Engaging with Scripture for children

1. Complete resource books based on the Revised Common Lectionary

(the list that contains a repeating three years' worth pattern of readings from the Bible)

a. ROOTS

A rolled-up magazine

This is a brilliant resource to subscribe to. ROOTS publishes two ecumenical, bimonthly, lectionary-based magazines: ROOTS Children & Young People and ROOTS Adult & All Age.

ROOTS resources are for churches from all denominations and traditions, designed to support the worship and learning of the whole church community. Resources include: readings, dramas, activities, seasonal and connected prayers, Bible notes, photocopiable resource sheets, gathering and sending prayers, and advice on music.

ROOTS is also available online, providing subscribers with up-to-the-minute material in quick response to topical events, as well as further resources to supplement the material in the magazines.

b. Living Stones complete resources

Stones

Includes an all-age 'thought for the day', reflection on the readings, discussion starters, all-age talk, all-age ideas (often with suggestions for dramatised readings, acts of worship and worship space/room decoration), prayers of intercession and suggested music.

There are separate programmes of activities for 'Pebbles' (ages 3-5), 'Rocks' (ages 6-10), and 'Boulders' (11 years and over) and the resources cover the three years of the lectionary (year A, year B, year C).

c. Searchlights complete resources

An all-age resource by David Adams that accompanies the authorised Anglican service book Common Worship. It includes an opening activity, prayers, songs, readings and questions for discussion.

There are separate programmes for for 'Candles' (ages 3-5), 'Lamps' (ages 6-10) and 'Torches' (ages 11 and over) and the resources cover the three years of the lectionary (year A, year B, year C).

d. Resources for under 5s

There are stacks of resources for under 5s, primary and young teens on the Family Ministry website.

2. Storytelling, drama and puppet scripts

a. Puppets 'n' Parables DVD from Hand to Mouth Productions

A wooden puppetThis brilliant interactive DVD - which features 10 episodes, subtitles, full 'white board' interactive features, teachers notes, class questions, word banks, cut-outs of the puppets and optional signing for the hearing-impaired - explores 10 parables of Jesus with puppets. The puppet characters tell the story from the Bible and then follow on with a modern day example. (£25 with £3 postage and packing.)

Traditional parable stories along with contemporary include:

  • the Lost Sheep – and how Titch got lost at the zoo
  • the Prodigal Son – Charlie and Uncle Sam work it out
  • the Great Feast – Too many excuses
  • the House on the Rock – How did Mina win the sandcastle competition?
  • the Unforgiving Servant – A broken Game Boy
  • the Parable of the Talents – Charlie is encouraged to use his own abilities
  • the Midnight Visitor – The last bus
  • the Amazing Pearl – Can Jezza swap something worthwhile for the prize card?
  • the Rich Farmer – Does Charlie's greedy sister eat all the sweets?
  • the Good Samaritan – Basher Bates is a local hero

You can view a reduced quality evaluation episode in the DVD section of the Hand to Mouth website.

b. Additional drama sketches and puppet scripts

c. A 'Godly Play' storytelling style – I wonder...

A wooden puppetGodly Play is a great way of nurturing spiritual formation and development through storytelling for all ages, not just children.

Sit on the floor in a circle. Learn by heart the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18.21-35) so you can tell it well as a story. Use wooden models, puppets or dolls to play the characters, and then at the end invite all to 'wonder' what they think about all that they've heard. Suggested questions might be:

  • I wonder what part of this story you like the best.
  • I wonder what part of this story you think is the most important.
  • I wonder if you are in this story and that the story is in you.
  • I wonder if there is any part of this story that you would like to leave out and still have all the story you need.
  • I wonder if you have come close to this.
  • I wonder where this might be when it's not there.
  • I wonder if you have seen something like this.
  • Depending on the material: I wonder if you have touched/smelt/heard something like this.

For more information visit the Godly Play website.

d. Brompton Bible stories in Lego/Playmobil

Multi-coloured Lego bricks

Examples include:

e. The Brick Testament

376 stories acted in Playmobil/Lego from both Old and New Testaments, including Genesis, Exodus, Wilderness, The Law, Joshua, King David, Life of Jesus, Teachings of Jesus, Parables of Jesus, Acts of the Apostles, The Epistles, and many more.

f. Dedicated children's/family ministries websites and resources