Today we are going to be learning about prayer which is another word for talking to God. **Next week we will be doing an activity involving decorating biscuits (any shop bought biscuits are fine or you can make some if you’d like to) with icing and smarties (or any multicoloured chocolates/sweets). If you are not able to get hold of these items by then please contact Emily (email here) who has some of the Nest ones we can share with you.**
If you have a chance, take a look at this 2 minute video about chatting to God with young children (see the video here). We would also recommend watching this video as well if you have time, you will need to create a login to watch it, but it is free and this video and the whole course are really fantastic (see the video here).
As a quick overview, we are going to be thinking about this concept of ‘chatting’ to God which is taken from the Parenting for Faith course and books (which we would really recommend). ‘Chatting’ encourages children to use informal language, as well as non-verbal forms, to communicate with God. It’s about reinforcing our children’s understanding that they have their own relationship with God. All our activities this week hopefully will help with this.
Verse ‘Always be full of joy. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, always be thankful.’ 1 Thessalonians 5v16-18
Book My Very First Prayers by Gabrielle Mercer (see link here). Tamsin, one of our Nest team, has recorded a wonderful video of this term’s story using Makaton signs (see the video here).
Songs For this term please choose whichever are your favourite songs from our Nest resources page (see the videos here).
Activity 1 This is a chance to practice chatting to God with your child. We are going to include this activity each week of the prayer term and although it might feel a bit awkward at first, we hope that with a bit of practice this will become easier and help to encourage our children to chat to God themselves. Your child naturally learns by copying you and we want to show them that they can have their own relationship with God. It is also something we can try to do every day by letting our children see and hear us chatting to God out loud. For example ‘Thank you God for this dinner I am making, I really love spaghetti, God isn’t it funny that it looks a bit like wiggly worms!’.
Grab a cushion and ask a question (some ideas are below). Then tell God your answer into your cushion and encourage your child to do the same. If children are non-verbal or don’t want to speak then you could suggest the following: God is a proud parent just like us, who wants to see their new skills, so they might want to show Him how they can clap their hands or the funniest face they can make. Just remember to keep directing it as communication with God, not a performance for you.
What is your favourite animal? What did you have for breakfast today? Who is in your family? What is your favourite colour? Do you like singing or dancing? What food do you love to eat? What is your favourite toy? Do you like it when it’s sunny or rainy?
Activity 2 Blow bubbles together and as your child pops the bubbles ask them to say things that they would like to thank God for. You could also use this time to go on a prayer walk together, searching for things you would like to thank God for - trees, birds, smiles from people you see etc.