Friday, 25 July 2014

Moses and the Burning Bush: Bleeding Tissue Paper Flames

This is a fun way make flame pictures that gets quite messy!  This would work especially well with under 5s, but I really enjoyed it too!

You will need: Tissue paper (yellow, orange, red) cut into flame shapes; water in a spray bottle; paper

Arrange the tissue flames on a piece of paper but don't stick them down!
 Spray the flames with water from the spray bottle until they are soaked.  Now pull the tissue paper off (this is where it gets messy!) and see how the colour has bled from the tissue onto the paper.  Wait for the art work to dry
 Cut around the flames and admire the colour mixing!
Things to talk about:

  • In the story of Moses and the burning bush, God takes something ordinary and turns it into something extraordinary.  How did the tissue paper bleeding surprise you?  Did it turn out as you expected? Sometimes God does amazing, unexpected things in our lives and makes us think about things in new ways.  Has God ever done anything unexpected in your life?
  • God tells Moses to take off his shoes because he is standing on Holy ground.  What does 'Holy' mean?  Somehow God is part of a place.  His presence is there, just like you can see where the tissue paper colour has become part of the paper.  What might a Holy place look, feel, smell, and sound like?
Prayer ideas:

  • Moses knew that God was with him.  Think about times when you have felt God being near to you, or times when you wanted God to be near. Light a candle and watch the flame.  Spend some time in silence and pray that everyone will know that God is with them during the coming week.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

The Grace: Reflective Colouring Sheet to Print

Here is a reflective colouring sheet using the words of the Grace.  Print off here and let the children take their time colouring.  It's a great way to learn the words of the prayer while reflecting on their meaning!

Monday, 14 July 2014

Exploring Creation: Painting with Nature!

This is a really great activity to help children to explore and interact with God's creation and it can be used with any age, including under 3s!

You will need: Paint, paper, natural objects e.g. flowers, leaves, pine cones, sticks, stones, shells

Get the children to feel the textures of the natural objects and talk about the patterns you can see.  Discuss how intricate nature can be and how much thought must have gone into creation.

Use the natural items to paint a picture with- look at the different shapes and patterns you can make with them.  Give the children the freedom to explore and keep chatting as they create!  It's amazing the kind of observations they make and what they choose to do with the objects.

When you have finished, display all the paintings and thank God for the things He has made and especially for each child's favourite painting object!

Friday, 4 July 2014

Loom Band Prayer Bracelet

I finally cracked and bought some loom bands this week...

The pack I bought had no instructions, but Pinterest provided!  You can find a great tutorial here on how to make a basic bracelet, though it might be just as easy to get a child to show you how!  

It's always great to use something children already enjoy to help them experience prayer, so here's an idea for making loom band prayer bracelets.

You will need: Loom bands in different colours,  's'- shaped fasteners, I use a peg as well ( the legs are a good substitute for fingers or a loom).

Ask children to think about people or things they would like to pray for and to choose colours to represent those things/ people.  For example: green- the earth; red- people who are ill; yellow- things to thank God for; white- forgiveness.  The children will probably be a lot more inventive about colour choices!

Choose 4 or 5 bands of each colour and loop them together to make a bracelet until the desired length is reached.  Close the bracelet with an 's'-shaped fastener.  Rotate the bracelet on your wrist and take it in turns to pray for each of the things/ people that the colours represent.

Have fun!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Prayer Spinner

Sometimes when we are praying, it is incredibly helpful to symbolically give over our prayers to God- to let go and trust them to Him.  This is a colourful and kinesthetic way to help children to do this...

You will need: circles of card (one for each child), colouring pens, string, small sticky dots.  Stick a pen or pencil through the middle of the circle to make a hole.

Encourage children to decorate their circle of card, maybe using colour to represent things they might want to pray about e.g. a different colour for each person or thing (world, self, others, healing) or to express something they know about God's character.  Let them be creative!

 Next, ask children to place a sticky dot on their circle for each person or thing they are praying for.  Let them pray out loud or in their heads.  Talk about giving our prayers to God and trusting that He will deal with them.  Sometimes this is especially helpful when we pray about something we are worried about.
Thread a string through the hole and hold tightly to each end.  Give a wrist flick and the circle should start to spin on the string. The colour prayers will all blend together as the circle spins and children can picture leaving those prayers with God.  

This activity can be repeated for future prayers- just add more dots to the circle!  It might also be a great prompt to speak about answered prayers from previous spins.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Telling the story of Jesus' baptism: Printable cards and fuzzy felt

I've found it hard to track down a little story book that only tells the story of Jesus' baptism, so I've made some simple story cards that use accessible language...
For children who don't read yet, it's really interesting to see if they can suggest what the pictures are showing before you actually tell the story.  Sometimes they have very interesting ideas formed from what they already know of the character of Jesus! Click here to print out the cards. 

This weekend, I used the cards in conjunction with some fuzzy felt and it was fascinating to watch the children initially take the pieces to act out the story of Jesus walking on the water because this was a story they already knew and identified with Jesus and water!  Fuzzy felt is a great way for children to retell a story they have heard because it's easy to use and cheap and easy to make.  Just back a board with felt and cut out your own felt shapes to stick on!