Thursday, 18 December 2014

Nativity Star Reflective Colouring Page

Here is a reflective colouring page based around the Nativity story.  Although the Wise Men who follow the star don't actually appear in Luke's gospel, where the verse is from, I felt that the star was also a reflection of God's glory!

Click here to print off the page and enjoy colouring!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Guest Post: Gingerbreadman Fuzzy Felt Nativity

I'm so excited to have Victoria from GodVenture contributing a guest post with a Nativity theme! Her site has some brilliant prayer and devotional ideas for children and families and she has written some great books to help the family celebrate Jesus together.  Be sure to check out GodVenture!

Here's what Victoria has to share...

I’m always looking for different ways to play with the nativity story, and since I have two girls under five who love dressing things, I thought this would be fun for them.

It’s DIY fuzzyfelt, and it only took me about 30 minutes to make!

All you need is:
  • Felt
  • Sharp scissors for cutting felt
  • A big piece of card or board for your backdrop
  • Masking tape

I started by taping a huge piece of grey felt to my board. They were a little concerned that the grey wasn’t a nice colour, but I knew the other brighter colours would look good on it. You don’t have to use grey of course, and you could make your board out of different pieces if you’ve not got a huge piece like I did.

Next, I cut out my templates (see pdf- click here) out of thick paper.

Lastly, I cut out felt using each template piece. There’s no rules about how many of which you need, but I put the numbers of what I cut out as a guide.

I wanted to give them a way of exploring the different characters in the Christmas story, so I cut out different coloured bodies, clothes and accessories. I made sure I had ‘too many’ and not too type-caste colours which would leave them room for creativity and also for more ambiguity than many nativity sets allow for. For example, I made four crowns. This gave them options of having four wise men/kings, or having one for king Herod or giving one to Jesus.

In the future I may add some hills, a path and a stable, but for now they’re enjoying dressing and re-dressing the characters. It’s perfect for discussing the different roles the people played, what they might have worn and why.

I made this activity to use at home, but it would also be fun as part of a toddler group activity or all-age service with stations.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Angels and Shepherds Nativity Play Dough Mat

This is the second play dough mat in the Nativity story series I am putting together: Angels and Shepherds!

Print out the mat, laminate it for future uses and get creatively thinking about peace on earth...

Click here to print out the mat.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Loom Band Advent Stars

Here's a way to use up some loom bands in a reflective Advent activity.

You will need: Loom bands (at least 50 per star), 5 lolly sticks.

Make 5 lolly sticks into a star shape and secure each point ot the star with a loom band (see picture).  Now make chains of 10-12 loom bands each and use the first and last band of each chain to join it to one of the sticks.  Now you have a colourful star decoration!

Making loom band chains is likely to take quite a while, so it's a great opportunity to talk to the children about the long journey of the wise men to find Jesus.  Here are some ideas for talking and praying..

Talk about:

  • Why was the journey so important to the wise men?
  • Have you ever been on a long journey? What was it like?
  • What do you use to show you the way?  Who helps you to know where you are going?
  • How does it feel when you reach what you have been waiting for?
  • Would you like to have been one of the wise men? Why?
  • What does hope mean?
  • God gave the wise men a star to follow on their journey.  They didn't have to do things completely by themselves, God was always showing them the way. Thank God for all the things and people who give us directions and help. Ask the children to think of a situation in their lives where they would like God to help them and show them the way. Hang your stars as a decoration and pray that God will guide them.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Advent Journey Play Dough Mat

So I've caved in to Christmas and it's still November!

Here's the first play dough mat in a series looking at the Nativity story: Advent Journey.

This focuses on the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and helps children to think about journeying with God and the prospect of the wait for Christmas taking time!

As usual, laminate the play dough mats for more long lasting use.  Click here to print out the mat.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Chalkboard painting prayers

This is an easy, inexpensive way to pray very visually.

You will need: Chalkboards of any size, cups of water, paintbrushes.
Encourage the children to paint their written or drawn prayers onto the chalkboard with water.

This is particularly good for sorry prayers as the water will dry up and the sorry prayer will fade away as a sign of how God forgives us when we are sorry.  For the same reason, it's a good way of helping children to release their prayers to God and visualise them being handed over.