Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Moses and The Exodus: Making a Journey Stick

This is a craft that will be as individual as the child who makes it and would work well either in a small group or family situation.  I'm using it here to help explore the Exodus story but it would work just as well when you are looking at creation.

You will need: Sticks, wool (or I have also seen cardboard strips covered in double sided tape used for this activity- see this inspirational post), nature!

Go for a walk outside and encourage children to pick up interesting leaves, flowers etc that they find on their journey (make sure that children don't pick wild flowers though!!).  Fasten the objects to the stick by wrapping wool around them (or sticking them to the tape). These are memories of their journey.

When you get home, talk about what you have collected and where on the journey you found it.

Talk about:
Moses led the Israelites on a journey through the desert where they learned many things about themselves and about God.  
Did you learn anything on this journey we have just taken?
What were you looking out for?
What did you find?
What did you see or find that you would like to say thank you to God for?
Did you find anything that reminds you of God?

Get everybody hold their journey stick and say thank you to God for being with us wherever we go, just like he was with the Israelites during their journey through the desert.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Church felt quiet book for babies (my first effort!)

I'm a believer in children never being too young to absorb aspects of faith, so I thought I would have a go at making a 'quiet' book out of felt that would introduce Christian symbols in a touchy feely way.

While the title 'quiet' book always raises my eyebrows slightly because I like children being a bit noisy, I can understand why the soft nature of the felt lends itself to that title.  It definitely keeps the children occupied!

Some of the tinier members of our congregation have enjoyed using the book and one elderly lady in particular was fascinated by it and I had to discreetly take it out of her hands!

Don't be fooled.  This book is sewn and glued together in a very basic way because I don't have time for elaborateness! I'd love to see what other people come up with :-)

Felt people attached to ribbon

candles with flaps opened to reveal flames

Unzipped heart containing felt people stuck to a length of ribbon

A Cross jigsaw to match on top of the original picture.  Pieces are attached to ribbon so they don't get lost!

Lift the flap to reveal wine and bread

Rainbow match the button to the stripe

A dove made of velcro and feathers

'Water' with touchy feely buttons sewn on.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Joseph: Amazing Exploding Colour Art

Ok,  I'm going to admit that this was largely just for fun during our Joseph Themed Messy Church!

We wanted an unusual activity that would appeal to all ages and would tie in loosely with the theme.  This worked perfectly...

You can use the colour explosions to think about the various things that at first seem to go wrong in Joseph's life but then God uses for something amazing (the wonderful, crazy artwork that is produced).  There's also so much in this activity about the power of God that can't be contained. Or alternatively just use it to help create a coat of many colours!

DO THIS OUTSIDE BECAUSE THE PAINT WILL FLY!!!  This was part of our wall at the end and I won't even talk about the floor.  It was amazing fun though!

You will need: A large sheet of white paper or a sheet to paint on, paint, clear vinegar, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), small ziplock bags (I used 2.75x4" bags as bigger sandwich sized bags produced WAY too much liquid).  We also used a Tuff Spot to contain the project as much as possible!

Fill the bag about 1 third full of vinegar and squirt a little bit of paint in.  

Seal the bag and squish the vinegar and paint until they mix.

Quickly add a heaped quarter teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and IMMEDIATELY seal the bag.  Be quick or you will be too late!

Let the bag lie on the paper and wait for the explosion of colour.  This might be quick or it might take some time...

Have fun!

Monday, 29 August 2016

God is with us and helps Us: Magnet Painting

This is a really effective and fun way to help children to think about God being with them, guiding and helping them, even when they can't see Him.  Be warned that it might get a bit messy!

You will need: Paper plates or sheets of paper, cupcake wrappers, paint, bar magnets, magnetic metal objects e.g. safety pins, hooks, paper clips, small cookie cutters, brings, allen keys (i have many of these thanks to IKEA!) 
 Squirt some paint into the cupcake liners and put a metal item in each colour.

 Put the paint covered item on the plate and put the bar magnet underneath the plate.  Move the magnet around and this will move the object and paint around on top!
 Create some artwork!

Think About: 
  • Times you have felt God's presence, even though you can't see Him
  • When have you known that God is with you and is helping you?
  • What would you like God to help you with?
Choose an object to represent a person you know.  Put it in the paint and use the magnet to move it around the plate. Ask God to be with that person and help them over the coming week.