A few weeks ago the children’s talk in church was about prayer. The question was ‘What is prayer?’ The answer came from Psalm 62:8, ‘Pour out your heart to him’.
This seemed to me to be such a simple and straightforward way to think about talking to God. We simply pour our heart out to him. The person who does this in the Bible is Hannah as she prays for a child.
It made me think – ‘what are the things on my heart when it comes to the toddler groups that I either lead or help at each week?’ Sometimes there have been specific health concerns of parents, sometimes we’ve struggled with either too few people coming or too many. Sometimes there haven’t been enough helpers. Sometimes I have felt really nervous about leading the singing.
This June we have (in the UK) a month of prayer for Toddler Groups so I decided to make a visual aid for myself. You are very welcome to download the two ideas. My aim is to pray each day for the things that are on my heart.
The mustard tree grew so large that the birds could nest in its branches. This craft idea is to represent our toddler group children and their families and carers being made welcome to come and ‘nest’ in the tree of God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 13:31-32)
To Make the birds you will need
Bird shapes printed out (I used paper – card would be fine too) and cut out. Click the link to the printable PDF files. Bird 1Bird 2
Hearts cut from sugar paper or tissue paper shapes
Strips of sugar paper (you can curl these if you like by pulling a scissor blade along them)
You also need something to represent the mustard tree. This could be a bought tree like the one in the picture (hobbycraft) or a collection of branches or a made tree from sugar paper or a roll of lining paper. If you have a large group you might want to reduce the size of the birds.
Let the children decorate the birds as they wish. You could add their name to the front of the bird. Add the birds to the tree. Once the birds are added it will be a collection of all the children in your group in the mustard tree. I’ve added my birds by punching a hole and using thread. Blu-tack would work too.
Use the tree to encourage your church to pray for your toddler group. Put it on display on the Sundays during the National Month of Prayer in June.
This idea is one of many to help Toddler Groups get involved with the 1277 National Month of Prayer held each year in June. For further information and lots of ideas visit their facebook page 1277 National Month of Prayer.
Here in the UK it’s been the National Month of Prayer for Toddler Groups organised by the 1277 group. This afternoon a group of us from this local area of East London/Essex met to talk about our groups and pray together.
We began by reading part of Psalm 139 that reminds us that children are made by God and are special to him. Then we chatted and prayed. We focused on the following
families feeling welcomed
thankfulness for helpers
opportunities to share the gospel
good relationships between parents/grandparents and carers who come to the groups
new families to come along
dads and grandads that come to the groups – often outnumbered!
parents and grandparents doing Christianaity Explored
There were ten of us from four churches and it was a really great time. It was good to pray together and also to share ideas and feel part of a bigger picture.