Monday, 1 September 2014

Jacob's Ladder Ascending Angel Craft and Prayer Activity

The story of Jacob's ladder in Genesis 28 (vv 10-17) is one of my favourites and this is a creative way to pray about the story's themes using an easy but effective craft.

Tell the story of Jacob's ladder and think about the theme of God's closeness to Jacob, even when Jacob, himself, didn't at first realise it.  

Talk about: How do you think Jacob felt when he saw the ladder and the angels? How would you have felt?Have you ever felt or known that God is with you? Do you have anywhere where you feel close to God? How do you know that God is with you?  Do you know anyone who might like to know that God is with them, caring for them?

Craft- You will need: paper, scissors, pens, string, sellotape, straws and a coin

Get children to cut an angel shape out of the paper (or provide them with a pre-cut version).  Cut 2x 2cm pieces of straw and sellotape them to the angel shape as shown below.  Make sure they are parallel to each other. Sellotape a coin to the bottom of the angel to give it some weight (I used a 2p coin here).  Thread string through the straw as shown.
Anchor the string to a coat hook or a nail on the wall- something static, strong and above head height if possible!  Bring the angel to the bottom of the strings and hold each end in a separate hand.  Spread your hands out so that they are wider than the parallel straws and pull on the strings.  The angel should rise up towards the anchor point.  Release the tension on the strings and the angel should descend.  Have fun testing this out!
Write the names of people who you would like to know that God is close to them- perhaps people who are having a hard time or who don't know about God yet.  As you pull the angel up and down the string, pray that God will bless them and they will know His closeness, just as Jacob did in the story!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

God Made Me Unique- Paint Marbled People

This is a fun way to help children to explore the uniqueness that God has given them and to thank him for it.  It would fit well with teaching around the creation story or Psalm 139, or just as a stand alone activity.

You will need: A shallow tray or plate, shaving foam, paint, cocktail sticks, lolly sticks, people shapes cut from coloured card.
Let children choose a colour of card that most reflects them (e.g. their favourite colour from the selection).  Cut a person shape from it to represent themselves.

Spread shaving foam across the bottom of the tray or plate, making sure that there is enough to completely match the size of the card person you have cut out.
Drop small drops of paint into the shaving foam (less is more!) and use a cocktail stick to make swirling patterns.  Children can, again, chose colours they like best.
Press the person shape down on top of the paint swirls and carefully lift off.  Use a lolly stick to scrape away the shaving foam and paint and see the unique artwork revealed underneath!

Talk about: 
  • How God has made each one of us unique- just as each person's painting will be completely unique.
  • The special way we have each been made- God has put a lot into making us special in the same way that we spent time making intricate patterns and swirls with the paint
  • While painting and swirling, encourage the children to reflect on and to discuss the things that make them special and unique.  What do they like best about themselves?
  • Arrange all of the paintings in a display.  Ask children to say something special about themselves that they would like to thank God for.  Say a big thank you prayer together!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Feeding the 5000 Play Dough Prayer Mat to Print Out

This is the next in our collection of play dough mats.  This one helps children to reflect in a tactile way on the story of Jesus feeding the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.

Tell the story and then let children use play dough to make loaves, fish or their favourite foods, placing them in the open hands.  While they are constructing the foods, ask them to pray for people who are hungry and have very little food.  Pray that God will provide for them in miraculous ways, just as Jesus did in the story.

Click here to print out the mat, then laminate it for repeated use!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Fruit of the Spirit Reflective Colouring Page (Printable)

I'm in the process of putting together a set of lesson plans for 'The Fruit of the Spirit' so, to add to the collection, here's a reflective colouring page based on Galatians 5:22-23

Click here to print off the page.  Enjoy colouring!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Straw Rocket Prayers

Here's a fun way to get children to engage in thanking God and asking for blessing while also symbolically releasing their prayers into his hands.

First, get children to write and draw their prayers on a small slip of paper (about the size of an average till receipt).

Next, roll the paper tightly round a straw (the long straight part rather than the bendy part!) and secure it with sellotape.  Fold the top of the paper over and secure it with some more sellotape.  The paper will now have made a sealed pocket around the top of the straw.

Talk to children about releasing prayers to God and trusting in His love and His power.  Say a short prayer, giving your prayers to God and then blow on the free end of the straw.  Watch the prayer rocket fly as you release your prayers!

Monday, 4 August 2014

Memory Verse Window Clings

This is an activity to help children to explore the meaning of and to remember memory verses.  Plus, it's a great way of decorating!  I got my inspiration from this lovely post at Pink Stripey Socks.

You will need: Contact paper (sticky back plastic), permanent marker pens in various colours (available in the pound shop)

Give children small (A6ish) size pieces of the contact paper.  Make sure that you haven't yet removed the paper backing!  Get children to write out the memory verse on top of the plastic side, along with a picture that will help them to remember the verse.  

At home, the children can take the paper backing off and stick the contact paper onto a window or a mirror as a decorative reminder.  Don't worry, because the contact paper is easy to remove from the glass!