Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Lent Ideas for Families: Printable Booklet

It's that time of year again...

Easter eggs are already in the shops and that's a reminder that Lent is just around the corner!  

Here is a printable book of ideas for the whole family, with an activity for every week in Lent and also one for Easter Day. Weekly themes covered include: 'blessings,' 'love your neighbour,' 'hospitality,' 'giving,' 'praying,' 'fasting,' 'Holy Week,' and 'celebrating.' Activities include a prayer walk scavenger hunt, a reflective colouring sheet and scone pretzels recipe.

When we give these out at church, each family will also have a little bag containing a piece of sandpaper, some strands of wool and a play dough mat.  Nearer to Holy week, each family (or anyone who wants one!) will also get a 'Holy Week in a box.'  See inside the booklet for further details!

Click here to print off and start the journey!

Friday, 29 January 2016

Jacob's Ladder Hidden Picture Story and Painting.

One of the key themes in the story of Jacob's ladder is that of God's presence with us, even though we can't see Him.  Jacob lies down to dream and wakes to realise that where he was, God was all along.  This activity explores that theme.

I did this to tell the story to the children.  After you have told them the story, they can make their own hidden picture paintings, exploring where God is with them in their everyday lives.

You will need: White wax crayons, white paper, watered down paint, paintbrushes, 

I used a flipchart sized piece of paper for the story telling so that all the children could clearly see what was happening ( I did this in an assembly!).  Use whatever size of paper is most suitable for your group.

 Use the wax crayons to draw a ladder and some angels on the paper.  At the top of the paper write 'God is here!'
Tell the story to the children and gradually reveal the ladder and the angels by painting over the top with the coloured paint.  The wax will resist the paint and you will see the drawings!  Reveal the writing and talk about the fact that God was there with Jacob even though he didn't realise it until he had the dream, and God is with us all of the time too- even if we can't see him (just like the drawings were there even though we couldn't see them at first).  Use this to discuss times when God was there for us unexpectedly. 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Body of Christ Cotton Bud (Q-Tip) Painting

This craft will give children the chance to creatively and visually reflect on the make up of the body of Christ- different people with different gifts but belonging to the same Christian family and working together for Jesus.  Plus it involves paint and that's always good!  This probably works best after some discussion of 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27. 

You will need: cotton buds, card or paper, paint 

Cut the card or paper into a cross shape or  faintly draw a cross shape on the page. Ask children to dip their cotton buds into the paint and make dots of colour to cover the cross shape. You will need lots of cotton buds so that colours don’t accidentally mixed together!  Children can use colours and patterns that reflect themselves and the personalities of other Christians that they know.

Think about:
How many parts of the human body can you name?  What jobs do they do?  How are they different from each other? Are there any we don't need?
Which parts of the body can't you see?  Do you know what they do?
Think about the different people in your family and the different personalities and gifts they bring even though they are one family unit.

What different things do Christians do to show they belong to Jesus and the Christian family? In church? At home? At work/ school?
What could you do to show you are part of the Christian family?  What gifts do you think that God has given you?

Look at all the different coloured dots on your painting and thank God for all the different people who are doing different things but working together for Jesus

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Jesus turns water into wine: exploring the story with under 5s

Under 5s love to explore stories through play so here are some ideas to help with the story of Jesus turning water into wine!

Use some glitter and water to make red and blue reflection bottles and play with red and blue ribbon streamers (blue for the water and red for the wine!)

Have some water play (ever popular!)

Play some party games and/or make some party hats to reflect the idea of the celebration of the wedding...

Play with pretend foods, cups, plates etc to add to the party feel.

Act out the story with bible story figures.

Secretly add some red food colouring to the bottom of a jug, then, with the children watching, pour a bottle of flavoured water into the jug.  They will see the water change colour as it goes into the jug!

Use food colouring to colour some water (make the colour quite strong). Give each child two sheets of absorbent kitchen roll (one on top of the other to make a double layer), then let them use droppers to make some 'wine and water' artwork!

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Printable Baptism of Jesus Spinner

This easy-to-make spinner is a surprisingly effective way to see the dove descending on Jesus' head when he is baptised!

Click here to print out the PDF.

You will need: Colouring pencils, scissors, glue, sellotape, a straw

Cut out the picture section and colour it in.
Fold down the middle and turn over.  Sellotape a straw to the middle of one half of the sheet and glue round the edges of the other half of the sheet.  Glue the halves together, like so...

Now swizzle the straw between your hands and watch the dove appear over Jesus' head!

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Emmanuel- God with us: Printable Christmas Reflective Colouring Sheet.

Here is a new reflective colouring sheet of Bethlehem houses to help children to think about Jesus as 'God with us' in our world, our homes and our families.

Things to think about:
  • What is it like to be part of a family?
  • How do people make friends and get to know others?
  • Who is your best friend and why?
  • What would it be like if Jesus was one of your friends or part of your family?
  • Why do you think Jesus was part of a human family?

Click here to print out and have fun colouring!

Friday, 4 December 2015

DIY Nativity Christmas Card Snow Globes!

This is a lovely way to use up some Nativity style Christmas cards or to make us of Nativity themed pictures that children have drawn!  Every time the children play with the snow globe, it will remind them of part of the Christmas story.

You will need: A clean jam jar and lid (labels removed), sticky dots or strong glue, glitter (the finer the flakes of the glitter the better as bigger glitter flakes can clump- I used white for a more snowy effect), a laminated piece of Nativity related Christmas card that will fit inside the jam jar, water, glycerine (optional)

Laminate your piece of Christmas card and leave a border at the bottom that you can bend to make a 'stand'.  Because I was curving my picture, I also cut a slit in the stand to help it curve round.  Stick glue dots or strong glue on the bottom of the stand piece.

 Sick the card onto the lid (about the middle of the lid works quite well rather than right at the edge).
 Put a teaspoon of glitter at the bottom of the jar, add water and a teaspoon of glycerine (optional).  Mix together.  Leave a little margin of space at the top of the jar so it is not completely filled with water.
 Screw the jar lid on.  If you're going to glue it in place, wait until you've had a trial run!
 Shake the jar and watch the snow fall!