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as a follow up to the children’s tables, I came to set out yesterday morning for today, and remembered we had the final wedding of the year. The children’s resources were everywhere. I have had it in the back of my mind to produce a service sheet for weddings a little like Ally’s excellent baptism ones, but it hasn’t happened. And we don’t have the internet in church so I couldn’t whip up (or down) anything from the net/pinterest. Thankfully, however, I had just copied the things for the children for today, so I fetched a black felt pen, and channelled my inner Ally for ten minutes.

The result was amateur, but I reckon good enough.

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Not terribly religious, but it would give them something to do, I thought, as I slightly guiltily lifted my prayer and sacrament tables and carried them over by the font, hoping to minimise the chaos. Instead, I unwrapped one of my ebay purchases, and the requisite people, and laid these out instead. Obviously I’ll need wedding stickers as well….

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Having scanned my rather quick and dirty sheets, I’ve added a couple more things to them and pdf’d them here: wedding activity book. So now there are 8 pages, so you can do a little booklet if you like, complete with cover, or just print off ones you fancy. There are, if you google, lots of waaaaaay more professional versions, quite a few on not-on-the-high-street or etsy that as a wedding couple you could have personalised, but also a very lovely free version somewhat slicker than my 3 sheets. Theirs is here: weddingbook, and there’s also one from Something Turquoise here.

Maybe I’ll get round to a deeper version for older kids before the wedding season starts again… Anyway, in the meantime, feel free :-) Happy to turn over the ppt file for editing either.

PS, at time of typing, Wilkos has a special offer on a not-barbie wedding set (trust me, you can’t buy the dolls and the suits that cheaply), and they also have some wedding bunnies too if you’re building up a box. My church is the Happiland one (complete with bells that the children may or may not have found….) – eBay is your friend – or ELC at Mothercare. Beware addiction…

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I probably need to do a handful of posts on children in church, but I’m contemplating setting up a separate blog to host them, while i find time to pull them together. However, in the meantime, since I’ve been asked, here’s our go-to package for baptism* days.

* do not engage discussion about main service/not main service

It’s pretty basic, but it’s now serving us quite well.

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It contains (other suppliers are usually available):

  • a baby doll, dressed in a christening gown knitted by one of our parishioners
  • some baptism cubes  (you can see inside ‘pages’ here)
  • a blue plastic bowl (we have a modern blue glass font which is placed inside the stone surround)
  • a stainless steel milk jug
  • Ally Barrett’s excellent baptism colouring book (link to the page not the pdf, incase you need the printing instructions)
  • a fill in sheet which is proving pretty popular from Kinder Craze. Full doc available (free) from TPT, I just use this page
  • Scratch art crosses. These are popular with kids and parents alike. Can get through quite a lot!
  • Name badges. I don’t know a child who doesn’t like stickers, so we’re now doing guerilla outreach by sending them out of church wearing a sticker saying they’ve been…. I work with a 21-to-a-page sticker sheet, with this Baptism guest names doc.

So far so good. There may be a colouring sheet something to do with baptism, or I have some ‘you are loved’ sheets or something else as well, and the last two I’ve kept the baptism basket on the side and still produced some materials for the story of the day first. Whether you can do both/end up with chaos/only do the crosses kind of depends how many children turn up. But it’s a good basket.

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For info, there are electric candles and crosses on the children’s prayer table, so if you want to talk about the other symbols of faith, they are on hand, just not in the basket. You might want to add pound shop battery tea lights and some small holding crosses to your basket.

Also, these are all at our ‘activity’ table at the back (note to self, must blog these), but I also have some clipboards with copies of the colouring/fill-in sheets on and little bag of crayons attached to be taken withor without a children’s bag into the pews.

Also also, I keep allsorts of random other stuff pinned on pinterest

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Yes, I know you want a photo. No, I’m not emptying them all out of the bag tonight. But you can get the idea by reading the original post, since I repurposed most…

I took the resurrection eggs into school this week, working with reception and years 1/2. I had changed one or two contents, so this year’s list of 17 eggs looks like this:

palm leaves – I fell over the plastic top of a palm tree at toddlers the day I was going, which I cut up rather than cut from felt. very handy

plate and cup – that would be the knitted chalice from the in-progress last supper and a small wooden bowl. plus a pinch of bread that turned increasingly cardboardy during the sessions

coins – 3 x 5p

rope – last years’ was a tiny knotted piece that fitted Jesus’ hands, this year I found a bigger loop which looked more like rope and less similar to the crown of ‘thorns’

sticky plaster – we discussed that after the bad people came and tied Jesus up, then they kicked him and beat him up

purple robe

crown of thorns

cross

nails

King of the Jews sign

dice

crucifix

white cloth – lining material

smooth round flat stone

spices – small wooden ‘jar’ – and the same pyx full of rosa mystica they saw at Christmas that baby Jesus got as a present

-empty egg-

angel – also reprised the angel from the Christmas set that years 1 & 2 remembered and loved, so that we could talk about being told that Jesus was risen

With years 1 & 2 I let them pick an egg out of a basket then lined them up and they opened one at a time. With reception, I left them arrayed round a low table in order, and after telling the story they came in groups and played with the pieces.

Last time I was in Hobbycraft, they had the plastic eggs on special offer…

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At one of our experimental worships last year, we were treated to The Brick Testament in the background (our chapel is blessed with a beautiful expanse of white nothingness behind the altar to project onto) and I’m sorry, but much as I am a lego fan, it didn’t really get me. Bricks, no; but sand? oh yes… more…

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