Paul and Silas in Jail: Three Activities for Preschool Families

Jesus promised us that in this world we will have trouble. That is no surprise to most of us, but we often find it difficult to praise God in the midst of our troubles. What troubles are you facing this week? Be encouraged by the example of Paul and Silas in jail as you do these activities with your kids this week.

HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…

This week your child learned that God wants us to praise Him in all circumstances. Paul and Silas rescued a girl who had been tormented by an evil spirit. There were men who were not happy that Paul and Silas helped her because they had been making money from her. They had Paul and Silas beaten and thrown in jail. In jail, Paul and Silas began singing praise songs as the other prisoners and the jailer listened. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the walls of the prison and the doors opened. The jailer was terrified because he thought all his prisoners had escaped and he would be in terrible trouble, but Paul and Silas had not tried to escape. They demonstrated love to the jailer by staying there. The jailer asked them what he could do to believe in Jesus. He and his family became Christians and were baptized and Paul and Silas were set free. (Acts 16:16-36)

Teaching Truths:

  1. We can praise God even when we are having trouble.
  2. We can trust God no matter what happens.

Memory Verse:

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever." Psalm 107:1 (NIV)

Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!

3 Activities that remind us that we can trust God no matter what happens:

1. Jail Snack

During snack time let your child have a frosted cupcake. Grab some gummy bears or teddy grahams and one fruit roll-up cut into thin strips. Let your child press the gummy bears into the frosting and use the fruit roll-up strips to create prison bars over them. Tell the story of Paul and Silas and when the earthquake comes let your child break the “prison bars”. When the story is over, let your child eat his special treat and ask him these questions about the story.

1. Why did Paul and Silas go to jail?
2. What did they do in jail?
3. How did the chains fall off the prisoners?
4. Did Paul and Silas trust Jesus?
5. After they were free what did the guard do?

2. Laundry Basket Jail

Help your child act out the story of Paul and Silas. Grab a couple of sheets of construction paper and cut them into strips. Help your child make paper link “chains” out of the strips. Have your child put the chains on their hands and feet. Next, use a laundry basket turned upside down as the jail and have your child crawl inside. Talk with your child about how Paul and Silas where frustrated and afraid, but that they chose to praise God anyway. Sing a praise song with your child and then reenact the earthquake and turn the laundry basket over. Talk about how Paul and Silas’ decision not to run away and that because of that decision, they were able to tell the guard about Jesus.

    3. Shaker

    Paul and Silas continued to praise God and sing even during their trails. Help your child make a homemade instrument to use during his singing. Put a handful of dry beans in a small plastic container. Tape around the top so the lid doesn’t come off while he uses it. Sing praise songs with your child and let him shake his new instrument.


    Thank you, God for making us perfectly. Help us to praise you in all things so that our lives may be an example to others of your love for us.

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