On this page please find resources for children and young people for each seasonal period: Harvest, Hallowe’en, Advent, Christmas, Easter
It can be hard to know what to feel about Hallowe’en – is it just harmless fun, or are there aspects of it that don’t fit in with how we want to see the world?
The Church of England have these ‘Share a little light’ ideas that will bless others as well as being fun too.
Christian Alternative Activities for Halloween
Scripture Union has released some great new resources to help you share the good news this Halloween including ideas for a light party and an interactive trail:
Jesus is the Light? A little book featuring a poetic exploration of Jesus’ identity as the Light of the World packed full of beautiful illustrations and pages for children to colour while reflecting on the words;
In Search of Light a free downloadable resource providing all you need to run an Interactive Treasure Trail that introduces children and their families to Jesus as the Light of the World. Participants will scan QR codes to reveal videos based on the new Jesus is the Light book;
Jesus is the Light Resource Pack a downloadable resource with ideas for making the most of the Jesus is the Light book, including ideas for Light Parties.
Pumpkin Heroes is a free pack of Christian resources designed to help children aged 4-10 in your church, group or school enjoy alternative Halloween crafts, activities and games. Pumpkin Heroes can be held as an online event. Click here.
Toddler Group Session Plan Our Children and Families 0-5 Adviser has made a Halloween session plan for a toddler group. Please email Clare Cooke to get a copy.
How could you adapt these resources for this year? Could you deliver this over Zoom? Could you give packs to families so they could explore these themes at home?
Over the years many parishes have held light parties in October bringing light and joy to many families. As an adaption, you could host a ‘Light Trail’, it is a simple way to invite families in your community to follow a trail of light around your neighbourhood, reflecting on the light of Christ in a gentle, fun and accessible way. It is perfect for sharing with Sunday School, Children’s Groups and Messy Church Families.
Create up to 10 simple light stops in windows or gardens to bring fun and joy in the darkness. All you need to do: 5 or 10 households in a walkable distance from each other create a light display in a front window or garden, using the simple templates. Each light stop links to a Bible verse.
Use the template to create a downloadable booklet, and invite families to take part. In the resource: All the templates you will need to create a customisable light trail A draft risk assessment for you to customise A ‘how to stay safe on your light trail’ (PDF) All the information you need to get going.
To get the resource: Contact Emma Sargeant at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Children’s Society have produced a wealth of resources which include an array of ideas to suit you and your setting. These include: a ‘Virtual Christingle’ outline, a creative ‘Scavenger Hunt Christingle’ (for those who do not have all the materials in their home), ‘A Messy Church Christingle’ and an ‘Assembly Pack and Collective Worship’ resource.
There is also material available from the Children’s Society to support planning for a ‘dementia inclusive service’ as well as a ‘service for a care setting’. In addition to these documents (and more) there are also a range of materials available including; candles, stickers, balloons and red tape to go around the orange. This year they are also offering paper bags for a ‘Christingle in a Bag’ as well as window decorations for the home. Click here.
Bath & Wells Diocese have produced and shared with us a “12 ideas for Advent” booklet.
For ideas to open up conversations for all ages exploring ‘Faith at Home’ do look at this great resource; the new Christmas Bible Chat Mat.
CPAS have put together this document ‘Making the most of Advent & Christmas’ – Making Mission possible, “because Christmas Isn’t cancelled”:
You will also find a growing number of ideas on the Padlet from James Lawrence (CPAS). (There is also the facility to add your own ideas as well!)
Scavenger Hunts and more
This is a lovely Easter Scavenger hunt to be set up at home to show children parts of the Easter story and remind them that Jesus’ love never ends. Encourage families to use this hunt on Easter morning and share photos of the hunt in action on social media.
Why not encourage people on their daily exercise walk to try this this Easter scavenger hunt from Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education?
This home pack from Jesus without Language could be shared with families to encourage faith at home.
Scroll down this page to find Diddy Disciples Palm Sunday resources.
Video Resources for Easter
Lena from St Matthias Church, Torquay has produced some super Godly Play sessions for YouTube: ‘King Jesus’ for Palm Sunday, the ‘Mystery of Easter and the ‘Faces of Easter’ on Easter morning.
Claire’s Nichols (Children and Families worker from Uffculme) has produced this wonderful Bears and Prayers Palm Sunday session. Please encourage people to subscribe to her YouTube channel to see her regular Bears and Prayers and Bible Story Club videos.
Good Friday for under 5s advice from Parenting for Faith.
The story of Easter beautifully told by the children of Christ Church Tunbridge Wells.
Why not encourage people on their daily exercise walk to try this outdoor Easter Challenge from Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education. https://www.bdeducation.org.uk/product-category/primary-age-5-11/
This is a super Easter Toddler service which you could share with your networks created by Claire Nichols (Children and Families worker from Uffculme).
Gillian (Children and Families worker from Fremington) has produced this wonderful series of videos enabling children to build an Easter garden bit by bit, a part a day, during Easter week. Please encourage people to have a go at making their own gardens this Easter week.
Bethan Fogell, Youth and Children’s Work Adviser from the Diocese of Portsmouth, has produced a fantastic holy week resource called journey to the cross. Download it from this page and share with families so they can mark Holy Week together in their homes.
The Rev’d Jo Wetherall, the Children and Families Officer from the Diocese of Gloucester, has produced this lovely Godly Play retelling for Holy week.
Send A Cow have a harvest celebration youth climate action resource to learn about the Bible and support a family in Africa. Click here.
All things Harvest have creative ideas for celebrating harvest at home or church (as this was written before the pandemic, some of the ideas may need adapting to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19). Click here.
Young Church Mag have produced a harvest edition with word searches, colouring activities and prayers for children available to print here.
Sun Hats & Wellie Boots have created an autumnal Bible-based trail for children all about scarecrows! Read more and find out how to set up a trail in your parish.
John Hardwick has produced a Harvest Messy Church Online Celebration. It is a 20 minute Family Celebration including: 1. Charlie the cheeky Monkey Puppet Introduces Harvest (Juggling Fruit); 2. A Little Kids Song; 3. Simple Harvest Illustration; 4. Feeding 5000 Song and Bible Story; 5. Harvest Song – Keep Growing!
Watch and share with your community.
The Church of England’s Harvest Festival Service celebrates God’s creation with calls for climate change action. It is led by the Bishop of Ripon with contributions from farmers from the Diocese of Leeds.
Take a listen to the Faith in Kids podcast on Harvest. It talks about cultivating thankful homes and hearts. It includes practical tips for how to pray at home as a family.