Godly Play

 

​This program is our version of Sunday School, and is taught during the 9:30am service at St. Mary's Church.  It is specifically designed for children from pre-primary school age.  It is held every Sunday during school term.



Godly play focuses on telling the story, and allowing the child to explore their own spirituality from there. The program: 

Resacrilizes everyday things of the world - bread, wine, candles, wood, linen;

- Teaches adults and children that being quiet and deliberate about their work can be satisfying;

- Offers sensorial material in a safe stimulating environment;

- Combines language and play (verbal and non-verbal);

- Offers discovery that engages the whole child and allows internalization;

- Each child creates an expressive response to their individual thoughts and feelings.    This allows them to create meaning for THEM;

- Respects the demands on teachers time - maintains a stable set up and routine. No craft prep. Lesson prep is often simply reading;

- Teaches respect of things and the people they work with and to enjoy each with care and patience;

- Teaches kindness and mutuality – embodies how community should work.


 

July 2013:  The Parish was awarded a grant from the Anglican Youth Ministries Foundation to help purchase extra Godly Play materials.

Godly Play demonstration at All Saints for All Saints Day

 
 
CHILDREN'S SPIRITUALITY - CONVERSATION IN OUR GODLY PLAY ROOM: 
Our story was based on the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mark 13: 31-32), am sure you have all read it but here it is in case:
31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
 
In Godly Play, Wondering time comes after the story and is where we discuss the story…there are no wrong answers in wondering time, it is the child's time to explore their spirituality. And we are all at different places. Part of the wondering time recently for one child (aged 8) went like this:
 
Me:  I wonder if the birds have names
Child:  I think the birds are the people, like us
 
Me:  I wonder what the tree really is
Child:  The tree is the word of God, growing and spreading and the birds come to hear the word and be near it
 
Me:  I wonder what the nests really are
Child:  The nests are like churches, where the people come home like church is home.
 
Call me silly or slow but its taken me to 48 years of age (and doing Godly Play) to "get" this parable; this response, this closeness to God stunned me from an 8 year old…it truly is a privilege to work with our kids.

 

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