Thursday, 25 June 2015

Jesus the Healer Play Dough Mat

This play dough mat will work with any of the stories where Jesus performs a healing miracle- Jairus' daughter, the 10 lepers, Bartimaeus...

As usual, print out, laminate for repeated use and start creating!  

The focus is on Jesus' love shown through his healing power and will hopefully provide opportunities for children to think and pray about people who are ill.  It's also a great opportunity for leaders and children to share their own testimonies of God's healing!

Click here to print out the play dough mat.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Jesus Calls the Disciples: Spinning Fish Prayers

This prayer activity links really well with the story of Jesus calling the disciples but could be used to pray for anyone or any situation!

You will need: strips of paper (experiment with length but the ones shown are roughly 10cm x 2cm)
Scissors, pens
Choose a strip of paper and write on it the name of the person or situation you would like to pray for.  Cut slits near to the ends of the strip as shown below.

 Fit the slits together to make a fish shape.  Now comes the fun part!
Hold the fish high in the air and let it go.  As it gains momentum you will see it start to spin!

Talk about:
Discuss the story in the Bible where Jesus calls the disciples and sends them out to make more- turning fishermen into fishers of people (Matthew 4:19)
  • What does it mean to be a disciple?
  • How would people know that you are a disciple?
  • How do you think that the disciples made more disciples?
  • How would you try?
Think of people who don't know who Jesus it or who you would like to ask God to bless.  Write their names or draw them on the strip and make them into fish as shown above.  Play some music and let the children drop the fish and watch them spin as a symbol of giving their prayers to God.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Holy Communion Reflective Colouring Sheet: The Dismissal

This is the last sheet in the series of reflective colouring based on Holy Communion.  This sheet explores what it might mean to be 'sent out' in God's name.  Click here to print out the sheet. Have fun reflecting!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Praising God: Toast Painting

Very often we praise God through words- either spoken or in song.  It's great for children to know that we can praise God in so many other ways, including the use of all our senses.  This activity explores praise through colour and through taste and is suitable for all ages.

Speak to the children about who God is to them.  What is He like? How does He make you feel? What colour would you use to show God? Collect words and images to describe God and talk about praise being about telling God how great He is.  Collect ideas for things they would like to say thank you to God for.  Tell the children that they are now going to explore praising God with sight and taste.

You will need: white bread, new paintbrushes (or cotton buds), milk, food colouring, toaster

Divide the milk into dishes and mix each dishful with a different food colouring to make 'paint.' 

Encourage the children to paint the bread with the brushes or cotton buds, using colour to express praise for the things God has done or given them or for who God is.  They might want to paint pictures of things they are thankful for or just make bright and colourful decorations.  

When they have finished painting, toast the bread very lightly. The colours will intensify when the bread is toasted.  Say grace to thank God for the food and eat!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Daniel in the Lions' Den: Protection Pictures

One of the key themes in the story of Daniel and the Lions' den is that of God keeping Daniel safe.  This craft helps children to explore this idea of protection.

You will need: Paper plates (it is easier to pull the masking tape off compared with paper!), masking tape, felt tip pens.

Stick masking tape onto the paper plate however you like. Here I've done it in the shape of an initial letter but it really doesn't matter.  The important thing is having some tape stuck down!

Colour over and around the tape.  Children of any age can do this so it doesn't have to be neat and tidy, though it can be if you want it to be!

Carefully pull the masking tape off to reveal the 'protected' space beneath.

Talk about:

  • How might Daniel have felt at different times in the story/
  • How would you have felt? 
  • Think about imes we feel scared and in need of protection.  Who can we ask to help? 
  • Have you ever asked God to keep you safe? What happened? (It's great if the adults share their testimonies!)

Ask the children to hold their finished pictures and to look at the space that has been protected by the tape. Pray for people they know and people in the news who might need God's protection.  If they want to pray for specific people, they could write their names or draw pictures of them in the protected space.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Exploring stories with 0-5s: Jesus feeds the 5000

We had a great time exploring this story this morning!  There was a group of children aged from 1-3 with their parents joining in as well.  We had a lot of play and popcorn too!

Here's how we explored the story...

Telling the story with props (felt bread and fish that took me about an hour to sew but can be used for so much in the future!)

Making popcorn to show how a very little, with the right help...
 ...can go a long way!
The children really loved watching the popcorn pop into the bowl and were very patient.  We then shared the popcorn out and ate it together, sitting on the floor like the people Jesus fed.

Free play with toy food, plates and utensils
playdough with plates, knives, forks and cups

Magnetic thank you prayers for the things God gives us.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

More Praying with Lego: Lego Prayer Station

If you have lots of bits of lego lying around then this prayer activity is for you!

This way of praying involves lots of colour and touch so it's great for visal and kinesthetic learners...

You will need: A lego baseboard, lego bricks, lego people, lego accessories of any and every kind!

Make a cross shape on the baseboard using some bricks to symbolise bringing your prayers to Jesus.

Use bricks to pray! Here are some ideas:

  • Use different colours to represent different types of prayer e.g. sorry, thank you, healing. 
  • Use colours to pray for different people or places
  • Use accessories to pray e.g. flowers as thanks for nature
  • build bricks on top of each other to pray for groups or families
Do this over a period of time, either in a family, on your own or as a prayer station.  See how long it takes to fill the cross with prayer!