Wednesday 23 September 2015

Strengthened Heart: Esther Prayer and Craft Activity

This can be quite a reflective activity, so it might be good to create a peaceful atmosphere for the children when they do this.  Equally it's good to make room to chat to them about what they are thinking as they do it so see how it goes!

You will need: Paper plates, scissors, wool, a pen, mats e.g. made of cork, plastic tapestry needles

Fold the paper plate in half and draw half a heart at the middle fold.  Cut the shape out and open the plate up so that you can see the whole heart

 Lay the plate on a mat that will be forgiving to holes (e.g. cork!) and poke a pen through the paper around the cut out heart.  Leave a wide margin or the paper might tear when you come to sewing.

Talk to the children about what the heart symbolises to them: love, strength, caring etc?

Esther showed great love for her people and for Mordecai but she also showed that she had a great deal of courage in her heart.  Ask the children to think about times when they have needed to show love to others or needed to be brave so they could help others.  Share times when God has helped you to do either or both.

Sometimes we might feel that we need God to help us to be stronger in such situations.  At the moment, the heart shape is an empty space.  Ask children to choose colours of wool that reflect people they would like God to help them love, or situations where they would like God to help them to show bravery to help others.  Sew though the holes in any order to make a 'strengthened heart'.

When children finish, gather the hearts together and thank God that he is with us when we need to draw on his strength and love, especially when we are in situations where we need to show love and strength for others.   Suggest that the children hang the plates in their windows or keep them by the bed during the following week as a reminder of their thoughts and prayers.

An adapted version of this craft might also for well with exploration of Ezekiel 36:26

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