Reflective Fuzzy Felt Crosses

IMG_3521This is a really easy way to help children take time to reflect and think about God.  We use these at our church as part of the ‘pray-ground’ resources that are laid out on some tables at the front of church.  Children can come and use these resources at any point during the service and they are especially popular during sung worship times.

You will need: Coloured felt sheets, scissors

Cut cross shapes out of some felt sheets.  Next cut some smaller pieces of felt in different colours.  Lay out the cross shapes and felt pieces on a table or on the floor and invite children to decorate the crosses with the pieces. Encourage children to use the time to speak to God in their heads or to think about God. If you are sitting with them, this might be a good opportunity to speak to them about what they are thinking. Be prepared for some very deep God connections!

Prayer planes

Here is a fun way to give your prayers wings!

You will need: (per person) strips of paper 21cm x 3cm and 15 cmx 3cm, a straw, sellotape, pens or pencilsIMG_3461Choose what you’d like to pray for and write two prayers- one on the long strip and one on the short strip.

Use sellotape to make each strip into a circle and attach the circles to opposite ends of the straw, as in the photo above.

Now hold your ‘prayer plane’ and launch it as you would a paper plane (with the smaller circle at the nose end of the plane). These planes have the potential to fly impressively far.  As you let go of the plane, ask God to take your prayers.

Experiment with different sizes of prayer circles to see if you can get your plane to go further.

Have fun!

4 Lego prayer ideas

Most families have some Lego lurking somewhere and it is a fantastic tool for praying with, especially is you are looking for hands on, colourful prayer.

Here are some ideas for praying with Lego…

Have fun!

  1. Use lego to spell the names of people you are praying for (or the initial letter of their name if it is a long name!) Ask God to bless that person.

IMG_31952.  Say sorry to God for something you have done wrong and ask Him to forgive you. Make a cross with some Lego pieces as a reminder that because of the cross and the resurrection, we have the chance at a new start too.

IMG_31693.  Use Lego figures to pray for people.  If you pick up a girl- pray for a female, if it’s a boy, pray for a male, if it’s a figure that has a particular job e.g. a construction worker or an artist, pray for people doing that job.  If you pick up a figure with an angry expression, pray for people who are angry and need peace.  Let your imagination to think of other  ways of using the figures to pray!

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4.  Make models with Lego of things you’d like to say thank you to God for.

 

Psalm 23: Cups Running Over Craft

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

img_3019 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!

5 Ideas for Reflective Prayer

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.

Reflective colouring

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?

Reflection bottles

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.

Hot Cross Bun Multi-SensoryPrayers

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You will need: Hot cross buns cut into bite-size pieces, paper strips, pens, spices in a pot, covered with foil and with holes poked in the foil e.g. cinnamon, ginger (or use a scented candle), sultanas or raisins

Bread- A reminder of the bread Jesus broke to give to his disciples as a remembrance of him.
Eat some of the bun and think of people who don’t know who Jesus is. Pray that they will come to know him and his love for them.

Crossreminds us of the death of Jesus on Good Friday and the sadness surrounding it.
Glue paper strips to make a cross and write/ draw names/ people who are sad or grieving. Ask God to help them

Spices- remind us of the spices used in getting the body ready  for burial.  Again, this is a reminder of the sadness of Jesus Dying and of the people who took care of him 
Smell the pot of spices or the scented candle.
Think of people who help to look after us and those people that we look after. Thank God for them

Sultanas and the sweet glaze on top of the bun what Jesus did for us on the cross brings abut something sweet and amazing- the hope of new life and relationship with God.
Eat a couple of sultanas or raisins and think about what your hopes for the future are. Tell God about them.