Noah’s Ark Exploration Session

We’ve been experimenting with an after school club for adults and children together and it’s been going very well!

Our structure is very simple so there is minimal preparation needed, but we have been really pleased at the level of engagement from both children and parents.  Every week we tell a story, ask some wondering questions and then let everyone choose what they want to do. At the end of the session we come back together and share what we have been getting up to.

Choices include:

  • a simple prayer activity (with Noah’s ark we chose an animal to say thank you to God for)
  • a book corner with Bible stories
  • drawing
  • Lego
  • play dough
  • playing with the story sets
  • cake and drinks to help yourself to

You can see from the photos above what people got up to in our Noah’s ark session!

Easter Story Play Dough Faces

Here is a really easy but very hands on craft to help children to explore the various characters and events of the Easter story (though you can, of course, use it for any Bible story!)

You will need: Bowls (I used plastic Ikea ones), play dough

IMG_2778After reading the story, get children to talk about the characters and events they liked and didn’t like.  Which people and events struck them the most?

Give each child a bowl and some play dough. Using the bowl as a head, ask them to make the face of one of the characters from the story.  Try to make expressions such as anger, sadness joy.

When everyone has made a face, ask children to try and guess who each one is!

Transfiguration shine!

The transfiguration is an amazing story of Jesus being transformed into blazing light, radiating God’s glory and giving the disciples with him a glimpse of who he really is. This activity helps children to connect with the shine of the story and to think about how they might come closer to Jesus and be reflections of his light too.

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You will need: A set of glitter eye shadows (check any allergies children might have!), pieces of paper with challenges written on (see below)

Speak to the children about the story of Jesus going up the mountain and being transfigured into blazing light.

Talk about:

  • how would you have felt if you had seen it?
  • What would you have done?
  • What do you think it meant?
  • What does ‘glory’ mean?

Light is often associated with Jesus. He calls himself the light of the world and says that we can be too.  How can we come closer to Jesus and reflect his light to other people? How can we shine too so that people know we are his followers?

Get children to suggest ways they can come closer to Jesus or do things that he told us to do. Write some ideas down beforehand and then get children to suggest even more and write them on pieces of paper.

e.g.

  • pray for ourselves and others
  • Read Bible stories
  • Say thank you to God for what we have
  • speak to people who are lonely
  • help those in need

Ask each child to choose a piece of paper as a challenge to hep them get closer to Jesus and shine some of his light during the week. Next, get them to put some of the eyshadow on their finger and to spread it over their hand or arm. The glitter will shine as a reminder to them!

 

 

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.

Epiphany Star Biscuits

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Even though Christmas day is over, Christmas is not!

This is a great activity to do with children as you celebrate the wise men arriving in Bethlehem at Epiphany after following the star.  If you have access to an oven, you can bake the biscuits with the children during your session. Alternatively, bake the biscuits beforehand and let the children decorate them!

You will need: An oven, greaseproof paper, a baking tray, 200g butter, 250g plain flour, 75g cornflour, 100g icing sugar, a pinch of salt, star cookie cutters, icing and sprinkles to decorate

  1. Set the oven to 180C and preheat.
  2. Beat butter and icing sugar together until fluffy.
  3. Sift in flour, cornflour and salt and mix together to make a dough.
  4. Roll out dough to the thickness of a £1 coin and cut star shapes with the cookie cutter
  5. Put star shapes on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for 15-20 mins
  6. Cool on a cooling tray and then decorate with icing and sprinkles!

Talk about:

What is it like to go on a long journey? How do you know where to go? What does it feel like to find something you have been looking for?What do you think the wise men felt and thought when they found Jesus?

Pray: Eat the biscuits and pray that this year we will all come to find out more about Jesus and how much he loves us.