Friday, January 14, 2011


Last Sunday we celebrated Ephiphany with the children in our church plant.  (The official feast day is on January 6 in Germany, but we didn’t have services on this day.)  The children have, of course, heard the story of the Three Wise Men many times during Advent. The Godly Play story for Epiphany stresses that Jesus was a king like no other and allows the children to ponder the meanings of the gifts. Although gold was a fitting gift for a king, frankincense and myrrh were unusual gifts because Jesus was an unusual king. 
I also added some “wondering questions” for the children at the end to help them explore the Three Kings’ spiritual journey and revelation.  How do you think the Three Wise Men felt when they finally reached the stable where Baby Jesus lay?  Do you think they found what they had expected to find?  Which of the three gifts do you like the best and why?

For the creative phase, the children could either choose to pick out their own art materials and work freely or they could work on an “angeleitet” (instructional) art project.  Below is the project that I presented.  It is a simple piece that came to me when I was out jogging and ran past an art gallery in our neighborhood with negative space paintings.  I chose the star as a symbol of God’s revelation that often comes after a long spiritual journey.  I left it white as a metaphor for revelation being an empty or blank place in us that God fills. 

A 3-year-old working on her project.
To paint this project:

  1. Give the children a star pattern to trace or allow them to draw their own in the center of the page. 
  2. Using a ruler, have them draw straight lines wherever they choose from the outside of the star to the edge of the paper, dividing the paper into quadrants.
  3. Ask the children to choose 2 “cool” colors and 2 “warm” colors (after explaining what this means) and paint the quadrants.
  4. The children may then fill the quadrants however they choose either with designs or pictures.

This is from a child who chose to work freely.

A normal Godly Play worship service does not usually include Montessori motor skill exercises, but because we have 3 and 4-year-olds in our services, I like to include some to help them further think about what they have heard and to help them in a practical way. Because the Godly Play story deals with the gifts that the Wise Men brought, I had the children practice wrapping gifts. I had planned to do this before Christmas, but couldn’t come up with enough small boxes to do it.  Then I saw on Leptir that Nataša had used wooden blocks and I thought this was an excellent idea! 

The tray with the materials. 

Maybe these ideas will help someone next year!

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