Thursday, 19 April 2018

I am part of God's Big Family Play Dough Mat

For those of you who have followed this blog over a period of time, you will probably know that last month saw the publication of my first book.  I am so excited about it! The book looks amazing and has loads of ideas for helping you to introduce Holy Communion to under 5s.  There are play sessions for Creche areas, sessions for more formal children's church settings and ideas for when you have no children's groups at all. There is also a section for what families can do at home to explore the main themes.

What is extra great about this book is that it comes with downloadable and printable material.  To give you a taster, here is one of the play dough mats that links with a session exploring what it means to be part of God's big family.  To print click here

You can buy the book here (overseas postage is available) or on Kindle here. Have fun!

Monday, 9 April 2018

Ascension Bubbles: Activity and Prayer for Ascension Day

For those of you who are looking ahead and planning for Ascension day then this is for you- but even if you're not, this is a great activity to help children think about giving their prayers to God!  

This appears as one of the crafts in last month's Premier Youth and Children's Work magazine, which is amazing always worth a read :-)

You will need: A plastic bottle or glass jar, water, vegetable oil, food colouring, Alka seltzer tablets

Fill a bottle or jar halfway full with water and mix in some food colouring. 

Now fill the rest of the bottle with oil, leaving a small space at the top. 

The oil will separate from the water into a separate layer. 

Drop an Alka Seltzer tablet (or try a quarter or half at a time if they are large tablets) into the bottle and watch as bubbles of coloured water start to ascend into the oil layer in the style of a mini lava lamp! 

Talk: Watch the bubbles rising and think about the sight of Jesus ascending and what that might have meant for the disciples. What might they have been thinking/ feeling? What does it feel like to wait for something, as the disciples had been told to go and wait for the Holy Spirit to come?

Pray: Think about situations where you or people you know are waiting for something to happen. 
As you drop the tablet into the liquid and see the bubbles ascending, pray that God will take the worries and stresses of waiting away and that they will feel God's presence with them as they wait.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Easter Story Easter Egg Hunt

In a couple of weeks we are going to be hosting a community pizza making event and Easter Egg hunt.  Because our pizza making project is about building initial trust and relationships in the community amongst those who have never been to a church, we are never the first to mention God (even though we make Pizza in the church itself!). We wanted to have a Christian flavour to the event, though, as it is in celebration of Easter!  We are going to use pictures of the Easter story in our egg hunt and I thought I'd share it with you here.
You will need: Print outs of Sheet 1 and Sheet 2 (1 of each), Print outs of the competition sheet (1 per person), marker pens, hole punch, string, pens or pencils, Easter eggs and copies of the Easter story as prizes.

Cut the egg shapes out of sheet 1 and 2 and laminate them. 

Pictures show: A palm leaf, a crown, a cup and bread, a cross, a sad face, a cave and a rock, a happy face, the word 'alive.'

With a marker pen, on the back of each laminated egg shape, write a random number e.g. 47 or 391 (rather than 1-8, which are easy to guess)

Punch a hole in each egg shape, thread some string through the hole and go and find somewhere to hang them up.

Give each player a copy of the competition sheet. They now have to go and find each egg shape. When they find an egg shape, they need to turn it over and write the number on the back in the box on their picture sheet.
When they have found all of the pictures they can return to the start and claim their prize (after all of the numbers have been checked!). We are giving out creme eggs and this booklet to everyone who hands in a completed sheet- adults included!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Moses in the bulrushes: prayers for safety

Last week's Messy Church was based around the story of baby Moses being left in a basket in the river by his mother. What we focussed on was the theme of safety: thanking God for those who keep us safe and asking God to keep others safe.  Here is the prayer activity we ended with. It was so easy but felt so significant!

You will need: cupcake cases, mini pom poms (it really helps if you put one pom pom in each cake case before you start), a long box filled with water (or several boxes if you have lots of people).

Talk about people who keep us safe, just like Moses' mum tried to keep him safe from the Egyptians and then safe on the water. Are there any times when God has kept you safe? Who do you know who needs help to stay safe at the moment? (We had lots of suggestions e.g. homeless people, people who were going to have an operation, people who were going on a journey).

Invite everyone to take cake case with a pom pom in it and think about someone who keeps them safe  or someone who needs help to keep safe. Either say thank you to God or ask God to help them. When they have prayed, ask them to float the case on the water as a sign of their prayer.