These are some great resources for those who work with children and their families - some are exclusive to the Diocese of Leicester, most are nationally-available.

Click on a heading below to see more about a resource you’re interested in.

Youth and Children’s Work magazine

Youth and Children’s Work magazine is great for children’s workers. Each issue contains a mix of articles including features, news, reviews, resources, theology, a column and a question and answers section featuring a range of contributors. You can also get a free issue, so if you haven’t already seen it, you can have a preview with no obligation to continue.

Resources for all-age worship

ROOTS is a highly-valued website for those who have to plan worship. It features resources to help you to:
- plan inspiring worship
- encourage discipleship throughout the week
- nurture children and young people in their faith... ...every single week of the year.
Two sets of weekly resources are available in magazine format and online, one which focuses on all-age worship and another which focuses on children and young people. A subscription is required, but the resources will always be there whenever you need them

The Lost Sheep website, with Cecil the Sheep and friends

The Lost Sheep website, with Cecil the Sheep and friends, is also worth exploring. Lost Sheep is an Australian company that creates books with wonderful illustrations and storytelling kits for use in larger settings. There are a range of stories, some based on specific bible stories and others connected with them. The pictures are fantastic. Children enjoy hearing the stories read out loud - you can try using different voices too when a number of characters are involved! The books are now available in paperback, and are a good starting point. The storytelling kits include the story in Flashplayer and Powerpoint format, which can be easily operated, and storytelling booklets, for both the storyteller and equipment operator. Church Memberships on offer have different price bands for different sizes and full access to all of the material. 

Resources for faith at home

Sharing what God has been doing in your life with others is a wonderful way to ‘witness’. These resources may help. Try the Faith In Homes FaceBook page. There are a range of articles and activities to browse, including loom band prayers.

- Looking at a Bible story

Choose an age-appropriate Bible and focus on a story. Ask different family members to pick a story and then share what you think about it or ponder questions such as: how do you think the characters might have felt? What would you have thought if you’d seen what happened? How do you feel about what happened? What would you have seen/heard/smelled?

- Create a grace prayer

Why not create a grace prayer that you can use before eating together? It doesn’t have to be complicated but could be something that becomes a regular part of mealtimes. You could even create a few and use different ones at different times, perhaps different meals or when eating particular food. Think about how to record them so that visitors can join in with them - perhaps by creating grace table mats.

- A Blessing Jar

All you need is for this is a jar or container, decorated it or plain. Write down blessings that you have received from God and put them in the jar. Share them once a week and then transfer them to a permanent home, perhaps nicely decorated, and keep the collection building up as a visible reminder.

- Parenting For Faith website

This BRF ministry offers a range of articles, videos, regular Facebook casts, free Parenting For Faith course with useful downloads.

- Give It A Go Cards

Click the link above to download a set of cards with different ideas and prompts for your everyday faith. 

Free Top Tips videos by Scripture Union

Scripture Union have a fantastic range of Top Tips books designed to support ministry with children and young people. The books are short and easily read. They have now prepared a number of video clips which are available online for free.

Resources to help talk about internet safety

Childnet works in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a safe place for children to explore. Their resources include some ebooks that can be read on screen, also available in pdf format. Digiduck’s Big Decision deals with the issue of whether to share a picture of one of his friends that he received, and considers the possible consequences of his choice. 
ThinkUknow is an education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. The website is fantastic with sections for children and young people of varying ages, parents and carers and teachers/trainers. It’s an excellent source of information and video clips.

Seasonal resources

- The Going4Growth website has a range of information connected with the church year
- Christmas:  #Followthestar Christmas 2019 will be available soon on the Church of England website.
- Lent:  The Children’s Society offers a range of resources for Lent. The ‘BenevoLent’ tool helps you work out how much you could save by giving something up and whether to accept the challenge to give it up or make a donation of the equivalent value.
- Mothering Sunday: The Children’s Society also has some ideas for Mothering Sunday. Mary Hawes, National Going 4 Growth (Children and Youth) Adviser has put together a Pininterest board of Mothering Sunday ideas which includes links to ideas from Roots, Barnabus in Churches, The Church of Scotland, Vision4life (they have a great pretzel making prayer activity for Lent, which was apparently where pretzels originated) Mothers Union and others, so it’s worth having a browse.

Good books on faith

These bright and colourful books, written by Andy Robb, are hard to miss. There are several in the series, including Creation and Bible Heroes, and can be an interesting fuel for discussion at home. Andy Robb also wrote the Boring Bible series that effectively did for the Bible what the Horrible History series did for history, and are also worth looking out for.
My First Bible Stories Magnetic Adventures can be used in lots of different ways. What makes the book stand out, apart from instantly recognisable characters, is the packet of magnets contained within the front cover. The book covers six Bible stories, each with a magnetic picture, so the magnets can be used to tell the stories, which could be done at many different levels. With some imagination, the book can be taken even further if the magnets were to find a home on the fridge door.

Difficult times

Children and families all face difficult times at some point and for a number of reasons, it can be a key time when support from within the church can mean so much. From bereavement to divorce, money issues and many other family difficulties, these resources may help. Above all, pray about the situation and let those involved know that you’re praying. Another good book is Extra Special, For When Someone You Love Dies by Anna Payne. It is a sensitive story featuring a butterfly that belongs to Theo and is lent to two children. With lovely illustrations, there is also guidance at the back from Simon Says Child Bereavement Support which is very helpful. Anna has also written A New Shape, for when parents decide to separate. Grief Encounter is a comprehensive site with sections for children, teens, adults and professionals, and a shop. The Grief Encounter Work Book is also good. It contains postcards to give to different groups of people that explain suggestions about what would be useful for them to know; it included one for friends and one for teachers. Care For The Family is a great website offering a wealth of information on a range of family related issues, not just in difficult times. There are sections on stepfamilies, single parents, loss, money, work, parenting and access to a number of downloadable resources. The Paediatric Chaplaincy Network has story books that are available in book format and also can be used from their website, read by Bear Grylls. Stories include: Jesus Still Loves Joe about a child whose sister has died, Maya goes To Hospital, Josh Stays In Hospital and Sam and His Special Book, about a child whose life is limited. 
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