Under normal circumstances, we would have been meeting for Messy Play this week. We may not be able to gather, but that doesn't stop us being Messy! Here you will find some ideas for things you can do at home, and hopefully knowing that others are doing some of the same things will help remind us that we are still a Messy family.
Cheer up the neighbourhood!
Eddie and I took these pictures on one of our daily walks this week, and they definitely brought a smile.
So why not try some chalk drawings of your own? What message would you write to bring a smile to your neighbours?
Together at Home have also suggested a way of using the rainbow to brighten your street and pray for the current health crisis, so you might like to give these ideas a go.
Start a gratitude journal!
This idea came from one of our Messy mums, Julia. Grab a spare notebook (or make one from folded paper) then ask everyone in the family to draw/paint/collage something that makes them happy or that they are thankful for. Then when you get a bit fed up, you can look back that the things that bring joy. I know for a fact our family journal will look nowhere as pretty as the one below, but it may give you some inspiration.
Get junk modelling!
This has always been a favourite at Messy Play. Gather whatever pots and bottles and boxes you can rescue from the recycling bin, along with some tape and glue and string, and whatever colours and decorations you can find, and let your imaginations run wild. We'd love to see what you come up with. Below you can see our homemade nativity set from last year's Crafts and Carols, complete with 'Cardboard Box Bethlehem'.
Take up a holy habit!
Messy Church have been putting together some at-home sessions based on the holy habits of GLADNESS, TELLING, SHARING, SERVING, TEACHING, EATING, WORSHIP, PRAYER, COMMUNION and FELLOWSHIP. This is adapted from the session on sharing.
Ask everyone to choose something they can share with everyone else. It could be a toy or a joke or song or... They have one minute to think of or find it.
Light a candle as a way of praying or focusing on the time you will share together.
Explain that today we’re thinking about sharing what we have. The writer Luke says that the first Christians ‘had everything in common’ (Acts 2:44).
Put a toilet roll on the table and say "This could be the last toilet roll in Leicester. The shops have run out. Nobody can buy any more. We seem to be the only household who still have toilet paper. What do we do?" Take all the suggestions and doodle/cartoon them on to a sheet of paper. Have some fun thinking of off-the-wall things you could do as well as more reasonable ideas.
Say that we’ve all got different things to share, and some of them aren’t even ‘things’ but are skills or time, or something like ‘cheerfulness’ that can’t even be touched. Invite everyone to hare the things people have collected. Is there anything we’ve been given that we can share more widely?
Pray by sharing your answers to the following questions and unfinished sentences.
What word or words will you use to open your prayer and greet God?
‘You are…..’ (finishing it off with something you love about God)
‘Please…’ (and finish it off with a request)
‘Thank you…’ (and finish it off with something you ware grateful for)
How do you want to end the prayer?
Blow out the candle to mark the end of this special time of thinking about sharing.
If you have time and a Monopoly set, try playing Monopoly with the normal rules except that each time an unowned property is landed on, all the players have the opportunity to buy it together as a shared resource, meaning that any rent collected is shared among all the owners. Reflect on how this simple change makes the game a very different experience.
I hope there is some stuff in there that looks look it might be good fun, and bring a little bit of calm and positivity too.
Take care and stay safe, and if any of the little ones are finding it hard to understand this strange new world, the official Messy Church account shared this rather sweet little video.