Seventy Times Seven

How many times should I forgive? A delightful craft to show how often we should forgive one another.
by Nan Arnold

TOPICS:

Easter, Forgiveness, Kindness, Mercy

MATERIALS:

Paper plate for each child
Colorful Sharpie® markers
White film canisters (e.g. Fuji)
or plastic Easter eggs for each child 
White glue, bowl
Birdseed (see note)

DURATION:

Approximately 18 minutes

PREPARATION:

Note: Small round birdseed works best, because we are illustrating the number 490 (70 x 7). However, if you can only find mixed bird food, you can take out the large sunflower seeds or other large pieces. For an Easter theme, you can fill plastic Easter eggs with the birdseed instead of using film canisters.  

Before class, write 70 X 7 on the sides of the film canisters or eggs. (This represents the story in Matthew 18:21-35 about how many times should we forgive.) Then write, "Forgive as the Lord forgave you!" Colossians 3:13, on each paper plate. Put the birdseed into a bowl or container from which the children can scoop out the seed. For classes with children under 5 years old, or to save time, you can also glue 7 seeds to the lid of the film canisters or eggs. Complete one craft beforehand to use as an example during class time.
 

WHAT YOU WILL DO:

Have each child glue 7 seeds to the lid of their film canister or plastic eggs. Do this first to give the glue time to dry. Have the children draw happy pictures on their plates, or fill them in with pretty colors. This is to show how it feels to be forgiven and to forgive someone else. Then they will fill their container with the birdseed and put on the lid.

When finished, show the kids how many seeds are in each container by dumping them out onto your own paper plate. Explain to the kids how this represents how many times they are to forgive one sin. Are you to forgive someone only 7 times like the number of seeds on the lid? No! They are to forgive 70 times 7. Help the children understand that this means an endless number of times. Encourage them to share this truth with their families. They are not to dump out their seeds until they get home and they can only dump them out onto their paper plates.