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Jonah and the Whale

The Bible is full of meaningful stories, and if you are planning vacation bible school activities, you should definitely consider vbs crafts as a way to illustrate Bible stories and help the kids understand and remember them.

The story of Jonah and the whale has two memorable elements that can be illustrated with craft activities: the ship in the storm and of course the whale.

The story of Jonah

Jonah was a prophet in Israel, a long time ago. God asked him to go to the city of Nineveh to tell the people there to lead better lives. But Jonah didn’t want to go there because the people there were enemies of Israel. So he boarded a ship and sailed in the opposite direction.

A big storm came and Jonah’s ship was in great danger. All the people on the ship got together and decided that it was Jonah’s fault, since he had disobeyed God.

So in order to save the ship, Jonah jumped overboard and immediately the storm ceased and the sea became calm. But God had mercy on Jonah and didn’t let him drown. Instead, He caused a big whale to swallow Jonah.


For three days and three nights, Jonah was in the belly of the whale. All this time, Jonah was very afraid and prayed God for forgiveness. On the fourth day, the whale spit him out and Jonah landed on the beach.

He felt ashamed of what he had done and decided to go to Nineveh as God had asked him to. There he told the people what had happened to him, and that God would destroy their city in fourty days if they would not stop doing bad things. The people listened to him and decided to become better and to obey God.

When God saw that, he decided to spare the city of Nineveh and not destroy it. That made Jonathan angry because after all, these people were Israel’s enemies, and he would have liked to see Nineveh destroyed. God explained to him that He loves all human beings and that He doesn’t want to destroy them when they are trying to be good.

VBS craft activities

Did you know that you can make a ship, including the sails, from paper plates and some cardboard? This is a beautiful project that will certainly make the story come alive. You’ll find the instructions and patterns here.


You can make a whale with little more than one sheet of Bristol paper per child. The kids will love this project because they can actually put their head inside the whale! This project is explained in this free video.

 free printable pattern

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