Twelve Spies: Three Activities for Preschool Families

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 Sunday…

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 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. They said there was no way they could conquer the land. 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 owing with milk and honey. (Numbers 13-14)

Teaching Truths:

1. We can trust God no matter what happens.
2. God is all powerful.

Memory Verse:

"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 (NASB)

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

3 Activities that remind us that God is all powerful:

1. 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.

TALK it out...

  • 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 were all afraid and did not trust God to protect them, besides Joshua and Caleb. All 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!

2. Cluster of Grapes

Give your child grapes as a snack. Discuss how the twelve spies saw grapes so big that it took two men to carry a single cluster of them. (See Numbers 13:23-24) As your child is eating, help them use their imaginations and draw a picture of how big they think those grapes must have been if it took two men to carry JUST ONE cluster of them!

3. 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 cities.) Ask them what they should do? (Follow Joshua and Caleb’s example: Trust God to protect us and fight for us.) You will need to guide them using the story!


God, you are all powerful and knowing. Help us trust you no matter what. You are always good. We love You. Amen.

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