Saturday, 17 November 2018

Star Tea Light Mats and Advent Prayer

The Church of England's Advent and Christmas campaign is called 'Follow the Star' and, now we are getting to the time of preparing for such a busy period, I've started thinking about 'star' related activities that children can get involved with.  Here's an easy craft that can be used with children of all ages and a prayer that they can take home and use throughout Advent.

You will need: Air drying clay or Model Magic, a large star shaped cutter, sequins, hama beads, tea lights, a copy of the prayer for each child to take home, coloured pens (if using Model Magic!)

Roll out the clay fairly thickly and cut out star shapes with the cutter so that each child has their own.

Decorate the star shapes by pushing beads and sequins into the clay and by decorating with coloured pens. 

Let the clay dry and use as a mat to lay a lit tea light on.

Talk about:
Chat to children about the star in the story of the Nativity leading to Jesus who is the light of the world.
What are lights for? How do they help?
Where do we need light?
How might a person be like a light?

Light a tea light and put it on the star mat so that it looks as if the star is shining. Pray the star prayer, asking Jesus to bring light to the darkness in our world. 

Star Prayer

As we light this star,
we pray that people will find the light of Jesus this Christmas:
Light in darkness
Light to the lonely
Light to the sad
Light to the sick
Light to the worried
Light to the lost


Click here to print off the prayer (6 per sheet)

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

All Souls Day Rosemary Remembering Payers

I was at an amazing Baptism conference last week where we used Rosemary as a sensory way of remembering our Godparents and Godchildren as we prayed. I know that smelling rosemary has a real link to improving memory and I vividly remember using Rosemary oil during my exam revision at school!

As All Souls Day is approaching, this Sunday we had our annual bereavement service and it struck me that we could use the Rosemary with children who have lost loved ones, to help them to bring their memories to God with thanks. Using the scent of the herb is a gentle and positive way to help children explore what can be an emotional subject.

You will need: Rosemary stalks with plenty of leaves.

Give each child a leave from the stalk of Rosemary and get them to rub it between their fingers to release the scent. Talk about their memories of the loved ones they have lost. Think about the sweetness of the smell. What happy memories do they have? What would they like to thank God for about that person?

As they smell the scent of the Rosemary, thank God for loved ones who are no longer with us and for the memories we have of them.

Give each child some of the Rosemary to take home with them so that they can continue to remember and thank God if they would like to.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Magnetic Letter Prayers

I got a new set of magnetic letters today so I could use them for some sensory style prayers!  Your letters don't need to be magnetic- wooden ones will do just as well. I just like the colours!

Here are two ideas to incorporate them into prayer activities which your more hands-on children might enjoy...

1. Magnetic letter flour (or sand!) prayers

You will need: A baking tray or tuff spot, sieves, spoons, flour or sand, magnetic letters

Arrange the letters into words of people or places you would like to pray for.   Use the sieve to sprinkle the flour or sand onto the words as you ask God to bless them or that situation. Take the letters away to reveal the words left behind on the sheet or tuff spot base.

2. Magnetic letter hunt prayers

You will need: a box or deep tray, shredded paper, magnetic or wooden letters

Put the shredded paper and letters into the box and mix them all up together. Children take it in turns to pull a letter out of the box.  Pray for a person, place or situation starting with that letter, or say thank you to God for something starting with that letter.

Friday, 14 September 2018

Giant Bubble Wrap Protection Prayers

I came across this way of creating a piece of artwork the other day and I absolutely loved it!  Although not intended for that purpose, this activity really lends itself to thinking about protection and how God can look after us. It could be used with any story that involves a theme of protection and here is a way of using the art idea as a prayer activity...

You will need: Bubble wrap with giant bubbles, fabric, felt, tissue paper, ribbon, wool, scissors or a craft knife.

Unroll and spread out the bubble wrap so that a whole group of children can gather around it. 

Before you start the craft, get an adult to cut a slit in the middle of each of the giant bubbles in the bubble wrap using scissors or a craft knife. This can be a bit fiddly, but it is worth it! Make sure that you only cut the back of each bubble, creating a pocket for the fabric to sit in.  

Ask the children to fill each bubble with fabric, wool or tissue paper, using the slit as an entrance point. 

As the bubbles fill, it will create a unique and colourful piece of artwork!  For the finished effect, turn the bubble wrap over so that the pockets are at the back.

Talk about: How does bubble wrap protect things?
What does protection mean?
How does it feel to be protected?
Who helps to protect you?
Do you help to protect anyone else?
What stories do you know where God protects people?
Has God ever protected you?

Pray: Thank God for people who protect us. As you fill each bubble, pray for God to protect a different person, group or country