Humans are physical creatures.  Our bodies matter to us, and they matter to God – we’re not just pure spirit.

This month, if you’re looking for ways to get creative with your kids, here are some ideas for using your body to connect with God in a different way.

The first one is something I made for my nephew when he was christened recently.

On a sunny day, my baby’s Grandma and I were brave or foolish enough to take the three-under-three grandsons into the garden with paint, and get some foot and handprints.

It’s my nephew’s footprint, with a verse from the Bible about God’s word guiding our footsteps.  You could use the same idea with other pieces of Scripture that use hand or foot imagery (perhaps use a concordance or a site like Biblegateway to find something appropriate).

Some other ideas:

  • Cover some old boxes (cereal, baking powder, whatever’s about to go in the recycling bin) with plain paper, like a present.  Draw or write all over the box with things you’d like to thank God for.
  • Trace around your hand on a piece of paper and then use art materials to decorate the hand.  While you’re making it look awesome, talk with God about how cool it is to have hands to use to do all sorts of things.
  • Use your hands to make a card for someone who might need cheering up.
  • For older kids: go for a special prayer walk, in three parts (a bit like the ancient practice of the labyrinth).  Choose a destination.  On your way there, concentrate on asking God to tell you something important that you need to know.  When you arrive, stand still for a few minutes, listening hard to God.  On your way home, think about what you might have heard God say, or talk with someone about it to figure it out and plan what to do next.
  • Try talking to God with your body in a different position.  Try kneeling, or sitting, or standing, or lying.  What difference does it make to you?
  • Do some knitting, or finger-knitting.  As you knit, talk to God about the people you know who you would like to be better friends to.  Ask God to knit you together like the wool.
  • For older kids: when you’re doing something physical and repetitive, like practising goal-shooting, or music scales, or swimming lengths, see if it works for you to pray at the same time.  You might pray for a different person in your class each length of the pool, or thank God for something different every time you finish a scale or score a goal.
  • When it’s time for a treat, choose some sweet fruit (or something less healthy that I couldn’t possibly recommend) to eat.  Close your eyes and eat it slowly.  Every moment that it’s in your mouth, thank God for all the good, sweet things in your life.
  • For further thoughts, check out Ten Ways to Pray, a good resource on all sorts of things.
What other ideas do you have?  What’s something you’ve done with your kids that someone else might find helpful?
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Thalia Kehoe Rowden began 2011 as the minister of West Baptist Church in New Plymouth and ended it as the mother of a charming newborn baby. She's also an awesome parallel parker, a wannabe runner and enthusiastic but rubbish at gardening. She blogs at Kiwi Families on the spiritual practice of parenthood: listening to God as we parent our children, hearing God's voice through them and through the delights and despairs of bringing them up. Thalia also blogs at www.sacraparental.com

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[…] for the new month, I’ve written a wee round-up of creative, physical prayer ideas for kids at Kiwi Families, where I write an occasional column on families and […]

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