Thursday, 25 June 2015

Joshua and the Defeat of Jericho

Joshua 1- 6

Edible walls of Jericho

George wouldn't let me take a photo before he ate it
At Toddler Praise we don't do food crafts all that often, which is a shame because they are so popular. The hall kitchen is not set up for cooking in, as there is no oven. When I do prepare a food craft, it has to be a non-cooking one. In fact this is only the second food craft this year because of the limitations of our hall and the time we have to do it in.

The walls of Jericho gave us the perfect opportunity to use food like a craft material. What better material is there for building walls than bread cut into cubes. The children have the fun of building up walls as tall as they can, until they fall or get knocked over. Oh, how small children love to knock bricks over. And what's more they get to eat it afterwards, what could be better! Our kids spent more time eating than playing today, tidy up time was so easy. But, I must give a sticky warning.


However, very tasty fingers to lick afterwards!

Eli's impressive construction of Jericho

After Moses and the people of Israel left Egypt, they wandered around the desert for 40 years. Not because they were lost but because they didn't trust the Lord, as a result, all those who had left Egypt were not allowed to enter the promised land, all except Joshua. When Moses died, Joshua led the people into the promised land of Canaan. The Lord told Joshua that he was with him and he was giving them the land that he had promised to their forefathers. They would be successful in this land as long as they keep God's laws.

Israelites outside the walls of Jericho
Joshua sent two men to look over the promised land, especially Jericho. The people of Jericho had heard of the Israelites and that their God had parted the Red Sea and defeated their foes. The people of Jericho were scared. When the two men entered Jericho, they entered the house of a woman named Rahab. People in the city heard of two Israelite men, so they went to the house of Rahab. Rahab protected the men and hid them, she told the men of the city that the Israelite men had already left Jericho. The men of the city went searching for them along the road. Meanwhile Rahab helped the men escape, provided they protect her and her family when Israel attacked. She lowered them down the city walls from a window in her house. The men told her to tie a red cord to the window, then they would know which house not to attack.

Israelites march around the walls seven times
The Lord told Joshua that he would deliver the city into their hands. They had to march around the city once a day for 6 days, with all the armed men. Carry the Ark of the Covenant, ahead of it seven priest should blow rams horns. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times in silence. Then give a long horn blast and all the people should shout as loud as possible. This will cause the walls to collapse. Joshua and the people did just as the Lord said and the city of Jericho fell. The Israelites took over the city and dedicated it to the Lord. Rahab and her family were kept safe, as the two men had promised her.

 Materials required:

·         Brown Bread

·         Jam/chocolate sauce/honey

·         Large container

·         Paper plates

·         Knifes and spoons

·         Bowls

·         Bread knife


·         Cut crusts off the bread and cut into brick shaped pieces.
Brandon adding a layer of chocolate sauce

·         Put jam and sauces into bowls


1.    Build a wall on a paper plate by sticking the bread together using the jam and sauces as cement.

2.    Then knock it down with a loud shout and eat.


In the words of 4 year old Brandon, "The chocolate sauce tastes nicer but the jam sticks the bricks better."

We have more photo's of this activity on our facebook page, just follow the link.

Have fun

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Moses - burning bush, plagues and the Red sea (in a nut shell)

Exodus 2-14

Pillars of fire sensory bottles

Eli with his Pillar of Fire
This week's simple craft is such an easy one and we had so much fun making them at Toddler Praise today. You do need to plan ahead in order to have enough bottles for each child. I was able to put a request on our Facebook page and between us we had more than enough bottles for all. The kids loved them so much that a few of them made a second bottle to take home to their siblings.

This is a great craft to do with toddlers and also with children with autism and sensory disorders. Both toddlers and children with autism are very sensory, they like things that stimulate their senses and often find them calming or exciting. Children love these sensory bottles; shaking them and watching the glitter swirl around the bottle, in fact some parents were mesmerised by them too. It's possible, if you swirl them well enough and have the right shaped bottle, to make a tornado or maelstrom. These bottles will entertain the children for quite some time, repeatedly shaking them again and again. I work with children with autism, a few weeks ago a colleague prepared these for the children to make in class to illustrate tornados. I thought these would be a great craft to do with our toddlers.

The sensory bottles represent the pillar of fire with which the Lord safely guided the Israelites to the Red Sea. Today's story is covering so much that it was hard to choose which part to make a craft for. Ten plagues are hard to make into a simple craft, so many elements to consider. Making a burning bush is always a good craft to do but I wanted to do something different and I knew the kids would get so much pleasure out of these bottles.
 Today's story

Moses was brought up in the Egyptian palace as the adopted son of the Princess, even though he was a Jew. The Jews were persecuted and enslaved by the Egyptians. When he was a young man, Moses witnessed an Egyptian beating a Jew, this angered Moses so much that he killed the Egyptian. Pharaoh tried to kill Moses, so he fled from Egypt to the land of Midian. Moses lived in Midian for many years, looking after his father-in-laws sheep. Meanwhile the people of Israel were crying out to God, for they were being badly treat by their Egyptian slave masters. One day whilst looking after the sheep, Moses saw a bush on fire but it did not burn, he went over to look, God spoke to Moses saying "I am the God of your forefathers, I have heard my peoples cry and I want you to go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt and slavery." Moses doubted he could do it and that the people would believe him but God showed Moses a taste of his power by turning a stick into a snake and then back into a stick. God showed Moses many wonders he could perform before the Israelites and Pharaoh to convince them that God was indeed with the Israelites and Moses.

Moses went before Pharaoh with his brother Aaron and they tried to persuade Pharaoh to let God's people go but Pharaoh refused. Then God told Moses to tell Pharaoh that he would turn the river Nile to blood, so all the fishes would die and no one could drink the water. Aaron put his staff over the river Nile and it turned to blood but Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. Then God sent a plague of Frogs but Pharaoh would not let the Israelites go. Then God sent a plague of maggots and still Pharaoh would not let them go. Next came a plague of flies and still he would not let then go. After that God killed the livestock: cows, sheep, donkeys, horses, camels… but Pharaoh remained stubborn and would not let the Jewish people go. God caused a plague of boils to affect people and animals but still Pharaoh would not let them go. Next it hailed with hail like no one had ever seen before with great thunder storms. The hail destroyed the crops and plants. Pharaoh agreed to let God's people go but then he changed his mind. Next came the plague of locust that destroyed anything that was left, that the hail hadn't destroyed and again Pharaoh agreed to let the Israelites go but then he changed his mind. Next the land was covered in darkness and the sun was concealed but still Pharaoh would not release the people. Finally God killed all the firstborns; people and animals in the whole of Egypt except the Israelites. The Angel of death did not pass over the Israelite houses, whose doors were painted with lambs blood. Finally Pharaoh let the Israelite people go.

The Israelites set off for the land promised to them by God. God led them by the desert road towards the Red Sea, he guided them with a pillar of clouds by day and fire by night, always going before them. Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his army after them. Moses raised his staff over the waters of the Red Sea and they divided, creating a dry path through the waters. The people of Israel passed safely across the Red Sea to the other side but when the army tried to cross after them, the water returned and washed them away. The people of Israel were finally free.

Phew, that was a long one and highly paraphrased.

Materials at the ready
Materials required:

·         Clear plastic bottles, 500ml or 1 litre

·         Red and gold glitter

·         Washing up liquid

·         Water

·         Funnel

Noah's bottle ready for water

1.    Pour glitter the into the bottle through a funnel, be generous for a better affect.

2.    Squirt in some washing up liquid but not too much.

3.    Fill with water.

4.    Shake .


Give those bottles a good shake

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 Now to end on a silly poem:

Moses supposes his toesies are roses,

But Moses supposes erroneously,

Because nobodies toesies are posies of roses,

As Moses supposes his toesies to be.


Toesies are toes.

Have fun.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Moses as a baby
Exodus 1, 2: 1-10

Craft - Moses in a floating basket

Moses in his basket
At Toddler Praise we have changed our topic; having gone through Jesus life, death and resurrection and then onto Pentecost and the early disciples, we are now going back to the old testament, looking at Moses for the next few weeks.

This week's simple craft requires beads, only a few but beads are not a cheap craft material like most my crafts use. I only buy expensive materials for special occasions, these beads were bought for making Mothers Day gifts last year. Beads are great for threading and kids love them, as well as developing their fine motor skills. At the time, we made key-rings with heart charms but today we are making baby Moses with them. When I buy more expensive materials, I tend to buy them from online shops. I plan ahead to see what's coming up and what I might need to top up on, as well as buying for Sunday school activities. Then I'm only paying postage once or not at all if they have an offer for purchasing more than a certain amount. The site I favour is (also known as Baker Ross), I find their craft materials to be good quality and good value. They also sell religious craft materials too, which is really useful when you require foam nativity or Easter stickers or need some small crosses. Of course if you are not from Britain, you will need to find a different company. If you know of any other companies, feel free to leave a link in the comments below for others to use and say which country they are in.

The book of Exodus in the old testament is the story of Moses and how he led the Jewish people out of Egypt, to God's promised land of Israel. Saving them from the tyranny of Pharaoh and slavery in Egypt. We are looking at this story for next few weeks, starting today with Moses birth. The Jewish people had grown in number since Joseph and his brothers had settled in Egypt. This frightened the Pharaoh, he was scared that they would rise up against him and fight for his enemies. He decided to make them slaves, he oppressed them and forced them to build great structures and farm the land. The Egyptian slave masters worked them hard and were ruthless. But the Jews grew more in number, the king decided that all boys must be killed at birth but the midwives would not do it. He then ordered that newborn boys should be thrown in the river Nile. Moses was born at this time, his mother hid him for 3 months but he was too noisy. So she made a basket out of papyrus and coated it in tar to make it waterproof. She hid Moses in amongst the reeds on the river Nile. Pharaoh's daughter was walking along the bank of the Nile, when she heard the baby crying. She knew it was a Jewish baby but she took pity on it. Moses sister was keeping a eye on him, she asked Pharaoh's daughter if his mother could be his wet nurse. The princess agreed and when Moses was old enough he went to live in the palace and was brought up as her son.

Materials required:

·         Plastic cups (brown would be preferable but any will do)

·         Cotton wool

·         Beads with large holes (2 sizes optional)

·         Pipe cleaners

·         Scrap material

·         Scissors

·         Bowl of water

Prepare before session:

Cut off bottom of the cup
1.    Cut the bottom off the plastic cups, by cutting down the cup from the top until about 2cm from the bottom. Then cut around the cup, take care as the cup easily splits.

2.    Cut pipe cleaners to roughly 2 inch or 5cm lengths.

3.    Cut scrap material down to size to make little blankets.


Thread a larger bead onto the pipe cleaner
1.    Choose a big bead for the head of Moses and thread onto the pipe cleaner. Fold over end of pipe cleaner to secure head. If you only have one size of bead, choose a different colour to the body beads.

2.    Choose 4 smaller beads for Moses body. Fold over the other end of the pipe cleaner to secure body.

3.    With a permanent marker draw eyes and mouth on the head bead. An adult may wish to do this.

4.    Put a ball of cotton wool in the bottom of the cup for soft bedding, place Moses in the middle.

Place Moses on soft bedding
5.    Place blanket over baby Moses, we don't want him to get cold!

6.    When everyone has finished, try floating them all in a bowl of water, or even make a little stream to float down.
A line of Moses' in baskets being washed down a pipe
My son had great fun making Moses in his basket with the leftovers from Toddler Praise. He spent a good half hour sliding them down a gutter half pipe, by pouring water down the pipe with a watering can. Lots of fun to be had, especially on a sunny day.

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Have fun

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Saul's / Paul's Conversion

Acts 9: 1-25

This week's simple toddler craft is one of my favourite to date. It is so simple and so affective. This is not entirely my own creation, very few ideas are original anyway but a product of creative processes that stem from something sparked them. I found something similar to this craft, when looking through PInterest, someone had made daffodil sun-catchers, which looked fantastic. I have been waiting for the perfect story to do something similar and Saul blinded by a bright light is just that. I also found the image of Paul on Pinterest too, found on the page of, he has lots of wonderful biblical figures that can be used for free.

Pinterest, as most of you will know, is the most wonder resource for craft ideas. I am a relative new comer to it but there are so many fantastic ideas available to view on the site, I often find myself lost within this creative space for a very long time. If you have not yet discovered this wonder, I thoroughly recommend that you do. When you come across a creative idea you like, it can be pinned onto you own page where it will remain, ready to access when you have need for it and other people can find and view them there too. It's like a virtual scrapbook. I pin my blogs to my own page and you can too by clicking on the Pinterest symbol at the bottom of each blog.
Imogen with our Saul sun-catchers
In Acts we learn about Saul/Paul the great evangelist. However Saul as he was known before conversion was a militant Pharisee, feared by many Christian's for his ruthless persecution of the early believers. In the chapters leading up to Chapter 9 we read about how he witnessed the death of Stephen by stoning, looking after the coats of those who stoned him. Saul imprisoned many believers, he was on his way to Damascus under the authority of the High Priest, to arrest any Christians he found. Suddenly a bright light surrounded him and a voice from heaven said "Saul, why do you persecute me?" Jesus himself had spoken to him. Despite all the Christians Saul has murdered and imprisoned, Jesus had chosen the worst of sinners to be his great evangelist. He was told by Jesus to go to the city of Damascus and await further instructions. Saul had been blinded from the light, his men had to lead him to the city, for three days he didn't eat or drink. In the city there was a man named Ananias, he had a vision from the Lord to meet Saul in a particular house. Ananias was scared, he knew why Saul had come to Damascus but the Lord told him not to be afraid, because Saul was his chosen instrument to spread the good news of Jesus and God's love for all. Immediately Saul began to preach in the synagogue's, day after day teaching about Jesus but the Jews became angry and plotted to kill him. The believers in Damascus had to help him escape the city, by lowering him from the walls in a basket.

Materials Required
Materials at the ready

·         Clear sticky back plastic or cover film

·         Tissue paper: white, yellow and orange

·         Yellow card

·         Images of Saul being blinded by light

·         Scissors

·         Paper cutter (optional)


Prepare prior to session:

Images of Saul
1.    Cut out rectangles of the sticky back plastic; ours measured 30cm by 15cm.

2.    Find image of Saul on internet, copy and paste required number, print off and cut out.

3.    Cut tissue paper into shards of light; long, thin triangles, with scissors or paper cutter.

Strips of card
4.    Cut thin strips of card with scissors or paper cutter. An opportunity to use up scraps.

How to make:

1.    Peel backing off sticky back plastic but keep it for later.

2.    Put thin strips of card around the outer edges but leave a gap between the card and the edge. This frames the picture and adds weight to the edges so they don't curl up during activity.

3.    Put Saul in a bottom corner, make sure he is back to front; facing down and not looking up at you.

A burst of light
4.    Place tissue paper so they are bursting from the opposite corner to where Saul is placed.

5.    Stick to window or replace the backing for safe keeping.

I preferred the shards of light to be dominantly white and yellow with some orange but make it your own way, you might want to add some red or even pale purple, it's up to you.

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Have fun