As we enter into the season of Lent and prepare for Easter, here are some ideas to get children and families involved!
Its often really useful to have a prayer activity to send home with children so that they can spend time during the week connecting with God. This is an easy activity to put together and send out and works really well if prayed with someone else, taking it in turns to toss the coin. It might help to practice the activity with the children before they take it home, so that they can get right on with praying!
You will need: Enough real or plastic coins for each child, a print out of the prayer activity for each child (click here to print out a sheet with the activity x6 per page).
This craft was incredibly popular at our most recent Messy Church and is a great way to help children tithing about the image in Psalm 23 of God’s provision and an overflowing cup.
You will need: Clear plastic cups, white vinegar, food colouring, bicarbonate of soda
Put some vinegar in a cup (about 1/3 full) and add some food colouring to it. Add a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the vinegar and watch the liquid bubble up and then overflow.
Talk: Ask children- where do you need help most in your life? Who helps you and gives you the things you need? Who makes you feel special and like you belong? How do they do that? Have you ever asked God to hep you with things you need?
Pray: Ask children to think of an area of their life where they would like God to help them. Pray as you add the bicarbonate of soda that he will bless that area!
This year will be the second year we send out a Posada from church into the villages where our churches are based.
If you’ve never heard of a Posada, it’s a South American tradition where Mary and Joseph take a journey through the community every Advent (mirroring the real life journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem) and people sign up to host them for a day and a night before passing them on to the next hosts. It’s a great way of getting people from both inside and outside of church involved in the Nativity story over Advent and will open up many conversations with people who are puzzled about why two dolls are joining in events!
Last year Mary and Joseph had some amazing adventures: They went to a Derby County football match (their host that day had knitted them some scarves!), played in the sandpit at the local primary school, went to some cafes, rehearsed with the worship group, went to a few parties, spent time on the beach and went up in a cherry picker with a local handyman. Each host took some photos and we uploaded them to our Posada Facebook page so everyone could see what they were doing.
Mary and Joseph finished their journey at the crib service on Christmas Eve and, next morning, they were displayed in church complete with a baby Jesus!
Have a look at our Facebook page to see what they are up to this year and why not have a go yourself!
At our recent Pentecost service, we had a basket available to help babies and toddlers explore the colours and symbols of the Holy Spirit (specifically love, wind, fire, doves, red). The children and parents really got stuck in to discovering!
Basket contents included:
- Wooden doves
- Wooden hearts
- Fabric hearts
- Battery operated candles
- Red, yellow and orange ribbons tied to shower rings (streamers)
- A gold glitter reflection bottle (gold glitter in water- shake it up and watch it settle!)
- Bubbles (carried on the wind)
We’re getting to the point now where the we are starting to see signs of Spring. What a great time to get out and about and be practical with our prayer! This is an idea to encourage the whole family to pray together.
You will need: Outdoor clothes, phones or digital cameras, a computer to download the photos onto.
Go out on a family walk around your local streets and encourage the children to take photos of the things they would like to thank God for or would like to pray about (e.g. people taking care of the world so less litter on the ground). You might need to ask for a limit of 10 photos each so that the children carefully consider their ideas rather than randomly snap away!
When you get home, go through the photos or download and print them out. Ask the children why they chose those particular things and thank God/pray about them. Print out some of the photos and make a photo collage of things you found on your prayer walk!