We created these together, making a collection of men and women (and some other odd characters!). We tried out using a pyrography pen, but
a) it was very VERY hot so I didn’t feel comfortable letting my 8 and 10 year olds use it and
b) it wasn’t as easy to get good lines. Maybe a more expensive version would be better? (Mine was a cheap one from Hobbycraft.)
I would recommend using thin permanent pens, understanding they will bleed a little.
I created the ones with the apostrophes for eyes, which are really simple to do:
- Measure halfway down the spoon bowl and draw a light line in pencil.
- Draw two large dots on this line for eyeballs. To each add an arc shape starting at the far left and going up and out over the right side of the eye.
- Draw an ‘L’ for the nose and a simple mouth (see my examples).
- Hair should be simple lines from one edge to another, representing the hair around the face
We set up a simple puppet theatre using a cloth and a table, and BOOM we could tell all sorts of different Bible stories.
Something we found fun was to do the same face on the front and back of the spoon but with different expressions. This is a fab way to chat about and name different emotions as well as to think about how people in the Bible story might have felt.
The easiest stories to use these for are ones you’ve already read a few times and can re-tell without reading, although you could have a narrator reading the story and pausing to let the puppeteers do the ‘acting’.
I love hearing children’s re-tellings of Bible stories, as they often notice things I don’t, and their re-tellings bring across different perspectives on stories which I know well, which helps me get more out of the story. I wonder which story you will tell first…
Here’s a simple way to differentiate this activity for different ages. This enables you to use the same activity for a mixed age group, such as you have in a family 🙂 Obviously, these ages aren’t hard and fast: you know your children best so you decide what will work well for them… or let them choose!
- 0-3s Make some spoons in advance, use them to tell the story, then give them the spoons to play the story with
- 3-7s Make a sample spoon, then show them how you made it and let them have fun drawing faces on the spoons. Tell the story together, with them using their spoons and adding in ideas.
- 7+ These children/young people/adults may enjoy choosing which story to create spoons for. You could use permanent markers to draw on the spoons.
- 11+ This age group could start to safely use a wood burning tool under supervision. Do a demo and talk through the ways you will all keep safe while doing it.