Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Exodus 1, 2:1-10

Story Summary

Joseph's family was called Israelites or Hebrews. (Remember, Jacob's 12 sons made up the different tribes of Israel.) They moved to Egypt during the famine after Joseph had saved food during the years of plenty. The Israelites had children and then their children had children. Soon there were a lot of Israelites living in Egypt.

A new king who was called Pharaoh came into power in Egypt.  He didn't like it that there were so many Israelites and he thought they would one day take over the land. So he decided to make all the Israelites slaves. They had to work very hard and were not treated well by the Egyptian people. But Pharaoh was still worried about how many Israelites there were.  The Israelites families were getting bigger so he decided to make a law to try and control the population.  If any boys were born to the Israelites he would have them killed.

At this time there was an Israelite couple who was expecting a baby.  When they had a baby boy (whose name would later be Moses) they decided to hide him, so he would not be killed. They hid Moses for three months, but as he got older it became harder to hide him.  So his mother coated a basket to keep Moses safe and dry and placed him in the basket. She placed the basket in some tall grass, or reeds, in the Nile river.

Baby Moses had a sister named Miriam, and she watched from a distance to see what would happen to her baby brother. Pharaoh's daughter had come to the river for a swim.  While she was swimming she noticed a basket floating in the river. She asked one of her servants to go get it.

Miriam had been watching, and she hurried over and asked, "Would you like me to go find an Israelite woman to feed the baby for you?" The Pharaoh's daughter agreed, so Miriam ran and told her mother that Pharaoh's daughter had found him and wanted someone to nurse him. When he was older, he went back to live in the palace with the Pharaoh's daughter. He was given the name Moses, which means "I drew him out of the water."

This entire story is one of faith and miracles.

  • Moses' mother had to have great faith that God would take care of Moses after she let him go into the river.
  • God caused the Pharaoh's daughter to have compassion on Moses so he would not be killed.

What You Will Need

A baby doll
A basket
A blanket
Snack Suggestion
make baskets (granola recipe) Put something in it to be moses

Video Options

Baby Moses

From Saddleback Kids Hey-O Series

Holy Moly - Baby Moses

From EncourageTV

God's People - Miriam

From Crossroads Kids Club

Resource Sheet

Baby Moses Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts the Pharaoh's daughter finding Baby Moses in the river


1. Warm Up get your kids talking and engaged

Have a baby doll, blanket, and a basket.
Show students a picture of a papyrus basket
Ask students if they think it would float in the water.

Explain that pitch is used to coat the basket to make it waterproof. This pitch was probably the sticky mud from the Nile River. It was often used to make Egyptian bricks, used for houses. 

Wrap the baby doll in the blanket and place it in the basket, as you teach the story.

2. Teach the Story teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or tell the story yourself.

3. Bible Mastery give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud Exodus 1:6-10, Exodus 1:22-2:6

4. Comprehension Questions make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Who were the Israelites?
  • The families of Jacob's 12 sons, who grew very large in number over time
  • Why was Pharaoh scared of the Isrealites?
  • He was afraid they would become so many that they could overthrow him
  • What was his plan to keep their number down?
  • To have all Israelite baby boys killed
  • Why was Moses' mother putting him in a basket in the river?
  • To hide him from the Egyptians so he wouldn't be killed
  • Why did Moses' mother coat the basket with tar and pitch?
  • Help students understand that the tar was used to make it waterproof
  • Who watched the basket as it floated in the reeds in the Nile river?
  • His sister
  • Who found the baby in the basket?
  • Pharaoh's daughter
  • Who got to take care of Moses until he was older?
  • His mother
  • Where did Moses live when he was older?
  • In the palace, with the pharaoh's daughter who found him

5. Faith Questions open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer

  • God watched over the Israelites during their time in Egypt. He made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and he kept it.
  • Did you know you can trust God's promises in the Bible?

6. Memory Verse hide God's Word in their heart

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don't give up. Galatians 6:9

Reinforcement Activities

Ice Cube Rescue

Heads up! You will need to freeze the ice cubes in advance
Scripture When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter. And he became her son. She named him Moses. She said, "I pulled him out of the water." Exodus 2:10
Supplies small plastic baby figures (from baby shower section at the craft store), ice cube trays, yarn, salt
  • Place baby figures in ice cube trays and fill with water.
  • Freeze cubes.
  • Remove for lesson.
  • Give each student or pair of students an ice cube with "Moses" inside.
  • Lay a piece of yarn or string over the ice cube.
  • Pour salt onto the top of the ice cube.
  • Pick up ice cube by holding onto the string.
  • This idea came out of the book, Even the Sound Waves Obey Him by Nancy B. Kennedy

Paper basket

Scripture After that, she couldn't hide him any longer. So she got a basket that was made out of the stems of tall grass. She coated it with tar. Then she placed the child in it. Exodus 2:3
Supplies See link below
  • Weave a paper basket according to the link below.

Egyptian Headband

Scripture Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile River to take a bath. Her attendants were walking along the bank of the river. Exodus 2:5
Supplies See link below
  • Make Egyptian Headband according to the link below

Moses down the river

Scripture Exodus 2:3
Supplies Large piece of blue paper, basket, baby doll, review questions
  • Put a large piece of blue paper on the ground with green paper standing up for the reeds. Put a basket with a baby in it on the paper.
  • Ask the children questions about the story and if they get it right they get to move baby Moses up the river.
  • This could be made into a competitive game if you had two rivers going.

Floating and sinking activity

Scripture So she got a basket that was made out of the stems of tall grass. She coated it with tar. Then she placed the child in it. She put the basket in the tall grass that grew along the bank of the Nile River. Exodus 2:3
Supplies items that float and sink, tub of water, small plastic baby figure (from baby shower section at the craft store)
  • Provide different items that float and sink (plastic, metal, wood, foil, Styrofoam).
  • Have the children guess in advance whether an item will sink or float.
  • You can throw them off by using very light items like a paperclip or button that actually sink or wood that is heavier but actually floats.
  • Also, use a small plastic baby figure (which would probably sink).
  • Ask students to find out what items will hold the baby and keep it dry.

Play with baby dolls

Scripture When she opened it, she saw the baby. He was crying. She felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said. Exodus 2:6
Supplies baby dolls, baskets, and blankets
  • This is a good activity to do before the lesson if you would like, especially if you have something else for the boys to do!
  • Interact with the children as they play with the baby dolls.

Cookie baskets

Heads up! Need to make jello ahead of time. Cookie baskets can be made with class or ahead of time.
Scripture But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. Exodus 2:3-4
Supplies sugar cookie dough, blue jello, teddy grahams or gummie bears, pretzels
  • Press cookie dough into small muffin tins to create basket shapes.
  • Bake baskets.
  • Press center of baskets down, if puffed up, while still hot.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Make blue jello and pour into clear cups.
  • Allow to set up.
  • Place baskets on top of firm jello.
  • Use teddy grahams, gummie bears, fruit snacks to represent Moses in the basket.
  • Stick pretzels into the jello around the edges of the cup to represent the reeds.
  • Place another teddy graham near the pretzels to represent Moses' sister, Miriam.

Handprint reeds

Scripture But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. Exodus 2:3
Supplies coloring picture of Moses in a basket, brown and green paper, glue
  • Glue picture of Moses in a basket to the center of a piece of paper.
  • You can have students color part of paper blue, for the water, if desired.
  • Trace handprints onto green and brown paper.
  • Cut out handprints.
  • Glue bottom of handprints to space right under basket. (Like a flap book)
  • Handprints will cover Moses and baskets.
  • Make sure you don't glue the entire handprint to paper, just the bottom.
  • The handprints will represent the reeds hiding the basket, as Moses was placed in the water.

Baby Moses Floating Basket

Scripture She put the basket in the tall grass that grew along the bank of the Nile River. Exodus 2:3
Supplies juice boxes, brown cellophane/packing tape or brown duct tape, felt, small craft sticks, cotton balls, paper towels, markers, buckets of water
  • Give your children a juice box for snack
  • Once they have finished drinking it, use scissors to cut a slit in the top of the juice box.
  • Rinse out the juice box and dry it out
  • Give each child a craft stick and have them color a face for baby Moses
  • Allow them to "wrap" baby Moses in felt and place the craft stick inside the juice box with cotton balls
  • Cover the outside of the juice box with the brown tape
  • Allow the children to see their juice box floating in the water
  • Or, bring a blue towel and pretend it is the Nile River. Have them act out the story with their baby Moses floats.

Basket Weaving

Scripture After that, she couldn't hide him any longer. So she got a basket that was made out of the stems of tall grass. She coated it with tar. Exodus 2:3
Supplies See link below
  • Weave a basket using cardboard and twine.
  • You can make this project a little easier for kids if you leave off the rim and just finish off basket with basic weaving.
  • The template can be found below.