Monday, 2 March 2015

Daniel in the Lions' Den Story Cards

I'm doing a storytelling workshop at the weekend and will be using the story of Daniel in the Lions' den.  I wanted to produce a set of cards that would tell the story in an easy way, without too many words and this is what I came up with.  Please feel free to print off, cut out and use!  Click here to download the sheet.
I think I'm going to use them in a pass-the-parcel. The story will be revealed layer by layer until the final card is found in the centre of the parcel with some sweets so that everyone can celebrate how great God is!

Click to see pass-the-parcel versions of the Easter and Nativity stories.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Reflective Colouring Sheet: Matthew 7:12

Recently I had a request for a colouring sheet for this particular verse so here it is! 

Click here to print off the sheet and enjoy colouring...

Friday, 20 February 2015

Holy Communion Reflective Colouring Sheet

I've been thinking recently about the symbols of Holy Communion and how we can help children to connect with the liturgy and actions of the service.  Here is a reflective colouring sheet I've come up with as part of that process!
Click here to print out the sheet and get colouring!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Ash Wednesday: Liturgy, Prayers and Craft

Ash Wednesday can be tricky with children.  If you are a church that uses liturgy, the liturgy can be long and full of words that children would not necessarily use!  It's important, though, that as part of the body of Christ, children are included in key events in the church calendar.  Here is my attempt to open up some of the symbolism and meaning of Ash Wednesday in a way that (hopefully) might be useful to some of you!

I have based some of this on the Church of England's Liturgy for Ash Wednesday in Common Worship: Times and Seasons and have focussed on key themes of being 'sorry', being cleansed and having hope in Jesus.

Make your ashes in advance!  I made mine by burning strips of paper in a metal tin.  Be careful!!

Talk to the children about Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent which is a time of thinking about God and focussing more on Him instead of the 'stuff' around us.  Ash Wednsday is a day when we say sorry to God and think about our lives.

Talk about what it means to say sorry and why we might want to do that, especially to people we love.  How does saying sorry help?  

Next encourage the children to think of things they might want to say sorry to God for and give them time to do this privately.

Introduce the liturgy to the children so that they know what they will be doing. Some of them might want to add to the list of things we could say sorry for, so don't be afraid to add lines!


You will need: Ashes mixed with oil, a large cross shape made of card or paper, a bowl of water, a candle, paper hearts, scratch art cards and cocktail sticks

Say the words in italics and ask the children to join in the bold type words.  As they say their line, encourage them to dip their finger in the ash mixture and make the sign of the cross or a finger print on the large cross shape.

Thank you Lord that you love us and hear us when we pray
We are sorry for things we have done that have hurt you and others.

We have not loved you or others as much as we could
Lord, we are sorry
We have not helped others as Jesus helped us
Lord, we are sorry
We have been impatient
Lord, we are sorry
We have been angry
Lord, we are sorry
We have been jealous of others
Lord, we are sorry
We have told lies
Lord, we are sorry
We have forgotten to pray
Lord, we are sorry

Imposition of ashes on forehead (if this is something you and the children would like to do)

(Light a candle)
Hear us and help us,Lord
Work through us so that we can share your goodness and love in the world
Show us the joy and new life that Jesus brings.

(Children wash fingers in the water and draw a cross on the scratch art card as a sign of the hope and light of Jesus in the world)

(Take a heart and exchange it with someone else)
If God loves us so much
We ought to love one another
If we love one another
God lives in us.

Let me know how this works if you get the chance to try it out!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Shrove Tuesday Celebration Prayers!

Shrove Tuesday, known in some places as Mardi Gras, is the day before Lent starts and is traditionally a time for using up all of the nice ingredients in the house ready for a time of fasting in the next 40 days.  This is why we have pancakes!

Really, this is a time to help children to celebrate all of the good things (especially food!) that God has given us.  So, along with celebratory pancakes, here is a celebratory prayer activity...

You will need: Balloons (at least one per child), permanent marker pens (e.g. Sharpies), music, lots of space.

Get children to write or draw on the balloons things (especially food) that they would like to thank God for.

Play the music and get the children to bat the balloons in the air, not letting any fall to the ground.  When the music stops, children need to grab a balloon and thank God for one of the things written or drawn on it.  Repeat until everyone is tired and needs to eat pancakes!

Extra activity: Encourage each child to bring an item to donate to a local foodbank and to think about and pray for people who don't have enough to eat.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Psalm 23: Comfort Collage for Under 5s

It's very difficult to get away from sheep when you're thinking about Psalm 23!

This idea for younger children explores the idea of the comfort God the Shepherd can bring in a slightly different and more open-ended way.

You will need: PVA (white) glue, glue spreaders, paper (either individual sheets for each child or a large piece for a group project), soft items such as wool, cotton wool, ribbon, pom poms, chenille pipe-cleaners, tissue paper.

Talk to children about God the Shepherd who guides his sheep, taking them to peaceful, restful places and protecting them through hard times.

Feel the soft items and think about how soft things can often be very comforting.

Encourage children to use the soft items to make a 'comfort' collage.  There is no planned finished product in this craft- just let the children use thier imagination and use the time to chat to them about what it feels like to be comfortable and safe and share any times when God has comforted you!