The story of Elijah fleeing from Ahab and Jezebel (1 Kings 19) contains so many elements that can be explored from a well-being perspective: of fear, anguish, journey, reflection, encountering God and finding purpose. The following craft ideas all have a sensory element and should provide plenty of open-ended response time so that children can express their own reactions and feelings.
ELASTIC BAND SPLATTER ART
You will need: a roasting tin; elastic bands; paint; water; paintbrushes; paper
This craft offers another way to explore the emotions of fear, upheaval and anguish while creating a constructive piece of artwork. It is a great way to channel some frustration!
Stretch the elastic bands around the width of the roasting tin (five or six bands is optimal) and spread them out evenly. Place a piece of paper in the base of the tin. Water down some paint and use a brush to dab some onto one of the elastic bands. Flick the elastic band with your fingers and the paint will fly off and splatter onto the paper. Repeat with different colours on the other elastic bands. Use the action of flicking and the release of paint to discuss the more violent aspects of the story as well as the emotions mentioned above. How does it feel to release these emotions rather than keeping them bottled up?
You will need: paper; pens; playdough; small items such as buttons, beads and wooden hearts
Elijah goes on a long journey in this story, both physically and emotionally. This craft helps children think about their own life journeys and create some kind of physical representation of them in their own unique way.
Ask children to think about the route their lives have taken so far. Have they ever run away from something? Have they ever encountered God? Have they ever been given a special job to do? Who are key people in their lives? Get each child to draw a line on a piece of paper to
represent their life, then cover the line with playdough. Decorate the playdough with small items that are representative of certain people or events that have popped up along the way, and use pens or other available items to make marks or ‘steps’ along the road.
You will need: bowls; playdough
This story holds a rollercoaster of deep emotion, especially for Elijah, and features events that may resonate profoundly with children. This simple craft allows children to really explore the emotions they see within, or experience in response to, the story.
Using the bowl as a ‘head’, take some playdough and create a face. The face could reflect a child’s own feelings about the story or a moment of emotion from one of the characters in the story. While the children are creating, allow space for them to talk about what they are doing if they would like to.
ROUGH TIMES PICTURES
You will need: sandpaper; pencil crayons
It would be fair to say that, for much of this Bible passage, Elijah is not having a great time. He experiences death threats, despair, loss, an earthquake, wind and fire. This trouble is not the end of his story with God, though. This craft uses sandpaper as a backdrop to show that, with God, something wonderful and purposeful can be created even out of roughness.
Use the pencil crayons to draw on the sandpaper. What the children draw is completely up to them. It could be an event from the story or something entirely different, but the main point to get across is that something constructive and even beautiful can be created out
of the roughness (like Elijah’s encounter with God). Drawing on top of sandpaper is not a smooth process and tends to chip away at the pencils, but this in itself opens up a possible conversation about God producing something amazing even when we feel we are being chipped away at.