Friday, 15 August 2014

Sunday School Secrets: Incorporating Dance & Worship

Children and movement, the two just seem to go together, and sometimes, having one without the other seems darn impossible; like when at Sunday school you are trying desperately to get the class sitting still so that they can learn something.  Even then we have discovered that it works far more effectively to allow them to colour or in or make something while they listen and learn.  Occupy their hands and their brains seem to kick in. 

Certainly this is a concept that almost all children’s tv programs have discovered, with shows like the Wiggles, the Hooley Dooleys, and High 5 to name a few, all incorporating movement into their shows that the kids can sing and dance along with.  Perhaps this is why the Christian children’s playgroup, Mainly Music has been so successful.

So how can movement and dance be incorporated into a Sunday School setting to help kids learn and memorise and express themselves to God without it all turning chaotic?  Well to be honest, I have found that it turns chaotic when we don’t help them express themselves with music and song.  Even putting actions and music to a memory verse helps them to retain it far better than when we  have not.

Ways to help children move and dance could be to give them ribbons to use and to encourage them to make up their own movements or even to play follow the leader with them and to name the movements you create.     These could later be incorporated into a dance to present to the congregation.    

A secondary teaching opportunity that presents itself when using banners in the Sunday School setting is that of teaching what different colours mean.   There are many and varied ways to do this such as creating a memory game or a rainbow and writing colour meanings on the rainbow. 

We also just need to let our kids know that it is ok to get excited about God, a concept that may be hard enough to get our own heads around if we have not ever thought this way.  Certainly the Israelites in the Bible were excited about God as we have discovered over the past few articles, as we have dug around to discover the deeper meanings of the word praise in the Hebrew.  If you remember some of the meanings were to ‘shoot out our hands in praise, to rave, to shout and clamour about foolishly’ to name a few.  As adults perhaps we need to relearn what we have been taught traditionally so that our children can have a richer experience of worshipping God.

You might also like to read, 'Is it Ok to Let My Daughter Dance?'
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