Friday, 20 January 2017

Baptism Symbols Play Dough Mat

We have a baptism coming up where there will be a lot more children than usual in the congregation. We want to do something that will help the children to engage with what is going on, so I've come up with a play dough mat to help them explore the signs and symbols they might see being used:

A cross to represent the sign of the cross made in oil on the candidate's head
A dove to represent the Holy Spirit
A heart to represent God's love for us
Water to represent cleansing and being born to new life
Candle to represent being sent out in the light of Christ

This mat could also be used when discussing baptism symbols with children before baptism (if they are old enough!)- the pictures prompting conversation about why each symbol is important and what it means.

Click here to print off the mat.

Have fun exploring!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Lego Finger Labyrinths (Build Your Own!)

I ran a prayer workshop the other day and was looking for a way to make some tactile finger labyrinths that children could play with.  Lego was the obvious solution!

I made some simple spiral labyrinths with a square baseboard and a circular one I bought over Christmas and I really loved the effect.

Children can build them themselves and then use them when reflecting on God and thinking about journeying with Him through life.  This might work especially well with visual and kinaesthetic learners. I think I'll try some more complicated labyrinths when I have another go!

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Epiphany King Cake (Golden Syrup Version!)

For Epiphany I wanted our children's group to make a traditional King Cake- puff pastry with a ground almond filling and a hidden ceramic baby Jesus.  See Here for the traditional version.


I realised that a lot of children are a bit picky about almonds and we have to be careful about nut content at church.  So- what better than golden syrup as a replacement?!  The golden syrup, of course lends itself to the story of the wise men bring gold as one of their gifts.

If you'd like to make a Golden Syrup King Cake, try this recipe out!

320g Puff Pastry sheet (from the chilled section or a frozen one that has been thawed)
200g Golden Syrup
50g white breadcrumbs
Egg or milk to glaze

* You will also need a ceramic baking bean wrapped in foil to represent baby Jesus.

1. Preheat the oven to 170/340/ Gas 4. Open out the pastry sheet and cut off a section at the end for decorations.  Cut what is left into rough halves and place on a baking tray (grease the tray beforehand or line with greaseproof paper).  

2. Mix the breadcrumbs and Golden Syrup together.  Spread on one half of the pastry sheet, leaving wide margins around the sides.

3. Wrap the ceramic bean in foil so it is a good size and unlikely to be swallowed accidentally.  Place the foil package 'Jesus' on the mixture.

 4. Lay the second half of the pastry sheet on top of the golden syrup sheet.  Press the sides together with a fork and decorate with the spare section of pastry you cut off earlier.  

Talk about: What decorations should we put on the cake? Why? Does that connect with the story?

Make a hole in the top of the pie for steam to escape.  Brush the top of the pastry with a beaten egg or with milk.

5. Bake the king cake for 30 mins at 170/ 340/ Gas 4.  It will look a bit darker than this one- I took it out prematurely!

6. Cut into slices and serve- remember to to let people know that one of the pieces will contain the ceramic 'Jesus'! Traditionally, whoever finds Jesus is pronounced 'King' for the rest of the day :-)

Talk about: 
Why do you think we often eat sweet things when we celebrate something?
How does it feel to find a prize? 
What have you ever searched for?
What do you think the wise men felt when they found Jesus?

Pray that you will come to find out more about Jesus over the coming year.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Epiphany Play Dough Mat

This year we are going to have a special session with the children where we really celebrate Epiphany.  We are hoping to make King cakes but this will definitely be one of our activities: an Epiphany play dough mat that will help to explore the idea of gifts we receive and what we can give to Jesus. 

Click here to print off the page and have fun!