HAPPY NEW YEAR: HOPE: Advent 1C: How to enjoy church with those 3 years and under.


It is the start of the liturgical year. Year C – the year of Luke. The Liturgical calendar runs in 3 year cycles Years A, B, and C. Each broken down into seasons, and we start with the season of Advent, the four week preparation to Christmas, then we move through After Epiphany, Lent, Easter then After Pentecost. Each season has its own colour which will be displayed in the church during the season. They are Purple/Blue, White, Green, Purple, Red, Green. A good explanation of the liturgical year is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6yb-yNLls4In this version of a Godly Play story presentation. I love this explanation but it is very long for a toddler, but it might help you or an older child understand the liturgical year better. Let them watch and go as they need to if you are watching it with them.

Activities: For toddlers my favourite is to make a “calendar” with paper chains. Each chain being the liturgical colour of that week. Make a separate but connected set of loops for Holy Week, or just stick to the Sunday’s. If you are allowed then hang it in the church for them to see each week. If not, hang it around a room in your home.

Older children can make a liturgical necklace out of plastic beads.

Another option is to colour in each Sunday on a calendar (or two), in the liturgical colour. You can print off calendar pages from the internet and make your own Liturgical Calendar. Or buy a new calendar for 2019, and colour in the remaining weeks on the 2018 calendar you have, and prepare the 2019, ready to go.

You will find a liturgical calendar here https://assembly.uca.org.au/images/stories/Theology_Discipleship/pdf/2019Lectionary.pdf

NOTE that there are slight variations between the different protestant churches, but it is mostly the same. For example this Uniting Church in Australia Lectionary has their Anniversary.

Advent Candles and a children’s Prayer.

During Advent, many congregations will count down to Christmas using the 4 candle system. Usually they will be Purple or Blue with the Love candle (week 3) often in Pink.

MAKE: your own candle each week, cut an A4 sheet of cardboard in purple or blue (depending on what your church uses) write this weeks word, HOPE in any languages you use or know, or that are used by members in your church community (if you don’t know the right word, ask congregational members to write it for you). Cut a piece of 4cm yellow or orange (or both) of cellophane, crinkle the square, then stuff into the top of the candle.

Or you could purchase and download

https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/advent/products/an-illustrated-advent-wreath?variant=15605449916514 $US15, for 5 candles. HINT,  Print base on thick paper.

You can also decorate a paper plate, and place each weeks candle around the plate until Christmas.

PRAY: (Stand tall with your hands, palms together over your head)

Little candle burning bright

Guide us in HOPE

To God’s suprise.


Jeremiah 33:14-16

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q397y_ZK_D4 MAPLE BY LORI NICHOLS AS SUGGESTED BY http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-december-2-2018/

MEDITATE: turn on a battery operated candle, ask them to sit still while the candle is on and listen to what is happening around them. Don’t leave it on for too long, as there is a lot to explore in the world when you are small, the idea is to extend the time over time, with them having succeeded in sitting still. It might be as simple as counting to 5, or 4, initially.

PLAY: with baby dolls. Talk about how you waited for them to come into your lives.

Psalm 25:1-10

READ: Psalm 25: Teach me your ways

Walk with me, my friend (walk )
let me follow in your footsteps. (follow the leader)
We’ve come a long way already, but I still need you. (shade your eyes and long behind you)
My pride says “I don’t need help! I can do this on my own!” (Use your hands to pretend to push something away from you)
but I know I’ll be lost in no time without you. (Look scared)
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness
for those who walk close with him.

​from Rev. Pudrie http://www.conversations.net.nz/psalm-25-the-covenant-way.html

MAKE: Footprints, either draw around your own feet, or find cardboard feet at Riot or The Reject Shop.

PLAY: play on the road mat, or make a road, black A4 cardboard with white lines drawn down the middle. Cars. ( Hint: use white chalks to make the lines)

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

READ/WATCH:  The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas start at 1minute.55 seconds in, and finish at 8 minutes 36 sec.  as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-rcl-december-2-2018/

PLAY: Simon Says. just quietly in the pew ie, Simon says “touch your ear”  or Touch your ear”

COLOUR IN: https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930

Luke 21:25-36

READ/WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcUHXL_uCg0 Waiting by Kevin Henkes as suggested by http://storypath.upsem.edu/lectionary-links-sunday-november-29-2015/

PLAY: https://kevinhenkes.com/wp-content/uploads/Waiting_MemoryCards_Kevin_Henkes.pdf a matching game (which helps with patience) Print on thicker paper. Or for variation print two and get them to match the pictures cut out from one sheet on the other.

PRAY: Waiting is ………… (say what waiting is like for you, ie hard, boring, exciting etc.

Waiting is………….

Waiting is ………..

Help me be patient God



You might need to purchase

A Large Battery operated candle

Heavy coloured paper to make paper chain in 5 colours  2 different purples or a purple and a blue, green, white, red

a paper plate

baby dolls

cardboard footprints


a road mat

OR Black paper

toy cars

You might need to Print

https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/bible-story-coloring-pages-winter-2018-2019?variant=13700704632930 Once purchased (about $15 Aus ) it will supply you with colouring in sheets for the next 14 weeks)

Click to access Waiting_MemoryCards_Kevin_Henkes.pdf

Perhaps  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/collections/advent/products/an-illustrated-advent-wreath?variant=15605449916514


Wendy L


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