In this lesson, we will continue exploring Jesus parables of lost things by focusing on the lost or prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.

Some of our key points are:

  • God is full of grace
  • Everyone needs salvation
  • We can always return to God

Lesson Guide – The Lost Son

Remind your children that this story is a parable that Jesus taught to teach us some important lessons.

Introduce the three main characters. It may help to print and cut out the pictures in this lesson or to select soft toys to represent the characters. Select one for the father and two others to represent the sons.

Share how the father loved his sons very much. Pick up the older brother and share how he was an excellent son. He obeyed the rules, worked hard, respected his father, and so on. Ask your child to name other good things for children to do.

Next, pick up the younger son. Explain that he was selfish and didn’t care about others. Ask your child to name some selfish things to do. Show how the younger son asked his father to give him half of everything he owned so he could do what he wanted and never have to see his family again. Think about how this made the father feel?

Move the younger son away from his family and read Luke 15:13. Explain how he took all the good things his father gave him and began to waste them. Speak about how we waste things. Share how he thought he could buy happiness. Ask your child what things they would buy to make them happy?

Share how soon after, the younger son spent all his money and did not have food to eat. He found a job feeding pigs. He was so hungry he wanted to eat the pig’s food. If you have time, place some kitchen scraps in a bowl and ask your children if they would like to eat them for lunch.

Read Luke 15:17. Share how “he came to his senses” and decided he would return to his father and say sorry. Here is a great time for you to share a testimony with your children. It could be your own or someone you know. Share when and how did you come to your senses and return to God?

Ask your child how they feel when they have to say sorry? Afraid they will be rejected? Embarrassed by what they did?

Read Luke 15:20-25. Move the characters around to show the son returning and the father running to meet him. Remind your children that Jesus is teaching us how God reacts when we return to Him. Share how God is all gracious and patient. We can always repent and turn to Him.

Reintroduce the older brother and ask which brother do you think Jesus wants us to copy? Read Luke 15:25-32 and share how he was jealous and thought he deserved more love.

Explain that the two brothers seem very different but had a lot in common. Both had a problem with sin and needed to say sorry to the father. Share how Jesus told this parable to show that everyone needs forgiveness. Even if we do good things on the outside, God cares about what we are like on the inside.

Pray together and thank God for His amazing grace.

Free Printable Bible Story

Games and Activities

Pig snorting

You will need at least three people to play this game, but the more people, the better. Choose one person to face the wall.

Behind them, one person should make the sound of a pig. The person facing the wall must guess who is making the noise.

Race back

Mark a starting line. Have your children slowly walk away from the line until you shout “Home.” They should race back as quickly as possible.

Remind them how God wants people to return to him quickly.

Board Game

In this week’s lesson, there is a page for a board game. Use small objects as markers. Roll dice and make your way through the prodigal son’s story and back to the father. Review the story as you play.


Free Bible Coloring Pages – The prodigal son

Welcome Home Sign Craft

What you need:

  • Ten Lollypop sticks (or use card and skip step 1)
  • Glue
  • Pens
  • Ribbon

What to do

  1. Glue lollypop sticks together to make a sign as shown in the picture. Allow to dry.
  2. Decorate your welcome home sign any way you want.
  3. Glue to tape on ribbon to hang.

Download the lesson for FREE


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