Ideas for Action – Children and creation care
Ideas and activities for Children’s Work
At birth, the world that we know is very small. We cry when we are hungry and sleep when we are tired. As the days pass, our circle widens. We may recognise the smell and warmth of our mother, perhaps the chatter of a brother or sister. As the days turn to months our circle widens, we recognise and gain concern for people and value for places. By exploring environmental issues with children, we encourage them to widen their circle further by learning about the world around them and how the way in which people live their lives can show either care for or harm to the environment.
By thinking about environmental issues within a faith context, we take children into a world of values where what we believe about God informs us about our relationship with the earth. This Ideas for Action is designed as an aid to help children makes connections between how humans act and the state of the earth, and between the Christian faith and caring for the environment.
Download the latest version: Children and Creation Care
Eco-Congregation Scotland is part of the Faith Action for Nature project which makes a direct connection between the Church and environmental conservation. New for 2018, the resources created for this project are divided into 4 seasons, and have a variety of activities for adults and children. These activities range from home and garden projects to large scale creation care opportunities involving the church and wider community. You can even get advice from a leading conservation organisation if you need support.
Dig the Earth: God’s Amazing World seeks to combine solid, bible based teaching alongside a practical focus on the environment. The hope is that, where possible, these sessions will not only allow for teaching, but for children to experience that environment creating a novel experience and greater understanding. Every church is within a different environment, and leaders should feel free to adapt the material for their individual circumstances. It is designed for children of around 10 years of age, and includes a session plan and handout for each week.
The intention is for children to identify:
* the natural environment in which they find themselves
* our responsibility for that environment
* that this a natural part of Christian life.
Run an environment club!
Would you like to run an environment club? A Rocha UK have resources on a number of themes to help you. Each theme consists of four to seven one-hour sessions, exploring environmental issues that are relevant to children. There are session plans, activity sheets, games, quizzes and more. Aimed at primary school teachers, these could easily be adapted for use in a church setting.
The following themes can be downloaded free of charge: Conservation (4 sessions), Waste and recycling (6 sessions), Nocturnal animals (5 sessions) and Life cycles (5 sessions)
A Rocha UK also have resources for work with children included in their Environment Sunday packs which they have been producing annually for some time. This was initially called “Conservation Sunday” but is now “Environment Sunday.The resources can be used at any time!
CAFOD produces resources for primary schools on environmental themes.
Christian Ecology Link have service suggestions for LOAF (Local, Organic, Animal friendly, Fairtrade) suitable for use with children and young people: http://www.christian-ecology.org.uk/kidz/index.htm
- Organic Friends’ books
This is a series of books written by by Graham Gooderham from Evesham Methodist Church to introduce children to animals essential in the organic garden. They are delightfully illustrated. Available on Amazon Cost around £3.25 each.
For details contact: Graham Gooderham, 33 Abbey Croft, Pershore, WR10 1JQ
The Religious Education and Environment Programme (REEP) has developed resources linking many faiths and care for creation for primary age and for secondary age students
Schools resources from Jackie Gear
Jackie and Alan Gear used to run Ryton Organic Gardens (HDRA). They are Christians and have produced an excellent poster and activity sheet designed for use in primary schools. They are also suitable for use in children’s groups in churches. To obtain a pack, contact: Jackie Gear MBE, 23 Styleman Way, Snettisham, Norfolk, PE31 7NT
A site for schools with some useful resources.
This website includes a wide range of resources on development and environmental issues with games, fact sheets and stories from around the globe.
Scripture Union and A Rocha have produced jointly a resource for holiday clubs called WasteWatchers
Have a look at Tearfund’s children’s resources for loads of resources for children. Tearfund’s main campaign currently is climate change.
Note on using the Ideas for Action
Ideas for Action have been designed to fit into church life and support and enhance church mission. They were designed collaboratively with churches to provide a resource that is not a textbook, but a toolkit, to suit all the different varieties of church life represented in the Eco-Congregation programme.
All congregations using our Ideas for Action should first register, and registered churches can also order printed copies. Find out how to register, or contact us if you’d like to know more.
All our resources may be freely copied and distributed within your church, but please accredit Eco-Congregation.