Animation: Creation Story

Animation: Creation Story

http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Creation-Story.mp4 A beautifully animated video from kids’ club showing the  creation story. It’s ideal for children’s groups or sunday...
More Than A Bar of Soap

More Than A Bar of Soap

This is a script for a children’s talk adapted from Rob Bell’s book Drop Like Stars. I gave each child a bar of soap at the beginning of the talk. Some artists were given bars of soap (just like the ones you’re holding) with the challenge of seeing what they could create with it. I wanted to show you some photos of the things that they made and created… An Owl A face Two rings joined together A bird A small rabbit Some fingers An Xbox controller I wonder which object was your favourite. All these items – were already inside the soap waiting to be discovered and let out. All the sculptors did was remove and take away. Our lives are a bit like the bar of the soap. There endless possibilities hidden under layers of fear or worry or trying to please other people. We are like artists creating something beautiful with our lives – it’s less about what we add and more about what we take away. More about what we give than what we take. I wonder what you’d choose to take away or leave behind? So I have a challenge for you…I wonder what you would create with your bar of soap. What is hiding waiting to be released? Maybe you could work on it over this next week and bring it back to show us what you’ve...
Trinity Activities for Children

Trinity Activities for Children

Explaining the Trinity – how God can be both one and three – is difficult at the best of times never mind explaining it to children in our groups and churches. It’s good to teach children what Christians believe about God but equally it’s important to maintain the mystery of God. One early Christian theologian said that trying to explain the Trinity was like trying to empty the ocean with a cup. Perhaps it’s also a reminder that our words can’t adequately describe God but merely touch upon what she is like. Below is a list of activities and challenges that can be used to help children explore how something can be both one and many. Three-in-one clothes Divide the group into three teams. Provide each team with the same set of three items of clothing – soft hat, a jacket and a wrap. At a given signal one member of the team each time must put on these three items of clothing as quickly as possible. However, with each new turn, each person in the team must wear the items in a different way. How many ways can each team think up of wearing the three items as one set of clothes? Taboo Play a game of ” taboo ” where one person has to try and give clues to a particular word without mentioning that word, while the others guess the word. This game works best if you use words that have multiple meanings. For example: Bank = a place to store money; the edge of the river; the turning of a plane in the sky Rock...
Privilege Object Lesson

Privilege Object Lesson

This is a simple, powerful exercise to teach your group about privilege and how God wants us to use our talents, gifts and energy to help those who don’t have the same opportunities as we do. Set up chairs in rows and give each member of your group a scrap piece of paper and asked them to crumple it up. Use a bin/bucket as a target and move it to the front of the room. Say, “The game is simple — you all represent the country’s population. And everyone in the country has a chance to become successful and thrive.” (For anyone who is successful in landing their throw in the bin you could offer a prize.) “All you have to do is throw your scrunched-up paper into the bin while sitting in your seat.” The young people in the back rows will complain about how unfair the challenge is and how those in front of them have a much better chance. Allow everyone to take their shot – and allow young people to continue to complain. Conclude by saying, “The closer you were to the recycling bin, the better your odds. This is what privilege looks like. Did you notice how the only ones who complained about fairness were in the back of the room?” “By contrast, people in the front of the room were less likely to be aware of the privilege they were born into. All they can see is 10 feet between them and their goal.” “God wants us to be aware of our privilege; all the opportunities, talents and abilities we have. Not only...
Reflection: It’s not a box

Reflection: It’s not a box

A few weeks ago I was at my godson’s birthday party. He just turned 4! I watched him as he opened his all the presents.  He’d pick a gift – eagerly tear off all the paper and excitedly play with his new toy. When he got bored he’d move on to the next present…play for a while…then move on to the next gift. Fast forward a few hours and all his newly opened toys were lying across the floor and wee David was happily playing inside a box that one of his presents came in. Hours passed…and he was still playing in the box. Why are you sitting in a box I asked him….It’s not a box he said it’s a racing car! What you doing on top of the box I asked…it’s not a box he said it’s a really big mountain! Now why are you wearing the box I asked…it’s not a box he said it’s a super robot he replied. Why are you still playing with that old box I asked…it’s not a box he explained it’s a pirate ship A little imagination goes a long way… I don’t know what you see when you look at this box…maybe you see a spaceship, a racing car or a super robot. Maybe you just see an old tatty box. And when you look at yourself in the mirror – I wonder who or what you see staring back. Good looking? Charming?Do you see all the things you’re not good at or struggle with, the labels people have given you, the labels you’ve given yourself or all the...
Object Lesson Heavy Weights

Object Lesson Heavy Weights

Object Lesson: Heavy Weights Ask for some volunteers to help with a challenge – they need to be super strong! Challenge: How long can you hold two 2 liter bottles filled with water. While holding the bottles the volunteers have to keep their arms straight. Each day we carry burdens , worries, past hurts, doubts and struggles – and like the bottles they can start to weigh us down. Raise a glass of water and ask how heavy the children think the glass of water is? It really depends on how long you hold it for… If I hold it for a minute, it is OK If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have a sore arm If I hold it all day, I’ll probably need an ambulance It’s the exact same weight but the longer I hold it the heavier it becomes. It’s the same with our burdens and worries. So what do you need to put down this week? I like the Message translation of Matthew 11: 28-30 where Jesus says… “Are you tired? Worm out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me; watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and...
Children’s Session: Life in all its fullness

Children’s Session: Life in all its fullness

Children’s Session Living Life in All Its Fullness Introductory Activities Blank Faces – have the children draw different emotions on each of the blank faces. It may help having different emotions written down. Ask children which face shows how they feel this morning. Blank Faces Template Ping Ball Cup Game – Set up 6 cups and the aim of the game is to bounce ping ball of the ground so it lands in the cup. Taste Test – different flavoured juices labelled as joy, love, and peace. At least one bitter tasting drink matched to a label of hate. The Game of Life Board Game – available here, 3D Pictures – have a collection of 3D pictures. Using the glasses have the children look and guess what the pictures are of? God wants us to live a life in 3D Main Activities Game: Name Your… Everyone in the room can play this game. Every time a slide comes on the screen, each child must find a partner and name as many things in the category as they can in under 20 seconds. Every 20 seconds, the slide should change and each person should find a new partner. Kids can’t partner with the same person twice – they must find a new partner every 20 seconds. Slides are as follows: Name … Your favourite ice cream flavours Name … Your favourite animals Name … Your favourite films Name … The best places to go on holiday Name … Creatures you’d find in the sea Name … Your favourite songs Name … Towns and cities Name … favourite candy Bars Name …...
Training: Looking to the Future

Training: Looking to the Future

Training: Looking to the Future This was a session I led recently with our Kirk Session and Board as part of a retreat we had. We also invited some of our young people to take part in the discussion as well. I hope you find it as useful as our leadership team did. Formula 1 Story – Glasgow Boys Join Ferrari The Ferrari F1 team fired their entire pit crew yesterday. The announcement followed Ferrari’s decision to take advantage of the UK government’s ‘Work for your Dole’ scheme and employ some Glasgow youngsters. The decision to hire them was brought about by a recent documentary on how unemployed youths from Castlemilk were able to remove a set of wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment, whereas Ferrari’s existing crew could only do it in 8 seconds with millions of pounds worth of high tech equipment. It was considered to be an excellent, bold move by the Ferrari management team as most races are won and lost in the pits, giving Ferrari an advantage over every other team. However, Ferrari got more than they bargained for! At the crew’s first practice session, not only was the Glasgow pit crew able to change all four wheels in under 6 seconds but, within 12 seconds, they had re-sprayed, re-badged and sold the car to the Maclaren team for eight cases of Stella and a collection of knocked off mobile phones. Formula 1 Video I don’t know if any of you have ever watched Formula 1 or car racing…like our story mentioned a race can be won or lost in the...
Stress Toolkit for Children and Young People

Stress Toolkit for Children and Young People

Stress Toolkit for Children and Young People Stress is a natural part of every young person’s life. Stress is any change, internal or external, positive or negative, to which a young person must adapt; simply, stress is anything that causes physical and/or mental wear and tear on the body and mind. Children and young people’s stress is usually related to everyday experiences, worries and challenges at school, home, in the community and within their peer group. For example, young people may experience stress resulting from bullying, name calling, social isolation, not getting what they want, body image, academic difficulties, and unsafe neighbourhoods. While each student will respond to and resolve stress differently, the impact of ongoing and/or unresolved stress can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, poor concentration, aggression, physical illness, fatigue, sleep disturbance and poor coping skills such as tobacco, drug and/or alcohol use. Therefore, young people, like adults, can benefit from learning and practicing stress management skills. Students who develop stress reduction skills learn how to feel and cope better without hurting themselves or others. Identifying and acknowledging the causes of stress and expressing feelings about them are usually the most effective tools students have to reduce stress, in addition to learning practical stress reduction skills. The attached Stress Toolkit is designed to teach children and young people a variety of practical and fun stress reduction techniques. Click Here: Toolkit: Stress Reduction For Children and Young...
Children’s Session: Palm Sunday

Children’s Session: Palm Sunday

Children’s Session – Palm Sunday Introductory Activities Famous Faces Quiz Can the children and young people guess which famous celebrities are in each mash-up. Quiz Powerpoint: Famous Faces Pin the tail on the donkey Available from Amazon Lotus Party Game – Pin The Tail On The Donkey – 12 Player Palm Branches Children will make their own palm branches that they can take into the service with them. You will need a piece of green construction paper, scissors and tape. Cut your construction paper in ½ inch strips about half way down the length of the paper. Roll uncut end of paper into a tube and tape. Fluff top pieces of paper where you cut into strips to create palm branch. Palm Sunday Worksheets Palm-Sunday-Coloring-Page Newspaper Front Page Wordsearch Main Activities Palm Sunday Relay Race Break the children into two teams. Each team are given a stick donkey, 3 cardboard palm branches and a t-shirt card template. This is a race but when the children are riding the donkey they can only step on the branches or t-shirt template on the ground. To get up and down they will need another member of the group to move the branches/t-shirt after they’ve been stood on. The winning team will be the first with each member to race to the top of the hall and back Palm Sunday Video   Invite children and young people to wonder using such statements as : I wonder why it is called Palm Sunday I wonder what the people were feeling as Jesus rode into Jerusalem I wonder what you would have said to Jesus I wonder how Jesus felt with all...