In John 14, Jesus reassures his disciples that they do not be afraid because he is leaving his peace with them. Whatever they will face in the future, especially when he is gone, he is not leaving them alone. I love using play dough mats in group situations because they are a very non- threatening way to help children to creatively explore how Bible stories relate to their own lives. This play dough mat is a conversation starter about the worries that children are facing in their own lives and also a way of helping them to know that they, too are not alone. Some children might choose to use the mat as a way of giving their worries to Jesus. Print out the mat at this link!
The moment when the disciples recognise that Jesus is God’s son is a really important moment in the gospels and it is a moment that can lead to excellent discussion about Jesus and what he means to each one of us.
This playdough mat is designed to help children to explore who they think Jesus is based on the stories they have heard and other experiences they might have had. Use the time when they are creating with playdough to chat with the children about their ideas. What they have to say might be really challenging!
Click here to print off the play dough mat. Don’t forget to laminate the mat if you want to use it several times.
One of the great post resurrection stories is the story of the journey to Emmaus and the eventual realisation of the two disciples that the stranger who has been travelling with them is actually Jesus. Here is a play dough mat to help children to explore this story. Print off the mat, laminate it for repeated uses and have fun!
Play dough is a well beloved, cheap and easily accessible material and can probably be found in most church children’s areas. There’s so much that can be done with it: praying, playing and responding to stories and teaching. Here are some ideas to get you started…
Praying with Playdough:
- Use play dough to make the shape of something you want to thank God for.
- Play dough intercessions
Responding to stories:
- Play dough faces
- Play Dough Mats
- Play dough mark making– roll the playdough out flat and use a variety of mark making items- lolly sticks, lego blocks, buttons, bottle tops, plastic knives, to make pictures of the story you have just heard. Children might want to make a picture of a key event or a key character, or write some words that relate to the story. Leave some time at the end of the activity so that they can share what they have done!
- Play dough models: provide a collection of collage and construction items such lolly sticks, pipe cleaners, buttons, feathers, card and ask children to use play dough along with these items to make models of a character or event from the story. Again. leave time to share!
Play dough recipes:
Playdough mats are incredibly helpful as ways of consolidating stories and exploring their themes. The idea is very easy: print out the mat, laminate it (so that the play dough will come off easily and so you can use the mat over and over again) and then get busy! Here are some example play dough mats to print off and use but why not get creative and make your own or get children to make some to help others to learn about the story…