Last Supper Easy Flat Bread Recipe

Children generally seem to love cooking activities and this is a recipe that lets them early get hands on!

As we build up to Easter, you might be thinking of a new way to explore the story of the last supper with your children.  Making flat bread is a great way to really get into the story!

IMG_3120

Explain to the children that Jesus and his disciples were celebrating passover so the bread they used at the last supper would in all probability be the unleavened bread Jews ate at the passover meal.  The bread is unleavened because at the original Passover, the Israelites had to be ready to move quickly and didn’t have time to make bread with yeast.

You will Need: 175g plain flour, 100ml water,2 tablespoons oil, a pinch of salt, baking tray, greaseproof paper (enough for 6 portions)

Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

Mix together the flour, salt, water and oil until a dough is formed.  You may need to add a little more flour if the dough is too wet to handle.

On a floured surface, take turns in kneading the dough over a period of about 5 minutes and then separate the dough into 6 pieces.

Place dough on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 15- 20 minutes.  Take the bread out of the oven and leave to cool.

When cooled, use the bread to act out the last supper and get the children to reflect on how the story makes them feel and what questions it makes them ask.

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.

Christmas Assembly or All-Age Service Talk (With Sweets!)

Here is the talk I did today at a school Christmas concert.  The children loved it because it involved sweets! I tried to get them to predict the contents of parcel 6 and had some random ideas but also some very sensible suggestions such as “Milky Way’ or ‘Mars’ because “God Made them.”  They were definitely paying attention!

love-hearts

You will need: A big box filled with 6 wrapped and numbered parcels. Each parcel contains one of the following- A Galaxy chocolate bar, ‘sour’ fizzy sweets, Love Hearts, Jelly Babies, Starbursts, Liquorice Allsorts (see order below), another gift bag filled with enough sweets for every child to have one.

Ask the children who has presents under the tree already.  Who is expecting to get or give a present this Christmas? For Christians, Christmas is about the most special present of all (open the big box and give each parcel to a different volunteer child.  Tell them not to open them until you ask).

So let’s see what’s in our presents.

(Ask the child with present 1 to unwrap it and tell you what they have. Give the explanation and then move on to parcel 2. Repeat until all parcels are open!)

1- Galaxy- God made everything- the world, the stars, space, the Galaxy, the whole universe
2- Sours- I’m not keen on sours- the don’t taste like sweets should, in my opinion!  Things in God’s world weren’t going as they should, either. There was war and hatred and sadness. People needed someone to come and give them hope, to help them and show them a new way to live
3- Love hearts- God loved us so much that he decided to send someone very special- his own son who had been with him since the beginning of everything
4- Jelly babies- so God sent a baby- and Jelly babies were originally called peace babies so this reminds us that one thing Jesus came to do is bring us peace
5- Starburst- God sent a star to shine over the place where Jesus was born so that people would know where to find him

(At this point I tried to get the children to suggest what would be in the final parcel…)

6- Liquorice All sorts- I don’t like these at all, but some people love them and that’s the point! These remind us that Jesus came for all sorts of people-everyone. The hope and peace he brings is God’s gift to us all.

BUT… at the moment, the only people who have sweets are the people who opened the presents.  Who thinks that’s fair?   Jesus came to give hope and light and peace to everyone, so no no one will be left out (give the bag full of sweets to a teacher or, if with a smaller group give the sweets out).

Merry Christmas!

Posada: a fun way to reach the community during Advent!

This year will be the second year we send out a Posada from church into the villages where our churches are based.

If you’ve never heard of a Posada, it’s a South American tradition where Mary and Joseph take a journey through the community every Advent (mirroring the real life journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem) and people sign up to host them for a day and a night before passing them on to the next hosts.  It’s a great way of getting people from both inside and outside of church involved in the Nativity story over Advent and will open up many conversations with people who are puzzled about why two dolls are joining in events!

Last year Mary and Joseph had some amazing adventures: They went to a Derby County football match (their host that day had knitted them some scarves!), played in the sandpit at the local primary school, went to some cafes, rehearsed with the worship group, went to a few parties, spent time on the beach and went up in a cherry picker with a local handyman.  Each host took some photos and we uploaded them to our Posada Facebook page so everyone could see what they were doing.

Mary and Joseph finished their journey at the crib service on Christmas Eve and, next morning, they were displayed in church  complete with a baby Jesus!

Have a look at our Facebook page to see what they are up to this year and why not have a go yourself!

School Club Session: The 10 Lepers

 

2015-02-12-20-30-15

5 mins Reflective colouring while waiting for all children to arrive.  Click here for ideas to print out
5 mins Game- 10 cup bowling

Set out  10 cups in a ten pin bowling formation and throw a soft ball or beanbag at them.  Can you knock down all 10 with 3 throws?

2 mins Song (click for a Pinterest board of Children’s Ministry songs)
10 mins Tell the story either from a book or interactively.  The Lion Storyteller Bible is great! Get children thinking about what they are grateful for. Remind them that out of the 10 lepers, only one came back to say thank you. Why do you think that was? How do you feel when someone forgets to say thank you? What would you like to say thank you for?
10 mins Prayer: balloon praise- blow up balloons and write/ draw thank you prayers on them with sharpies (or write on stickers and stick to the balloons) Play some music and bat the balloons around. When the music stops, everyone grab a balloon and say thank you to God for something on that balloon. Repeat.

Make up a word search using words from the story or using word of things they would like to say thank you for.  Click here to print out a blank word search sheet.

3 mins End with a game!  Click here for a Pinterest board full of ideas.