Children’s Activity

Things to Do: 25/06/2020

Oobleck – Cornflour Gloop

A great messy material to explore and a science experiment depending on the age of your child, when we have done this at Messy Church, everyone from the youngest to the oldest adult has enjoying playing with this tactile substance.

Equipment needed:

  • Large plastic basin or tray
  • Cornflour
  • Water
  • Spoons
  • Aprons
  • (Towel to protect floor under the table)

Before you begin:  This is a classic activity which is very messy, but it will hoover up when dry and wash easily out of clothes.  To keep mess to a minimum, put a towel under the table where you are experimenting and make sure you have a bowl of water or sink close by for washing of hands.  You are exploring a ‘non-Newtonian’ substance, transforming from solid to liquid.

Experimental method:  Start by adding 4 – 6 tablespoons of cornflour to the basin and gradually add water to make a thick liquid.  Explore and play with the cornflour.  Pick some up and let it flow through your fingers.  Is it a solid or a liquid?  What happens if you tap or punch the cornflour?

Make another batch and add food colouring, now see what happens when you place blobs of the coloured Ooblick to the white Ooblick?

What’s going on?:  Cornflour does not dissolve in water, it makes a suspension called a non-Newtonian fluid.  Sometimes it seems to be like a solid (when we add force the particles jam together) and sometimes like a liquid (when the particles slip over each other and it flows through our fingers).  When the force is removed, water lubricates the particles and it becomes runny again.

This activity has been taken from Messy Church does Science


Things to Do: 18/06/2020

Breaking Bread

How to make bread:

  • Ingredients: 500g strong white bread flour (or plain flour if you can’t find bread flour), 2 tsp salt, 7g quick action yeast, 3 tbsp Olive Oil, 300 ml warm water.
  • Method:  mix the flour, salt and yeast together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the olive oil and water, mix well with a spoon.  If it is a little stiff add another 1-2 tbsp more water and mix well.
  • Tip onto a lightly floured service and knead for 10 minutes.  Once the dough is satin smooth, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with bowl with cling film and leave for an hour (or overnight in the fridge) to double in size.
  • Once dough has doubled in size.  Knock back (punch the air out and roll back into itself) then gently mould into a ball.
  • Place on baking parchment on a baking tray and leave for an hour.
  • Heat up oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7
  • Dust the loaf with flour, cut a 6 cm cross across the top using a sharp knife
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  • Leave to cool on a baking rack.

If you can’t find some of the baking ingredients, why not try a soda bread, scones, potato bread take a look at these ideas:

Christians ‘break bread’ as part of communion services when they remember Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. 

Why not have a ‘mini’ service using your bread?

When we can’t get to church or Messy Church, here’s a suggestion for a short, fun time with God around your table at home.

Breaking Bread

1. Say: We’re going to be a little part of St Andrew’s Messy Church at home today.

2. Light a candle and pray:

With the light of this candle, we remember the light of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

God, you are here with us now and also with our friends and family in their homes today.

Especially we remember that you are also with…. (name friends from Messy Church, Teddies, clubs you are part of, school, extended family, neighbourhood)

Thank you, Jesus, Light for the world. Amen

3. Say: Today we’re thinking about breaking bread, which is something people who follow Jesus have done for over two thousand years, in churches, but also in homes, like we’re doing today.

4.  Read Mark 14:17-26 from the version in this link or from your own Bible.

Invite each person to mention something from the passage they like, they are puzzled by or that strikes them in some other way. 

5. You might want to play Johnny Cash Breaking Bread on YouTube

6. Watch out for bread in the prayer Jesus taught his followers: Pray the Lord’s Prayer with or without actions (find it on YouTube)

7. Then go and eat lots of buttered toast together, or, if you’re feeling ambitious, make bread from scratch.

(taken from )


Things to Do: 11/06/2020

DIY Cloud

You will need:

  • a glass jar with a lid
  • four to five ice cubes
  • warm water
  • hairspray/deodorant or similar aerosol spray

Method:  Make a mini cloud!

Warm your jar up by putting the warm (not boiling) water in it and swirling it around. (Let an adult help if appropriate)

Drop the ice cubes in and quickly put the lid on.

Then squirt a blast of hairspray or deodorant into the jar and clap the lid back on as quickly as you can.

Watch carefully as you take the lid off and release your cloudy pillar! 

Talk about the science: you need three things to make a cloud – warm, moist air, something to cool it down and something to form the nucleus of a droplet. Usually in a raincloud, the nuclei would be provided by specks of dust – here it’s the hairspray.

Talk as well about stories in the Bible where God’s glory is shown in a cloud – perhaps the most famous one is when God guides the people through the desert by having them follow the pillar of cloud by day (Exodus 13). At Ascension (Luke 24), a cloud takes Jesus away from the disciples.


Things to Do: 04/06/2020

Science experiment – Salt Crystals

You will need:

  • Salt
  • Jam jar or glass
  • Lolly stick
  • Cotton or thread
  • Jug of warm water
  • Wooden spoon
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Circle/square of paper/card (as lid cover)
  1. Pour salt into jug with warm water in and stir until most of it has dissolved (about 8 desert spoon spoonfuls.)  Add more salt if necessary.
  2. Wind cotton/thread around lolly stick and leave a little bit dangling.
  3. Pour salt water into jam jar/glass. Fill nearly to the top.
  4. Put lolly stick over the top of jam jar or glass and push the dangling thread down with the other end of wooden spoon.
  5. Put the piece of card/paper on top of the jam jar/glass and leave for a few days and check daily to see growth.

The longer you leave the crystal in the water the bigger it will grow!

If crystals start growing on the side of the jam jar/glass simply take the crystal out, pour the remains of the liquid into a different container and then put the crystal back in so it can continue to grow! Or just let them keep growing and see the different types of salt crystals – which will be biggest, how long will the crystals take to form?  How does this happen?  What other questions does it make you ask?


Things to Do: 21/05/2020

Bottle Rocket

You will need:  paper, duct tape, a plastic water bottle, play doh, thin card, a cork, a bicycle valve and pump, water

Based on take a look for detailed steps of constructing and flying your bottle rocket.

How to make:

  1. Roll a piece of paper into a cone.  Wrap the nose of the cone with duct tape.
  2. Attach this to the base of plastic bottle
  3. With the thin cardboard cut out three to four triangles – these will be the fins of your rocket.
  4. Tape the fins around the open end of the bottle so they help the rocket stand up straight.
  5. Add a play-doh ballast around the open end of the bottle to give the rocket weight.
  6. Cover the whole rocket with duct tape to keep it secure.
  7. Fill up the bottle with water (you will need to launch it outside as water will expel on lift off)
  8. Make a small hole through the cork.  This hole needs to be the same size as the bicycle pump valve.
  9. Stuff the cork into the bottle opening.
  10. Place the needle like valve of the pump into the cork, make sure that it fits tightly.
  11. Turn the rocket right-side up, holding it by its neck and pointing away from your face.
  12. Launch the rocket by pumping the bicycle pump, the rocket will fly off when the cork can no longer withstand the pressure building up in the bottle.

Do not approach the rocket once you have started pumping, even if it seems nothing is happening with the launching, as this can lead to injury.  When it does launch it will shoot up quite fast and high so make sure you remove any obstructions and warn everyone to stand away before you start.

We did this activity in May 2017 at Messy Church.  Our theme was Ascension to Pentecost, this activity was about Jesus ascending to heaven (Acts 1:3 – 2:4).


Things to Do: 21/05/2020

Edible rainbow painting

You will need:

  • Granulated sugar
  • Gel food colouring
  • Hot water
  • White bread
  • Brushes
  • Plastic bowls (or silicone cupcake cases)
  1. The aim is to make the ‘paint’ as sugary as possible so that it doesn’t saturate the bread, making it soggy.
  2. In a bowl, mix a tablespoon of granulated sugar in bowl and a squirt of food-colouring and a tablespoon of hot water.
  3. If the sugar doesn’t dissolve add a few more drops of hot water
  4. If your ‘syrup’ mixture is too watery add some more sugar until it can’t absorb any more sugar.
  5. Make as many colours as you like.
  6. Then paint with it on to white bread
  7. Then eat or toast (under the grill) and eat …

This activity was part of May 2017 Messy Church.  This time of year in the Christian Church calendar is ‘Ascension to Pentecost’.  Ascension is when Jesus returns to heaven and Pentecost is when the Holy Spirit came to the disciples and the Christian Church was ‘born’, the Church’s birthday.  Ascension to Pentecost is a 10-day period while Jesus’ followers waited together as Jesus instructed them to do.  May 2014 was the first ever Messy Church at St Andrew’s Church so each May we celebrate Messy Church’s birthday.  We often celebrate birthdays with party foods, this rainbow toast is a special treat. 

At this time, we are seeing lots of rainbows displayed to show our appreciation to NHS and other keyworkers, “Todo saldra bien” – “Everything Will be Alright”. 


Things to Do: 13/05/2020

Create a Fruit Animal

You will need: fruit – maybe strawberries, blueberries, bananas, grapes, kiwi

Melted chocolate, edible eyes, icing pens

Chopping board and knives (plastic knives or children’s knives will cut most soft fruits) or a sharp knife that you are happy for your child to use.

Take a look on the internet for other ideas of animals you could make.

Then chop up the fruit and arrange as chosen animal

Talk about: As you are doing this activity talk about what fruit and vegetables are grown locally and when they are in season.What is your favourite fruit?

We did this activity at Messy Church in July 2018, when our theme was ‘Creating and Caring’ and question to think about; so … how can we create a caring creation?  The bible tells us (Genesis 1 26-31) that God created the world, including us – and entrusted it to our care.  This was one of the activities that helped us explore some of the environmental issues we face and our role in God’s creation.  We also consider how we can be responsible citizens within our little sphere of influence. I wonder how we are creating a caring environment and being a responsible citizen right now?


Things to Do: 07/05/2020

Chariot races

Make a box chariot for your teddy or for you?

You will need: large, medium and small boxes (sufficient for one box for every two or three people); glue sticks; masking tape; rope; coloured pens; crayons; PVA glue; paper plates; crepe paper or coloured paper

Use the box to design and build a chariot. It needs to have wheels and a place to sit or stand, as well as a rope to pull the chariot. Decorate with various craft items. When the building is completed, organise chariot races. You could give out certificates or prizes for the best-designed chariot, the best-looking chariot, the fastest chariot, the most imaginative chariot, etc.


Make a cup chariot

You will need: paper cups; scissors; lolly sticks; cut-out wheels; split pins; coloured pens

Cut out the back of the cup as shown in the photo. Make two slots to put the pop sticks in as the shaft and use split pins to fix wheels to either side. Using coloured pens, you can colour and decorate your chariot.

Talk about how you are working together to be creative. What would it have been like in Bible times to ride in a chariot?

In the bible (Acts 8: 26-40) there is a story about Philip meeting an Ethiopian important official (in charge of the treasury for the queen of Ethiopians).  The official was journey back home in his chariot reading Isaiah (another book in the Bible).  He asked for someone to help him understand it an angel spoke to Philip and took him there to explain the Bible passage to him.  Philip sat with the official in his chariot and explained the Bible passage to him.

Maybe you could read this bible story after you have made chariots and had chariot journeys or races.


Things to Do: 29/04/2020

Balloon Car

You will need:

  • Balloons
  • Flexible straws
  • Body:- (choose one) water bottle, kitchen roll tube (cut ½), cereal box
  • Axles:- straws, skewers
  • Wheels:- milk bottle caps
  • Tape

How to make your balloon car:

Make the Jet: Put the long end of flexible straw into a balloon.  Attach the straw and the balloon using tape so that no air can escape.

Make the car:  chose car body.  Make holes opposite each other at front and back (both sides).  Stick a straw through the two front ones, stick a straw through two back holes, these are the axles, so make sure they are straight (horizontal).  Slide a skewer through each straw.

Make the wheels: choose 4 bottle tops the same size (with holes in the centre), place skewer end into hole of bottle top, hold in place with sellotape (and/or plasticine).

Insert the Jet: insert a hole in the top and back of car body.  Poke the jet through the holes with the balloon end on the top of the car and the open end coming out the back as parallel as possible to floor (this will help the car move faster and further than if pointing upwards or downwards)

Power the Jet:  blow the balloon up by blowing through the straw.  Cover the end of the straw with your finger and place the car onto the ‘track’ then release your finger.

We did this activity at Messy Church last May (2019), this is what we were talking about while doing this activity.  So what’s happening here?  Newton’s third law: for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction!  The car uses jet power to move.  The stored air in the balloon pushes through the straw creating ‘thrust’ the force which pushes the car forward.  So when the air in the balloon moves in one direction the car moves in the opposite direction.

So ………………. What gives us the motivation to do things – maybe amazing things?  The Holy Spirit is Christ’s power in Christians.  God’s Holy Spirit is like breath in Christians helping them to live a life as followers of Jesus.

This activity was found here:


Things to Do: 22/04/2020

How to press flowers (without a flower press)

When you are out for your daily walk/exercise collect some wild-flowers or leaves or grasses – don’t pick from other people’s gardens or even your own garden without checking with your parents that it is ok.  Why not try pressing some herbs, will they have a scent once dried?

Step 1:

Simply place your chosen flowers with their stalks removed (if you wish) between two sheets of paper, and place inside a heavy book.

Step 2:

Carefully close and weigh the book down for a week or longer if they need further drying.

Step 3:

Display your pressed flowers in a frame or use to decorate cards and gifts. Or press grasses and leaves and make a habitat for dinosaurs to roam before sticking dinosaurs on to the picture.  Or other habitats for butterflies, fairies, monsters.

In Genesis, the first book of the bible, what day does it say that God made the plants?  I wonder if you can find or know of any other stories/times that it speaks about flowers of the fields and plants in the bible?


Things to Do : 15/04/2020

Crystal Cross

Make a medieval style stained glass cross to hang in your window, at Easter time especially Christians remember Jesus’ death on a cross and rising again 3 days later.  The cross is a symbol for Jesus’ sacrifice and suffering, but also a symbol of hope, forgiveness of sins and victory over death.

How to Make

  1. Cut a piece of acetate sheet (like the ones you find in toy packaging) to about A5 size. Make a circle with a cross inside as a template.  Tape the sheet over a cross and circle template and used a fine tipped permanent pen to trace around the outline.
  2. Use a small paint brush to paint PVA glue around part of the outline of the cross. Sprinkle red stone crystals over the wet glue and shake off the excess. Continue gluing around the outline, sprinkling crystals as you go, while the glue is wet.
  3. Cover the outline of the circle with green stone crystals as before. Leave the outlines to dry and then fill in the centre of the cross shape with a mixture of yellow and orange stone crystals held on with more PVA glue.
  4. Fill in the whole background of the design with blue stone crystals and leave to dry for an hour. Use a pair of scissors to cut around the circle, leaving a tab at the top. Make a hole in the tab and thread satin ribbon through this for hanging.

Top Tip

If you can’t find any acetate simply glue the crystals onto plain white paper; the light will still show through.

What You Need

Activity taken from:

How to make Coloured Rock Salt:


  • Rock salt
  • Liquid Water Colours
  • Zip Lock Bags


Making Rainbow Crystals is very similar to making Dyed Pasta and Coloured Rice. (The one thing that about this recipe though is that in using liquid watercolours the crystals don’t have the smell of either vinegar or rubbing alcohol!)

To start you add a couple scoops of rock salt to a zip lock baggie.

Add a glob of liquid watercolours. Depending on the consistency (ours is thicker than normal) add water slowly.

Let kiddos shake the bags vigorously until the rock salt is well coated. Let the salt soak for a couple of minutes (5-10) and then pour out on to a flat sheet to dry.

Once dry play! Or use for the salt crystal cross activity.

Recipe found:


Things to Do : 08/04/2020

Easter Egg decorating

Easter Egg decorating

Here’s what you need to dye Easter eggs: 

  • Vinegar
  • Gel Food Colouring – liquid is also fine you will just need to use more to get a concentrated colour
  • Eggs (one for each of your colours)
  • Small Bowls or Container
  • Tongs or Large Spoon
  • Wax crayons or wax candle

How to Dye Eggs with Food Colouring

1. First hard boil the eggs. Let them cool.

While your eggs are boiling, lay down some parchment paper, wax paper or protective tablecloth to protect your surface.

2. Squeeze out 6 drops of food colouring into one bowl.

3. Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and mix so that the drops dissolve into the vinegar.

*Note: for the brand of purple that we used, when we added the vinegar directly to the food colouring it changed the colour to black. So for purple only, place the egg directly into a bowl of vinegar. Then let it sit for 3 minutes. Then proceeded with the steps below. If you find your food colouring is changing colour for green, blue or purple, you may need to do this method instead. First, soak the eggs in vinegar for 3 minutes, and then let them soak in the food colouring and water.

The vinegar helps the colouring adhere to the egg and makes it more vibrant.

4. Then add 1 cup of warm water.  (Some recipes call for boiling water, however, we tested with warm water and boiling water and did not notice a difference. Warm water worked just as well.)

Mix to ensure the food colouring is fully mixed in. You want the solution to be very concentrated so that the eggs turn out really bright and vibrant. If you want less vibrant coloured eggs, you can use less food colouring.

5. Make a pattern on your egg using the wax crayons or candle.

6. Carefully place the egg into the bowl with a large spoon or tongs.

7. Let your egg sit for 10 minutes for the primary colours (red, yellow, blue) and 13 minutes for the secondary colours (green, purple) which take a little longer to get fully dyed.

8. After they look like the colour has fully dyed the egg, carefully remove with a spoon or tongs

Repeat for each egg.

How Long Will the Eggs Last?

Hard boiled eggs can be stored in the refrigerator and will last up to 1 week. If you want to leave the eggs out of the refrigerator for a display, you will need to blow out the eggs instead. Otherwise the eggs are good for up to 2 hours at room temperature.

This was an activity we were going to have at Easter Messy Church, as eggs remind us of new life that we see all around us in spring and for Christians Jesus dying so that we can have new life through Him.


Things to Do : 02/04/2020


In Spain, where people have been hugely affected by the coronavirus and its consequences, they have started this movement: “Todo saldra bien” – “Everything Will Be Alright”. Rainbows in all shapes and sizes are being crafted and drawn and hung in the window, rainbow flags are being sewn, and ribbons are being woven together as a symbol of hope and faith in these strange times. 

Once you have made a rainbow share it for others to see

May be hang them in your window, or make them into a card and post them through a neighbours door or send to a friend or family member to show that you are thinking of them.

In the bible the presence of the rainbow means God keeps his promises.  The first rainbow was in the story of Noah’s Ark.  As you make your rainbows maybe you could read the story of Noah’s Ark, you can find it in Genesis Chapter 9 the first book of the bible.  I wonder if you could find any rainbows in the Bible?

There are many ways you can make a rainbow, below are some suggestions, along with painting and colouring.

  1. Weave a rainbow with ribbons on a paper plate.

2) Paint a paper plate like the sky and then sew the string for the weaving then weave a rainbow with wool.

3) weave with pipe-cleaners

4) Collage rainbow – draw your rainbow using crayons/felt pens then stick items of the same colour to each of the colour arches.  Don’t forget the cotton wool clouds.  You could use pom poms, buttons, sequins, coloured paper/tissue paper scrunched up or scraps of fabric.  PVA glue will stick better than a glue stick for this.

5) Crochet Rainbows

At February’s Messy Church our new skill was crochet.  If you can’t crochet and no-one in your household can why not send these instructions to someone who can and ask them to crochet some for you and maybe their neighbours and friends?


To make it possible for everyone to join in this project, we have kept the pattern as simple as possible, so everyone can crochet these rainbows! The more the merrier!

It does not matter how thick your yarn is, as long as the size of your crochet hook suits your yarn. Are you a crocheter with little to no experience? Then I recommend that you use thick yarn suitable for crochet hook 4 to 7 mm. 

Do you not know how to crochet at all (yet)? Then (visit  and click on the stitch that you don’t know and the explanation will pop up! This way we hope that lots of children will also be crocheting rainbows. One stitch more or less here and there in the pattern does not really matter:

slip knot

ch = chain

sl st = slip stitch

sc = single crochet (UK: double crochet)


1. Make a slip knot and chain 12 stitches.

2. Insert your hook in the very first chain stitch.

3. Join to make a ring by working 1 slip stitch in the first chain stitch.

4. Work 18 single crochets into the ring.

5. End the round by working 1 sl st in the very first stitch. Casting off: Cut the yarn off (leaving a tail, approximately 4 to 5 cm long) and pull the tail through the loop on your hook. Pull it tight.

6. Now cast on the next color (blue) by tying a slip knot in the yarn then attaching it with a slip stitch. Do so in any stitch. In the next stitch, work 1 single crochet. In the next stitch, work 2 single crochets. Repeat this (1 sc in the next, 2 sc in the next) until you have crocheted in all the stitches.

7. Once you have reached the end of the round, you should have 27 single crochets. Cast off by working 1 slip stitch in the first stitch (the stitch between the cast-on stitch and the first single crochet). Cut the yarn off and pull it through the loop on your hook.

8. Now the green: Cast on a strand again anywhere with a slip stitch. In the next stitch, work 1 single crochet. In the next stitch as well. Then work 2 single crochets in 1 stitch.

Repeat this (1 sc, 1 sc, 2 sc) until you reach the end of the round. If all goes well, you should have 36 single crochets. One stitch more or less? It doesn’t really matter: Everything Will Be Alright. Cast off as you did for the blue round.

9. Cast on the yellow yarn, once more in any stitch. In the following stitches, one after the other, work: 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, 1 single crochet, 2 single crochets. Repeat this until the end of your round. You now have 45 single crochets (or 1 more or less; it will be alright!)

Your round might bulge out a bit, but don’t worry: that will also be alright. Cast off again: 1 slip stitch in the stitch between the cast-on stitch and the first single crochet. Cut the yarn off and pull it through the loop on your crochet hook.

10. The orange round: Cast on again, just as before. In each of the next 4 stitches, work 1 single crochet. In the 5th stitch, work 2 single crochets. Repeat this ( 4 x 1 sc, 2 sc in the next) until the end of the round.

Cast off just as you did in the previous rounds. And yes; the bulging is really going to be alright!

11. The second last round: the red! Cast on just as before again. Then work 1 single crochet in each stitch. Cast off.

12. The final one: the pink round! Insert your hook (with the pink slip knot), not in 1 but in 2 stitches, leaving 1 stitch free between the 2 stitches, just as in the picture.

13. Fold the rainbow circle in half and work 1 single crochet.

14. Continue working single crochets (in the 2 stitches opposite from each other) until you reach the end of the round.

15. Cast off again as described before. Using a needle, draw the 2 pink yarn ends to the inside of the rainbow.

16. And finally, sew the purple underside closed.


Patter Rainbow Plants: This pattern is made by Ashi Crochet and translated by Amy Bahé (Yarn & Colors) and you can distribute this pattern to anyone! In fact, the more people who crochet a rainbow, the more hope and positivity we can spread! If you plan to sell these rainbows, you may of course do so as long as you donate the proceeds to the Red Cross so that they can carry on their work fighting the spread of the coronavirus!


Things to Do : 26/03/2020

Grow your own vegetables by re-planting from vegetables in your fridge/vegetable rack


Save the top of a carrot and place in a sauce of water.

Leave on a window sill in a light place.

Transfer to soil when roots start to grow

NB – you won’t get another carrot this way but lovely ferny greens. They may flower and produce seeds. These seeds if planted will grow into carrots.


Red ripe pepper cut in half.

Take a bell pepper and cut in half (top to bottom)

With a finger lightly loosen the pepper seeds.

Now fill the pepper with soil/compost.

Water lightly

Lay the pepper in a pot of soil. 

How many seedlings will you see grow from the pepper seeds?

Spring Onions

Fresh spring onions on a slate surface Royalty-free stock photo

Take a plastic egg carton and place holes in the middle of the top egg shapes.

Cut of the top of the spring onions (you can eat these)

Using the bottom of the onion shoot, place in the closed egg carton, one shoot in each egg section and water.

Harvest as they grow, keep watered they will re-grow and you can cut with scissors and eat again and again.

What other vegetables can be grown this way?