Zacchaeus Game Ideas


Preteen Sunday School Lesson: Jesus and Zacchaeus Setting. For this Bible lesson about Zacchaeus, from brown posterboard, cut out a 3-foot-tall tree trunk. Use a marker to draw vertical lines of bark. Tape the trunk to the wall. Then tape inflated green balloons to the top of the tree for leaves. Sit at the foot of the sycamore tree during the. The children will play a game based on cheating. The class will discuss real-life cheating in relation to Zacchaeus, and relate the story to the concepts above. Procedure: Welcome and Introductions: 1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. The games link with the themes; Vision, hiding, and sharing Hide and seek – Traditionally it’s one of those games everyone knows, and if you have the space it’s great to play. I’d make sure you have a signal to say the game has ended. It ties in to the idea of Zacchaeus being hidden in the tree.

The Short Man In A Tree (Luke 19:1-10)
GamesPreparation: Have the children stand an arm’s length from each other, if possible. Explain they are to move about in their own personal space and make any motions which fit the action of the story as they listen to it being told.
Story: Zacchaeus was sitting at his tax collector’s table counting money when he heard people around him say, “Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming here to Jericho.”
Zacchaeus pushed back his chair and jumped up! He wanted to see Jesus.
He started running in the direction the people were pointing. He ran and ran and ran until he came to a crowd of people. Zacchaeus was a short man and he could not see over the heads of the people in front of him.
So he stood on his tiptoes. He still could not see.
He stretched his neck up as high as he could while standing on his tiptoes. He still could not see Jesus.
Zacchaeus shrugged his shoulders and thought to himself: “What am I going to do? The people in front of me are bigger and taller than I am and I REALLY, REALLY want to see Jesus.”
Then -- over the heads of the people he saw a sycamore-fig tree. He didn’t take his eyes off that tree as he made his way around the crowd. He climbed up on a branch, sat down and waited for Jesus to come by.
When Jesus arrived at the tree, He looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down. I want to be a guest in your home today.”
Zacchaeus’ eyes got big! Jesus was talking to HIM!
Zacchaeus scrambled out of the tree. He skinned his knee getting down but he didn’t care. He was so happy Jesus wanted to go to his home! Zacchaeus could not stop smiling.
Zacchaeus’ life changed that day. Before he met Jesus, Zacchaeus was one of the biggest sinners in town. He took more money from the people than he should have. He ended up being rich because he cheated others.
Zacchaeus looked at Jesus and said: “I will give half of my wealth to the poor. I will also give back four times as much to those I have cheated.”
Jesus smiled at Zacchaeus and said, “You have been saved today. I have come to seek and save people who are lost.”
SONG: “Zacchaeus” (ABC’s of Praise album by Mary Rice Hopkins)
BIBLE VERSE: “The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10, NLT). Explain that “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for Himself.
Explain that you are the leader and everyone is to follow what you do. Walk to a corner of the room and say the verse together. Walk to another area of the room, sit on the floor and quote the verse together. If possible, go out in the hallway and other areas. At each new location, say the verse. Continue as time allows.
MAKE ‘N TAKE CREATIVE ACTIVITY: Zacchaeus In Sycamore Tree
Materials Needed for Each Child: Two pieces white cover stock paper, scissors, crayons, washable markers.
Activity: The children fold one sheet of the paper in half the long way, cut out a tree, and then color it. On the other sheet of paper they can draw and cut out Zacchaeus. He will need a slit between his legs so he will be able to sit in the tree. Encourage the boys and girls to take their project home and re-tell the Bible story to their families.

Zacchaeus Game Ideas For Kids

SNACK: Sycamore Tree
Needed for Each Child: Graham crackers broken into 1“ x 2 ½” pieces , white icing, green fruit loops, plastic knife, one sheet construction paper.
Activity: The children create trees from the graham crackers on a piece of construction paper. Icing is spread on the crackers and then green fruit loops placed to make leaves.

How to Make Zacchaeus Bible Crafts and Activities for Sunday School

The following crafts and activities come from the Bible lesson 'Jesus Knows My Name' a lesson about Zacchaeus meeting Jesus on The Resource Room. This lesson is available to members and as an instant digital download.


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Children lift the flaps to find Zacchaeus and other interesting creatures hiding in the tree.

This activity sheet contains two pictures, one of the tree and flaps and the other of the things hiding in the tree.

The flaps are cut so they can open and then the tree picture is glued over the creature picture. Children color the picture and then open the flaps to reveal what is hiding in the tree.


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Zacchaeus in a Tree Coloring Sheet

In this lesson children learn that they are special to God. He knows their name and even knew them before they were born.

Excerpts from the lesson:

'Zacchaeus could hardly believe his ears. Jesus knew his name! He not only knew his name, but he spoke his name the way it was intended to sound. Jesus spoke to him like he was important, like he was pure and innocent and righteous. Jesus saw Zacchaeus the way he was supposed to be. . .

Jesus knew Zacchaeus before he every met him. He knew what Zacchaeus needed, and he knows your name and what you need.

He cares about you. The Bible says that God knew you before you were ever born. He loves you and made you special. He has a plan for your life. He wants to come live with you. He is calling your name. All you have to do is invite him in.

It says in John 14:23, 'Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.'

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Zacchaeus In a Tree Bible Craft for Children's Ministry


What you will need:


Green Construction Paper

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Kid's Scissors

What to do:

1. Before class print out the Zacchaeus pattern and cut leaf shapes from green construction paper.

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2. In class have your children draw a tree or help your children trace their hands and arms on a piece of paper to make a tree shape.

3. Have them color the 'tree' and then glue on construction paper leaves.

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4. Make grass by cutting slits in strips of green paper and glue them to the bottom of the page.

5. To finish have your children color the picture of Zacchaeus and glue him in the tree.

Zacchaeus Craft - Jesus Knows My Name Name Plate or Sign

Fold a piece of card stock in half. Write 'Jesus Knows My Name' on a folded edge of the paper. Have your children use letter stickers or markers to spell out their name and then decorate the name plates with other stickers.

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Zacchaeus 'Find Your Friend' Bible Game for Sunday School

Write each child's name on a half piece of card stock. Write them in front of the class so that everyone can see you write them. Say each letter out loud as you write them. When you have written each name mix up the cards and hand one out to each child. Tell the children that they need to find the friend whose name is on the card and give them their card. When a child has found his friend and has been given his card he should sit down. Tell the children that you will be timing them so they need to hurry. Do it a second time to see if they can beat their time.

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'Where's Zacchaeus?' Bible Verse Review Game for Sunday School

1. Before class draw a picture of a large tree on bulletin board paper. (You can buy a bulletin board tree from - Big Tree with Animals.)

2. Print out the Zacchaeus and leaf pattern. Use the leaf pattern as a template to cut leaf shapes from green paper.

The patterns for this game are also available to members with the complete lesson

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3. Color the Zacchaeus picture and tape it to the bulletin board. Cover the picture with a leaf.

4. Tape the rest of the leaves on the tree. Write one word of the Bible verse on separate pieces of sticky notepaper and hide them under the leaves.

To Play:

1. Tell your children that Jesus knew exactly where Zacchaeus was all the time and he knew his name, but we don't know where Zacchaeus is. He is hidden behind one of the leaves on the tree.

2. The children will take turns turning over the leaves one at a time to try and find Zacchaeus. If they pick one of the leaves with a word, they get to help figure out what the Bible verse says. Stick the word papers up on the wall as the children find them. Have the children that find the word papers try to place them in order. If you have very young children, just place them in the correct order the read the words displayed each time a child finds a new word paper. The child who finds Zacchaeus wins. If you haven't found all the words before Zacchaeus has been found, you can hide him again under a different leaf and keep playing.

Pin Zacchaeus in a Tree Game

1. Before class draw and paint a tree with lots of branches (Draw one or two branches that would be good for Zacchaeus to sit on) onto butcher paper, approximately 4' x 4' and then tape the tree on the wall.

Zacchaeus Games For Elementary

2. Print out the Zacchaeus picture, cover it with contact paper, front and back, and then cut him out.

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3. Have the children color and cut out pictures of leaves to tape onto the tree. After reading the story about Zacchaeus, have the children play a 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey' like game.

4. Have them take turns trying to tape Zacchaeus to the branch. There doesn't have to be a winner. The children will enjoy just seeing how close they can get Zacchaeus to the branch. As an alternative to taping on leaves, cut leaf shapes from sponges and have the children sponge paint leaves onto the tree.

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Game Ideas For Scratch

'What Do You See?' Zacchaeus Game for Sunday School

Have your children stand in a circle and place a low stepping stole in the middle of the circle. Pick one child to stand on the stole and pretend to be Zacchaeus. Have the other children hold hands and walk around in a circle repeating this rhyme:

As the people were waiting patiently,
Zacchaeus climbed up in a great big tree.
They said,
'Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus, what do you see,
way up there in the Sycamore Tree?'

'Zacchaeus' then holds one hand up over his eyes and says something he sees. Keep playing until all the children have had a chance to be Zacchaeus.

If you have older children have them repeat everything the previous children have said and then tell what he sees.

Zacchaeus Game Ideas

Or you can have Zacchaeus repeat this rhyme:

I can see everything from up in this tree,
and I can see Jesus pointing at me.

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1. I Am Special
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques)

I am special (Point to yourself)
I am special. Don't you see? (Make binoculars with your fingers)
Don't you see? Someone very special (Put hands out to the side, palms up)
Someone very special,
'cause God (Point to heaven) made me (Point to yourself)
God made me!

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2. There is No One Just Like Me
(Sung to 'Here comes Peter Cottontail')

There is no one just like me
Look around and you will see
There is no one
Like me to be found

Some are short and some are tall
Some are big and some are small
I am very special Cause I'm me!

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3. Zacchaeus Was A Wee Little Man

Zacchaeus was a wee little man. A wee little man was he.
He climbed up in the sycamore tree, the Savior for to see.

And when the Savior passed that way, he looked up in the tree,
And he said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down from there;
For I'm going to your house today, for I'm going to your house today.'

And Zacchaeus came down from that tree, and he said,
'What a better man I'll be. I'll give my money to the poor.
What a better man I'll be. What a better man I'll be.'

Elizabeth shared this on our bulletin board:

'Our preschool & kindergarten children always like singing this with actions, crouching down for 'wee', pretending to climb up the tree. We put our hands over our eyebrows for 'the Lord he wanted to see'. And we sing at the end, 'and the Lord said, 'Zacchaeus, you come down from there cuz I'm going to your house for tea', to this we point up in the tree for each syllable and then pretend to hold a saucer in the palm of one hand, and a tea cup in the other, and make loud slurping noises!!

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Also see Zacchaeus Bible Lesson for Older Children