Monday, 22 August 2016

6 Easy and Creative ways to respond to Bible Stories

It can be really amazing when children have the opportunity to respond to Bible stories in completely their own way, without the structure of planned crafts and questions.  I have always been blown away by the depth of what even the youngest children come up with!  Here are some easy ways to help children tell you exactly what they think and feel about a story...

1. Speech and thought bubbles

Laminate A4 or A3 speech and thought bubbles and let children write or draw what their favourite characters from the story might be thinking or saying at given points.  Use dry wipe markers for continued use and sellotape a pencil on the back so that children can hold them up to their mouths or heads and pretend to be the character!

2. Feelings cards

Think about how characters in the story might feel about events and/ or what the events of the story make the children feel.  Click here to print off the cards.  I have cut, laminated and punched holes in them to make individual feelings fans!

3. Retell the story with figures

Use dolls, wooden pegs or print off and colour in your own.  Click here to print out some figures.

4. Play dough or play dough mats

Ask children to recreate scenes using play dough.  Click here to print off play dough mats that may also help with responses to certain Bible stories.

5. Loose parts

Read here about how to use loose parts to help children respond.  I love this!

6. Junk box models

Provide a box of collage/ recycling materials and get children to make a model or something from the story that stuck out for them the most.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Easy Sensory Prayer Path

I was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest recently of a sensory pathway and it got me thinking about how we could use the idea to help children to connect with God.  I had some fun putting this together and it can potentially be used on several different levels- plus I had to take a trip to IKEA to get a few things!!  

I used: A glue gun and glue sticks, plastic trays, plastic mats, rope, stones, pom poms, giant bubble wrap, scourer sponges (with the sponge and scourer part separated), a bath mat.

Do this either in socks or in bare feet. In terms of risk assessment- it's probably best to get the children to stand one at a time on any mat and to make sure there is no fast movement that will cause trippage!!!

Under 5s- Jesus walks on the water.  Think about what it feels like to step out onto various different materials.  You could include a tray of water and some towels as well!

Jesus sends out the 72 disciples- feel the different sensations and think about the different types of people that we/ the disciples meet on our journey to tell people about Jesus and God's love.

Prayer path (can be linked with the sending of the 72). 

Start (bath mat)

Stand on the bath mat and thank God for your own home and family.

Scourer pads (hot glued to a plastic place mat)

Stand on the scourer pads and think of people who rub us up the wrong way and upset us.  Ask God to bless them and help us to work together with them.

Stones (on a plastic tray)

Stand on the stones and think of people who are in hard situations.  Ask God to help them

Rope (hot glued to a plastic place mat)

Stand on the rope and think of times when life feels confusing.  Ask God to help you to think clearly and to make things feel less messy.

Pom Poms (hot glued to a plastic placemat)

Stand on the pom poms and thank God for all the people you know who are kind and helpful.  Ask God to send them kind and helpful people too.

Giant bubble wrap (on a plastic tray)

 Stand on the bubble wrap and think about people who are scared and need protection.  Ask God to look after them and keep them safe.

Sponges (hot glued to a plastic placemat)

Stand on the sponges and think of the people and places who/ that make you feel peaceful.  Pray that God will help people all over the world to know peace.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Jesus Walks on Water Printable Play Dough Mat

Here is a play dough mat to help children to explore and respond to the story of Jesus walking on water and Peter's attempt to walk towards him.  It's especially useful to help children explore themes of bravery in life and looking to Jesus for confidence.

As usual, the play dough mats work best if you laminate them as they are then easier to wipe clean and you can use them again and again!

To print the mat, Click here.

Have fun!

Friday, 29 July 2016

Zacchaeus: Marshmallow and Spaghetti Tree building Challenge

If you want to offer an absorbing and challenging way for children to explore the story of Zacchaeus, then look no further.  This is a great way of helping them to think about the determination of Zacchaeus to see Jesus, because it will take some determination to complete the task!!

You will need: Dried spaghetti, mini marshmallows and a plastic Easter Egg

Challenge the children to build a 'tree' with the spaghetti and marshmallows, that will support and hold a plastic Easter egg (real eggs are way too heavy for what they are likely to build!)

Talk about:
How easy was it to build the tree?
What difficulties did you encounter?
What difficulties do you think Zacchaeus encountered in the story?
What lengths would you go to to see one of your heroes?
What lengths do others go to in order to be Christians?- think about the persecuted church
When do you sometimes have to be determined?
Do you ever have to use your determination in order to live as a Christian and to get to know Jesus better?

Pray that weather people will have the determination to get to know Jesus better, even when it's hard. Draw or write prayers on a slip of paper and put them inside the plastic egg.  Put the egg back on top of the 'tree' and give your prayers to God