Candelmas Year A: Ideas to help 3’s and under relate to this weeks RCL readings

This week your congregation should be following either the RCL Candelmas service or Week 4 of Epiphany. If you can find out in advance which readings are being used  it will reduce your pre-church preparation time.

You don’t have to stop attending worship with your children just because the school term has begun. You can choose to worship together instead of attending Sunday school. Work out what is important to your family, is it shared worship or learning about Bible Stories, If it differs to the way your congregation chooses too educate children in your community you might need to change communities, which is quicker than trying to change your community.

If you continue to worship with your child you can find some ideas here as to where to sit and what to bring.

If you are a small congregation without a Child and Family Minister have an area available near the front for parents/guardians to worship with their children, and print off this information so that it is readily available or direct them to this site. Set up an area with books and toys in it that will enhance their spiritual experience. (Ie not just toys for “keeping them quiet”).Spiritual Delights or Toy Box tat! andMake the books appealing

If you would like these ideas as a PDF file sent to you each week, please contact me.



FIRST READING: Malachi 3:1-4

READ: The Mallee Sky by Jodi Toering,

This is one of my favourite books at the moment, and it fits right in with the seasonal waiting for rain that is known too many children in Australia. It is hopeful and realistic and suits the optimism of this Malachi Reading. Unfortunately it is not available as a ebook  nor has anyone read it on You Tube. The idea of looking outward, looking for the signs of change and knowing that change will also be difficult but bring new life.

OR TRY:  DESERT LAKE by  Pamela Freeman, written about the filing up of the often dry Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre, bringing life to a barren environment.



Today is called candlemas as we contemplate the light in the world. Our life can light up in many ways, such as the Lake waters returning or the rains coming.

Turn on a battery operated candle and list all the things that bring you light.


READ: Snuggle Time Psalms


How does this Psalm make you feel?

Can you draw a safe place?


OR Psalm 24:7-10

Lift up your heads, ye gates! (look up)
Lift up the ancient doors! (fling your arms wide from the body)
– that the King of Glory may come in – (pretend to place a crown on your head)
Who is the King of Glory? (put your hand under your chin)
The LORD – Father, Spirit, Jesus – (make a triangle with your fingers)
magnificent in power, Lord of all, (show your muscles )
He is the King of Glory!( place a pretend crown on your head)

Abridges from Italics are mine.How does this Psalm make you feel?

SECOND READING: Hebrew 2:14-18

Play: With a nativity set. Share the things you looked forward to when they were born or came into your life.

Draw: Draw all the things you would show Jesus if he was a child like you today?

Play: with your toys. Children learn through play, so let them play and enjoy being alive and in God’s presence.


GOSPEL READING: Luke 2:22-40




Simeon and Anna (hold up your pointer finger on your right hand and then your left)

Saw you (shelter your eyes as if looking into the distance)

as God promised (hold your hands in prayer)

May you light up (fling your hands from your head)

My life too (point to yourself)

Amen (one clap)


After Pentecost 14B: Ideas to help the 3’s and under relate to Sunday’s RCL readings

These are suggestions only to help parents/caregivers engage their children in services that use the Revised Common Lectionary. They can be used by parents/caregivers or those who help out in small congregations that can not afford to pay Child and Families Ministry. Some congregations use all 4 readings in their services others only two. Prepare a special church bag in advance each week so that you are ready for the rush on Sunday Morning.

Read during the Bible readings,

Pray during the prayers,

Colour, Draw or Craft during the sermon.

Remember that little ones will need their own space to move and wiggle,

Sit towards the front so they can see what is going on. Craft or drawing or play are for spiritual responses not for a perfectionist piece that can be shown off.

Remember you have bought your child to worship. Enjoy engaging them in it.

You might need to prepare these in advance, and place them in a special Church Bag ready to go for Sunday Morning. Will get you 14 colouring in pages, that is 14 Sundays worth and I will  refer to them over the coming weeks.

The Lion Picture Bible

Snuggle time Psalms


Toys for dressing, dolls or teddies


Building Blocks

FIRST READING: 1 Kings 8: (1.6.10-11) 22-30,41-43

READ: The Lion Picture Bible p.147

DO: Using the Here is the Church poem with hand actions

Here is the church

here is the steeple

open the doors and

here are the people

add God’s too big to be in there

We find God everywhere

PLAY: What building would you make to honour God? Use blocks to construct something?



Snuggle time Psalms



SECOND READING:  Ephesians 6: 10-20


PLAY: Dressing dolls or teddies, (MAKE sure that these items are not small enough to be swallowed )

OR you could do one of the wooden dress puzzles

OR make your own paper doll or felt doll set. You can be creative or use a template like this

If making out of paper I suggest the thickest gage paper that will go through your printer try

Then use it as a Colouring in activity.


God, I put a hat on my head (point to your head)

to keep the sun off it (put your hands over your head like a hat)

I put a raincoat on (pretend to put a raincoat on)

To keep the rain off me (hold your hands above your head and wiggle your fingers down your body)

God is all around (hold your arms out wide from your body)

Like a cloak (pull your arms around you like a cloak – maybe a superhero’s cloak)

God covers me.


GOSPEL: John 6:56-69

WATCH/READ: Bread Bread Bread by Ann Morris

For me this reading is about choice.

PLAY: Choose between anything, teddy and doggy, mummy or daddy, etc, if in the older bracket play the card game Snap, or use last weeks

PLAY: a good memory game but requires a little preparation before the service.


Like the disciples

help me to choose

who I stand for

and stand with.