children fishing poles that have magnets on the end. The first child to "catch" five loaves and two fish is the winner.

2 Crafts

Make a simple fish and loaves necklace or bracelet, using string, card stock fish shapes, and dry macaroni to represent the loaves. Have children decorate the fish and pasta. Hole punch the fish, then tell the children to thread the pasta and fish on the string before tying it. Make a simple mobile by cutting card stock into a basket shape, and taping lengths of string to the "basket." Have children draw and cut out fish, loaves and a crowd of people, then tape them to the ends of the string. Hang the mobile to display.

3 Edibles

Make bread by preparing dough ahead of time. Have children shape the dough into loaves before baking the bread. Make fish and loaves cookie baskets. Bake sugar cookies in a muffin pan in advance, so that the cookies are formed in a basket shape. Mix brown and blue food coloring (separately) with marzipan. Give each child a cookie basket and some of the marzipan in each color. Have the children make five small loaf shapes from the brown marzipan and two fish shapes with the blue marzipan. Then stick the marzipan shapes to the cookie basket with frosting.

4 Coloring, Mazes and Word Searches

Provide coloring pages, mazes, crosswords, puzzles and word searches for children to color and complete. An example of a maze might include guiding Jesus and the disciples along the correct path to reach the crowd of people. Create your own word searches and mazes, or use templates available on the Internet.

For more than a decade, Tia Benjamin has been writing organizational policies, procedures and management training programs. A C-level executive, she has more than 15 years experience in human resources and management. Benjamin obtained a Bachelor of Science in social psychology from the University of Kent, England, as well as a Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University.