As we enter into the season of Lent and prepare for Easter, here are some ideas to get children and families involved!
Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent and it’s time to get ready for Christmas plans!
Here are some ideas to get you started…
- Advent Journey Spirals
- Advent Window Decorations
- Using Christmas cards to explore the Nativity Story
- Advent Wreath Prayers
- Nativity Prayer Cards
- Christingle Ideas
When you have a range of ages in a children’s group, it’s great to provide a range of activities that are more open-ended that children can choose from. This means that children are more likely to find something they can get on and do independently and to their own level! Here is a session we used this month with a group of children ranging in age from 2-12.
First we organised a hunt for coloured paper squares which we had hidden around the room. Children worked in small teams to find specific colours.
Next, we told the parable of the pearl. I used my Godly play set, but a version from a children’s Bible or a video of the story would work just as well.
Children could then choose from a range of related activities that helped them to explore the story themes of ‘treasure’, searching for something precious and what the kingdom of God would be like…
- Making pearl ‘treasure’ biscuits. Click here for the link to show you how.
- Drawing a picture of the story
- Using play dough to make a scene from the story or to make a ‘treasure’
- Using a range of collage materials to make ‘treasure’
- searching in moon sand for ‘treasure’ (glittery foam shapes, buttons, pom poms)
As the children created, we used the time to talk to them about heaven, treasure, what it must be like to give up everything for something incredibly precious and what they would have done if they had been in the story. We had some fascinating conversations!
Stones are an important part of the Easter story because it is a massive stone that is placed in front of Jesus’ tomb and the same stone that is rolled away at the resurrection. Stones are also amazing tactile. They are something firm to hold on to and also something hard to help children to reflect on the hard times we all face in our lives. They are also a great surface to draw on and this craft was really popular at our Messy Good Friday service yesterday.
You will need: Stones (enough for one each), paint pens, sharpies, felt tips (test the pens on your stones before starting as different types of pen work better depending on the kind of surface your stone has!)
Ask children to reflect on what they know of the story and of who Jesus is and to decorate their rock accordingly. They might want to use words or pictures or a mixture of both. Use the time they spend creating as an opportunity to speak to them about the story and what it means to them.
If you are doing a Sunday session about the Prodigal son, or if you are putting together a Prodigal Son Messy Church, here are some craft ideas for you!
Party hats: Paper. staples, glue, glitter, ribbon, stickers, sequins
Building the Father’s House (or the pig sty!) out of boxes and tape
Clay hearts to help think about the Father’s love
Cornflour and water ‘pigswill’
Pig biscuits: Biscuits, icing, marshmallows, chocolate chips
Jewellery for the returning son to wear, made of strawberry laces and cheerios (this was very popular!)
I’ve put together a bag of times to help tell the story of Noah’s Ark to some children under 5. Bags like this are great because the children can then play with all of the items when you have told the story and you can also lend them to families to play with at home. This bag contains…
- A big gold gift bag,
- a ribbon rainbow
- blue and white ‘water’ streamers
- blue tinsel ‘waves’
- rain stick
- wooden Noah’s ark with parts of animals
- a fabric heart
- blue fabric
I usually include a story book and then you are good to go!
Have fun storytelling 🙂