Cleadon Church of England Academy

Prayer Spaces

What Are Prayer Spaces?

Children and young people are innately curious about life. Growing up raises lots of questions, some to do with their experience, both the good and the bad, and some to do with their sense of wonder at the universe we live in and whether there’s more to life than meets the eye. Many have an interest in the non-material aspects of life, the spirit or soul, and want to explore how these ideas and experiences help them to develop their own sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.

Prayer Spaces in Schools enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore these life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. Taking a broadly Christian perspective as a starting point, prayer spaces give children and young people an opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection and to explore prayer in an open, inclusive and safe environment.

We invited our parents and members of our community to share in Prayer Spaces. The response we received was overwhelming, you can read some comments from parents below:

 

"My daughter Holly (class RY) and my son age 3 loved visiting the prayer spaces. Each station posed a question or something to ponder while doing the activity. They especially likes bouncing in the trampoline while shouting about things that made them happy. It was a lovely experience to share with them both."

 

"Alex and I thought Prayer Spaces was a fantastic opportunity for Seth and Susie to explore different tools and techniques to help manage and maintain emotional well being. Seth loved the trampoline and mirror.  Susie liked the beads in the water and writing a short prayer to post on the cross.  I really enjoyed the "dissolving a worry" in the water tank and the calming room with the lava lamps and music. We all loved the mind jars as well and had a conversation about how it feels when we get angry or upset, the kids want to make them at home.  We read a book called "Mindful monkey, happy panda" at home, which introduces the concept of mindfulness in a really simple and fun way, so it was great to talk about the activities at Prayer space and relate them to the ideas covered in the book. My family thought it was a great experience and we really hope that it is created again."
 
 
"I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you and Cleadon Academy for being so friendly,welcoming and hospitable. The pupils from Benedict Biscop CE Academy and myself had an excellent time this morning and left feeling very inspired. It was great to share ideas and we hope to bring some of these ideas back to our school."

Big Questions

Everyone has big questions about life.

What are your big questions?

If you could ask God one question right now,

what would you ask?

 

Bubble Tube

Watch the bubbles.

Try to follow one from the bottom to the top –

they always reach the top.

If you want to, write or draw a prayer on a Post-it note

and stick it on the bubble tube.

 

Be Still

The word ‘holy’ simply means ‘set apart’.

For hundreds of years, people have discovered that

being set apart from other people helps them to be

more aware of themselves and also of God.

In our busy world, this isn’t easy.

This is a place to be still.

This is a ‘holy’ space.

There is no need to talk, no need to do anything.

Just ‘be’.

 

Calm Jar

In the Bible, God often reminds people to be still, to wait and to stay calm whatever the situation.

Pick up the jar in front of you and shake it. Watch as the glitter swirls around.

As you think about all the things in your life at the moment, picture them settling down. Can you take time to be still regularly and allow your mind to become calm?

 

Thankful Ducks

Try to hook a duck with one of the fishing rods!

When you’ve hooked a duck, turn it over.

On the bottom is a subject to think about.

If you want to, you can say a thank you prayer about the subject on the bottom of the duck.

Make sure you return your duck to the pool. 

 

 

Hope Blossoms

What do you hope for in the future?

What do you hope the world will be like?

Write or draw your hopes and dreams on a piece of paper. If you want to, you can do this as a prayer to God.

Fold the four corners of your square so that they meet in the centre. (Ask someone to help if you need to.)

Carefully place your square onto the water with the folded  corners facing upwards. And now wait as it slowly unfolds.

 

 

Hopes and Dreams

What are your hopes? What are your dreams?

Look at the three boards in front of you. Can you think of a small dream, something simple?

Can you think of a medium dream, something possible but pretty big?

How about a HUGE dream, something that seems impossible at the moment?

 

Jumping for Joy

Bounce on the trampoline or hopper.

Think of something or someone that makes you feel joyful… something or someone that you are thankful for.

If you want to, say (or shout) them out as you bounce on the trampoline.

 

 

Magnadoodles

We all do and say things that are wrong sometimes. To say sorry is to admit that you are wrong, and that you want to put things right.

Christians believe that when we say sorry to God, God

wipes the wrong things away. This is called forgiveness.

If there something you need to say ‘sorry’ for?

If you want to, write a sorry prayer onto the magnetic board.

When you are ready, wipe it away again.

 

Plasticine People

This school is a community. Everyone is important. Everyone contributes something. If anyone was missing then the community wouldn’t be the same.

Where do you fit into the school community.

What do you bring to the school community?

If you want to, you can make a model of yourself out of plasticine and put it on the board with the others.

Where do you fit? Are you happy there?

 

Thankful Playdough

Think about all the good things in your life.

Think of someone or something that

you are really grateful for.

Use some of the playdough to make a model

of the thing you have thought of.

If you want to, while you are making your model

use the time to say thank you to God.

 

Prayer Cross

In Jerusalem there is a wall called the Wailing Wall where people have posted their thoughts and prayers to God for nearly 2,000 years.

This is our prayer cross.

If you want to, write or draw a prayer on a Post-it note. Roll-up your prayer and put it into one of the holes on our cross.

 

 

Stress Less

In the Bible Peter writes; ‘Cast all your worries onto God because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5v7)

As the aqua beads run through your fingers, think about what worries you, or makes you feel stressed.

Think about letting go of those worries and stresses.

By worrying less and stressing less

helps us to deal with our problems.

 

 

Trouble Bubbles

Everyone has something that worries or troubles them. I can be a small thing that suddenly feels very big.

Think of your worry or trouble and picture it in your mind. Blow a bubble and watch it float away taking your trouble with it. As the bubble bursts imagine your worry disappearing too.

 

 

Love Heart Prayers

Think about the important people in your life.

Now think of one person who you are especially grateful for. Maybe a family member or a close friend or even someone in this room now.

If you want to, take a sweet and while you are  thinking sweet thoughts write a love heart prayer for someone special.

 

Fishers of Men

Jesus picked out 12 Disciples. Some of the disciples were fishermen. Jesus told them “Come, follow me.” Jesus said that He would make them “Fishers of Men”.

Matthew 4:18-20

Jesus called his followers to be fishers of men. The disciples showed God love through the way they lived their lives and by how they treated others.

Take a fish and write about how you can show love and kindness to other people.

 

Fizzy Forgiveness

We get hurt. Sometimes people do and say things to hurt us on

purpose. Sometimes they don’t mean it, but it hurts anyway. Holding onto hurts isn’t good for us. Has someone hurt you?

Forgiveness is hard, it’s about letting go.

If you want to, pick up a tablet and think about those hurt feelings. When you feel ready, drop it into the water. As you watch the tablet dissolve imagine forgiving the person who has upset you and the hurt disappearing.

 

Finger Print

Christians believe that God made everyone. And Christians believe that God loves everyone equally too, even you and me.

Like snowflakes, we’re all unique and wonderfully different.  

No other human being has the same fingerprint as you.

If you want to, press one finger onto the ink pad and then add your fingerprint to the card as a way of saying thank you to God for making you unique and wonderfully different.

Plasma Ball

This is a plasma ball. It contains electrical energy.

Touch the ball with your fingers. Move them around.

What happens if someone else touches the plasma ball at the same time?

How does this remind you of God?