Palm Sunday is a great Sunday School lesson to teach each year because it’s all about celebrating! It’s a lesson that has so many fun ideas to help kids learn about worshiping Jesus, just as the people did on his entrance into Jerusalem centuries ago. We’ve put together a Sunday School lesson plan for your Palm Sunday class to make this special Sunday a little easier for you! There is a main point, games, snacks, dress up, a memory verse and motions to help with memorizing, a take-home activity, and object lessons.
If you’d like more ideas, check out this Sunday School Lesson for Palm Sunday.
MATTHEW 21:1-11, MARK 11:1-11, LUKE 19:28-44, JOHN 12:12-19
We should praise Jesus just like the people did on Palm Sunday because He truly is the Son of God
The people in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday who were so excited for Jesus’ arrival were praising Him! Do you know what praise means? It means to treat someone VERY special! Jesus was very special, and we can praise Him too just as the people did on Palm Sunday in our story! We can praise Him by praying every day, we can sing praise songs, we can draw special pictures or write special things about Him, we can also be nice and show love to others, that is praising Jesus too!
Pin Jesus on the Donkey’s Back
Supplies Needed: Large donkey photo or poster (donkey standing sideways), blindfold, and Jesus cutouts for the number of kids you have.
Just like pin the tail on the donkey, but instead it’s pin Jesus on the donkey’s back! Have a large picture of a donkey standing sideways so that you can see it’s back. Then blindfold the child whose turn it is and give them a cutout of a Jesus looking character with a piece of tape on the back and give them a spin with a blindfold and have them walk to try to put Jesus on the donkey’s back.
Palm Sunday Relay Race
Supplies Needed: A horse on a stick (used for a kid playing Jesus to hold while they walk), a coat/cloak, and 4 green papers or palm branches for each team (or 1 set of supplies and a stopwatch if you want to make this a timed challenge for multiple teams who share the same supplies).
Split the kids up into multiple groups, with one person as Jesus holding the “donkey” or horse, 2 or more others to put down palm trees, and one to put down a coat. Jesus cannot move unless he has something to step on, so once he has stepped on their piece, they need quickly grab it from behind him and put it back in front of him. The team to make it to the other end of the room in the quickest time wins!
Do all of you know what this is? It’s a rock right! Now I have another question for you, do you think my rock would cry? Have you ever seen a rock cry? No, no one has the right. Because in our world, today, rocks don’t do anything.
I have something really cool to tell you! There was a time when Jesus says in the Bible, “the stones will cry out…” Can you imagine this rock crying? I sure can’t! If you were to listen to a rock crying what do you think it would sound like?
Let’s look at what Jesus said here in the Bible in Luke 19:40. Now I want to tell you what was going on, Jesus had arrived on the donkey in Jerusalem, everyone was shouting with excitement, and some of the Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to make everyone quiet, and this is what Jesus said, Luke 19:40 “I tell you”, He replied, “If they keep quiet the stones will cry out.”
The stones will cry out?! Can you imagine?! The Pharisees didn’t like Jesus and what He was doing. So they wanted everyone to stop praising Jesus! Jesus was just telling them look guys, if they are quiet then the Earth is going to start shouting instead. Jesus was special and they knew that, and so do we boys and girls! So that is why we praise Him today, just like the people in Jerusalem did, because of what He did for us on the cross. We also praise Him because He takes care of us and is with us even today!
The Legend of the Cross on the Donkey’s Back
Do you know what a legend is? Well if you don’t know, a legend is a story, that sounds so amazing that it must be true, but no one knows it’s just a…. legend! I have a cool legend for you today! So, in our Bible story today Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey! Well, I have for you a picture of a real-life donkey, now….what is on the donkey’s back? A cross! Right!
Now after Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey’s back, he died on a…. cross! That’s right! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Was that cross there before or after Jesus died? We don’t know because the Bible doesn’t tell us and ever since we’ve known about donkeys, they have had a cross on their backs!
Now the legend says, not the Bible but the legend, says that the cross on the donkey’s back is a gift that the Lord gave to the humble donkey that carried Jesus into Jerusalem. According to the legend the donkey so loved his Master, Jesus that he followed him all the way to the cross, and the donkey was so sad to see Jesus dying on the cross that he turned away and couldn’t look at Jesus on the cross but stayed close. The legend says that he stayed there so long that the cross was permanently placed on the donkeys back!
Now that legend is pretty special, but it is just a legend. The Bible only tells us that the donkey brought Jesus into Jerusalem it doesn’t say that the donkey followed him to the cross. It is pretty amazing though to look at this awesome animal of God’s creation today and to see of all things A CROSS on its back where Jesus would have ridden. I like to think that because God knows all things past, present, and future, that He created the donkey with a cross on its back from the very beginning because God knew that one day a donkey would carry Jesus into Jerusalem.
If you are up for going big and celebrating Palm Sunday with a bang! You could do Palm Sundaes! Serve different flavors of ice cream and have all the fun toppings: chocolate syrup, caramel, bananas, cherries, strawberries, chocolate chips, whip cream, etc.
Cross Rice Krispy Treats
Make Rice Krispy Treats but in the shape of a cross. It might not be “Easter” yet, but Palm Sunday is the Sunday leading up to Easter so having a cross snack and possibly discussing what happened to Jesus on Easter is a great preview of what you will be celebrating the next week.
The Bible says that the disciples placed their cloaks on the colt for Jesus to sit on. Cloaks during this time were basically a square piece of material without armholes. So take a square piece of fabric and drape it over your shoulders and you are wearing a cloak. You could even have a “cloak” for each of the kids.
Prop: Tree Branches
The prop of tree/palm branches in this story are just as important as the dress up! Palm branches are ideal, being that it is Palm Sunday, but, to kids who have a great imagination, any tree branches or pieces of green construction paper cut in the shape of a palm branch will do!
They took palm branches– Hold arm out as if waving a branch
and went out – hands in front of you palms up
to meet Him – point up with 1 finger
shouting – both hands beside your mouth like a bullhorn
Hosanna – wave both hands above head
Blessed is he – both hands over heart
who comes -beckon someone towards you with both hands
in the name of the Lord – point to the sky with both hands
Words of Praise
Send home a sheet called “Words of Praise”. At the top of the sheet point out that Palm Sunday is celebrating the honor of Jesus as King and that that is what kids learned in the Bible story today. Let them know that today they learned about what it means to praise Jesus! Below are some words of praise, circle the words that your kids know, and discuss the words they don’t know and what they mean.
Examples of Words of Praise: blessed, praised, honored, glorified, adored, mighty, awesome, powerful, loving, loved, amazing, hallelujah, wonderful, etc.