Monday, 14 January 2019

God is with us: glow in the dark tape pictures


I have a bit of a weakness for glow in the dark things. I ended up buying 100 glow in the dark baby Jesus figures before Christmas and I still haven't figured out what to do with them, but the day will come! My new favourite thing, though, is glow in the dark tape.  It has a lot of potential!  I got some quite cheaply online and have used it for a craft to help children explore the concept of God being with them in the darkness and hard times.  This craft would work well with stories about God's protection and presence e.g. Daniel and the lions' den, Moses and the Red Sea, Paul and Silas in jail.

You will need: Paper (any colour), scissors, glow in the dark tape, marker pens

Get children to cut up the tape and stick it on the paper in any design they fancy.  They can then, if they want to, decorate the tape with marker pens/ write verses about God's presence and protection.

Useful verses might include:
Psalm 16:1 Protect me, God, because I depend on you.
Romans 8:31 If God is for us, no one can stand against us. 
Psalm 118:6 The Lord is with me, so I will not be afraid.
Psalm 46:1 God is our protection and source of strength. He is always ready to help us in times of trouble



Children can then take the pictures home and put them somewhere in their room. As long as it has been exposed to bright light for a period of time, the glow in the dark tape is quite effective as a reminder that God is there in the dark (and in the hard times) with them.

Talk about: Why does light help if it is dark?
What situations in life can feel a little bit dark or scary or worrying?
Who do you go to when you are afraid or worried? 
How does it feel when you are with them?
Have you ever helped someone who was afraid or worried?
Have you ever asked God to be with you when you are finding it hard or scary?

Pray: Think about people you know who are worried or afraid. Write their names on the tape and stick it to the picture. When you see the tape glow in the dark, ask God to be with them and help them.



Tuesday, 11 December 2018

No Rehearsal Nativity Script for Younger Children

We're getting ready for Christmas and one of the things I'm most excited about is our upcoming crib service.  It's a new venture for our church, but it sounds as if the community are really getting behind it!  We have invited families to turn up dressed in nativity character costumes and everyone can join in the tableau that is formed during the narration. For people who don't have a costume, tea towels, tinsel and crowns will be at the ready.


This is a script written with children under 5 in mind.  It can be narrated by a single voice but if you have older, more confident children, they might like to say the lines of Mary, Joseph, the Angel and the Innkeeper. The songs are all to the tunes of well known nursery rhymes, so everyone should be able to join in. 

Click here to print off the script. Have fun!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Six Nativity Star Ideas

This year, the Church of England has launched a campaign called Follow the Star, which is encouraging churches and local groups to engage in star related activities in Advent and Christmas.  If you are joining in, and even if you aren't, here are some 'star' ideas to help you out!


Star tea light mats and Advent prayer


Nativity star reflective colouring page


Nativity Star craft and prayers


Messy Christmas Star Ornaments


Epiphany star finger print prayers



Epiphany play dough mat


Monday, 26 November 2018

Advent Journey Spirals

We are now totally on the countdown to Advent. If you haven't read December's edition of Premier Youth and Children's Work magazine, then I suggest you get your hands on one!!

Here is one of the crafts I wrote for my page in the magazine as a little taster of what you can expect...

This craft explores the idea of a journey towards the birth of Jesus, echoing the journey that Mary and Joseph take to Bethlehem and our own waiting for Jesus to come again.



You will need: air drying clay, small candles (Christingle candles are ideal!) Before doing this with children, it might help to do a test run to see roughly how much clay each person will need.


Roll the clay into a long, thick sausage shape and slightly flatten out the top. 

Make a spiral with the clay. 

Take your candle and, starting at the centre of the spiral, make 25 indentations deep enough to let the candle stand up securely. 

Leave the spiral to dry. 

Every day during Advent move the candle one place along the spiral and light it, ending at the centre on Christmas day.

Pray

Every day, as you move the candle on a space, pray for a person or a place you know going through dark and hard times. Pray that they will know light in their darkness as Christmas approaches