Monday, 19 December 2011

Birth of Jesus Play

Ok so this post is copied and pasted from from last year, but thought it may be of interest (and since we have this stuff out again it just saves me pics)
Stable Craft
I'm not generally into pre-made craft ideas but occasionally and this one is rather adorable. Envelope with a triangle cut out of the flap to create a stable scene, children were provided with card cutout shapes to create the figures. No glue was needed to stick a star to the stable roof just a lick on the tope of the flap and hey presto.

Christmas Symbols Box
It is sometimes difficult for children to integrate the ideas of a baby being born a long time ago and the trappings of a modern Christmas celebration, well us adults too. But this little box was a nice talking point about many aspects of our current celebrations both religious and secular.

Clothes Peg Nativity
I love it when an activity/ resource serves a few purposes, so this is a lovely activity to be used creatively whilst developing finger strength. Made out of simple wooden clothes pegs and funky foam cut into appropriate shapes, of course you could use laminated nativity printouts, such a these from activity village. I just glued with pritt stick for speeds sake but for a longer lasting resource use a glue gun

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Carol Service Quite Bags

I wonder how many churches will have their Carol Services tomorrow? Well here's an idea for next year. Quiet bags that can be given as a gift and will (hopefully) keep children engaged throughout service. The plain gift bag (wine bag was cheapest) contains
  • Sewing star (laminated card, hole punched)
  • Plastic bauble and stickers to decorate.
  • Christmas colouring book (I created from my own drawings and google images)
  • Crayons (a multi pack decanted into little sets held with card)
  • Toy car
  • Road map colouring for car to drive around.
  • Stable picture with stickers to create the nativity.
  • Chocolate coins

The annual nativity display has been set up, this year with a new nativity. We still have lovely wooden one but this was on offer and we liked it a lot. This year it is set up alongside a small tree to decorate making the connection between the Christmas story and the festival.

A simple set up with star netting hanging from picture hook from top of wall.
A photo when it was dark (it's dark far too early), with a small battery operated light behind stable.
The tree to decorate, small decorations kept in gift boxes and gift bags.
Cup tree with bells on for easier decorating (they have tiny curtain rings on) or for playing and singing... jingle bells, jingle..

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Journey to Bethlehem

So todays session was called "Journey to Bethlehem" inspiration given from Tidily Winks Red Book. However only limited aspects of session were used.

For play session we had :

King's Town playmat, (inspired by Filth Wizardry) complete with "The Kings Inn" and stable next door, a farm with sheep fields... get the idea modern day applications of what was around when Jesus was born.

Journey to Bethlehem matching cards (images obtained via google, I will add a link for all the printables at in week)

Transport sorting, this proved way more popular than I anticipated. We were to use these later in one of the stories.

Nativity desert box (really popular, had some great conversations)

Another activity at the free play time was colouring "tiny" Mary on a donkey pictures. To first of all use in the story and then to complete an journey advent calendar. The donkey and Mary were an edited image available from Activity Village
The children coloured the advent calendar and drew Mary and Joseph in the stable.

After play we sat down in a circle like usual and discussed what we had been playing with as an intro to the story, which went in the direction of we have that story at home (nativity, its baby Jesus), we played with sand and trains... we played with all of it etc. and we focussed in on, on the table with the nativity we were playing with a place in the sand and on the mat we were playing with a place with concrete roads. We talked about the story we were going to think about was about a journey on a road, a sandy road.
I then told our special story from the Bible, from before Jesus was born using the nativity props, sand tray and wooden blocks to create shelters.

I then read this story I created for this week, to tie in the transport theme I was focussing on. (I will post more details of this in the week)

We said the prayer (minor edits) from the tiddlywinks book.
The other craft option was decorating this donkey with fabric and sand (for dust). My crafts this week were rather prescriptive, this was for several 1. lacked inspiration for a simple yet purposeful craft 2. I wanted the children to take something home that showed a real link to session so parents could discuss it further 3. I realised that the children would likely be so engaged in the play they wouldn't want to spend ages engaging in craft (I was correct for some children)

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Free Lords Prayer Kids App

The Lords Prayer Arch Book, with lovely pictures and explanations is fabulous! It is available on iTunes published by Concordia Publishing.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

i Can Taste (Jesus turns water into wine)

Went with Godly Play "style" story.
Resources Needed:
  • 6 glass jars
  • 17 pegs (although less would be ok)
  • A cup (I used a brass one)
  • Red food colouring (natural works best it's thicker)
  • A jug and some water
To tell the story:
Jesus was at a wedding party, with his 1,2,3,4,....12 (12 pegs) special friends. His mother, Mary (1 peg) was also there. Mary said to Jesus (1 peg) "There is no more wine"
Mary said to the servant (1 peg) "Do what ever Jesus tells you" Jesus said "fill those jars with water". These are small jars but the ones that day were very big, these are glass jars but the ones that day were made of stone. The servants filled the 6 jars with water. (fill with water)
Jesus said "Now take some to the master of the party" (Pour some water from a jar into the cup (you will have put some food colouring in).
The master drank from it and said "This is wine, this is very good wine"
He took it to the Bride and groom and told them to taste it, they tried it and they said "This is the best wine, people usually have the best at the beginning of a party but you have saved it until the end."
This was the best wine they had tasted.

At this point the children were chanting let us look, so I poured the water into the jar and sure enough it turned the water red. They asked it to be done for each of the jars, as you can see it got lighter. But the children were still in awe! I said that when it happened that day Jesus made them all the same. When we had done all the jars, I shared a secret with them! I said this was Jesus' first miracle and He really did that, but I was just telling them about this and I can't change things like Jesus, so I used food colouring. I showed them the bottle of colouring. I felt passionate that the children should not see that I changed the water and thus overshadowing the message of the story. But they still were captured with the wonder, but not distracted by the "magic"

The wondering questions are on the planning sheet from yesterday.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I Can Taste (Jesus turns water into wine)

Same format as usual play activities relating to the story theme, this week the theme was "I Can Taste". We are still using the Tiddlywinks Blue Book, so our themes are set out and there are a wonderful selection of activity ideas in the book but I prefer to choose my ideas and then go and have look to see if there are any alternatives/ additions in the book that may be appropriate. This time (like often) we were pretty much on the same line.

Firstly milk shake cafe, this was perfect as we already had this up at home, a favourite activity!
There are some printouts that I created available on the TES Website (free joining), to support the role play.
I think I made more of an emphasis on the event being a wedding and provided some wedding dress up materials.
Including these flower girl posy rings, there's more on them at alljoinin blog
I downloaded the wedding march onto my iphone, but this was too quite and needed me to operate. I wish I had have used our mozart cube instead!
The trusty Mr Face, to particularly look at mouths.
Water play with jugs and cups, adding colouring during play for children to observe the change. Maybe use red like wine?
Juicing oranges (the orange theme on right entirely accidental) We used a picnic knife to cut - this is serrated enough to cut orange but not skin (I hope!) I placed the juicers onto non slip kitchen mats, to support little hands.
We made Banana Milk shake (VERY SIMPLY), and here is the recipe I created. It got rather wet afterwards from a spilt drink hence the state in the picture.
We actually used sweetened soya milk so we didn't need any extra sweetener. But if you were using cows milk or unsweetened maybe you would, or maybe add some banana yoghurt. This went down SOOO well!
For one of our response options we decorated cakes, like they may have at a wedding (another opportunity to talk about taste, weddings, and changes). It actually ended up that all the children wanted to decorate cakes and we didn't do any other response activity as we ran out of time, probably because we spent sooooo looooong tasting our orange juice and milk shake in the circle time (didn't anticipate that being so successful). Note I used these silver spoon icing tubes (I was very busy that weekend and was doing everything to make my life easier and it was 3-4-2 offer), not entirely brilliant for little hands they required rather intense squeezing!

I will follow up with how I chose to tell the story shortly

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

i Can See (Jesus heals a blind man)

This will be the last post on Jesus healing the blind man (I think). It's unfortunate that I didn't get a large collection of these pictures, they really did make a great display, and the children absoloutly LOVED doing them! You all know I am not a churn out the worksheets and lets stifle the kids creativity and exploration kind of girl, but these sheets certainly proved the worth of some print outs now and then.
Originally I designed this sheet with only the eyes to add - with the session being about eyes and all! But decided this may stifle some of the older or more creative children...
So I also created this one where children could add all the features, both were equally popular. We used chubbie paint markers to paint them, the ones similar to bingo dabbers. Perfect for adding eyes, I did provide crayons for the rest of the features but not one child used them!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

I Can See (Jesus heals a blind man)

Now for all the available play things for this session
Soil (Like mud that Jesus used to put on the blind man's eyes- emphasise importance of NOT putting our eyes)
Magnifying glasses added so that we could look carefully for what was hidden in the soil...

Craft Gems
And plastic bugs.
Mr Face Wall hanging, to make faces and especially focus on eyes. (I think this is a MUST have resource in any church group it fits into soooo many themes/stories, particularly good for discussing emotional responses)
Tactile matching activity, played by Looking for the correct pieces to match or feeling as a blind person may.
Then there were several toys that had visual appeal, including this beautiful kaleidoscope mirror (again another must have)
A wonderful tube kaleidoscope similar to this

A regular kaleidoscope

These images distorters

Kids torches
Light up spinning tops
Colour panels to put over face and see the world in rainbow colours.
A light box, (this didn't go down so well this week the room was far too light from sun flooding in) with these resources....
Colour padals

Colour sensory blocks (again an absolute favourite)

You may have noticed that most of todays photos were from Google Images, I just didn't get around to photographing my resources