The Parable of the Pearl Lesson

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.IMG_0443

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’

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  • 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!

Moses in the Bulrushes: Floating craft construction

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One of the most popular activities (especially for boys and grown ups) at our last Messy Church was the challenge to build a craft that would float on water and hold a stone (baby Moses). You can guess what our story was!

This was a great craft as there was no expected outcome, other than something that floated, so everyone was free to use their imagination to its full capacity. We had numerous attempts from some people and some very ingenious ideas!  We laid out a selection of materials including straws, balloons, card, paper, plastic spoons, lolly sticks, sellotape, foil and just let people get on with it. Here are a few of our examples of construction …

And the winner!

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This was a great way in to talking about the care that Moses’ mum would have taken when she put him out on the water and helped us to think about the people who care for us and to thank God for them.

Easter Story Stone Painting

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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.

Prodigal Son Crafts

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!

IMG_0158Party hats: Paper. staples, glue, glitter, ribbon, stickers, sequins

IMG_0156Building the Father’s House (or the pig sty!) out of boxes and tape

IMG_0145Clay hearts to help think about the Father’s love

IMG_0144Cornflour and water ‘pigswill’

IMG_0142Pig biscuits: Biscuits, icing, marshmallows, chocolate chips

IMG_0147Jewellery for the returning son to wear, made of strawberry laces and cheerios (this was very popular!)

Have fun!

God in us all-age prayer activity

IMG_3593At our last cafe church we talked about many different aspects of God’s character and how we all respond to Him in different ways depending on our own personalities. We also talked about part of God being in us when we believe and it being our job to show other people something about who God is.

That secret truth, which is for all people, is that Christ lives in you, his people. He is our hope for glory.  So we continue to tell people about Christ. Colossians 1:27-28

Here is the simple prayer activity we did together as a whole church family…

You will need: Sparkly card cut into irregular shapes, glue, a large piece of paper

Give everyone a piece of card and ask them to hold it with the sparkly facing up. Think about who God is to you- creator, friend, strength, love, saviour, miracle worker. Thank God for being in your life.

Turn the card sparkly side down and think of people you know who don’t know that they are loved by God. Ask God to help you to show them His love and what He is like

Turn the card sparkly side up again and compare it to the shape of the person next to you. The shapes will be different but both shiny, just like we are all different but still have God shining within us.

Ask everyone to glue the back of their piece of card and to bring it to the large piece of paper. Work together to make a picture of our community, with each piece knowing part of God and shining His love into the world.

Epiphany Session for Junior Church

Next Sunday will mark the Epiphany- the day we celebrate the time that the Wise Men reach the stable to visit Jesus. Here is a session you can use with a Junior church group of mixed ages to celebrate the occasion!

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Story: Read the story of the wise men visiting Jesus from a children’s Bible. The Lion Storyteller Bible is a definite favourite!

Activity: Make a ‘star’ with a torch and black paper. Check out this link to see how it’s done. Switch the lights  off and follow the star around the room!

Talk about:

What part of the story did you like best?

Which character did you like the best?

Which part of the story is about you?

What is it like to go on a long journey?

Have you ever searched for something?

What did it feel like when you found it?

What present would you give to a baby king?

Activity choices: Choose one or more of these and use the creation time to speak to the children about the story and anything that struck them during the talk time.

  • Use Lego, recycling junk or play dough to make a gift for the baby or to recreate part of the story.
  • Make a collection of ‘wise men’ by decorating paper towel rolls. In the carol ‘We Three Kings’ we sing about ‘three kings’, but in the Bible there is no number given so there could have been any number!
  • Cut star shapes out of card and use them as stencils to paint, draw or chalk round
  • Make Model Magic or clay stars and decorate them.

Prayer

You will need: A large sheet of paper and lots of sticky stars

Pray for

  • People who are travelling a long way- that God will look after them
  • People who are looking for something- that they find it
  • People who want to find out more about Jesus.

When you say ‘amen’ to each prayer, get everyone to stick a star sticker on a big sheet of paper.