It’s funny how our minds work – the train of thought that leads from one thing to another. Perhaps one could say that’s how inspirations come about, or that musings prompt art to be born. I’d like to think that that’s how sometimes God enters our lives and guides our thoughts by His Spirit… I was just wondering what to do for our first session of Kids’ Club this term. I was bored of being predictable at this time of year to do something with a harvest theme. Continue reading “Toilet Roll Joseph Craft”
Have you ever felt like you got landed the job of doing children’s church or Sunday school because you have young children, or there’s no one else volunteering? And that you feel out of your depth because your day job isn’t being a teacher? That was me fifteen years ago. It felt like I got dropped in the deep end, but when you have your own children’s spiritual wellbeing to think about, and you’re the curate’s wife, you’d lend a hand! Nowadays I no longer find it daunting, just because experience has taught us what works and what doesn’t for our little group of children. In this post, I shall try to tease out some of my methods, in the hope that it may be of some help to those of you who find yourselves in the privileged position of “doing children’s work”, particularly in a small church or small group, or are thinking of starting out. Continue reading “Undeserving Zacchaeus – Lesson for all of us”
Part of living in a village is that everybody seems to know everybody’s business – the children at Kids’ Club tell us that they often see me or my husband walking our dog past their houses and their school. Last year we welcomed home a friendly golden retriever pup with a lovely temperament. However, he is an inquisitive energetic dog. Being first time dog owners, there’s still much to learn about dog training and how to keep your dog under control in public places, especially when our “puppy” Brett is now a big exuberant one-year old who likes to run up and greet everyone. My new hobby seems to be watching dog training videos and reading up about the various approaches that dog trainers use. I particularly like the more modern positive reinforcement method, built on the premise that one would be more likely to repeat a behaviour if that behaviour produces a favourable outcome.
I wish I’d discovered this YouTube channel much sooner, because here the dog trainer Zak George shows you how to get your dog to pay attention to you. He doesn’t use force, and it is clear from the videos that he loves every dog he meets and works with. He explains that it’s much better to train a dog to want to listen to you. Rather than using external physical correction or punishment such as choke, prong and shock collars, he builds the dog’s desire to comply from within. Because dogs are smart enough to recognise that as soon as these restraints are off, you have no control over them, and they can do whatever they wish then. He shows dog owners how to communicate clearly to their dogs, and make training sessions fun so that dogs love to learn. Dog owners who use positive reinforcement methods have a much better relationship with their dogs. And that’s what I am hoping for – I want my dog to love me, and to love doing what I tell him to do! Continue reading “Walking my dog and being friends with God”
I’m always grateful for talented people to post their beautiful creations online for me to find, more so if they explain how to achieve them with step-by-step instructions. Last week, I was looking for a craft activity for our Kids’ Club session to tie in with Pentecost, and I came across this brilliant votive candle on Pinterest:
The Ink and Glue website has a set of very clear instructions of how to make it, so I shall not duplicate it here.
The only difference I made to the design was to make the bottom of the toilet roll centre solid so that when we put a LED tea light in, it would not fall out. So, instead of cutting off the bottom of the toilet roll centre, I drew lines for cutting along, then folding the strips inwards to form a base.
Also, instead of using glue sticks to stick the tissue paper onto the toilet roll centre, we used double-sided sticky tape. This worked very well, and was less messy.
Everyone was happy with their Pentecost flame, and I hope that the children enjoyed making them!
It’s Ascension Day tomorrow. I thought I would do something a little different this year for our activity session. You know how as parents, your home often ends up with a mountain of your children’s artwork and you loathe to consign any of them to the bin?
Well, this afternoon’s Kids’ Club activity won’t add to that problem! Not only that, it held the children’s attention very well – I haven’t seen such industry for a while as we decorated mini gingerbread men, turning them into Jesus and his disciples.
Here’s a step-by-step account of how we made these yummy treats should you wish to try it out… Continue reading “Yummy Ascension activity”
Just before Christmas on a dark winter’s evening, where we were battered by the wind and rain on our walk after school to the Church Rooms, the atmosphere once indoors couldn’t have been more different. It was one of excitement and high spirits as one of the kids was telling everyone over drinks and biscuits about her birthday the day before.
B: It was a surprise – my Mum took me to get my ears pierced and I got this pair of earrings!
E: I got mine done but it went wrong and they had to take it out and do it again!
(There was a detailed discussion about getting piercings for these 7 to 8 year-olds.)
B: I’m going to have a sleepover party and you’re coming (pointing to H and L).
(Again, there was a whole discussion about sleepovers.) Continue reading “Invited to Party in Heaven!”
In my last post, I mentioned that at Kids’ Club we played a game of matching different fruits to the branches and leaves of the plants or trees that they came from, and introduced the idea of bearing fruit. I explained to the children that the fruit we bear are the qualities we show, and that Jesus said people recognise what kind of “tree” we are when they see what kind of fruit we bear, because a good tree bears good fruit.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.”
Following up from that last session, we looked at how we bear good fruit. I recapitulated on the topic of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and explained that it’s rather difficult to constantly keep in mind all of the good qualities or the good fruit we want to be producing – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. So I showed the children a picture of a grape vine with grapes hanging from its branches, and reasoned that the fruits don’t actively think, “Hmm… I’m going to be grapes. I must grow, and I must grow to be grapes.” It all happens naturally as the grapes grow from the branches, just as the branches grow from the main vine. This is what Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” Continue reading “Jesus is the vine, we are the branches”