A word from Mina Munns from Flame Creative Kids May 2013
In the church calendar, Father’s day (which falls on 16 June this year) can often be overlooked. Unlike Mothering Sunday which has a traditional place in the Lent season, Father’s day has no ‘official’ recognition. It does, however, give us a great opportunity to celebrate our fathers and especially our Father God! There will of course be some children for whom Father’s day is more difficult, especially those who have no dad at home. We need to be sensitive, perhaps encouraging them to think of positive male role models in their life (grandfathers, perhaps) This is why looking at Father’s day in the context of what Jesus teaches us is all the more important.
Here are four Father’s day activities based on the themes of the Lord’s Prayer (the prayer where we are taught to call God ‘dad’). Each theme picks up on an aspect of God the Father and has an idea to help us think about our own dads.
1. Celebrating and respecting God the Father (‘hallowed be your name, your will be done, the kingdom come, the power and the glory are yours’)
Craft: Use air drying clay to make your dad’s initial. Younger children can use letter shaped cutters. Decorate with sequins/ jewels. PVA glue is fine on the wet clay and will dry clear.
Discuss: Talk about the good things about your dad. The jewels show how special they are not just to us but to God too. Thank God for your dad.
2. God the Father cares for us and gives us things we need to grow (‘give us today our daily bread’)
Take Home Activity: Give children a small biodegradable pot (available at most pound shops), filled with a little bit of compost and a sunflower seed. Ask the children to grow and care for the seed at home, making sure to give it the water it needs. This would be a great thing to do with dad, sharing the responsibility for your plant together.
Discuss:Talk about how, like God the Father, dads help us to grow and provide for us e.g. food, clothes, home, love.
3. God the Father loves and forgives us (‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’)
Craft: Here’s an idea for a hug craft (an alternative card). Get children to stretch their arms out to the sides and cut a length of ribbon or paper that matches their wrist to wrist measurement. Then get them to draw round and cut out both of their hands. Staple the hands to the ends of the ribbon and decorate. You now have a portable hug that the children can give to their dads
Discuss: Talk about the times that our dads have shown that they love us and times they have forgiven us when we’ve done something we were sorry for.
4. God the Father keeps us safe (‘lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil’)
Game: Try a straight and narrow balloon race. Blow up a balloon but don’t tie the end. Let it go and it will fly wildly everywhere! Next blow up another balloon and put a clip on the end, but don’t tie it. Sellotape a straw to the top of the balloon and thread a long string through the straw. Stand at one end of the string with the balloon and have someone else holding the other end. Take off the clip and let the balloon go. It will fly like a rocket in a straight line to the other end of the string! Set up pairs of children and have balloon rocket races.
Discuss: Talk about ways that our dads – and our father God –help us to keep on the right pathway in life.
Mina Munns is the creative wonder behind Flame Creative Kids