Holy Spirit/Pentecost Discovery Basket

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!)
  • Windmills
  • Bubbles (carried on the wind)

Toddler Group Crafts

The key to great crafts at a toddler group is to find something easy and open-ended.  That way there is less work for the leaders and more fun and exploration for the children.  Just a warning- easy can also sometimes be messy so make sure you have a collection of aprons or old shirts to hand!

Here are some tried and tested toddler group crafts…

Painting with nature

Playing with oobleck (a mixture of water and cornflour)

Playing with shaving foam on a tray

Plastic bag rainbow painting

Rolling egg paintings

Click here to go to a Pinterest board full of more ideas!

Toddler Play: Heuristic Play (Exploring with Stuff!)

Heuristic play is a method used in lots of nurseries and pre-schools to help children to explore, create and use their imaginations.  For children in church it’s brilliant because it helps them to start thinking, questioning and exploring and well as inspiring some awe and wonder!  As they are allowed to freely explore, it also helps the children to build their independence and creativity.  Even the adults can’t resist having a go themselves!

Heuristic play involves having collections of items (plenty of each to go round) which the children can then play with without adult intervention.  Play can be themed if you are looking at a particular story.

Use items such as: corks, kitchen roll tubes, boxes and tins, napkin rings and bangles (and mug trees to put them on!), shells, pinecones, corks, pegs, stones, egg boxes, ribbons, muffin tins, bottle tops.

Click here to see a Pinterest board of heuristic play ideas.

Here are some examples we have used in church:

Have fun watching imagination and creativity develop!

Using Bible Stories in Toddler Groups

Running toddler groups in church can be a great way of building relationships with the local community as well as providing a place of support, care and fun for families.  It’s also a great opportunity to gently let the story of Jesus be known in what we do, who we are and the hospitality we provide.  You are likely to have some books for the children to read with their parents and it’s a good idea to include amongst them some really good quality Bible stories.  Here are some recommendations:

Stories Jesus Told

Jacket Image

The Big Bible Story Book

The Big Bible Storybook

The Beginner’s Bible


Christmas and Easter are wonderful opportunities to tell the stories themselves and this is a great version for reading aloud:

The Lion Storyteller Bible

Product Details

Who knows what conversations might arise from the questions children ask their parents!  Happy reading 🙂