Using playdough to pray and respond

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…IMG_3519

Praying with Playdough: 

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:

Beeswax Prayer Candles

Lighting candles is a popular way of signalling a prayer and can be a very moving experience. This craft is an easy way to let children make their own candles and to think about situations they’d like to pray for. The activity also lends itself really well to any activities you might be doing that are light related.

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You will need: Beeswax sheets, scissors, candle wick (this will usually be supplied with the beeswax sheets), sharpies or permanent markers

Cut the beeswax sheets into strips. I used strips roughly 30cm x 5 cm. Cut wicks about 7 cm long.

With the marker pens, write names of people or situations you want to pray for on the strip.

Place a wick at one end of the strip and roll the strip up like a scroll. The wick should be right in the middle now. Gently press the end of the strip against the body of the scroll so that it stays put.

Light the candle and pray for the situations and people you have written on the inside. The honey like smell of the beeswax will come through as an extra sign of lifting up prayers to God!

Road to Emmaus Prayer Stations

For anyone exploring the story of what happens on the road to Emmaus with slightly older children, here are some prayer activities!

Sensory Prayer Walk

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You will need: Sensory prayer walk (Click here to see how!)

Jesus and the two disciples walk together. Follow the prayer walk and speak to God along the way. Take off your shoes for the full effect!

Teacher candle prayers

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You will need: Tea lights, tapers

Jesus walked alongside the two disciples and taught them on their journey.  Say thank you to God for someone who has walked alongside you or been a good teacher to you. Light a candle for them.

Scratch art prayers

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You will need: scratch art sheets or shapes

When Jesus breaks the bread and shares it with them, the two disciples recognise who he is.  What do you need help to understand more clearly? Scratch off the darkness on the  surface to show the colour below and ask God to help you.

Planting new life

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You will need: Seed Paper, pencils, instructions for planting seed paper (Click here)

When the disciples saw that Jesus was alive they were amazed and excited. Where would you like to see new life and new beginnings? Write a name or a situation on the seed paper and take it home and plant it.  As the seeds pray for new beginnings in that situation.

 

 

Light Peg Prayers

This is a really simple but effective idea to help children to think and pray about Jesus bringing light and hope into situations.

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You will need: A String of peg lights (or fairy lights with paper clips to fasten prayers to the string), paper, pens, photos of people, photos of places from magazines or the internet.

Ask children who they know who they would like to pray for, or which places they think need help and hope at the moment. They can write or draw them on paper or use photos. Turn on the light string and peg the photos and pieces of paper to the string. Pray that these people and places will have the light of Jesus in their lives and will know that he loves them.

Glow Stick Light Prayers

As we approach winter and nights are drawing in, here is a simple prayer activity to help children to think about praying for light in darkness.

You will need: A bag or dark coloured pillow case, glow sticks, small pieces of paper, pens

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Talk to the children about light and darkness and about how light always chases darkness away. Remind them about Jesus saying he is the light of the world so we can bring the dark, sad, challenging and difficult things of the world to him and ask him to help.

Get children to think of people and places that are going through hard times and write or draw them on pieces of paper. Put them into the dark bag/ pillowcase. Pray that Jesus will bring his light to these people and situations. Break some glow sticks and put them inside the bag with the prayers. Look into the bag to see how the glow sticks are lighting up the darkness. Give each child a glow stick to take away to remind them of Jesus’ ability to chase away the darkness.

Sticker Intercessions

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This is a simple but very colourful and visual way of bringing prayers to Jesus.

You will need:  A roll of wallpaper backing paper or a roll of foil, a marker or paint pen, a collection of coloured label and/or coloured dot stickers, felt tip pens.

Roll out your paper or foil to your desired length (it’s good to make it long enough for a group of children to get round at the same time!)

Write the word ‘Jesus’ in large letters across the sheet.

Talk to children about bringing prayers to Jesus and feeling confident that we can let go of them and leave them in his hands.

Think of who you want to pray for and either write initial letters or draw small pictures on the coloured label stickers. Stick the stickers anywhere on the letters of Jesus’ name as a sign of brining the prayers to him.

If children would like to pray for themselves, ask them to choose a coloured dot to represent themselves and to stick that on the letters of Jesus’ name too.