For very young children
Play and wonder about the power of the Holy Spirit.
Play materials: coloured ribbons to represent wind and flames.
Young children love repetition. Using the same prayer to start your session each time you meet will create a sense of familiarity and expectation.
Suggestion 1: God loves me
From the top of my head
to the tips of my toes;
from the lobes of my ears
(Touch ear lobes)
to the end of my nose;
from my back, to my front
to my wiggly fingers,
(stretch out arms and wiggle fingers)
God loves me!
(jump up and down)
Suggestion 2: God loves...
Leader: God loves
Child 1: (say name)
Leader: and God loves
Child 2: (say name)
Go round the circle until all the children have been named (the leader or accompanying adult can say the name of pre-verbal or shy children)
All: Thanks be to God!
Lay out a cloth and place items (in italics) to tell the story.
On the day of Pentecost, all Jesus’ friends were waiting together.
Suddenly, there was a sound like a mighty wind that filled the house.
Then, what looked like tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.
Everyone there was filled with the Holy Spirit, and they all started speaking in different languages.
(sprinkle dove confetti)
Outside, the people in the street were amazed, because they had all come from different countries, but everyone could understand the words in their own language.
(cards with different languages)
The people heard the disciples speaking of the wonderful things God has done.
(baby Jesus, cross, heart)
Then Peter stepped forward and told them all the good news about Jesus.
Help the children to flap a play parachute like the ‘mighty wind’, then hold it up and take it in turns to go under the ‘flame’.
Give all the children a flame card cut-out to decorate with glitter/sparkly stickers, then staple it onto a strip of card to make a headband to wear. Make wind streamers to wave by scrunching the ends of white and grey crepe streamers together and fastening with tape.
Invite the children to choose a flag/streamer to swirl like wind and flames to a Pentecost song.
Spirit of the Living God
Come Holy Spirit
Switch on a bubble machine and let the children enjoy the bubbles swirling around them.
O Lord, send your Spirit down to us.
Help us to tell people about Jesus.
Help us to share your love.
You’ve got to move when the Spirit says move (CHY, HON, RSJ)
Come, O Holy Spirit, come (STF, GTG, TS4, WGWG)
A sending out prayer
Young children love repetition. Using the same prayer to end your session each time you meet will create a sense of familiarity and expectation.
God bless you,
(Point to others)
and God bless me.
(Point to self)
Amen. (Wave arms)
Leader: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Children and parents: In the name of Christ, Amen.
These activities are from this week's Explore & respond and can be adapted for Under 5s:
Holy Spirit streamers 10 mins E S
A symbol of the fire of the Holy Spirit
You will need: red, yellow and orange ribbon cut into 40cm lengths, rainbow string/beading cord, cut into 50cm lengths.
- Invite each child to choose at least nine lengths of different coloured ribbon and hold all the ends together. Double back approx. 3cm of ribbon and wind some rainbow cord several times around this ribbon bunch before tying tightly to secure.
- Make a loop in the other end of the cord, large enough to slip over the child’s wrist.
- Encourage the children to move around the space, waving their arms and making the Holy Spirit streamers ‘dance’ about and trail behind them.
Holy Spirit shakers 10 mins E S
Recreate the sound of the Holy Spirit
You will need: clean and empty plastic, or cardboard, containers with lids, e.g. vitamin tablet tubes, Pringle™ canisters, cocoa tins, uncooked rice or lentils, spoons, red, yellow and orange electrician’s tape and scissors.
- Remind the children that the disciples experienced the Holy Spirit like a powerful wind. They are going to make musical instruments to recreate that sound.
- Give each child an empty container and invite them to fill it a quarter to a third full of rice or lentils and put the lid on. Seal the lid with tape, then use the tape to decorate the rest of the container.
- Have fun making wind noises with the finished instruments.
Spiritual styles abbreviations
W Word E Emotion S Symbol A Action
Read our Spiritual Styles articles
The materials above are specially written to enable the youngest members of our church community to hear Bible stories and respond to them through a range of creative play activities, prayers and songs. They can be printed off and used as they are, or you can make your own selection to suit your situation e.g. a crêche during a service; separate pre-school group; or a toddler group that meets during the week.
If you prefer to make your own selection, please see Very young children support for advice and guidance on setting up and running groups or a crèche for very young children. You will also need to include a copyright acknowledgement as follows:
© ROOTS for Churches Ltd. Reproduced with permission. www.rootsontheweb.com