Children’s Session – Who is Jesus?

Children’s Session – Who is Jesus?

Children’s Session –  Who is this Jesus? This session helps young people think about the different metaphors that are often applied to Jesus. Introductory Activities Guess Who Game – Ask as many questions as it takes to guess the face Who am I Post-it Note Game Write the name of a famous person or character on a sticky note for each child. Characters can be dead or alive, fictional or non-fictional, real or “cartoon”. Making sure that the player can’t see it, stick the note to their forehead. When everyone is named players mingle and walk around the room asking the sort of questions that can be answered by “yes”, “no” and “not applicable” to try to work out who they are. Cracker Challenge How many Crackers can the children eat without having a drink of water? What does it feel like to be thirsty? What does it feel like to have your thirst quenched? “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 Snack: Chocolate pastries and juice Main Activities Game: Wrap a Leader Split the group into teams and assign a leader for each team. Provide wrapping paper, ribbon and tape. The first team to wrap the leader up the quickest and prettiest wins. Make sure they can breathe and make sure they person being wrapped up is comfortable with this. Game: Am I telling the Truth The leader will read out five statements about themselves and the children have to decide whether you are telling...
Difficult Questions About Jesus

Difficult Questions About Jesus

This video has quite a few different applications. It could be used as an introduction to a discussion about the questions we all have about faith and religion. Or it could be used to help volunteers consider how children understand the stories in the Bible and how we can teach in their language rather than ours. What’s more important…our questions or our...
Nativity Animation

Nativity Animation

This is a hand drawn Nativity animation that would could be used as a stand alone video, for reflection,  or as an introduction to a Christmas service....
Stress Free Nativity Script

Stress Free Nativity Script

Every year around this time, congregations struggle to find a fresh way to retell the familiar story of the birth of Jesus. When I first started at St James’ this task fell to the Sunday School team and from the beginning of December the volunteers would rehearse a full script with written parts with each of the children. Every year the same thing would happen – rehearsals would take place with a different set of children than were present on the day of the actual Nativity. So after a chaotic and stressful few years we decided to change our approach and adopt a much simpler Nativity service. What’s great about this approach is that it takes no rehearsal and the only planning involved is acquiring the costumes. The only speaking part is the narrator and usually one of the older young people is chosen for that role. Also, everyone, adults and children, can participate at their comfort level – whether it is wearing a costume or singing in the pews. Below is a sample script that could be used. Welcome Introduce the nativity and give instructions to the congregation. At the beginning of each part within the script, children and adults are invited to come forward to the chancel to assume the character they want to be.  This means that in our nativity we might have only a few or many animals, angels, and shepherds, or several Marys and Josephs.  That’s okay!  (Volunteer helpers secure to each child’s head the tie-on mask of his or her choice, or give them the other appropriate props.  They also guide the children to the places...
Children’s Session – Light of the World

Children’s Session – Light of the World

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.’ Indoor Fireworks 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,...
Children’s Session: Jesus heals a leper

Children’s Session: Jesus heals a leper

I wonder if you’ve ever felt left out?Matthew 8: Jesus Heals a Leper Jesus showed us who God is by touching the untouchable and loving those who were often feared and rejected. Group Mandala Have each child and volunteer draw around their hands on the circle of card using the chalk. Encourage the children to take some time to think about how they feel this morning and what colours/images match those feelings.  They can add their design to the inside of their hand outlines. Once they’ve done that ask what feelings/images/colours come to mind when they think about being part of this group. They use these to fill the remaining space between each of the hands. Selection of First Aid Quizzes Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 Garden Dangers First Aid Risky Business First Aid Game: Operation During the session explain that in Biblical times Leprosy was a word for all kinds of skin diseases. These diseases were not like having the common cold! Some of them were contagious and eventually led to paralysis, loss of body parts, and even death. In Jesus’ culture, people who had leprosy were viewed as filth and unacceptable. Hey had to wear torn clothing and announce themselves whenever they encountered people. By law they had to be completely separate from family the community. Game: No Touching Allowed What if, like people with leprosy, we couldn’t touch anyone else? Our lives would be very different, and sometimes quite challenging. Pair children, and give each pair an orange. Have the pair place the orange between their foreheads and then try to walk to the opposite end...
Children’s Session: Matthew 11:28

Children’s Session: Matthew 11:28

Children’s Session Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Snakes and Ladders Play a game of snakes and Ladders with your group as a way of introducing that life has many ups and downs. Sometimes when we are the midst of difficulties we might ask where is God. Believing in God doesn’t guarantee that we will avoid hardship – but God is with us to help us keep moving forward. In what way might the game of snakes and ladders be like life? Exercise Relay game Divide your group into teams and see who can complete the exercise course the quickest. EG, 5 sit ups, 5 push ups, 10 star jumps, and lift some not too heavy weights 10 times ETC. Those not running can act as spotters and encourage the team players. Strength Test (You will need: four bags of plain flour, plus a few spares in case they burst; a large plastic mat; stopwatch.) Stand on the mat opposite a friend. Take two bags of flour each, one in each hand. Hold your arms out straight and hold for as long as possible. See who can hold out for the longest. Place the flour down when your arms are too tired. (Smaller bags of sugar could be used for younger children.) After trying to do it on their own offer them help. This should make it much easier to lift. How did you feel after these two challenges? What are some things that make you tired? What are some of the things that make you feel refreshed or...
Children’s Session: Showing Kindness

Children’s Session: Showing Kindness

Children’s Session Showing Kindness “It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.” Matthew 10:42 Team Game: Steal the Beans This game can be used to introduce the idea that sometimes we just think about ourselves and often our success depends on others losing out. Five hoops are arranged with one in each corner and the other in the centre of the room. Place an equal number of beanbags in each hoop. Divide the players into four teams and have each team stand in a line behind their designated hoop.  The object of the game is to steal beanbags from the centre and outside hoops, return them to the home hoop, and have the highest number of beanbags at the end of play. On a starting signal, the first player from each team runs to the centre hoop or any one of the outside hoops to “steal” a beanbag. After returning the beanbag to the home hoop, the player runs to the back of his or team line, and the next player then begins. After all the beanbags have been taken from the centre hoop, players must steal from the hoops of the other teams. The following rules are to be enforced: • A player can take only one beanbag at a time. • Only one player from each team can be stealing at one time. • No team can defend or protect its beanbags from being stolen. • No throwing...