I made this storytelling basket to teach the Lord’s prayer to a group of 1st and 2nd graders at my church. If you would like a free copy of the script I used to tell the story, there’s a form at the bottom of the post. Just fill it out and you will receive a link via email.
We recently split our children’s worship group into a younger class and an older class. Since we use materials from Godly Play and Young Children and Worship, this has meant investing in materials for a second classroom. We don’t really have budget to do that all at once, so we have been supplementing with some stories that aren’t “official” made out of materials I have collected from second hand stores or that are handmade.
This is one of the ways we are stretching our budget, but also adapting Godly Play to our context. I found a couple of posts on Pinterest where individuals have adapted the Lord’s prayer into a Godly Play style story. So, I thought I would build off what others have done and create our own version. This script will work even if you don’t use Godly Play at your church, but it is written in a reflective style.
Here are some great links to the posts I used as inspiration. I used pieces of each of these and some of my own ideas to create something new.
The first one is from All Play on Sunday. Her version is very simple and is geared toward 3 and 4 year olds. I was aiming for 1st and 2nd graders and mine is a LOT more wordy. I am sure there are things that could be left out of what I wrote and still have all the story that we need. Check out what All Play on Sunday did here.
The second one is in German and you can find the post here. I used Google translate and though it was a pretty rough translation, I was able to follow her ideas. I really liked how she incorporated the dark places into the story from the parable of the Good Shepherd.
The third idea that helped me write this script was from Barnabas in Churches which they adopted from Lucy Moore’s book, The Lord’s Prayer Unplugged. You can find that version here.
As you tell the story, place the items one by one on a long strip of purple felt. The one I used was actually too cramped. I had to borrow it from another story because Walmart didn’t have purple felt and Hobby Lobby is 25 minutes away. sigh…the trials of living in a small town. You can gather your materials and lay them out in a way gives each piece good space on your underlay and then cut your felt to match the amount of space you need. Here’s a look at how our story looked at the end.
I happened upon The Lord’s Prayer plaque at the thrift store and purchased it for the story to be used as a control. The plaque acts as a prompt so the children can get out the materials and remember the order of the story. You could simply print out a copy of the prayer and laminate it or take a picture of the story when it is laid out so the children remember which pieces go together and where to put them on the underlay.
I had a hard time deciding between using a purple underlay as a symbol of God’s kingship or using three white circles to represent the trinity so incorporated both ideas into our story. I liked the picture of the trinity being a part of the story, because even though Jesus prayed this prayer to His Father, when we pray, we pray in the Spirit, through Christ our mediator to our Father.
As I was writing, the theme of light and darkness really came out. I used the candle when we talked about hallowed be thy name to represent God’s holiness.
Thy Kingdom come always makes me think of a crown. No matter how off course our world gets, we can remember that God is King and he WILL rule his kingdom forever! I found this pink plastic crown at the thrift store and spray painted it. Not super classy, but it was 13 cents….so…there!
I really liked how Barnabas in Churches depicted “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” by explaining that there is no place or people on earth that God doesn’t care about. I used an earth ball that I found at the dollar store and four felt hearts to show that God’s love stretches north, south, east, and west.
It almost Valentine’s Day and the thrift store has out tons of hearty items. I picked up a plastic heart that opens and kept the four felt hearts inside. See…the big heart is like God’s love and then you open it and God’s love spreads to the ends of the world. Like what I did there….cool huh?!?
For the line give us this day our daily bread, I used a simple plastic piece of bread from my girls kitchen play set. Shhhhh….don’t tell…cause they aren’t getting it back! We used this part of the story to talk about how we rely on God for His provision. He provides us with all we need, not just our daily bread. He loves it when we talk to Him about our needs and he loves to give us good things.
I used a black heart covered by a white heart to represent “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Some traditions use transgressions and some use debts when they recite the Lord’s prayer, but regardless of the word you choose to use, the point is that we stand in need of God’s forgiveness. And God’s intention is that we would then share his forgiveness with others by showing His love and grace to others.
I liked the way the German blog used three pieces of black felt for the line, “lead us not into temptation.” If you are familiar with Godly play, you will quickly make the connection to the dark places used in the Parable of the Good Shepherd story. In the parable of the Good shepherd, we learn that God is with us in the dark places and no matter how lost we are, the Good Shepherd will come after us, searching until he finds His lost sheep.
And when the wolf comes to kill and destroy the sheep, the good shepherd will stand between the wolf and the sheep, even laying down His own life for the sheep. The idea of putting the cross on top of the dark places to show, “deliver us from evil.” is a beautiful picture of the power of the cross to overcome sin and darkness.
The last symbol is a gold bracelet. I wanted to represent the eternal nature of the phrase, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, Amen” with a circle. I found this nice thick one at a thrift store, but any type of circle would do.
All the materials fit nicely into a tray or basket. We store our stories on shelves around the classroom and the children can get out the story materials on their own during the response time offered after the lesson each week. Hopefully they will get out the Lord’s prayer story basket again and again.
I am super excited to share the script I wrote to teach the Lord’s prayer as a free link. If you would like a copy, please enter your name and email below and you will receive a link to the Script.