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PREPARING A WAY
You will need: coloured chalk; a path or concrete / paved area
At the beginning of Luke 3, John the Baptist is seen as someone preparing a way for the Lord, so that everyone will see God’s salvation. This craft helps children to think about the colour, new life and good things Jesus brings, and will literally help them ‘prepare a way’ for him!
Talk to the children about what God’s kingdom is like and about making a pathway to reflect what Jesus will bring when he comes. Use the chalks to decorate your path with colour and pictures that reflect to the children the new life and change Jesus represents. It will be fascinating to see what they come up with. Make sure there is time to share what they have done.
GOD’S LOVE SUN CATCHERS
You will need: transparent sticky-back plastic squares 20cm x 20cm; tissue paper; sequins; glitter; sparkly paper; scissors
When Jesus is baptised, God’s voice comes from heaven and declares his love for Jesus. This craft helps children explore the idea of what God’s love is like.
Cut out two squares of sticky-back plastic per child. Lay one square flat with the sticky side up. Ask the children to decorate the plastic, cutting shapes and using glitter and sequins to create the most ‘special’ design they can as a representation of God’s love. When they have finished, stick the second square over the top and carefully seal the design between the two. Cut a heart shape out of the sealed design and use as a sun catcher on a window to remind the children of God’s love for Jesus and for them.
WATER-SPRAY TISSUE PAPER PAINTING
You will need: white card; coloured tissue paper (strong colours are best); spray bottle filled with water; covered table (as the colour is likely to run off the edge of the paper)
It would be hard to talk about the baptism of Jesus without involving water! Here is a messy way of using water to create artwork and, at the same time, help children to explore the idea of water giving ‘new life’.
Lay one piece of card per child on a covered table and ask them to decorate their card with tissue paper shapes. Do not glue the tissue down. Children might want to cut their own shapes if they are able and overlapping is fine. Try to ensure that all the white card has been covered. Now use the spray bottle to spray water carefully over the pictures. You will need to thoroughly soak the tissue paper and then press carefully down to make sure that the colour transfer happens. Lift the wet tissue paper off the card and dispose of it. The colour will have transferred onto the card to make a unique piece of art.
Use this craft as a starting point to talk about the symbolism of water in baptism and how it plays a real part in giving life to something new (just like it helped the tissue paper to create something ‘new’ on the card).
HARD AND ROUGH TEXTURES COLLAGE
You will need: card or paper; glue; collage items with ‘rough’ or ‘hard’ textures eg buttons, metallic pipe cleaners, scrubbing pads, sandpaper, lolly sticks
This craft helps children explore the theme of ‘desert’ times, where they, like Jesus, might be faced with tough decisions.
Ask children to use the items listed to make a collage of hard and rough textures. As they create, use the time to talk to them about Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness and about times when they themselves are going through rough patches and feel alone or tempted. Where are they able to find God when that is happening?
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