Three Activities for Preschool Families: Twelve Spies

Do you remember the things you were afraid of as a child? What was it for you? The dark? Monsters under the bed? Parents not being in the same room with you? Looking back, it is fun to laugh at the ridiculousness of the things that we were afraid of then. But in those moments, our terror could not have been more real.

Twelve Israelites spied out the Promised Land and all returned in fear. Ten returned fearing giants and fortified cities. Two chose the fear of the Lord, remembering that He would be with them wherever they went! Use this week’s Bible story to assure your family that our God is powerful and He can be trusted no matter what!

HIGHLIGHTS from the Weekend…

Last week we learned how God saved the Israelites from Pharaoh and the Egyptians by parting the waters of the Red Sea. God led them to the edge of Canaan, the Promised Land. The Lord told Moses to send 12 spies into the land to explore and see if the land was good or bad, if the people were strong, weak, many or few, how the soil was and if the crops were good. Moses chose 12 men, one from each tribe. Among the 12 were Caleb and Joshua. The spies entered the land and explored it for 40 days. Upon returning to the Israelites, they reported that the land was flowing with milk and honey, the fruit was large and plentiful but the people were powerful and the cities large and fortified. Most of the spies said there was no way they could conquer the land, but Caleb and Joshua disagreed. They reminded the Israelites that the Lord would fight the battle, but the people would not listen. Because of this, the Lord told them they would not enter the Promised Land. Instead, everyone 20 years or older would die in the desert where they would wander for another 40 years. Only their children and children’s children would enjoy the land flowing with milk and honey. (Numbers 13-14)

Teaching Truth:

  1. We can trust God no matter what happens.

Memory Verses

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

3 Activities that Help Us Learn That We Can Trust God No Matter What Happens:

1. Make Binoculars

Assist your child to make binoculars using toilet paper rolls. Tape them together and then allow your child to decorate them. You may even want to tape a piece of yarn on them, so they can hang them around their neck. Help your child act out the story. They can pretend they are one of the spies. Ask them about what they see (a land flowing with milk and honey, giant grapes, very large people and cites.) Ask them what they should do? (Follow Joshua and Caleb’s example: Trust God no matter what happens.) You will need to guide them using the story.

2. I Spy

Play a game of “I-SPY” with your child. If your child is older, you can even go to the library or use a book you have at home regarding searching something out, such as “I-SPY” books or “Where Is Waldo?” books. After playing the game or searching in the book, ask your child what types of things they found. Remind them that Moses sent 12 spies into the Promised Land.

Ask them if they can remember what the spies found. You could even draw pictures of the different things the spies found as you talk about it. Talk about how the spies, except Joshua and Caleb, were all afraid and did not trust God to protect them. Most of the Israelites believed the spies and became very afraid. Because they did not trust that God was all powerful and could bring them into the Promised Land, the Israelites had to stay in the desert for 40 more years!

3. Hidden Spies

Grab 12 popsicle sticks and help your child draw a simple face on each one and number them 1-12. Hide the popsicle sticks around the room and let your child find them. Once all 12 popsicle sticks are found, separate two from the group. Talk about how these 10 spies were scared, but two spies, Joshua and Caleb, trusted God.


Lord, thank you for how you love us. Thank you that we can trust you no matter what happens and do not have to live our lives in fear, anxiety, or sadness. Help us to find our joy and confidence in you. Amen.

Image via Unsplash

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