Thursday, 23 February 2017

Psalm 23 Play dough mat

We had some fun with these at Messy Church a few weeks ago!  I know I'm having a bit of a play dough mat overload at the moment but they are so useful!!

Click here to print off the mat, laminate for future uses and get play dough-ing!

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Abraham: God's firm promises milk stars

This is a simple but fun craft with a real ‘awe’ factor when the children see the curds and whey separating.  The fact that something solid is made from the liquid helps children to reflect on the fact that God’s promises to Abraham are solid and firm and that Abraham can trust God to do as he says.  This activity is linked to the story of Abraham in Genesis 15, where God tells Abraham:

“Look at the sky. See the many stars. There are so many you cannot count them. Your family will be like that.”

You will need: 250 ml milk, 3 tablespoons vinegar, a sieve, a spoon, a bowl, kitchen roll, cookie cutter stars (or other cutters if you would like children to choose!), food colouring if you want to make coloured stars!

Heat up the milk until it is hot but not boiling and pour it into a bowl.  Add the vinegar to the hot milk and start stirring.  Very quickly, the milk will separate into solids (curds) and liquid (whey). 

Use the sieve to separate the curds fully from the liquid.  This in itself is a fascinating thing to do!  

Next, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the curds with your hands and then use the kitchen roll to absorb even more.  

When you have removed as much moisture as you can, flatten the curds out with your hands and then use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of it. 

I used stars to fit with Abraham’s story, but let children choose what they feel is appropriate to their own personality.  

Talk about:
What are promises?
How does it make you feel when someone promises you something?
What is trust?
Who do you trust?
What is it like to trust God?

Pray: Lay out the shares you have made and thank God for all the people we trust.  Ask God to help us to trust Him

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Sharing God's Love: Walking Water Rainbow Experiment

The rainbow is a great symbol for Christians of God's love and promise to us.  It's also the symbol of new beginnings- a key message of Christianity.  This activity helps children to think about their own ability to share God's love with others and to pray for those who don't yet know that love.  Plus it's pretty amazing to watch over time!

You will need: 6 clear cups, water, food colouring in red, yellow and blue, 6 sheets of absorbent kitchen roll

Fill 3 of the cups half full with coloured water and arrange with the three unfilled cups like so:

Fold the kitchen roll in half lengthways and then double it over again.

Place the end of each piece of kitchen roll in one of the cups of water and the other end in an empty cup, so that it looks like this:


The water will start to climb the paper and pass into the empty cup where it will mix with the water from the next cup but one, which will also be transferring over...

Your empty cups will now be filled with coloured water- purple (from the blue and red cups), green (from the yellow and blue cups) and orange (from the yellow and red cups)

You will have made a rainbow!

Talk about the story of the rainbow appearing after the flood, God's love and promise and the new beginning it signalled.

In the water experiment, the paper helped the water to travel from one cup to another.  We can be a bit like the paper, by helping to spread the message about God's love and promise to other people, who might not have heard about it.  How might we do that? How do people show love to you? How do you show love to others? How would you let others know about God's love? What might you do or say?

Pray: ask children to think about people they know who don't know that God loves them.  Set up the experiment again and get them to write the names of these people on an empty cup.  Ask children to write their own names on one of the coloured cups.  As the water starts to 'walk' between the cups, pray that God will help them to find ways of showing God's love to the people they have chosen.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Candlemas: Reflecting the light of Jesus CD Craft

Next Sunday some of us will be celebrating Candlemas or the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.  This is where Simeon and Anna meet the saviour they have been waiting for and Simeon states that he has seen God's salvation-

 A light to reveal your will to the Gentiles
    and bring glory to your people Israel.  Luke 2: 32

This presents the opportunity of lots of light to be used!  Here is a craft that might come in useful, helping children to explore what it means to reflect the light that Jesus brings.

You will need: old Cds, permanent marker pens, a torch or lamp, a dark room

Switch off the lights in a dark room and then switch on some torches and lamps. Speak to the children about what a difference it makes when you bring light into a dark place. Scary things don't seem so scary any more. Jesus was the one who came to bring light to the dark places of the world- to help people to feel less afraid and to give them hope.  This is what Simeon saw in the baby Jesus who Mary and Joseph had brought to the temple.

Because we follow Jesus, we also have the job of bringing light to dark, sad places and people.  Talk about ways you might be able to do that.

Give each child a CD.  Ask then to draw or write on the shiny side, patterns or things that represent them e.g. initials.  Really make the decoration personal, but leave plenty of shiny side visible!

When the children have done this, switch off the lights again and get them to work together to shine torches or lamps onto the shiny side of their Cd and watch the refection projected on the wall or ceiling.  They should be able to see the patterns and drawing they have made!

Pray that the children will be able to go out and reflect the light of Jesus into the world, just as they have reflected the light in a very individual way with this craft!

Have fun!