Saturday, February 27

Godly Play Work for Lent

Sometimes I'm amazed how long I go without visiting this space.  It doesn't feel like a long time as I'm thinking about it, but then I return and realize the last post is a couple months old.  So forgive the Epiphany banner and read on.

Aside from the daily mothering of four little boys and running of a home, I've been keeping busy with Godly Play recently.  Since the fall we've been running godly play during Sunday School (K-1) and Church (3 and 4 year olds) and I've been very present.  It has been really fun to watch the other storytellers develop over the past months, they are such lovely women who so quickly grasped the vision for Godly Play at Saint Matthews.  It has been gratifying and is delightful now to not be in the Godly Play room some mornings and know that it is in good hands.  

We have a trainer coming in April (The training is open to anyone if you would like to come sign up!)  We were given funding to expand and furnish the room and I'm excited that the bulk of that should come together next month.  

I've also been teaching three sessions of Godly Play each week on Wednesday mornings to the four year old classes at the preschool at our church.  We tried it in Advent and are now going through most of Lent and Easter.   This has been delightful and really great for me as a storyteller; nothing helps you learn a story more than telling it three times in a row to three different groups of children.

Because I don't have a door person (their preschool teacher is there, but they aren't trained) and because they all arrive together I meet them by the door and have cross and candles for each week of lent.  It is working well to greet them all there and then walk in together to build our circle.

One of our practical life trays is hole punching and it is a definite hit.  The shape of the punch (tree, star, hearts) changes with the liturgical season as does the color of paint strips.
While generally godly play doesn't recommend a set 'craft' I do love giving the option to make something that helps them play with the story at home.  I found all the purple paper in my house (including some wet on wet watercolors) and made this cutting work that lives on the practical life shelves so they can explore the Mystery of Easter lesson in a different way.  There are envelops for them to store their pieces in on the try, scissors and the crosses.  This has been really popular work over the past two weeks.
A sand tray is a new addition to the practical life shelves.  Meditative and hopefully prayerful this was very simple to put together.
Because I teach at the preschool on Wednesday they all saw the Ash Wednesday Cross on my forehead and were very interested.  So for the next week I made this work so that they could experience what it feels like to use ashes to make a cross.  The children have loved this work and I love hearing little voices saying some variation of "Remember from dust you have come and to dust you shall return."
New paint sets (a couple metallic and glitter mixed in) have also been a real draw in these early days of lent.  I'm excited to add some 'big paints' soon, but for now watercolors are our painting option.


Nicky said...

Awesome ideas for response I love them, and now I know what my work is for this week.

Sandra Atkins said...

I'd like to know more about what you did with the ash crossing activity. I'm working with 8-12 year olds this week. We are talking about secrets and prayer of confession. They are familiar with ashing, but I'd like it to be a little bit new.