Friday, 14 December 2012

Follow the star

For this weeks little ones group we did "Follow the star" Looking at the wise men following the Star to Jesus, it should have been after Christmas but a bit of a blip in my planning (but seemed to be fine)
 They came in to this set up in the door way! They immediately all stood around, one child turned out the lights (because there were start lights). They then all threw them selves into playing with the stars, I asked what they thought we may be thinking about today reply: "Fairies" my response "I can see why you would think that with the fairy wands, but no it's not fairies. It is about Christmas" (with a smile) "OHHHHH, it's angels then" "Mmm no, have a look at all those things" "OH, the star"  "Yes the star, who followed the star" their bustle of following noise! ohh look we can turn this on and off this one jingles, jingle jingle jingle"

 These other activities were available, but actually we spent our time, after the story and sorting activity making a star tent to hide under so we could see the light properly (we have a great black out blind for this purpose but it broke when I tried to close it- which reminds me must ask someone to fix!)
This activity was done by one child a few times

 Before we read the story, we looked through this Christmas box each child chose an item and we said what it was. We then sorted them into items that were in the Bible and those that just were around at Christmas, this activity worked well for the 4-6 year olds but not for the younger ones, that is a negative of having a group thats evolved into 2-6 year olds.
The candy cane caused some discussion and it is in the middle as it could be a candy cane, a shepherds crook, or a J?
 We then read a christmas play version of the christmas story called follow the star!  We spoke about people doing nativity plays whilst telling the story. One child (4) announced their disgust that

 "I'm a fish in the Christmas play, what's a fish got to do with Christmas! They have forgotten Jesus!" Out of the mouths of babes! Let us not forget Jesus this holiday time!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Nativity Blocks

Got this idea from Pinterest where several people have made lovely nativity block sets with stickers and varnish. I thought it would be nice to paint some, turned out ok for an attempt but I need new paintbrushes I think! (The blocks are cheap store replicas of jenga blocks, bought from a charity shop)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

God's Love Storybook iPad app

I've just downloaded this iPad app that is on sale for Thanksgiving at 69p /  99c. It is called God's Love A Bible Storybook and is available from iTunes
I haven't had a change to have a thorough look but looks like it will be very useful.

The organisation who have created it are called Positive Action for Christ and they have some accompanying resources on their website.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Prayer and Worship (@ Christmas)

These were from a session last year that was around christmas time, but we had planned to do a session on prayer and worship but decided that it was appropriate to make the connection between the two.

These were the available exploration/ play resources
Nativity set with book, initially presented with no baby. To pose the question, ahh we need a baby at christmas and aid discussion about Jesus. And this worked very well, pointed out missing baby by three year old.
Sung/ musical/ dance worship, the cards are Mary's song presented with a visual image for each sentence.
People who came to worship Jesus when he was born. Play dough making the people  who came to visit Jesus (apparently there were a lot of snails who visited Jesus who knew)
Prayer is communication: Walkie talkies, a two way baby monitor (other half in another room, had to be found) mobile phone. And a basket of resources to make cup and string phones.
We need to look out for how God is speaking to us and it's no always words: No talking signs - children acted out the cards for friends to guess
Worship God/ Human creation: cards with images of people e.g. concert, church, football match children sorted into which they thought were worshiping God. This led to some interesting discussions about us not knowing what was going on inside people heads e.g. the concert the people may look like they are worshiping the band they may be singing christian songs to God, the church they looked like they were singing to God but they may not care. A really useful activity.
We hear from God through his word, Bible story books.
Sometimes we go in our room and quietly talk to God, a tent to do so on our own.
Free craft, with range of resources.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Going to Bethlehem, Signed Story

 I posted about this book in a previous post last, year but thought I would show you pictures of all the pages. I signed the key words in addition to these but don't have pictures of all of those. I also had a toy resembling each of the key transportation items. The repetitive script made it great for the children to join in.

The signs and symbols were from the Makaton site, but edited into this format by me using images. Makaton regularly updates free downloads, check it out. The pictures are from kizclub which has brilliant printable props for popular stories, these are for we all go travelling by . I also made colouring books of this which were good for a few children and will probably create these for carol service packs.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Makaton Christmas Story Cards

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate.  It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order. 

The signs and symbols were from the Makaton site, but edited into this format by me using images. Makaton regularly updates free downloads, check it out.

I created two sets, one with children doing nativity play or cartoon images. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Baby Bible Book (quiet book)

Well first a huge apology for disappearance, I've had rather a lot of things going on (still have really but had a spare bit of time to do this post) Can't promise I won't disappear again but here's a post to be going with.

So a while ago I posted the first two pages of a Bible book for my God daughter, well I finished it for her dedication and here it is. I plan to add pages.

Creation with feely pieces and moving fish
Jonah in a big fish's mouth

 Birth of Jesus, button on star and Jesus goes in and out of manger for hugs with mum and dad
This could be a range of obvious stories, walking on water, after resurrection, fishers of men.... Boat slots into pocket waves, finger puppet men, net to catch fish and fish on string.

 Parable of the lost sheep, flaps and sheep hidden behind bush