Parents to share with children – aimed at ages 5-9
Aim: To talk about fear; to understand that God is bigger than our fears; God is with us even when we are afraid. The memory verse is: “Whenever I am afraid I will trust in You” Psalm 56:3
|How this goes: |
FUN STARTER (choice of two)
BIBLE STORY; BIBLE VERSES with questions for older ones.
CRAFT ACTIVITY (choice of two)
MEMORY VERSE, including questions and craft
An optional item at the end.
Bible story and colouring for younger ones also attached at the bottom
Looks like a lot of text: much quicker to read through than it looks.
The Point: To put the children in a situation where they might be a little scared and to talk about this: to engender a little fear.
FEEL THE FEAR
Need: Blindfolds, lots of different things to feel with different textures – some yucky, like cold spaghetti.
Ask for three or four volunteers and blindfold them. Show the other children all the things you have brought for the volunteers to feel. Make a big thing of how yucky they are. Now ask your volunteers to feel them and guess what they are. If you have set it up well, they will be apprehensive about what they are being given to touch.
OR: TASTE IT NOW
NEED: Several washed tin cans each containing a hidden food, spoons, baby wipes, removed labels from pet food or bean tins. (Just use bowls/ blindfolds?)
Before the session choose some food, cut it up and put each into a separate empty can. Mix different foods together – for instance, put food colouring in natural yogurt and add chocolate drops and cut up fruit; make a lemon jelly and add cut up pieces of mars bar, mix cold sausage in baked bean juice. Each food should be tasty!
Glue or sellotape a label from a pet food tin round each tin of food – or use labels from tinned foods that the children would not be expected to like – mushy peas, haricot beans and so forth.
Now ask the children who would like to come and taste the food in the tin? Ask your volunteer to choose a tin and feed him a spoonful. Then ask for more volunteers – you should find that the rate of volunteers increases as more children have tasted the food and survived! (Use a different spoon for each volunteer!)
Ask the children if any of them were nervous about trying the food? Why? Did they trust you to give them something nice or were they worried that you might give them something disgusting? If they think about it they should know that you wouldn’t do anything that would really hurt them or make them feel ill. What made them decide to be brave and try the food? What stopped them being scared?
Jesus Calms the storm
The Point: To see that Jesus can keep us safe when we are afraid of situations.
Need: A large sheet or a parachute, a piece of card to represent the boat.
Sit around the parachute or bed sheet and ask them to hold onto the edges so that they can agitate them when necessary.
Choose someone from your family to be Jesus and get them to lie down on the floor near the sheet.
Tell the story:
It had been a long day and Jesus was tired. His disciples took him on a boat and they sailed across the sea of Galilee. It was a beautiful evening and the sea was calm. (Ask the children holding the parachute to wave it gently.)
Suddenly there was a terrible storm! Rain fell down, wind roared and the sea became rough! (Lift the parachute so that big waves go across it.) The storm got worse and worse and the disciples became really scared that they would be drowned! (Make the parachute rougher) But Jesus was asleep, tired out.
The disciples woke Jesus up. “Don’t you care that we are going to drown?” they asked. Jesus rubbed his eyes and sat up. He looked at the storm and held out his hand. “Be quiet!” he said to the storm, and at once the storm stopped – the sea became calm, the wind and rain stopped. (Make the parachute still). “Why were you so afraid?” Jesus asked his disciples. “Didn’t you know I would keep you safe?”
Make the point that Jesus has the power to keep us safe even when we feel scared. He is more powerful that anything or anyone else.
BIBLE VERSES AND QUESTIONS: Feeling afraid, for older ones
Read Psalm 27:1-5.
The writer talks about situations where he might be scared. What examples does he give?
• Would you be in any situations like this? Can you think of scary situations you might be in that you could replace the situations in the Psalm with?
• Why isn’t the writer afraid?
• Do you need to be scared in the situations you have thought of?
• What is the most important thing for the writer?
• How does this help him not to be afraid?
• Can spending time with God help us to face our fears?
• How does it help?
Read Romans 8:31-32. Romans 8:35-39.
• Who is always on our side?
• Why should having God with us help us to be confident?
• What things does the writer say can’t get in the way of God’s love for us?
• So can anything get in the way of God?
• Why should knowing this help us when we feel afraid of things?
Romans 8 helps the children to realise that they are not alone. Nothing can separate us from God’s love, so we have no reason to be scared of anything.
The Point: A story reminder
NEED: Heavy paper, paint – blues, greys, blacks ( or just colouring pencils), silver glitter, brushes, glue & the “Storm – boat pictures” PDF sheet below, downloaded and printed onto card, glue.
Let the children create an abstract storm scene with the paint provided. You can sprinkle silver glitter on the wet paint to add texture and movement.
When the pictures are dry, each child can pick a boat from the attached sheet to have cut out and glued on.
OR: STORMY SEA
The Point: To provide a reminder craft.
NEED: paper plate, a straw and a butterfly clip (split pin) for each child, scissors, glue, sellotape, tissue paper, normal paper.
Before the session cut the paper plates in half. Give each child the two halves of the paper plate. Explain that you are going to make one half into the sea and the other half into a boat.
To make the sea: glue over the whole of the half plate and stick blue and green tissue paper onto it. To make the boat: Either colour the half plate brown or stick brown tissue paper over it. Each child needs a triangle of paper which they can decorate as a sail. Fix a straw to the back of the sail with sellotape and fix the bottom of the straw to the back of the boat. Then on another piece of paper draw some people to go into the boat. Cut them out and attach them to the back of the boat with glue or sellotape.
Lay the boat on the table with the straight edge on top. Put the sea plate over the boat with the straight edge facing down, so that the boat sticks up out of the sea – there should be a couple of centimetres of overlap between the top of the sea and the bottom of the boat. Stick a butterfly pin through the two thicknesses of card and open the pins at the back to fix the plates in place. The boat can now be rocked on the sea.
MEMORY VERSE, including questions and craft
NEED: A large picture of a spider outlined so that words can be written in its body. Black paint.
“Whenever I am afraid I will trust in You” Psalm 56:3
Draw a great big spider on a piece of poster paper. This should be placed where all the children can see it. Write “Whenever” in the spider’s body. Write the remaining eight words of the verse on the spider’s legs – one word on each leg. Colour/paint/decorate.
• Ask them when they can trust in God. They should say whenever they are afraid.
• Who can they trust?
• When should they trust God?
FOR OLDER ONES:
Just a prayer basket – special one for the lockdown, prayers on folded paper to be put in the basket for those worries particular to this time we are in; for those suffering in the many different ways during this unprecedented time.
FOR YOUNGER ONES:
A4 paper cut into 8, pens, large photo or poster of the sea.
Lay out the picture or poster of the sea on a table. Let adults make some small paper boats – according the instructions in the get creative activity above. Cutting a piece of A4 paper into 8 equal rectangles should be a good size. Say that Jesus wants us to give our fears and worries to him. Adults should name their boats by writing one worry or fear on the side of each. Then they can set them to sail on the picture of the sea and trust that God will take them.
The Point: To introduce the idea of being scared.
Ask the children to think of something that they are scared of (if they’re ‘not scared of anything’, they can think of something that someone else is scared of). Let each child in turn come up and mime that fear to the rest of the group. Allow the children to guess the fear being mimed.
Comment that fear is natural and common, and it’s good to know your fears so that you can deal with them and overcome them.
• The children think of and mime a fear.
• Other children try to guess the fear.
• Discuss that fear is natural and common.
Here are two PDF’s. The story and colouring sheet for the younger ones. Click on the links below:
If you don’t have a PDF viewer installed on your computer, you can download one by visiting: https://acrobat.adobe.com/uk/en/acrobat/pdf-reader.html