Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Meal time grace placemat for under 5s

This is a resource I have created while putting together my book on introducing Holy Communion to under 5s. More will follow in due course on that subject!

Anyway, this is a very simple idea prompted by a remark on this blog's Facebook page.  Thanks Nicole Hall for telling me about having placemats with prayer prompts on them so that children could join in with prayers over mealtimes!

The idea with this placemat is that you print it off and laminate it so that a child can use it on the table and it can easily be wiped clean.

The first time you use it, talk about the different pictures and what they symbolise. When you come to pray before you eat, ask your child to choose one or two of the pictures and to thank God for that thing. For example, if they choose the 'drink' picture, they might thank God for their favourite drink or for what they are going to drink at the table.  Gradually they will build up the repertoire of what they want to say thank you for!

To print off the placemat, click here.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Pray-Ground Box for Church

We've recently been investigating how we can include and engage younger children in our worship on a Sunday morning because we really want everyone to be a part of what is happening.

While we have a selection of flags that the children can dance to the music with, the only space that allows this is at the back of church. Because we don't want to relegate the children, by default, to the back, we have hit upon creating a 'pray-ground' or interactive space for them at the front of church, where they can be involved in a variety of worship focussed activities while the service is going on.  If you want to find out more about 'pray-grounds,' look at this great post by Traci Smith.

Because we want to make it clear to everyone how valued the children are, one of the clergy or leaders will often sit in the pray ground while sung worship is happening or during the sermon, so that they can interact with the children and take part in what they are doing.

Each of our churches now has a box of activities and three or four are chosen each week for the children to use. That way there is a bit of variety.  If there is anything particular to the service then that might be included in the pray ground activities too. We have a communion treasure box that we bring out during communion services and this week we are looking at the parable of the sower so there will be some gardening sensory play!

Here is a run down of what we have put in each box:

Some paper windmills (we're going for an 'awe and wonder' feel!)

Chalk board and chalk

Felt cross shapes with little scraps of felt the children can use to decorate them.


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Sequin Fabric Board Prayers

I recently discovered 'mermaid fabric' and I love it as a sensory experience and a potential refection and prayer tool!

Mermaid fabric is essentially sequin covered fabric, but the brilliant part is that the sequins are one colour on the top and another colour on the bottom.  If you stroke the fabric upwards, it reveals the underside colour and I could basically sit there stroking all day!

I thought the fabric would be good as a reflection tool in the 'worship' boxes we are creating for children during worship times in a service.  There is a lot of awe and wonder here!!  Here's what I did...

You will need: Mermaid fabric, picture frames (with glass panel removed), PVA or hot glue, scissors.

I took the glass panel out of my photo frames and then removed the backing board, which I measured and then covered with the same size panel of mermaid fabric.  I used PVA glue to stick it on and that seemed to work fine.

I then put the backing board back into the frame and we were good to go!

There is so much potential for these boards...

  • write the initials of someone you are praying for
  • Pray for God's love to be shown and draw a heart in the sequins
  • If you have a fabric like the one above which is black on one side and gold on the reverse, pray for God's light to come into dark places
  • Use the boards as a sensory reflection tool to help you focus on the awe and wonder of God.

Try them out and let me know how you use them!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Button Prayers

If you are looking for an active, kinaesthetic, way of praying in a small group or even with the whole congregation, then this might be for you!

You will need: A collection of buttons of different shapes, sizes and colours- at least one button for each person praying.

Give everyone a button.

Feel the hardness of the button and think about people who are going through hard times.  Ask God to help them.

Buttons are used to fasten clothes together.  Ask God to bring together people who have fallen out and moved apart from each other.  Pray that He will bring peace.

Look at your button and see how many holes it has.  Think of that number of things you would like to say thank you to God for and say Thank you prayers.

Look at the colour of the button and say thank you to God for something that is that colour 

Find someone who has the same colour button as you.  You might want to make a small group of people with the same colour.  Say thank you to God for families.  Ask God to bless them and help them to live together and to love each other.

Find someone who has a different button to you- it could be different in shape, size or colour.  Thank God for making everyone different and giving us all different gifts.  Pray for the person you have found.  Ask Them what they would like God to help them with.