The Daniel and the Lion’s Den story is very familiar to kids. So the challenge for a teacher is to keep the story fresh and interesting.
Of course we don’t want make up our fun facts to insert in the Daniel and the Lions Den story…we have to stick to God’s Word! That’s a non-negotiable.
But with that in mind…here’s a fun approach I took to telling the story that keep’s even the Sunday School regulars interested.
Daniel and the Lion’s Den Opening Activity:
Choose one kid to be the “lion” and another kid to be “Daniel”.
Have the rest of the kids form a circle by holding hands with each other. Daniel should be inside the circle and the lion outside.
The goal of the game is for the Lion to tag Daniel
The lion can reach between kids to touch Daniel or she can try to break through the circle to reach Daniel. If the lion breaks into the circle Daniel can go outside to save himself.
The kids try to keep the lion out by moving their arms up and down, while still allowing Daniel to move in and out of the circle as needed.
Daniel and the Lion’s Den Complete Lesson Script:
(this lesson is the last of 6-part series from my curriculum materials…so the first part references that the kid’s have learned previously)
You’ll need one stuffed animal and a bag of candy for this story
Okay, so last week, our lesson was about someone that wrote on the walls… God, right? God wrote on the walls, and warned the people that the kingdom was going to be sieged, and then it WAS! Daniel was the one to interpret it, and it wasn’t even a day later that Babylon was under the control of a new man, King Darius.
King Darius decided he was going to completely redo the way Babylon was run. He moved the government around, and selected three people to serve as the bosses. These people oversaw everything, and they worked together to do it. One of them was Daniel.
Now, we already learned that Daniel was pretty smart, right? When he ate the right foods, the Bible said that Neb gave him control over everything because he was so much smarter than the other guys. Then, he had a good track record of being successful, so his reputation was probably pretty good at that point.
Well, when Daniel went into his new job, King Darius quickly found that Daniel was just as his reputation said he was… super smart, and super successful. So he promoted Daniel to be one of the bosses of all the other bosses. Now, Daniel was over the other two guys that he had just recently been on the same level with.
So let’s stop and think for a moment… How would you feel if you were Daniel in this scenario?
How would you feel if you were one of those other bosses?
If you think you would feel jealous that Daniel got promoted over you, you’re probably right. After all, you’d worked hard for your position, and all of those guys probably wanted to have more power too, you know?
Well, they did. They were mad. They went up to one another and started venting. Then they vented to their other employees. All over the kingdom, there was talk about how mad these guys were! And they were so mad, they devised a plan…
A really, really evil plan. The kind of plan that usually accompanies an evil cackle. (Laugh “evily”). Now, you try an evil laugh.
…the kind of plan that usually accompanies an evil cackle
I need one of you to come up here and play King Darius, do I have any takers? (pick a student).
Okay, so here’s what you need to know about King Darius. He’s gullible. He’s really, really gullible. So you can tell him pretty much anything, and he’ll believe you… and you can give him advice, and most likely, he’ll take it.
So the men walk up to Darius. They smile sweetly at him. They said, “Oh, King! You’re such a great king! You’re the best king! Wow, there are no kings like you… You’re just incredible! Man, what an awesome King you are!”
And Darius just smiled like a fool, because really, that’s what he kind of was.
And the guys went on, “You know, King D, we all got together, and we decided that there should be a rule in this kingdom. A rule that everyone must pray only to you and nobody else… After all, you’re the King! For punishment we were thinking you could… oh, I don’t know… throw anyone who disobeys in with the lions. That seems fitting.”
“Okay!” King Darius said, and a law went out that people could only pray to him, and not to anybody else or any other God.
Well, remember when I told you Daniel had a reputation?
These guys all knew Daniel’s reputation. They knew about when he wouldn’t eat foods because his God wouldn’t allow it. They knew about how he could interpret dreams—with the help of his God. They knew about how his God had saved his friends from the fiery furnace after they refused to bow down to a statue. They knew about how his God had helped him interpret Neb’s dream about going a little crazy.
And most recently, they knew Daniel’s God had helped him interpret the writing on the wall. They had good reason to believe that Daniel, who had been faithful to his God for over 70 years now, would continue to be faithful.
Darius was the new guy. He hadn’t had the privilege of knowing all about Daniel’s faith, or how he would refuse to obey the new law. The other bosses had completely duped King Darius, and now, all they had to do was wait.
So they conspired to catch Daniel in the act.
They walked by his house knowing that every day he faithfully opened his windows and prayed to God. As soon as they saw him do this they ran as fast as they could to Darius. “Oh Kiiiiiiing,” they said sweetly. “Do you remember that law you signed saying that everyone had to pray to you or they’d be thrown to the lions?”
Darius nodded. “Oh of course!”
“Well, Daniel prays three times a day, and it’s not to you.”
Darius was upset. He knew the men had tried to trick him, now. He liked Daniel, a lot, and he really didn’t want Daniel to have to be thrown into the lion’s den. All day long he tried to work out a plan to save Daniel, but he couldn’t find one.
The men came back. “Oh, and just FYI, laws can’t be changed. That’s the law. Peace!”
The King caved in and he ordered Daniel to be brought to him. Daniel must have known what was coming… I mean, he knew he was breaking the law when he prayed to God. He must have known getting called into the King’s office was not going to be for a game of chess. Darius looked at him and said, “Your God, to whom you are so loyal, will save you.”
Now, I want to see all of you gather around in a circle. You’re going to be lions… Lions who are really, really hungry. I’m about to throw Daniel in your den (hold a stuffed animal in the air) and when it’s time, I want you to pounce on him, just like a lion would. Roar, too.
(Throw Daniel in the lion’s den, then as soon as it gets in there, yell STOP!!!!!!)
Those lions were starving, but God closed their mouths. They weren’t able to eat a thing. God protected Daniel
Meanwhile, Darius was back at his house, tossing and turning. He couldn’t eat a thing, he was so worried about Daniel. The next morning, he got up quickly and raced to where the lions were, and he called to him, “Daniel! Have you been saved?”
(Pick up the stuffed animal and talk like you are the stuffed animal) “Of course, King! My God closed the lion’s mouths so they wouldn’t hurt me! I’ve done nothing bad!”
When the King heard Daniel’s words, he was so happy. He ordered someone to help get Daniel out of there, and he realized Daniel didn’t have a single scratch on him! A lion hadn’t even clawed at him.
The King was happy Daniel was alive, but he was furious that the other men had tricked him into a plan that could have killed Daniel. So he commanded that they be thrown into the lion’s den. (Throw the candy into the middle of the lion’s circle). Those lions went and they ate them up like they were candy!
Darius issued a new decree that day. Do you know what it said? It said that everyone in the Kingdom should now pray to Daniel’s God, not any fake Gods. It said that Daniel’s God was a savior, a rescuer, and that he performs miracles.
We’ve noticed a bit of a theme here with Daniel, haven’t we? No matter what happens to Daniel, he ends up trusting God. He knows that God has a better plan for him than anyone else, and he trusts God. And when God tells him to do something, Daniel obeys.
In our lives, we are sometimes faced with times when it’s hard to trust God, or to obey him. Maybe we are having a really hard time in school, or there’s a bully on the playground, or our parents are fighting all the time. Maybe we are hungry, or are made fun of, or don’t feel like we have any friends.
Whatever is going on in our lives, though, we can trust God that He will take care of us. And when we trust God, we find it easier to obey Him, too.
Daniel and the Lion’s Den Group Game
Have students sit in a big circle. One student will sit in the middle of the circle, blindfolded. The leader will silently pick someone from the outside of the circle to crawl to the middle of the circle and roar in the ear of the person in the middle. They should try to disguise their roar. That person will return to his/her seat.
The person in the middle will try to guess who the lion that roared was. Give them one guess for every 8-10 people playing.
If they get it right, they’ll switch places with the person who roared. If not, they stay in the middle.Share this post: