Godly Play is a way of religious education. The goal of Godly Play is to teach children the art of using the language of the Christian tradition to encounter God and find direction for their lives. There are six objectives that help meet this goal.
- To model how to wonder in religious education, so children can “enter” religious language rather than merely repeating it or talking about it.
- To show children how to create meaning with the language of the Christian tradition and how this can involve them in the experience of the Creator.
- To show children how to choose their own work, so they can confront their own existential limits and depth issues rather than work on other kinds of problems dictated by others, including adults.
- To organize the educational time to follow the pattern of worship that the Christian tradition has found to be the best way to be with God in community.
- To show children how to work together as a community by supporting and respecting each other and one another’s quest.
- To organize the educational space so that the whole system of Christian language is present in the room, so children can literally walk into that language domain when they enter the room and can begin to make connections among its various arts as they work with the lesson of the day and their responses in art or other lessons.
(Berryman, J., Teaching Godly Play, 1995).
KEY CONCEPTS OF GODLY PLAY:
- Godly Play grew out of Montessori roots and is based on the principles of Montessori education
- Children will be greeted at the door of the Godly Play room ready to enter the space and say goodbye to their caregiver
- “Work” in Godly Play is child-directed. Children will choose what they want to do, such as art activities (coloring, crafts), discovering Godly Play materials, cleaning the room (sweeping, dusting), etc.
- What children choose to say and do in the Godly Play classroom is sacred; therefore, the Godly Play leaders will not comment on what children said or chose to do each week. Caregivers should allow children to share what they choose to after a Godly Play session
GODLY PLAY AT NATIVITY:
- Children in 3k-5k and grades 1-5 are invited to participate in Godly Play each week
- Class will begin at 9:30 and end at approximately 11:00. *Please be mindful of the start time of 9:30, latecomers might potentially disrupt the Biblical story for the day
- Children should be brought to the door of the classroom where they will be greeted by a Godly Play leader
- There will be two Godly Play leaders present each week
- Children can be picked up at the door of the classroom at 11:00 or they will be escorted into the church to find their parents
- The focus of Godly Play is not on making products, so please do not expect paperwork or organized artwork to accompany your child
- A small snack is giving during the “feast,” but please keep in mind that this is not substantial. The feast typically consists of water and a few pretzels or crackers, the idea is to mimic Communion
We look forward to spending time with your child in the Godly Play environment while learning and growing together. If there are questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Lindsay Powers (firstname.lastname@example.org, 662-466-1114)