Thursday, September 12, 2013

Material Upgrade for the Good Samaritan

When you first start out with Godly Play, you don't always have the funds to buy the proper materials or even the time to make quality ones. Sometimes, you just use what you have. When I first told the Parable of the Good Samaritan almost 5 years ago, I used Playmobil figures, because that was what I had. Then, a couple of years later after I had collected a few nicer materials as funds would allow, I told the story using the wooden People of God figures (used in the Sacred Story genre) and the wooden donkey from the Holy Family story. 

My friend, Storyteller, in Finland has even made figures out of cardboard to preserve the flatness in the parable genre. (The figures in the parables should actually be flat in order to have a storybook feel to them, since they are stories that Jesus told.) And some of my German colleagues have made paper figures and laminated them. 

Now, I've upgraded to some beautiful flat figures made by Johanna from Godly Play Finland. She offers some reasonably priced DIY figures that are easy to paint. I painted mine with watercolor and vinegar to create a stained look. 

Here's a glimpse at my old set-up for the Good Samaritan with the People of God figures.

And here are the new figures in the parable box ready for action!


  1. Vinegar?! huh. ;)

    Ironically, you've linked to a cardboard figure I've used which isn't a parable and which I intend to update. But I do have laminated paper parable pieces. I'll try to hunt up a photo for you!

    Your pieces look lovely, vinegar or no.

  2. Your wood figures are beautiful, Sheila! I don't understand "using watercolor and vinegar." Did you mix some vinegar with the watercolors? However you did it, the figures have a nice "warm" look about them. I have some figures I need to paint and would like to try this technique.


  3. Thanks, ladies! Mixing vinegar with the watercolor intensifies the color and causes it to adhere to the wood better. Like Easter Egg dyes. It's really easy and the effect is nicer than just using watercolor alone.

    Storyteller, I know the figures I linked to are from "Jesus the King", but I just wanted to show an example of some nicely-done cardboard figures.: ) But if you do have a picture of parable pieces, that would be great!

  4. Love your parable box materials, I love the flat wood, and how fun to paint them! I will have to check out your resource for the flat wooden figures, this would definitely be a treat to add to my Sunday School supplies. :)