Moses in the Bulrushes: Floating craft construction

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One of the most popular activities (especially for boys and grown ups) at our last Messy Church was the challenge to build a craft that would float on water and hold a stone (baby Moses). You can guess what our story was!

This was a great craft as there was no expected outcome, other than something that floated, so everyone was free to use their imagination to its full capacity. We had numerous attempts from some people and some very ingenious ideas!  We laid out a selection of materials including straws, balloons, card, paper, plastic spoons, lolly sticks, sellotape, foil and just let people get on with it. Here are a few of our examples of construction …

And the winner!

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This was a great way in to talking about the care that Moses’ mum would have taken when she put him out on the water and helped us to think about the people who care for us and to thank God for them.

Easter Story Stone Painting

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Stones are an important part of the Easter story because it is a massive stone that is placed in front of Jesus’ tomb and the same stone that is rolled away at the resurrection. Stones are also amazing tactile. They are something firm to hold on to and also something hard to help children to reflect on the hard times we all face in our lives. They are also a great surface to draw on and this craft was really popular at our Messy Good Friday service yesterday.

You will need:  Stones (enough for one each), paint pens, sharpies, felt tips (test the pens on your stones before starting as different types of pen work better depending on the kind of surface your stone has!)

Ask children to reflect on what they know of the story and of who Jesus is and to decorate their rock accordingly. They might want to use words or pictures or a mixture of both. Use the time they spend creating as an opportunity to speak to them about the story and what it means to them.

Epiphany Session for Junior Church

Next Sunday will mark the Epiphany- the day we celebrate the time that the Wise Men reach the stable to visit Jesus. Here is a session you can use with a Junior church group of mixed ages to celebrate the occasion!

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Story: Read the story of the wise men visiting Jesus from a children’s Bible. The Lion Storyteller Bible is a definite favourite!

Activity: Make a ‘star’ with a torch and black paper. Check out this link to see how it’s done. Switch the lights  off and follow the star around the room!

Talk about:

What part of the story did you like best?

Which character did you like the best?

Which part of the story is about you?

What is it like to go on a long journey?

Have you ever searched for something?

What did it feel like when you found it?

What present would you give to a baby king?

Activity choices: Choose one or more of these and use the creation time to speak to the children about the story and anything that struck them during the talk time.

  • Use Lego, recycling junk or play dough to make a gift for the baby or to recreate part of the story.
  • Make a collection of ‘wise men’ by decorating paper towel rolls. In the carol ‘We Three Kings’ we sing about ‘three kings’, but in the Bible there is no number given so there could have been any number!
  • Cut star shapes out of card and use them as stencils to paint, draw or chalk round
  • Make Model Magic or clay stars and decorate them.

Prayer

You will need: A large sheet of paper and lots of sticky stars

Pray for

  • People who are travelling a long way- that God will look after them
  • People who are looking for something- that they find it
  • People who want to find out more about Jesus.

When you say ‘amen’ to each prayer, get everyone to stick a star sticker on a big sheet of paper.

 

Light Party Talk: Jesus the Superhero

Today our church had a ‘light’ party with a superhero theme. It was certainly a popular theme and adults and children were really able to get into the spirit of dressing up! As well as all of the usual crafts and games, here’s the talk we gave about Jesus as a superhero, linking with what he said about being ‘the light of the world.’  We switched off the lights and did this by candle light because it makes it so much more effective when the children get their own lights to switch on!  The lights we gave the children were finger torches which we found here.

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Hold a lit candle as you are speaking.

Today is Halloween and sometimes Halloween can seem a bit frightening.  The nights are getting darker and sometimes the world can seem like a scary place, But if you notice- we’re not dressed like witches or ghosts or vampires tonight.  We’re dressed like superheroes.  I’ll tell you why.

Who is your favourite superhero?  Why?

Superheroes have amazing powers and they do amazing things to defeat evil.  They fight the baddies and in the end, good wins.

There are all sorts of superheroes and they have all sorts of super powers.  There’s a hero we talk about all the time in this church and his name is Jesus. He’s a hero because he does amazing things. He makes blind people see. He turns 5 loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed more people than could ever fit into this church. He stops storms and rain just by saying one word.  And when things are scary we know that all we need to do is ask him to help us.  He is like light coming in to dark and scary places to make us feel safe again.  Jesus even said ‘I am the light of the world.’ When things are sad and scary and lonely and everything feels dark, he is the hero who has come to make things better.

Give candles to three other people (adults or children and light them from the candle you are holding)

But Jesus wants us to be superheroes too. He says that we can be the light of the world too.  We can be people who help people who are sad and lonely. We can be people who look after those who feel that the world is a hard place.

So I’m going to give you a little light and if you’d like to try and be a superhero who brings light in the darkness, then light it up.

Give out the finger lights (or alternative!) and let the children have time to light them if they want to.

So when you go home and you have times when you feel sad and scared and worried, put your light on and remember that you have a superhero called Jesus who you can ask to help you. And I challenge you to be superheroes too. Where can you help to bring light in the darkness and make the world seem less scary for other people?

Cheer for superheroes!

 

Noah’s Ark Story Bag

IMG_0434I’ve put together a bag of times to help tell the story of Noah’s Ark to some children under 5.  Bags like this are great because the children can then play with all of the items when you have told the story and you can also lend them to families to play with at home.  This bag contains…

  • A big gold gift bag,
  • a ribbon rainbow
  • blue and white ‘water’ streamers
  • blue tinsel ‘waves’
  • rain stick
  • wooden Noah’s ark with parts of animals
  • a fabric heart
  • blue fabric

I usually include a story book and then you are good to go!

Have fun storytelling 🙂

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!