Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sensorimotor Worship: Caring for Others

Sensorimotor Worship can be defined as a spiritual lesson or experience that involves all of the five senses and incorporates visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles.

Inspired by reading David Csinos' book, Children's Ministry that Fits, which has a chapter about seeking to further children in their spiritual formation by providing experiences that speak to all spiritual styles (as opposed to heavily leaning on one), I have been considering how to give my children more "action-oriented" or "missional" ways to worship God in the course of everyday life.  Social projects with children are very much on my heart (See this post on a social project that I did with primary school students), but they are sometimes few and far between.

One very doable way to introduce younger children to social justice and taking care of the poor is to sponsor a child in another country. When each of our children turned five years old, they were allowed to choose a child to sponsor through World Vision.  My son chose a little boy from Ghana and my daughter chose a little girl from Bolivia.  Though we regularly pray for these children together, I have not always done a very good job of corresponding with them. So, during our summer break when we our schedule was more relaxed, we decided to write letters to our children that we sponsor and actually send a package to the three children that we befriended in Uganda in 2009.

First, I set out our photo album of Uganda, pictures of our sponsored children,
and two continent pieces from our Montessori world map to
give the kids some geographical bearings.
We also found each country on the globe. And then,
the kids began to draw pictures for their friends.
My son, the dino expert, wrote about his favorite subject.
My daughter, who is into bugs, drew her favorite subject. 
One of my son's letters. He is, of course, trying to learn two languages
at once and left-handed, so that accounts for the creative spelling!
My sweet 5-year-old ran out of energy after the second picture and didn't want to dictate a letter for me to write.  But that is completely normal for young children.  We prayed for our friends at the end, even though the kids were a little worn out.  That led to a teacheable moment to communicate that doing things for others will often cost us something. : )

I find that activities like this help children to identify with the needs of others who may live far away.  They can also be important steps in helping children learn to be proactive when they see needs around them.

If your children have participated in social projects, I'd be very interested to hear about them! 

(Linked to Raising Memories)


  1. We've done several care projects that involved donations, but to make it more real we've gone down to the serving center and actually helped stock the shelves or had the kids pick out exactly what we were giving.

  2. Great ideas for getting children involved in sponsoring a child from another country. We sponsor 3 children through Compassion International, and our children especially enjoyed praying for the children we sponsored and keeping up with their letters and activities. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page.

  3. Amen Sister!!!
    Social Justice is certainly a skill that needs to be evoked in our children today. Our future is dependent on it. Keep up the great works!!
    With admiration! Jill

  4. very nice! thanks so much for sharing :)

  5. Thank you all for your ideas and kind comments!