Thursday, 21 May 2015

Peter in Prison and the Angel

Acts 12: 1-19

This week I have had to keep the craft really simple. I thought I was going to be on tea duty at Toddler Praise, as the wonderful lady who usually makes the tea, thought she was unable to be with us but at the last minute found she could come. Therefore the craft had to be something I didn't need to supervise, allowing the children to freely do with parents help. It had to be something self explanatory. This craft to me, seems too simple to be blogged about. However sometimes we find that we just can't do what we intend to do, we have to accept the circumstances for what they are and adjust our plans accordingly.

In today's story, Herod arrests Peter during Passover, he intends to try him and has him put under heavy guard in prison, with soldiers in the cell and bound with chains. During the night an angel appears, wakes Peter, frees him from his chains and tells him to dress. The angel leads Peter through the prison, past sleeping guards and out into the street. Up to this point, Peter thinks he is dreaming but when the Angel leaves him he realises what has happened and heads for the house of Mary, mother of John, where many believers are praying. He knocks on the door, the servant girl answers but she is so excited that Peter is free, she forgets to let him in and leaves him on the doorstep while she informs the others. Who don't believe her until Peter is finally let in.
Peter woken by the Angel
Our craft today is Peter behind lolly stick (popsicle stick - for my American readers) prison bars with the angel.

In a previous blog I talked about finding images on the internet. In this craft we need to do this again. I found when looking for images of Peter and the Angel, I needed to be specific with the keywords I typed into Google. Type in the wrong words and all sorts of unsuitable images come up. When I first typed Peter and Angel, Google found lots of images of Peter with wings at heaven's gate. After various attempts I chose 'images man praying cartoon' and found the image I required. I also had problems with the angel but finally got what I wanted by typing 'images guardian angel cartoon'.

Materials required:
Materials ready for use

·         Pictures of Peter/man

·         Pictures of Angel

·         Card

·         Felt tips

·         Lolly/popsicle sticks

·         Glue, pot and spreaders


1.    Find images of Peter and the Angel on the internet and paste into Word or alternative. They need to be smaller than a lolly stick in size.

2.    Roughly cut out pictures of Peter and the Angel.

3.    Cut card down to size. Our card was A6 in paper sizes; A4 card cut into quarters.

Noah with help from his Mum

1.    Colour in Peter and the Angel.

2.    Glue onto the middle of the card.

3.    Arrange lolly sticks before gluing, then glue into place.

This is very simple but if you want an alternative, make a prison cell out of a box, with Peter and the Angel inside and the lolly sticks glued to the outside. Maybe add some guards on the inside and outside and add some chains. I often take other people's ideas and change them for my own purpose, so feel free to do this yourself.
Eli Gluing on his lolly sticks
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Have fun

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The lame man at the Beautiful gate.

Acts 3: 1-10

This week's simple craft at Toddler Praise was similar to last weeks. This time however, I am using up something I've been hoarding for a while, left over oddments of material. I made my youngest son a patch work lion a few months ago but I didn't throw out the off cuts. Most people would, but now these strips of material are coming in useful for this craft, making the clothes for the lame man in our story.

The thing about being a crafter is you tend to hoard things. I hate to throw anything useful (or even semi-useful) out. I have cupboards of nonsense, actually no, I should say rooms of nonsense. We live in a Victorian vicarage, big rooms and all full of stuff. The problem with big rooms is you can hide things away and forget about them but this habit comes in useful when crafting. Margarine and ice cream tubs are handy for storing or transporting things in. Two posts ago - ascension - I did a craft using old shoe boxes and wool, that I've had for many years. Today's craft involves a hole punch; the left over circles of paper could be used for eyes, if there are no googly eyes to be used. There are so many examples I could mention of recycling stuff but you'd get bored reading.

This story in Acts comes very soon after the disciples have received the Holy Spirit. Peter and John go to the temple to pray, they pass through the beautiful gate. A lame man, who has been crippled since birth, asks them for money. They tell him they have no money but instead heal him in the name of Jesus. The man gets to his feet and finds himself walking and jumping, he praises God for being healed. Those who knew the man were amazed at his healing.

Today's craft we are making a card puppet of the lame man at the beautiful gate. With these the children can re-tell the story, making the puppet sit down and then when he has been healed, he can dance around praising God.

The fully clothed dancing men, we had some naked ones too!

Materials required:

Eli showing off his lame man with fine hair.
·         Card

·         Something round, i.e. cup or glass

·         Pencil

·         Ruler

·         Scissors

·         Hole punch

·         Wool

·         Googly eyes

·         Red felt tips

·         Pipe cleaners

·         Material/strips of paper

·         Glue, spreader and pot

·         Thread/wool/string

·         Cellotape


Prepare prior to session

Prepared bodies
1.    Card person: draw around a small cup for the head, using ruler draw a rectangular body, with rounded shoulders.

2.    Cut out and use as a template.

3.    Hole punch the four corners of each body.

4.    Cut shorts lengths of wool for hair.

5.    Cut down pipe cleaners to desired length, I cut into thirds.

6.    Cut strips of material or paper for clothes.

7.    Cut long lengths of wool/thread/string.

How to make

1.    Using cellotape, stick the length of wool/thread/string to the back of the head.

Brandon trying out his puppet.
2.    Glue on hair and eyes.

3.    Draw a really happy mouth with a felt tip, unless covered in glue then wait until dry.

4.    Thread 4 pipe cleaners through the holes in the body, bend over the ends and twist, keep them loose they need to move. All the children will probably need adult help for this.

5.    Glue on the strips of material/paper for clothes.

Lovely curly hair Imogen.
If you have time, make them more puppet like: using lolly sticks (or similar) make a cross and tie string from the lolly stick to the hands. This is a bit fiddly, which is why we didn't do it in our session at Toddler Praise this week.

Whichever way you choose to do this craft, the kids will have a lot of fun and can then go home and tell their families about how Peter and John healed a lame man, acting it out with the puppet.

Toddler Praise is held at St Luke's Church, Scarborough, UK. Check out our Facebook page.
Have fun.



Sunday, 10 May 2015


This week's simple bible craft for toddlers follows on from last week's theme; it's Pentecost. Before Jesus ascended to heaven, he told his disciples that they would receive the Holy Spirit, to enable them to carry on his work; spreading the good news of God's love for all people. In the bible, in the book of Acts, we hear how the disciples were gathered together when the Holy Spirit came to them. The sound of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house. They saw tongues of fire, that separated and rested on each head of those gathered. They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they found themselves talking in many strange languages that they had never spoken before but the people on the street outside understood.
Disciples with flames on their heads
The typical craft for Pentecost is making flame crowns or drawing disciples with flames on their heads. I'm afraid I'm not going to break with tradition on this occasion. My first idea for this week had been completely different and I was almost prepared, when I found in Poundland a packet of 15 card people. I could not resist them, they were a must purchase and so this week's craft is card disciples with flames on their heads. However I do realise that not every Poundland (other pound shops are available!) in the country will be stocking these cut out people and there are readers of this page from other countries where Poundland has not darkened their shores. Therefore, on behalf of those readers, I am going to provide a step by step guide to making your own card person template.

Materials required:

·         Card, no surprises there!

·         Pencil

·         Something round to draw around

·         Ruler

·         Rubber/eraser, I found this to be essential!

·         scissors

Card person instructions:

1.    On the edge of your card, at the top, draw a semi circle. The card is the short side of a A4 sheet of card.

2.    Before drawing the arm and leg, decide where to draw the body and how wide to make the body. I think my person is too thin but it's up to you. Careful not to make it too long. That's what the eraser is for!

3.    Using a ruler draw the body.

4.    Again using the ruler, draw the arm and the leg, rounding them off at the end.

5.    Cut out the half person template.

6.    Draw around the template, then flip it over and draw around it again to make a whole body.

7.    Cut this out and use as a template.

As you can see above, the kids coloured in their own disciples, using wool strands for hair and googly eyes. I cut out flames from tissue paper to stick to the back of the head. The older children sat for such a long time colouring in there disciples, it was lovely to see how engaged they were with the activity. The younger children were also keen to have a go, needing help to spread glue and draw a mouth.

These card people can be decorated in anyway you wish, maybe strips of material or paper could be glued on to make clothes. Be careful with paint, as this will curl the people.

However way you do it, it's a fun craft the children will enjoy.
Have fun!


Saturday, 2 May 2015

Model of Jesus ascending to heaven
This week at Toddler Praise the children heard about Jesus ascending to heaven. He took the disciples to the top of a hill and told them to go and make disciples of all nations. The clouds then descended and Jesus ascended to heaven.  It's a little early in the church calendar but in a toddler group that doesn't matter.

When thinking about this craft I wanted Jesus to ascend into the clouds in some way. I had to think around different ideas of how we could create the scene. Having first thought how we could do this on card, I then settled for a 3D working model or diorama.

To do this model we needed an image of Jesus. Older children would be able to draw their own but when doing crafts with toddlers, most need the materials prepared. This is where the internet becomes an essential tool for crafters. By typing the keywords "images of Jesus cartoon" into a search engine an array of suitable images are found. The chosen image can often be "copy" and "paste" into a word document, altered to the adequate size and then repeatedly pasted for however many that are required. Whenever I need a character for a craft; should it be Jesus, Zaccheus up a tree, Jonah praying or a variety of animals for an Ark, I search for them on the internet. They do of course need cutting out and this can be time consuming, especially if you need them on card and like me, the printer does not take card.

We also needed boxes, small shoe boxes are perfect for this craft but I only had a small number. I had to put a message on our Facebook page to ask parents and carers to bring in any spare boxes they had. We had so many bring them, I now have enough for another craft. Of course if you are more organised than me and know what you're doing weeks in advanced, rather than 2 days before the session, you'll have plenty of time to ask parents and carers to bring in supplies.

Materials required

·         Small shoe boxes or suitable alternative

·         Pointy skewer

·         Watered down blue ready mix paint

·         Paint pot and brushes

·         Thread/ string/ wool

·         Images of Jesus on card

·         Scissors

·         Cellotape

·         PVA glue

·         White card

·         Cotton wool

·         Children's sewing needle



Preparations prior to session:

1.    Prepare each shoe box; with the shoe box on its side, punch two holes in the top of the box, in the centre with a skewer.

2.    Print out images of Jesus on card and cut out.
Paint inside of box blue

3.    Measure out a length of thread for each box, that is over twice the width of the box.

4.    On white card, cut out cloud shapes that fit the length of the boxes, these need a flap down the length (they shall be glued to the top of the box). Shoe boxes vary in size, a variety of cloud lengths maybe required.

How to make:

1.    Paint the inside of the box blue.

2.     Thread the sewing needle with the wool/ thread. Sew the wool/ thread through one hole in the top of the box and back through the other.

Knot the wool/ thread
3.    Knot the wool/ thread.

4.    With a short length of cellotape, stick Jesus to the other end of the wool/ thread. Make sure he faces outward. If the wool/ thread is too long, re-knot to make it shorter.

5.    Using PVA glue, stick cotton wool onto the white card cloud.

6.    Spread glue onto the flap of the cloud and stick to the top of the box, so the cloud hangs down the front of the box. This means the cloud can move and therefore descend.

Imogen proudly showing her creation
If you have more time you could paint the outside of the box, although if the boxes have a glossy surface you will need acrylic paint, the ready mix will not stick. This craft does have Jesus lifting up into the cloud rather than the clouds surrounding him. If you prefer the clouds surrounding him, then make the cloud bigger, however the glue will need to dry before Jesus can be seen to have ascended.
By Noah, Brandon, Eli, Jack and me

This craft can also be used for other bible stories, like Elijah ascending to heaven on a chariot, Jacobs ladder or the transfiguration with Moses and Elijah descending.

Have fun.