Children and youth resources
Children & Youth resources
Lent (seasonal resources)
Discuss why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and ask what everyone likes to put on their pancakes. Match the pancake filling to the correct country (Belgium – chocolate, UK-lemon & sugar, Caribbean banana & coconut, China – stir fry and prawns, France – brie, camembert, onion, Germany – frankfurter & sauerkraut) You can talk about other traditions like Mardi Gras. Making pancakes (and eating them) is always popular but safety precautions are needed!
Have a pancake race – split into two teams, each with a tennis racket and ball. Each team member has to flip the pancake (in this case bounce the ball) a certain number of times determined by age – so if they are 7 they have to bounce the ball seven times on the racket before passing it on to the next team member. The team to finish first wins! Alternatively you can make it more of an ‘egg and spoon’ race try to keep the ball balanced on the tennis racket and walk/run to the other end of the room and back before passing it on to the next team member.
Tell the story of Easter using one sheet of A3 paper and challenge the kids to do the same – they will be amazed!Tell the story of Easter using one sheet of A3 paper and challenge the kids to do the same – they will be amazed!
Jesus the Passover Lamb – tell the story of Passover and the traditional seder plate that remind the Jewish people of how God saved them from slavery in Egypt. You could try some unleaved bread or even make your own! Assemble a door frame out of a long roll of brown paper – cutting two long rectangle pieces and one shorter piece to form the top of the door frame. The children can paint the door frame with some red paint to symbolise the lambs blood that the Hebrews used as God commanded them -so that death would pass-over their homes and their first-born sons would be saved. Explain that Holy Week takes place at the time of Passover, and that Jesus died when lambs would have been sacrificed at the temple to remember the events of Passover. Christians believe Jesus was sacrificed on the cross so that no one would be enslaved by sin, through his death we are forgiven. Now you can move the door frame pieces to make the shape of a cross. Christians believe that Jesus was the lamb of God– and his one perfect sacrifice was enough to end all sacrifices.
Holy Week art (middle school)
Resurrection Eggs are another brilliant way of engaging with the Easter Story. See separate instructions below.
Make some delicious 'Resurrection Rolls!’ Dip a white marshmallow in melted butter and cinnamon sugar to remember the women who brought oils and spices to the tomb. Then wrap ready-made croissant dough (or crescent rolls) around the white marshmallow to recall how Jesus body was wrapped in a cloth and placed in a tomb. Follow the cooking time for croissant and when it comes out of the oven the marshmallow will have gone, leaving an empty 'tomb'! There are lots of recipes online.
Make an Easter Garden – you can do this outside in a garden/park/on a beach! If you want to make it on a tray then you can grow some grass seed on a large plate. Once the grass has grown add a flowerpot for the tomb, a small piece of white cloth to put inside, a large stone, a cross made from twigs and twine, and a candle. Roll back the stone on Easter Day! (Alternative Easter Gardens – use lettuce for the grass and vegetables to create the tomb, flowers and cross! Or make a similar scene using biscuits, icing and sprinkles!) Make an Easter Garden – you can do this outside in a garden/park/on a beach! If you want to make it on a tray then you can grow some grass seed on a large plate. Once the grass has grown add a flowerpot for the tomb, a small piece of white cloth to put inside, a large stone, a cross made from twigs and twine, and a candle. Roll back the stone on Easter Day! (Alternative Easter Gardens – use lettuce for the grass and vegetables to create the tomb, flowers and cross! Or make a similar scene using biscuits, icing and sprinkles!)
Watch a 26min Easter animation on youtube – search for ‘The story of Easter – The Beginner’s Bible’
Make an Easter Tree together – decorate pussy willow branches with feathers, ribbons, and pompoms. You could also make an Easter wreath for your door using the same materials.
Re-create the last Supper using lego/duplo/playmobil for young children
Make hot cross buns for Good Friday. There are lots of recipes online, or you can have fun making them out of playdough/salt dough. You could also try making mini ones out of fimo/modelling clay. There are lots of good explanations on the internet for how the hot cross bun sums up the Easter story (eg the spices remind us of the women who brought spices to the tomb, the cross represents the cross on which Jesus died and if you turn the bun it also makes the shape of a kiss to remind us how much God loves us).
Get the kids to choreograph a dance to the hymn ‘Lord of the Dance’ and perform it for the congregation!
How many words can you make from ‘EASTER’? We got 19 words…how about you?
Hold a Resurrection Scavenger Hunt
Pentecost (seasonal resources)
Make these beautiful Dove Flame Prayers
Pentecost prayers to say with young people
Try blowing prayer bubbles or making a Pentecost crown
Spinning Spirals: Draw a spiral or use a template and write the words ‘I am with you always’ somewhere on the spiral. It can be decorated with stickers or coloured pencils before cutting it out and attaching a piece of string to the top. If possible take the spirals outside and see how they spin in the wind!
Fruits of the Spirit Salad! Talk about the fruits of the spirit and make a giant fruit salad for everyone to share. Blunt knives are advisable with younger children but supervision is still required. There are lots of examples online about how certain fruits can help us remember the fruits of the spirit. Challenge the group to recall all the fruits of the spirit before tucking into your fruit salad!
Bake-off time! Make/decorate a birthday cake or cupcakes to share with your church community to celebrate the birth of the Church. You could turn it into a Bake-Off style competition.
All Saints & All Soul (seasonal resources)
BRF have lots of brilliant and thought provoking ideas for talking about Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day
This is another great website to check out! Find out what soul cakes are – a good excuse to eat doughnuts!
We often light candles in remembrance of all the saints who have gone before us. Why not make paper lanterns or your own candles out of beeswax - they are easy and safe to make for young and older children. Here are some online instructions.
Creation (seasonal resources)
‘Green Anglicans’ have some wonderful resources, including activities and prayers, for different ages.
Act out this short play ‘God the Artist’ for your congregation during the Season of Creation.
Go on an Earth Day prayer walk using this helpful activity sheet.
Make acorn animals using acorns and cocktail sticks whilst talking about your favourite creatures or pets.
Get everyone to draw signs that remind family members to ‘turn off lights’ or ‘save water’. The signs can be in the shape of a lightbulb or tap!
Using coloured chalk draw big ‘earth’ outside your church or homes to mark ‘Earth Day’
Make ‘seed bombs’ and hand them out to families or the wider congregation during the Season of Creation.
Have a photography competition for capturing the beauty of creation.
What climate emergencies are we facing? Cut out lots of triangular hazard signs and get the children to fill them with symbols to represent the crises we are facing -extreme weather such as hurricanes, flooding, droughts/ endangered animals/ deforestation / global warming /displacement of people… Display the signs in front of the altar during the Season of Creation
Harvest (seasonal resources)
The Salvation Army have a great resource bank for Harvest that can be found here.
Make a Harvest banner for your Church Altar!
Decorate cardboard boxes to collect food for a nearby charitable food kitchen. You could decorate them with leaf rubbings or drawings of fruits and vegetables.
Epiphany (seasonal resources)
Try out this engaging origami stars and puzzle sheet with your group.
Candlemas (seasonal resources)
Make these beautiful Candlemas Bells! Snowdrops are a sign of hope as the light flowers bloom from the dark soil after a long dark winter. They can remind us of Simeon's joy at seeing God's son, after a long and hopeful time of waiting. May we, like Simeon and Anna, recognise God's light in the world and share it with joy. Search for paper origami snowdrops, here are some examples.
Listen and reflect on the Nunc Dimittis (Song of Simeon) – here is a very beautiful and more modern version.
Make Candlemas lighthouses: Lighthouses can remind us of Simeon's words to Mary, that Jesus would be a light for everyone. At sea it doesn't matter which kind of boat you are in, who is in the boat or where you have come from - lighthouses provide comfort and hope to all who sail in stormy seas and dark skies. Similarly, the light of Jesus' love and saving grace extends to all people, and especially those who feel lost, forgotten or unworthy. Our lighthouses reminded us that we can be a light for everyone around us too.
Sing and dance along to ‘My Lighthouse’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaW_4MWSE6I
Make your own lighthouse using cups, tape, paper/card and battery tealights. Here is an example from Messy Church https://www.pinterest.com/pin/545850417314665492/