Sunday, 28 April 2013

Jesus Calms the Storm (Under the Sea)

We have come to the end of our "under the sea" theme of junior/ children's church. It has been a really engaging theme and all children seemed to enjoy, and certainly was a fun theme to plan for stories and activities. (I may do a recap in the week)

So today we did Jesus Calms the Storm, and here is a run down of the activities/ areas available. 

We try to be as inclusive as possible and offer opportunities for all children what ever their needs/ learning styles are (choosing activities to meet the needs of those attending or may attend). So today we set up a sea themed sensory room complete with sea ambient music (iPhone app) 

fish bubble tube, fibre optics

 fibre optics and amazing water beads lamp (jelly fish)

 You can't really tell from the picture, but their is a survival blanket, lametta, on chiffon. The wall has fish projected

 Musical instruments, an old OHP to project story creations on wall (this was really popular but only on when being used as it took away from the dark and light element of the room as the lamp so bright)

As I said we try to be as inclusive as possible and so have an electronic visual timetable (they zoom away as we do each element) We may be changing symbols soon as different  of children are used to different symbols and no one is reliant on a particular symbol set, I have created a church visual timetable that others will be able to use if they don't have access to one. If individuals need an individual visual timetable I would arrange this with appropriate symbols. (I find the timetable invaluable) 

This is part of the room with net and "sea" hanging down!
 Bunting - Like sails!
 A boat to create- they LOVED this and so simple
 Boat biscuit decorating
 Storm shakers
 Tornado bottles
Storm bottles (You'll notice the cards, an idea I pinched from Dapto Messy Church - We'd been using something similar but I copied their format, thank you) It is useful for the leaders of each station to have something to think about/ prompt discussion at each stations (most of our station leaders are amazing youth and may not use the prompts but there if needed)

In Action:
The projector used to make a story - this whilst unrelated to the story was about the birth of Jesus!!!

The sensory room awaiting tidying!!

 A whole bunch of biscuits and bottles

A boat made from giant jenga (not a planned activity, but a couple of the children ground the bricks and did this in their own!!!) Amazing!!!!

Sail bunting

Strom drawing after the story

A storm in the ocean!

 A finished boat, I wish I'd taken pics of the amazing details of drawing on sides

We told the story using a parachute! (I'll put more details up tomorrow) 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Rainbow Dance Ribbons

 Thought I'd share a great buy I got in Poundland ! Rainbow dance ribbons which are incredibly light making the smallest movement very visually effective! (But does mean may be a little prone to fraying im going to nail varnish end) We are enjoying using them in sung worship times, the only issue is with them being so light they get tangled a bit more easily! But when in movement are beautiful!1

I'm going to provide hair scrunchies to support holding for any one who has limited grip. 

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Confetti Prayers

 The last session was Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding, and I had confetti for the prayers and a confetti cannon. I hadn't actually fully planned how we were going to use the confetti for prayers but knew we could incorporate it, I'd considered us praying for each other and throwing the confetti over that person like a celebrations at the end, for children's individual prayers and confetti at Amen.

In the end it seemed appropriate that we "simply" said thank you for each child and at the Amen they threw their confetti in the air. It was a lovely prayer time simple but surprisingly unifying and very calm, but the children were very excited at saying thank you for each child and joined in.

At the end we used a confetti cannon (we did this outside) and I closed the prayer, thanking God for all the church and for us being able to get to know Jesus through the Bible! on the Amen someone let the cannon off (with children suitably reminded that it may be loud, so put your hands on ears/ move to an appropriate place, adults were positioned accordingly too!) The cannon was AMAZING! Totally beautiful and not too loud!

I think this could be used for so many topics of prayers (obviously not too much) for any of the wedding themes, or perhaps pentecost!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Water into Wine

Another session of Water into wine with age 2-9 yr olds. Here are the play activities.
Making Banana Milk Shake

Making fizzy grape juice, added to grape flavour fizzy water.

Happy Land, house and church with wedding.

Wedding cake and feast

Dressing Up clothes, including wedding. There were also some super hero and magic wands in here which gave us the opportunity to talk about this is a magic wand but Jesus didn't need these or didn't need  a cape etc.

Gloop (cornflower with water added) to talk about changes, I added Koolaid (it is very hard to get this in the UK, but my american readers will be able to get no probe) so that when water was added it turned red - like the wine did!

We told the story pretty much identically to the last time I did this but this time I put Kool aid powder in the bottom so that the water turned red as I added the water. I added, where would you put yourself in the story to the wondering questions and got some great responses, with interesting explanations.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Signed Songs and Prayers

 I'm always on the lookout for useful resources for church, particularly those that include all and ensure church is seen as a place that promotes inclusion and making the gospel accessible to all. The use of signing in one such way. These examples are a sign system designed for individuals with special needs or disabilities.  There some songs and prayers. I think it's important that such things become more mainstream.

Signed Songs

Signed Prayers, and the story of Creation

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Holiday Club 2012 (Post 3 The Rooms)

For Holiday Club the children attend for five morning sessions, with a sunday church celebrations in Holiday Club Style.During each session children spend split their time between small group and who group activities. The children are each assigned to a group (based on age) which assumes an identity, this year each group was an animal from the drama. The enthusiastic, amazing leaders and helpers decorate their room to that theme and the children add to it as the week goes on (or weeks as we run for two weeks, duplicate programme to accommodate more children). Here are the amazing rooms, without the Lion room which bizarrely I can't find any photos of without people in! 
Tigers Age 10-11

Amazing giant ripped paper Tiger on one of the slanting roofs

Parrots Group Age 6-7

These guys had a good starting point of green walls already!

Polar Bear Room 7-8

Zebra Room 9-10

Monkey Age 4-5