It’s always amazing to see the depth of spirituality children display when we give them freedom and encouragement to explore. Just as some adults prefer to connect with God in quiet contemplation, the same is true with some children and we underestimate them at our peril! Here are some ways I’ve found useful to help children to reflect on God and to be with Him in silence and contemplation.
Each of the activities below allows children to speak to God, but also, as they are doing so, to listen for His voice. After doing one of these activities, it might be helpful to ask them if they felt God was saying anything to them or if anything popped into their head while they were praying. Be ready to be astounded!
Sand art reflection
You will need: slightly damp sand, a tray, a lolly stick, pencil or finger!
Fill the tray with the sand and smooth out the surface. Ask children to spend time writing or drawing their prayers to God in the sand. What do they want Him to know? What would they like to tell Him?
Letters to God
You will need: envelopes, paper, pens, a letter box
Ask children to write letters to God. What questions do they want to ask Him? What do they want to say to Him? Do they want to thank Him for anything? Put the letters into envelopes and encourage children to address the envelopes and put them into the box.
You will need: Reflective colouring sheets or prayers or Bible verses. Click here to print some off, pens and colouring pencils
Let children colour in silence. As they colour, do any of the words or phrases stand out to them? Do they feel God saying anything to them? Do they have any questions for God?
Play dough reflections
You will need: Play dough, a wipeable surface
Encourage children to use the play dough to express their ideas about God: What might He look like? What words describe Him? What other signs and symbols reflect who He is?
You will need: Clear plastic bottles, water, oil, food colouring, glitter
Glitter bottle: fill a bottle with water and add a tablespoon of glitter, seal and shake.
Oil Bottle: Fill the bottle 2/3 full of water. Add some food colouring to colour the water. Fill the rest of the bottle with vegetable oil or baby oil. Seal and shake.
Watch the glitter or the oil mix with the water and then gradually settle. Use the time to focus on God and to listen for his voice.