Cardboard Sailing Boat for Story Telling

Create a sailing boat from a large piece of cardboard and use it for story telling and acting out role play scenes from familiar New Testament stories! fishing on the sea of galileeWe had a large cardboard box recently that we used for making a fun train track activity scene on the inside. On the outside I painted a simple boat shape with paint and stuck a long, thin piece of wooden edging rail through a hole at the top and bottom to become a mast. To this we tied some thin material to represent the sail, tossed a blue blanket on the floor to become the sea and added some cardboard fish (that are part of a counting project we are also working on.)

coin in the mouth of the fish
We put it in front of the sofa so that we could climb in and sit on it, and read stories together about the disciples on the Sea of Galilee and all of the wonderful accounts of their interactions with Jesus there. We read about the stilling of the storm, how the Lord Jesus walked on water and encouraged Peter to do the same, the coin in the fish’s mouth and others. The girls also pretended to do a bit of fishing and had a go at being tossed around in a strong storm and remembering how Jesus stopped the storm with such a simple, powerful command of “Peace, be still.”
Using props and storytelling aides can really bring the Bible to life for kids and make it easier to understand events as they happened.
Have you used story telling props or scenes during family worship? Have you got some ideas to add? thanks!

1 Corinthians 13: Characteristics of Love

Explore the nature and characteristics of love and kindness as defined in the Bible in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, through a simple art activity, accessible to all. Afterwards it can be turned into a display for the whole family to see and read very day!
heart words around chalkboard

Using watercolour paper and solid block watercolours, the children painted freely to cover as much of the white space as they could. We made the paper wet first using a sponge, so that the colours would be absorbed and blend together beautifully. Then I cut them into heart shapes, which older children could do independently.watercolour hearts

Then we read together the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, between verses 4 and 7:

Love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. [ESV]

I wrote one of each of the 8 key definitions of love onto each heart shape. Then we talked about what those words meant and gave examples of them in everyday life, which for very young children meant talking a lot about showing kindness, patience and tolerance towards siblings during play!

Depending on the ages and stages of kids, they could give their own examples of ways to demonstrate each quality of love, and reflect on how it makes them feel when the opposite is shown towards them.

corinthians heart words collage

We then stuck these onto the wall in the kitchen where we see them everyday and can talk about them. Our children are too young to be able to read, but we are working on teaching them the key words in this passage by memory. And the reminders on the wall are extremely important for the both of us as adults too, of course!
Do you display Bible texts on key principles in your home? Please share your ideas!

Resurrection Garden for Easter


Make a beautiful garden scene to represent the Resurrection and to help teach children about the powerful and incredible events in the Easter story.

resurrection garden title

Materials Needed:

a shallow dish or planter


small shrubs and flowers

a pot, empty tin or other cave-like object

a flat stone

two twigs and some string or a pipe cleaner

a plain peg doll (optional)

twig cross

First of all we bound the two twigs together using a brown pipe cleaner, to form a cross. We used this as a simple story telling prompt when retelling the story of the crucifixion. This is suitable on any day of the year of course, but particularly as a family worship idea for Good Friday.

Resurrection garden

Then we constructed a simple garden scene by planting the shrubs and flowers into a barrel and inserted the cross into the background. We used an empty tin garden planter to represent the tomb. We placed a little plain wood peg doll inside to represent Christ being buried and rolled the large stone in front of the tomb.

playing with resurrect garden

On Easter morning the children can come down to see the garden and find that the stone has been rolled away from the tomb and is completely empty inside. Read the passage from the Bible and celebrate together with songs and prayers!

stone rolled back from the tomb

“He is not here. He has risen. Come and see the place where He lay.”

Matthew chapter 28 verse 6