Noah in the Ark

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There is a page of mini arks all ready for downloading and printing here Basic Noah’s Ark (x 8)

We did this craft a couple of weeks ago when we were doing Bible Stories on the theme of weather.

We used tissue paper, crepe paper, cellophane wrap, cotton wool and paper clouds.

Group craft!

 

Noah’s ark – drawn onto wall paper (found in the church storage cupboard!!) The animals are stickers, the water is tissue and sugar paper. Very easy to set up and you can always display it afterwards.

Let’s Share Bible Stories with Toddlers

“Hello friends, hello friends. How are you, how are you? It’s time for a story, time for a story. Come and listen, come and listen.”

We sing this song to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’ every week at toddler group. We gather round the story chair in a semi – circle; some sit on the rugs and others on chairs and then we share a story together.

By saying ‘share a story together’ I mean that I don’t just read a story from a book or recite a story script. It is story telling – a much more interactive group activity. We are ‘in it together’, taking part, joining in.

There are different ways of creating a joining in experience when telling a story. Here are a few ideas

  • Sounds to make – the sound of the storm on the lake
  • Actions to do – climbing the tree with Zacchaeus
  • Saying hello to the characters in the story as they come out of the story bag
  • Singing a song – include ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ part way through the story of the shepherds and angels.

So how do you choose which stories to tell?

As a church-based group (although we meet in a community hall) we tell stories from the Bible. It can help if each story is connected to a theme for half a term. Animal Bible stories, Homes Jesus Visited, Stories Jesus Told, Creation. Choose stories that you feel comfortable with and will enjoy telling.

When to have Story Time?

Pick a time in your session when there are less distractions. If you want the children to join in, then serve snacks before or after. Try to time things so that hands are free to take part in the story actions. If possible, have a space where there are no toys or do Story Time at the beginning or towards the end of the session.

Create a space

The storyteller needs to be seen and to be on the children’s level. Choose a low seat and create a semi – circle. Clean rugs encourage parents/carers and children to sit on the floor, but chairs are good for adults who need a higher seat.

The idea is to know the story well and encourage interaction with the group. The Bible is full of the most wonderful stories. Enjoy sharing them!

(This is an article I wrote for CEF Britain’s Newsletter)

Here are some of the items I use when telling stories…

Lydia

The story of Lydia is from Acts 16:11-15.

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Here are Lydia (with her purple cloth) and Paul and Barnabas. We begin the story by saying hello to Lydia, a rich successful woman who has money and a lovely home and a great job but still has something missing in her life.

Then Paul and Barnabas meet her and her friends and tell them about Jesus – and Lydia finds what is missing! It is knowing Jesus as her friend!

A simple craft idea – we had a washing line and purple pieces of material.

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A day in the life of…

I do really love doing three toddler groups a week. The Thursday group is at my own church (at the other two I lend a hand – taking a turn telling a Bible story, leading songtime and generally helping out where needed). So the following photos are from the Thursday group – we have a lot of space … and this is a glimpse of what happens on a Thursday morning from set up to tidy up! If you are running a toddler group then I really hope that you know that all the hard work that goes on before and after is really appreciated! I am really grateful that my husband does the setting up of all the furniture each week and that I’m part of a team that works really hard and is really cheerful each week.

So – the beginning of the day in the life – early morning furniture moving..

followed by toy set up.. by now there are three of us …

Our craft table is important – it’s really missed if it’s not there! We also have a painting room – I’ll try to get some photos! Our painting dryer is a clothes airer from Lakeland. It does the job, has no sharp edges and was a good price! One of the team makes the playdough and sorts out the paints bringing these from home.

For the first hour and a quarter it’s free play and tea/coffee and biscuits for the adults. The team is now at 5. We serve from the kitchen – the door is open but we use a stairgate to keep children safely out of the kitchen.

Then there is tidy up of the toys and snack time for the children.

At 11am we have a Bible Story and singing. Our hall has a stage which comes in very handy if we’re displaying pictures for the Story. This is a Go pack table on it’s side. It makes a great display space. We use a story bag too.

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It’s almost the end of the session – this is when we celebrate birthdays. We sing and then the birthday child can dong the birthday bell once for each year. It’s decorated bell in a special box.

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And finally we always end singing time with, ‘Row. row, row your boat.’ Then the CD is put on (we are still using CD’s) and the musical instruments come out for the last few minutes.

And then it’s washing up … putting everything away..sweeping the floor…there are often 6 or 7 of us clearing everything away

And sometimes there’s washing to take home and toys to clean. Every week a team member takes the tea towels home and the children’s painting aprons and washes them ready for the following week. Another team member is responsible for our welcome booklet with all the dates for the term.

I’m really grateful that I work in a team!

Thank you God for family and friends

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To make – sugar paper, tissue paper, cut up petit four cases, heart shapes, wool, crayons, glue, people shapes

(bought from Amazon – girl shapes and boy shapes) These can be cut into individual people.

Let the children choose how many people to add to their family and friends picture.

Mary and Martha

In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Mary and Martha. They are two grown up sisters living in Bethany. They are mentioned three times in the Life of Jesus. You can also read about them in John 11 – when their brother Lazarus is bought back to life – and in John 12 – when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

You could tell all three of these stories over three sessions or pick a couple. It’s good to include stories about women in our groups as so many of the listeners are women and a lot of Bible stories are about men! I always try to be mindful of this when I’m planning which stories to include.

To tell the story – 

In the story bag I had the three main characters – Martha, Mary and Jesus and some pots and pans, a wooden spoon and a cloth. You could have an apron or a duster. As you introduce the characters take them from the story bag and say ‘hello’

‘Mary and Martha were two grown-up sisters. One day Martha invited Jesus to come to their home for a meal.

Jesus was very happy to go to Mary and Martha’s house.

When he got there Jesus began to talk about God. Mary so wanted to listen to everything that he had to say. She sat down and listened.

But Martha had a lot to do! There was tidying to be done. There was the cooking to be done. Pans needed stirring!(Use the props from the story bag – encourage the children to mime the actions too) Food needed chopping! Plates needed wiping! Water needed pouring! She was busy, busy, busy! (Can you say that with me? She was busy, busy, busy!)

Mary sat still and listened to Jesus.

Martha was not happy!

She said to Jesus, ‘ Lord, don’t you care that I’ve been left to do all the work by myself?! Tell my sister to help me!’

But Jesus didn’t do what Martha said. Instead he said to Martha, ‘You don’t need to worry so much about all the things that need to be done. You need to listen to my words too.’

Today we can listen to the words of Jesus by listening to stories about him and reading the Bible.’

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Craft Idea

Make people collages – you could add the words, ‘We use our ears to listen’

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