Thursday, January 17, 2008

Children's Church & Plaster of Paris

I am the Children's Ministry director in our church. This past Sunday I taught a combined group of kids ages 1st through 6th grade a lesson on the Tower of Babel.

Teaching is often a humbling experience, especially when your card tower doesn't work correctly. Or when one of the boys has decided to make everything into a joke.

But I did learn something new on Sunday. Kids love to mix their own plaster of paris!

Plaster of paris. That stuff has been around since Billy Graham was in diapers. Maybe longer. Do you remember it? If you're over 30 and went to VBS anytime in your childhood you will have come in contact with plaster of paris.

One year I painted and decopauged an open Bible. Another year I painted (badly) praying hands. Another year I tried to fit the 10 commandments on that white form.

I have always thought the stuff was cheesy and boring. But the adults of 30 years ago were holding out on us... There's a whole 'nother side to plaster of paris that you and I never got to see.

My curriculum said to make bricks with the kids using plastor of paris. These bricks were to be a reminder to give God the glory, not ourselves.

In the spirit of being a "hands-on" class, I decided to let the kids mix their own plaster. Each kid got 1 1/2 cups of plaster paris and 3/4 cup of water in an aluminum foil bread pan. They stirred it with a tongue depresser. I helped get the lumps out, but basicly they did it themselves.

You would've thought I brought the Wii to class.

They loved the mess. They loved the stirring. They loved how quickly it set up. They loved the warmth the plaster gave off.

Let me tell you. One teacher to another. Don't write off plaster of paris.

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