Monday 21 February 2011

Paul at Sea

There are sooooo many Bible stories featuring boats! Here's one that isn't a "classic" children's Bible story, and certainly not one that has an abundance of ideas relating to it on the web.
Paul at sea snack: Boats made out of small slices of cake with half a bread stick with a rice paper triangle stuck on with melted chocolate pushed in the top to represent a sail.
I am a passionate believer in giving children the freedom to express themselves creatively and not stifling or constraining their creative and exploitive interests. I think this is particularly relevant in "christian responses" where creativity and exploration in many forms mould our understanding and indeed our application of Biblical messages,and even more so in childhood. This theory is well established through the theological model of Godly Play and catechesis of the Good Shepherd, but are probably not widely acknowledged beyond these circles. For those not following these models due possibly in many cases to the high levels of structure and "rules" which possibly put many people off and do not fully express the church, family or individuals character fully, I think there is a middle ground to be found. One that incorporates the nature and ethos of Godly play but expresses the character of the church, family or individuals exploring the Bible with children. The middle ground exists when one acknowledges the foundational theories of Godly play, that is (I believe) the freedom to respond to and explore theological/ biblical stories/ ideas within a safe and accepting environment in a personal and sometimes group dynamic, through the medium and depth one chooses to. Two publications which explore the ethos underpinning Godly play are Playful Orthodoxy and Church at Play and are well worth a read if you are interested in giving children the freedom to respond to and explore the Bible in a meaningful and respectful way.

With regard to my response to Godly Play I think you will realise that whilst I am not a stoic puritan on the programmes application I believe there is significant merit in the ethos and its use as a foundation for any programme that is biblically responsive. In particular relevance to craft I feel the more freedom we can allow children to have when responding to bible stories the better (that is not to say that on occasion a pre designed craft does not have relevance, but feel the question should always be (as with all childhood planning) why am I doing this?)

In response to Paul at Sea, free collages relating to God being with us all the time.

Paper plates used for snack to make snakes, in relation to Paul getting bitten by a snake once docked.


  1. who is the the author of Playful Orthodoxy? I cannot seem to find it, and the link cannot be found. The other link to Church at Play worked though. Thanks for posting these!

  2. Hi Playful Orthodoxy has been taken off line for some reason, I can email you a copy if you would like, I don't wish to upload a copy of the document in case there is a reason for it not being online. Sorry about that