I find this the best time to pick up little bits and pieces for the children’s worship space.
And if you are a parent this is a great time to pick up some items that you can use with your little ones at church during worship and still have at home, to reinforce the service message during the week.
I love shopping, or rather browsing at this time of the year in Australia. The holiday’s are over and I find this the best time to pick up little bits and pieces for the children’s worship space. All those crowded spaces are easy to move around in. The shopping centres are cool and inviting on a hot day and so I want to encourage you to shop. Yep. Shop. It’s also a great time to pick up genuine bargains after the post christmas sales. And don’t forget that there is nothing nicer than internet shopping after a long hot day out and about either.
About this time last year I posted on how to set up the basics for a Church worship space, so recheck that blog Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! As some of those places have since closed down, I will be changing some ideas and adding to that first list.
By the way I have now set up 3 church children’s worship spaces and am more than happy to help you out with yours. Just contact me here.
Please note that it is also important to include items that are significant to the area or culture of your congregation.
My general rule of thumb is, 1) no noisy toys, toys that make sound themselves, these toys are for use in worship and should not distract other worshippers from their worship.
2) They should be able to be regularly, hygienically cleaned
3) made of as natural and non-toxic materials as possible.
4) the aim is for spiritual play. Not entertainment.
I am educationally influenced by Montessori, Piaget, etc.
I love Ikea, they are well tested, recall when needed and most toys are built to last. Most products can be washed and even tumble dried. Also Ikea is a very family friendly place to shop. If you find things like I’ve suggested elsewhere then please feel free to buy those. The idea, not the product is my aim here.
There are still some heart cushions available, great for expressing the idea that God is Love, and God loves you
Definitely heart bears: reason as above. https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/70215530/
play food: this one has loaves and fishes so perfect for “feeding the crowd”, communion, “https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/20262005/
Lion, perfect size for small hands, great for story of Daniel or Joseph and faith symbolism https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/00402846/
Other animals in this series are great for general play and respond to ideas of how to act as a community. And for parents they easily fit in the back pack for church. https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/00402846/
This Lion is super large and makes a great cushion or faith statement in the Children’s worship area, https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/60402834/
Pigs, https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/30298004/ the prodigal son, or https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260449/
Little People https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/30242615/ Great for imaginative play, crowds, people, retelling stories.
Boat https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260393/ Great for stories of Jesus and the disciples on the water, or fishing or Jonah or Paul.
Building Blocks https://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/40260393/ Ideal for free expression, building walls, or cities, even the tower of Babel.
Idea’s you won’t find in Ikea
Play mats, such as a city landscape
Safe mirror like this one in Target https://www.target.com.au/p/bright-starts-sit-see-safari-floor-mirror-trade/61541412 Theme: God loves You
Duplo’s creative play -my first emotions https://www.target.com.au/p/lego-reg-duplo-reg-creative-play-my-first-emotions-1-861/61172708 Good for emotions of psalms or a recreation of a Bible story. Might be useful.
Nesting sets, especially the blank ones. Great for recreating faith stories, or imaginative play.
drawing figurine, great for showing emotions, so, good for interpreting Psalms, and the emotions in Bible stories.
Rainbow jigsaw puzzle. God’s promise.
Baby dolls, especially mixed race and gender.
Battery operated candles
CRAFT Bits and pieces
Thick coloured paper
Drawing paper or scrap books
Crepe paper, i love this for texture and for it’s ability to break easily, and that it can be purchased in rolls or longer pieces.
My preferred drawing implement is washable textas’, They can be easily wiped off skin or pews. Not all washable texta’s are well washable, i love Crayola.
Crayons don’t, in my experience wash off, and pencils always need sharpening at the wrong time and seem to become an easy weapon.
I love felt, especially stiffened felt, as they make good backgrounds on which to stick felt pieces,
Felt pieces, or squares of many colours great for recreating Bible stories with.
I stay clear of foam as it breaks and becomes a chocking hazard.
Buy handkerchiefs to sway to the rhythm
Buy or make soft shackers
Anything else that does not have an overpowering sound ( it does not need to compete with the organ or band)
Have fun setting up your worship space or buying things to take in their church bags. Your enthusiasm will be infectious and encourage your little one to find an expression for their spiritual development.
Let us know what else you find useful so we can share our ideas.