One important idea I hope that the children took from today’s story is that the Holy Family materials in our classroom are there for the children. They do not need to ask permission to touch the figures. They are always available to work with, touch, handle, and draw inspiration from as the children worship together in this space.
Following the story the children were asked to think about what they would like to make their work for the day. They were invited to work with the holy family materials, to make something about the holy family, or to continue work they'd begun last week. When I told the children, after the story, that I wondered where they saw themselves in the Holy Family, or what part of the story was most about them, several children mentioned the sheep and donkey as a character they identified with. I was very glad to see one of the children who chose to work with clay today immediately went to the focal shelf and selected a sheep from our story to represent with the clay. For another child, the part of the story that resonated was the line spoken by the angel who said, “Go. Hurry. Go to Bethlehem. Something has happened there that will change everything.” After work time he brought me a drawing full of colorful swirls bursting from every corner of the paper and announced that it was a picture of the “moment that everything changed.”
Several children took the opportunity to try out our new painting supplies today. Both setting up and cleaning up took some time, but again this week I was so pleased with the careful stewardship the children showed in taking care of our work space. Though two adult guides and I were in the room to assist, the children did the lions share of the work of gathering the materials they needed, finding a good workspace, and after work time restoring their materials. The children took care not only of the materials, but also of each other as they helped to clean up, wipe down paint trays, dump dirty paint water, sweep up chalk dust from the floor, return trays and rugs to their resting places, and reassemble in our circle for our closing feast.
Pouring 12 tiny glasses full of orange juice and passing them out was done by the children as well, and while we were not without spills today, we used them as a learning experience to find where the paper towels, spray bottles, and other cleaning supplies could be found, and again, it was the children and not the adults who did the work to clean them up.
My only disappointment today was that we did not have more time to pray and enjoy our feast together today. The hour goes by so very, very quickly. I look forward to when we all meet again.
A reminder that next week we will not have a Godly Play session during the Sunday school hour as the children will be practicing in the sanctuary to lead our 10:45 worship service. We will gather in the parlor at 9:30 and have a craft project to work on while the children take turns practicing their special roles for worship. If you have any questions about this please email Hannah Hannover or leave a comment here or on our contact page.
Peace be with you.
Godly Play Team
Hannah Hannover, Minister to Children and Families and Genya Coffey, Christian Education Team Coordinator make up our current team of guides and storytellers. Both have attended workshops in order to receive certification from the Godly Play Foundation. They will take turns authoring the blog posts found here. Interested in joining the team? Be sure to let them know through the contact page.