Choose a child to be Jesus and let him pretend to be sleeping in the
back of the boat. Explain that the disciples were in a boat
and were being tossed around by a storm while Jesus was sleeping.
The children can pretend they are the storm by swaying their
bodies back and forth.
Then after a while, tell the children to call out, "Wake up Jesus!"
Upon hearing this, the child pretending to be Jesus should get up
and say to the wind and the waves, "Be Quiet! Be Still!"
At once all the children must stop swaying back and forth and be as
quiet as mice.
While they are quiet, hold up a pin and say, "You are so quiet that I
think we will hear this pin drop! Drop the pin and say, "Did
you hear that?" Finally explain that we don't need to fear
storms or be afraid of the darkness, because Jesus is always
watching over us.
Next time the chidren are rowdy, hold up a straight pin in the air and
say, "Let's see if you can hear this pin drop!" The children
will remember the story of Jesus calming the storm and will settle
down and wait for you to drop the pin.
If they quieten down, you can then say, "Thank you" and carry on with
the lesson or what you were doing. Repeat the exercise if
necessary until they are really quiet and paying attention again.
After several weeks, the children will respond and quieten down
whenever you hold up a pin!