As well as telling the story, we'll be making a welcome banner, singing 'Jesus' love is very wonderful', sharing food with our friends and putting together a jigsaw of a picture from the story. The main message we want to get across is that Jesus loves each one of the children and thinks they are important.
I found some craft sticks in the shape of people in my drawer (click here if you want to buy some like them!) and we're going to use them for a prayer idea.
Let each child decorate their stick to look like them and then write 'Jesus loves' and their name on the back. Collect all the sticks in. When you come to pray, put the sticks in a big heart shape made out of paper and placed on the floor. The leader says 'Jesus loves...' and picks up a stick. The child it belongs to shouts out their name and takes the stick. Continue until all the sticks have been claimed. Then all say together 'Thank you Jesus for loving me! Amen!' To carry on the message you could also play 'Jesus loves...' and describe someone in the room. Who can guess who it is? Get the children to take turns if they are able and make sure you don't leave anyone out!