Using simple magic tricks for children’s talks

Using simple magic tricks for children’s talks

For a recent children’s talk at church I used a magic colouring book to talk about how sometimes we compare ourselves unfavorably with others and how we have a blank canvas to choose the type of life we want for ourselves. The book is available to purchase at Amazon What really allows simple tricks like this one stand out is the story that you attach to it. In truth it can really be anything. I said something like… One of the things that I got for Christmas was this colouring book. The person that gave it to me said she thought I’d appreciated it because youth workers apparently never really grow up! There was a slight problem with the book though…all the pictures had already been coloured in. (Show coloured pages) Just my luck someone else getting to have all the fun! I wonder if you ever look at someone else and think their lives seem way more colourful than your own.  Maybe they have a bigger house, a faster car or more exotic holidays. In truth I think there are times when we’ve all felt like that; like we’re missing something that others’ have – times when we feel plain or ordinary in comparison. (Show outlined pages) Life is a gift and whatever we create or decisions we make along the way we’re always assured of a fresh start and new beginning with God.   (Show blank pages) Our group seemed to really engage with this as an object lesson. In recent months I’ve been using quite a few simple magic tricks in my work with children and young...
Children’s Talk: Seeing things differently

Children’s Talk: Seeing things differently

Some scientists placed some everyday objects under a microscope. Show the children the photos and encourage them to guess what they think the objects might be. Human tongue Chocolate Cake A single droplet of sea water A butterfly wing Banana We can all look at the same thing and see something differently. The same is true of people and groups that we might see or engage with. Say: I wonder what you see when you look at each of these photographs. Sometimes we can just see the stereotypes…but following Jesus and being a Christian involves seeing ourselves, the world around us and the people in it differently. All are important and valued by God.  The children’s talk would tie in well with the the hymn ‘Will You Come and Follow Me’ Will you come and follow me if I but call your name? Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same? Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known, will you let my life be grown in you and you in me? Will you leave your self behind if I but call your name? Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same? Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare, will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me? Will you let the blinded see if I but call your name? Will you set the prisoners free and never be the same? Will you kiss the leper clean and do such as this unseen, and admit to what I mean in...
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...
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...
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 Don’t Be Afraid

Children’s Session Don’t Be Afraid

Children’s Session – Don’t be Afraid This is a session designed to encourage children and volunteers to talk about the things that they are worried by, stressed by or fearful of and give some practical ways to negotiate these. Introductory Activities Stress Balls All you need to make stress balls are flour, a funnel, a black sharpie and balloons. Stretch the opening of the balloon over the end of your funnel. Scoop flour into it and shake down till it fills your balloon. Tie the balloon off and draw on your face with the black sharpie! When things get stressful or difficult giving the balloons a squeeze can help relieve some tension. Mini-Marshmallow Popper 1. Cut the bottom part off of your plastic cup. 2. Tie a knot at the end of your balloon and cut off about 1/2″ from the other end. 3. Now stretch the balloon over the end of the cup. Set up some a target that the children can shoot at – we had the word fear written in large cut-out letters. We asked children to name their fears and the challenge was to knock them down. Magic Message Craft Before the session prepare some white card with the message ‘God is with us don’t be afraid’ using a white crayon. Encourage the children to use different coloured water colours to uncover the message. God is always with us, we don’t always see him but he is always there. When we are having a difficult day we can tell him how we feel and ask for his help. Worksheets My Fears Worksheet What is he afraid...
The Fair Eggs-periment

The Fair Eggs-periment

This is a simple object lesson that helps children and young people explore the concept of fairness. We all know that life isn’t always fair at times. Materials: Clear drinking glass filled with one cup of water, fresh egg, ¼ cup salt, a permanent marker, and a tablespoon Carefully place the egg in the glass of water. Tell the students that the egg (You may want to give it a name like “Eddie”) “represents someone who is not being treated fairly. Sinking to the bottom represents how someone who is left out or mistreated would feel – sad, depressed, defeated, unappreciated, and unloved. Remove the egg from the water and set it aside. One tablespoon at a time, add salt to the water. As you stir in each spoonful, explain that the salt represents different ways to show fairness towards others. For example: following the rules when playing a game, taking turns and sharing, treating others with honesty and respect, and taking action to help someone being treated unfairly. After you have added all of the salt, put the egg back in the water. (If you want, you can put a smiley face on the egg with the permanent marker) and it will now float. Explain that now “Eddie” is being supported with kindness and “held up” by the fairness and acceptance of others. How it works Salt water is denser than ordinary tap water, the denser the liquid the easier it is for an object to float in it. When you lower the egg into the liquid it drops through the normal tap water until it reaches the salty water, at this point the water is dense...
Water tricks

Water tricks

Looking for an object lesson or children’s talk that will capture your children’s imagination? These cool water tricks could be an ideal way of introducing Jesus’ miracles or helping young people consider the theme of making  the impossible possible. They could also be used as stand alone activities for children’s groups like Messy Church. http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Instant-Ice-Waterbending-In-Real-Life.mp4...