Seasons

ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS

Pic - Christmas Shepherds

We have lots of resources for helping you make Christmas meaningful for the children of your church and community.  Click on the titles below to find out more about them.  Enjoy!

A Kids Friendly Advent

Advent is a wonderful opportunity to fully involve children in the first half of your worship service and then follow up your activities and lesson in church with some fun Christmas crafts in your children’s programme. Too many of our children, even churchgoers, still forget the real reason for the season. Try these activities and ideas to remind the children and families of your faith community that Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of Christ – a time of hope, joy, peace and love.

A Kids Friendly Advent

A Family Advent Calendar

A printable calendar with reflections and activities for the Advent season for use by families at home. Download

Christmas Songs and Rhymes for Preschoolers

We’ve gathered some of our favourite songs and rhymes that are easy to do with all ages.  Enjoy! Download

Christmas Games & Quizzes

As much as children love to hear the same stories over and over again, it helps to embed it when we tell it in different ways using as many senses as possible. So this Christmas consider sharing the Christmas story in lots of fun ways, such as Christmas games and quizzes. Download

Christmas Crafts

Christmas lends itself to craft making, baking and all those nostalgic and traditional activities. How many of us still have those macaroni spray-painted angels made by our preschool children in our decoration box? They tell a story and hold memories of special times. Making crafts together also creates an opportunity to chat about the Christmas story as we go and unpack the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to give and not just receive. This resource is a compilation of crafts taken from the web. Download 

A Collection of Christmas Pageant

http://www.kidsfriendly.org.nz/christmas-pageant-ideas/

Sharing the Christmas Story – Four Sunday School Lessons

Children love stories and never tire of hearing them over and over again. The story of Jesus’ birth must surely be one of the greatest stories ever told and even adults delight in hearing it again every Christmas. These sample Kids Friendly Sunday School lessons give some ideas and structure for bringing the story alive for children.  Download

Mary and Joseph Advent JourneyMary and Joseph

Mary and Joseph (knitted figurines in a basket) have a long journey ahead through advent, travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem. As it is a very long and uncomfortable journey, especially as Mary is pregnant with baby Jesus, they will need to rest a lot on their way. This resource provides ideas to help you organise the families in your church to host Mary and Joseph; to have them come and visit them at their house and have a rest for the night. This is a wonderful way to connect families in the church as there is a time of sharing the story and praying together each time that Mary and Joseph are handed over to the next host family.  Download

A Christmas Prayer Journey

This wonderful all age interactive multi-sensory experience of the Christmas story is easy to create. Journey from station to station using indoors and outdoors, or place stations around your church sanctuary. Or you could place the stations at intervals on a prayer labyrinth.  Download

Christmas Prayer Spacesjssb-nativity-square

Use this wonderful resource of Christmas prayer stations created by Rev Sharon Ross Ensor and Anna Davis in your church, school, home or kids club.   Download

For digital copies of the station posters, contact the Kids Friendly team admin@kidsfriendly.org.nz

A Family Advent Celebration – Advent@Highgate

Some of our churches are taking Advent traditions and re-modeling them into celebrations that are breathing life and expectation into families at this time of year. Jane Davis of Kids Friendly Highgate Presbyterian Church, Dunedin has shared how they did this in 2009. Be inspired! Take some or all of these ideas to help your families anticipate and celebrate the hope, joy, peace and love of Christmas.  Download

A Family Advent Celebration Posters

Highgate decorated their foyer with these posters. For higher resolution copies contact admin@kidsfriendly.org.nz.   Download and Download

A Community Christmas Sheep Trail  

Mosgiel and Flagstaff Presbyterian churches in Dunedin and Knox Waitara had fun adapting The Messy Nativity in true Kiwi style.

  • Knit or buy some soft sheep
  • Invite local shopkeepers to name them and hide them in their shops
  • Children and families hear the Christmas story and are challenged to help one poor shepherd find his sheep so he can go and see the baby Jesus
  • The children/families pick up a sheet to go around the shops to find the sheep, writing their names by the shop name. Sheets (with details of the challenge and the full nativity story) are handed in at the participating Churches’ Christmas Eve services or community event
  • When the prize(s) are drawn, the lucky winners get to choose a sheep to keep

This activity is not only a wonderful way to interact with the community but also a perfect opportunity to unite and support local business through positive interaction with the church.  It can also be done on a smaller scale at home or with neighbours. Download a Community Christmas Sheep Trail

 LENT AND EASTEReaster_art_2 web

Celebrating Shrove Tuesday

Highgate Presbyterian Church, Dunedin, shares their experience and resources for organising a Shrove Tuesday pancake event in this resource.

Celebrating Shrove Tuesday

 

A Kids Friendly Lent & Easter

Lent and Easter are central to our and our children’s faith. Too often we omit the cruel and violent parts of the story when we teach children, believing it to be inappropriate. But if we do this we deny them the whole Christian story. Children can and do respond to traditional Lenten spiritual disciplines in meaningful ways. So this Lent and Easter consider sharing the whole story of Jesus death and resurrection. I hope this resource will equip you in your ministry to children and families.   A Kids Friendly Lent and Easter

Families Lent Calendar

A printable calendar with reflections and activities for the family to use at home during the Lenten season.

Families Journey Through Lent Calendar 

Kids Friendly Reflections for Lent

The Lenten period offers a wonderful opportunity for families to spend time together around God’s word. Over the years, Kids Friendly has partnered with Presbyterian Support to produce a booklet of weekly devotions for adults and children. Each week families are asked to set aside one night to reflect on what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus: “Ready” – read the word of God, “Steady” – talk about it, “Go” – reach out in love.

Kids Friendly Reflections for Lent 2014

Kids Friendly Reflections for Lent 2013

Kids Friendly Reflections for Lent 2012

Kids Friendly Family Devotions for Lent 2012

The Family Faith Pack – Journey Towards Easter

A series of six weekly family devotions for Lent.  Download

PENTECOST

Celebrating Pentecost with Children

Sometimes described as the birthday of the church,the Pentecost story lends itself to interactive and creative multi-age worship, church birthday celebrations, ‘messy church’ and other festive events – this resource will give you ‘pick ‘n mix’ ideas as well as complete worship services you can use or adapt. Download

OTHER CALENDAR EVENTS

ANZAC – Sharing ANZAC with Children

ANZAC Day is celebrated every year on April 25 to remember and honour those (New Zealanders and Australians) who have served and lost their lives in the two world wars and other major conflicts in Korea and Vietnam.   Sharing ANZAC with Children

FATHER’S DAY

Father's Day

HALLOWEEN

Organising an Alternative to a Halloween Event

Many parents see Halloween as a negative influence and unsafe practice and welcome positive alternatives to trick or treating and scary costumes. Churches have used Halloween to their advantage by organising community events with names like Light Party, Heroes and Angels, All Saints and All Hallows Party. We have collated their stories, resources and advice in this resource.  Organising an Alternative to Halloween