It's sometimes really hard to keep the attention of the children at our school lunchtime club. They've been learning hard all morning so it's no wonder they need to let off steam!
It means we have to be creative in our story telling. This method we tried today was the best we've found so far because you can hold the board up for everyone to see and the felt won't fall off!
The base board is a piece of board with a sheet of felt glued to it. All the other pieces are cut up felt and that's it! It literally took 10 minutes to cut out the pieces and make the board. Because none of the other pieces are stuck down you can use both them and the board again and again!
There was once a beautiful place where everyone wanted to be. It was bright and sunny. No one ever cried or died or got sick. It was amazing!
To get to the beautiful place, you had to go through a gate...
The gate was guarded by someone who made the decision about who to let in (gold piece). Lots of people (green pieces) gathered outside because they wanted to come in.
The golden man separated the people. Some went to his left and some to his right. He said to the people on the right, " Welcome to the beautiful place! I'm so glad to let you in! When I was tired and hungry and cold and sad and ill and lonely you helped me!" But they didn't understand because they'd never seen the man before!
The golden man said, "You helped people you met who were tired and hungry and cold and sad and ill and lonely (red pieces with small gold piece). They all had part of me inside them. Because you helped them, it was like you were helping me! (put a small gold piece on each of these green pieces) Come in!"
He turned to the people on his left. "I'm sorry", he said, "but you can't come in. I was tired and hungry and cold and sad and ill and lonely you didn't help me!" But they didn't understand because they'd never seen the man before!
The golden man said, "You saw people who were tired and hungry and cold and sad and ill and lonely. They all had part of me inside them. Because you didn't help them, you weren't helping me!" Those people had to stay outside the gate and couldn't go into the beautiful place.
Even though we didn't use the words 'Jesus' or 'heaven' The children guessed what the story was about and we had some really thoughtful conversations about how the various characters might feel. We will certainly use this method again!