Here's a great outdoor prayer activity for all ages. This simple Heart Shaped Prayer Frame made from recycled cardboard offers children an opportunity to pause, explore & pray for creation. Ideal for Schools, Collective Worship, Church activities, Messy Church, or family nature walks.
When life is busy it's easy to take things for granted, we might not notice the new flowers suddenly appearing, birds flying overhead, or the beautiful trees that line regular routes to school or work. This prayer activity gives children (& adults) time to pause & take a closer look at the natural world around them. By focusing on what they see through the heart shaped "window" they have an opportunity to prayerfully explore the biodiversity in their neighbourhood.
When we slow down & notice the trees, plants, animals, & natural elements around us, we start to realise how connected they are. A tree that helps provide clean air, also provides shelter for birds. Minibeasts that provide food for the birds, can also help aerate the soil for plants & flowers. These flowers provide pollen for insects who help provide food for us!
Inviting children to pause & pray while exploring nature can help encourage respect & gratitude for creation, help them to understand how connected we are with our world, & inspire them to care for it now & in the future.
How to make & use your Heart Shaped Prayer Frame:
You'll need: Recycled cardboard box (cereal box), large heart-shaped cookie cutter or template, scissors, glue, & our printable prayer labels which you can download here: Printable Prayer Label
:: Cut one side from the cardboard box to make your frame.
:: Draw around the cookie cutter/template to create the heart in the middle of your frame & cut it out. We found it easier to start in the centre of the heart & cut outwards.
:: Cut out the printable prayer labels & glue to your frame. Children can colour these in if they wish.
Before you head outdoors, you could offer the children pens so they can write or draw what they've found on the frame. By making a note these things they're also creating a simple prayer that they can take away & use at home. Alternatively, you could keep the frame as it is, or encourage children to pray out loud when they find something, saying "Thank you God for ______ . Amen"
If children need a little encouragement, why not suggest finding the smallest/biggest item, the roughest/smoothest surface, the smelliest or most colourful object, or the creature that has the most/least legs!
To wrap up the activity, you could share this simple prayer together which offers everyone the opportunity to join in & share their finds if they wish.
Thank you God for your amazing world,
Thank you for the smallest insect & the big wide sky,
Thank you for all you have given us,
Thank you for [list the things you've found using the Prayer Frame]
Help us to care for these & all of creation.