Children’s Session: Light of the World
Matthew 5:14 ‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.’
Use some indoor fireworks to introduce the theme of light. Set up a table and use a non-flammable surface such as a baking tray to put the fireworks on. Safety is paramount so remember to keep children at a safe distance and use a well-ventilated space.
You can read a review of indoor fireworks here.
Video: Night and Day
Craft: Salt Dough Sun Catchers
Begin by mixing together the flour, salt and water to make the salt dough (2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water). Roll out dough and make shapes using large star shaped cookie cutter. Use the smaller star cookie cutter on the centre of the cut out shapes. Remove the dough from the middle. Using a toothpick or skewer make a small hole in the top of the star. Using a spatula careful lift each star onto a cooking tray covered with parchment paper. Have the children fill the middle of the stars with the transparent beads. Try to make sure that there are no spaces left between the beads.
Depending on time children can take their finished sun catchers home with instructions to bake.
Loosely cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 1- 1.5 hours or until the beads are melted together. Remember oven temperatures can vary it may take a longer or shorter amount of time. The salt dough will turn a light to dark brown colour. Let cool completely.
Game: Sun, Moon, and Stars
You will need: cut out lots of sun, moon and star shapes, on shapes write words such as ‘love’, ‘peace’, ‘joy’, ‘kindness’, etc.
Before the children arrive hide the shapes around the room and when they are told to find them they can go looking. Add points to each shape. The sun 25 points, the moon 15 points and the stars 10 points. This game introduces the idea of light, and also the kind of actions that bring light to our actions, illustrated by the words on the shapes.
Place the foil on the floor or table covering approximately a metre square. Place the pillar candle in the centre. Add the three images in sequence during the talk, arranging them around the candle.
Image 1: an image of the world from space
Image 2: a biblical-looking oil lamp or a photo of some candles on an altar or a sanctuary lamp
Image 3: a lit-up city skyline.
“One day, when Jesus was talking to his friends, he said to them, ‘I am the light of the world.’ Light gives life [point to 1st image] and light says that God is here [point to 2nd image] and so Jesus is this light for the whole world. But then Jesus said to his friends, ‘You are the light of the world.’ I wonder what he meant by that? Light gives life [point to 1st image] and light says that God is here [point to 2nd image] so perhaps the friends of Jesus are somehow to give life to people and to help them know that God is near. Look at the candle for a moment, see how it gives light all the way round. It shines out to all of us, it doesn’t leave any of us in darkness. Jesus said that we are to be the light of the whole world, not leaving anyone out. He said that his friends were like a city on a hill, [place 3rd image] a city that you can see for miles which helps you find your way home.”
I wonder …
- how might the friends of Jesus have felt when he called them ‘the light of the world’?
- what kinds of things can we do that would help people to know that God is near them and loves them?
- how does our church help people to know that God is near
Craft: Sun Catchers
- Print the template onto card. Sun Catcher Template
- Cut out the templates leaving a white border around the lamps.
- Glue the templates onto black construction paper. This will help strengthen the craft.
- Cut out the templates from the construction paper, making sure to cut out every area of white space.
- Fill in the empty space with coloured tissue paper.
- Glue on the other template to the back.
Craft: Paper Mache Globes
This can be a time consuming craft. To save some time the paper mache shells could be created before the session for the children to the add the coloured tissue paper. A hair dryer could also be used to help dry the globes.
Start by handing out the plates and have the kids write their names on it. Cup goes face up on the plate, and the balloon sits on the cup. Put the “tail” of the balloon into the cup.
Dip the strips of paper into the paper mache paste. Use your fingers to wipe off the excess glue so that your balloon is not dripping and can dry faster.
Gently lay the wet newspaper across your balloon and smooth out any wrinkles. Keep layering strips until the entire balloon is covered. Allow the first layer to dry and repeat the process of layering more wet newspaper strips
The “tail” of the balloon should still be visible. You will need this opening for the globe to sit over the candle, so make sure not to cover the bottom.
Now it is time for the colourful third layer – use blue and green tissue paper. Since tissue paper is fragile, you can’t dip it into the paste. You will need to use your hands to cover the entire balloon in paste so that it is wet.
Lay the strips of tissue paper gently onto the wet balloon and pat. You may need to smooth another layer of paste on top of the tissue paper to help it stick and smooth out the wrinkles. Just remember to be gentle.
Once the globes are dry encourage each of the kids to pop their balloons with a wooden skewer. Pop near the tail of the balloon that is still exposed and not covered in paper mache. Once the balloon was popped, put your hand inside the balloon and gently poke holes in the globe. The larger the holes, the more light the candle will give off when turned on.
The review can happen at the time or later – it maybe by yourself or with others.
Some useful questions to help volunteers consider and learn from the session include:
- Has each child been able to participate in their own way?
- What went well and why?
- Has each child been able to reflect, even a little, on being the light in the world?
- What is there for you to learn from this session?
- What might you do differently another time?
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