Some of the best conversations I have with the children in my small group at church happen when I join them at the activity table. There’s something about sitting side-by-side and looking down as we draw, color, cut or paste that generates conversation. Last week, after hearing the story of how Jesus welcomed the children, we decorated child shaped cut-outs to look like ourselves and our friends and then glued them to a “Jesus Loves Kids!” poster. The table talk I had with the 4 and 5 year olds while we worked went something like this:
Me: If you had been there on the day Jesus welcomed the children, I wonder what you would have said to Jesus?
Emma: I love you, Jesus.
Anna: Jesus, can I give you a hug?
Gwendolyn: Can I give you a kiss?
Me: I wonder what you would show to Jesus if he came to your house for a visit?
Evan: My room.
Lily: My sparkly rock.
Luke: Actually, Jesus is already there. He’s just invisible.
Those conversations make my day! They also give me a great insights into the hearts and minds of the children in my group.
Recently I came across a resource that’s designed to encourage faith forming table talks like the one I had with my kids at church. Pastor and artist Adam Walker Cleaveland’s Illustrated Children's Ministry site sells fabulous print and digital copies of jumbo sized (3’ x 2’, 4’ x 3’) coloring posters on themes of Advent, Lent, Creation and more. Use this link to access a special offer for Network readers! The designs are engaging and the plus-sized posters are ideal for placing on a table or floor to color as a group; making them a wonderful resource to have on hand for children’s ministry, for intergenerational events or for use around the kitchen table as a family. Their Worship Activity Sheets are also worth a look. I love that they include space on which a child can use their imagination to draw their own response to scripture.
Talk, paper, scissors...and crayons. Use them as tools to engage in faith formation conversation around your table today.