Monday, June 22, 2009

12 Who Changed the World

Our last WorkshopCycle for the school year was "12 Who Changed the World" and, of course, was about the disciples. The kids did a lot of nifty things, but my two favorites were ones that weren't in the WorkshopCycle curriculum (which is making me consider writing my own rotations instead of using canned ones...)

Instead of a plain-old drama, I thought we could liven things up by having the kids create some sort of puppets. As I surfed the web looking for great, easy puppet ideas, I decided up on Kitchen Untensil Puppets. You can find directions here. I dug through my kitchen drawer and went to Goodwill and found a nice assortment of items. Then I dug through my "fun fabrics" pile, got some yarn and googlie eyes and pipe cleaners, and was good to go.

The kids used info they had gathered about different disciples to make the puppets. They had a great time making the puppets one week, and using them the following week. They turned out so well!

And then our final week was the week I was looking forward to most of all (well, eating bugs last December came in a close second!). We were going to print t-shirts with fish. REAL fish!!!

Well, it turns out you can't buy real fish in the grocery store around here. Sigh. So we used fish stamps, and the kids still had an amazingly fun time.
I bought a bunch of white kid's t-shirts, and dyed them ahead of time with several colors of blue and green, and God helped out because when I hung them on the line to dry it rained and the shirts turned out even more ocean-like than I'd imagined!

It was a beautiful day, and we set up outside. I lured my friend and amazing fabric artist, Jo Rice, into helping lead the day (thanks, Jo for leading and for taking most of the following pictures!)

Here's Jo with Maggie and Emma at the table with the Versatex paints and stamps:

Here's a close-up of one of the shirts:

And here they all are, hanging to dry on the church lawn.


Easter Creations

On Easter we have a combine Sunday School and they do a fun craft project. This year, they made egg carton caterpillars (and we had plans to make tissue paper butterflys, but time got away from us). The caterpillar/butterfly image is a Christian image of resurrection, perfect for Easter morning.
The kids really enjoyed making their caterpillars beautiful!

Play Altar

I usually don't make blanket proclaimations, but Every Church Needs A Play Altar. Really. We added one to our preschool classroom a couple of years ago, and it is a favorite activity week in and week out.
Ours is a side table that was just sitting around. A sewer in the congregation made simple altar cloths in the liturgical colors with matching stoles (actually, they're reversable, one color on each side, 2 sets):

We added an inexpensive brass communion set and a couple copies of Gretchen Prichard's Alleluia, Amen. Occasionally, we'll have some wafers. But the kids go *crazy* when they have wafers and would go through a roll a week if we let them. So it's a special occasion thing.

I grew up with a Children's Altar, but it was as Revered and Transcendent as the main altar. Just like kids like to have a play kitchen or a play workshop, they also like a play altar. If you need any help figuring out how to make it work at your church, just ask!