My Work

February 28, 2013

Parable of the Mustard Seed

Finally the material was ready and I was able to tell the Parable of a Mustard Seed to my kids. You can read the parable itself in Matthew 13:31-32 and more of the Godly Play way of telling it at Explore and Express.
Наконец, все было готово, и я смогла рассказать детям притчу о горчичном зерне. Вы можете прочитать саму притчу в Матфея 13:31-32 и еще о том, как ее рассказывают по-GodlyPlayевски на Explore and Express.

When I took out the yellow underlay, their guesses were it's a desert, a moon, and a sun. I myself loved the idea of a tree growing in front of their eyes and they were impressed, too. So much so, that the youngest one asked me to do it several times after the Wondering. I used both story and questions from Young Children and Worship. When I asked what this tree could really be my oldest said it was the Kingdom of heaven. I then asked why and he explained that all the birds were happy there, just like in the heavenly kingdom. Interesting, because I myself was focused on the concept of something small growing into something big. Speaking of which, when I asked them if they have anything in their lives that is small but can grow big, my middle child said it was.. his hair! It's so small, he said, but then grows so much that we have to cut it! My oldest said it's his friendship with his best friend that he wants to be growing forever... 
Когда я достала желтую основу, дети предположили - это пустыня, луна, солнце. Мне самой очень понравилась идея растущего на глазах у детей дерева, по мере того, как я разворачиваю его. И они тоже были впечатлены. Настолько, что младший несколько раз просил показать растущее дерево после того, как мы размышляли. И историю, и вопросы для размышления я взяла из книги Young Children and Worship. На вопрос, чем могло быть это дерево, мой старший ответил, что это царство небесное. Я спросила, почему, и он сказал, что всем птичкам было радостно там, совсем как в царстве небесном всем радостно. Интересно, потому что я была больше сосредоточена на том, как что-то маленькое вырастает в большое. К слову, когда я спросила, есть ли в их жизни что-то похожее, что из маленького становится большим, средний сын сказал.. его волосы! Сначала такие маленькие, а потом так вырастают, что приходится стричь! Старший сказал, что это его дружба с лучшим другом, и он хочет, чтоб она росла вечно... 

I really enjoy making the material myself. For me it is a way for a story to form inside of me. I've been making the birds and nests since last spring and experimenting with different material. I tried painting the cardboard, glueing fabric on it, and glueing straw on cardboard for nests. But didn't like it. Then I had an idea of sewing all of the items and went for it. I liked how it came out and the kids enjoyed playing with them.
Мне очень нравится делать материал для историй самой. Я начала делать птичек и гнезда для этой истории еще прошлой весной и экспериментировала с различными материалами. Пробовала красить картон, приклеивать на него ткань и соломку. Мне не нравилось. Тогда мне пришло в голову сшить птиц и гнезда. Мне понравилось, как получилось, и дети с удовольствием с ними играли.

Things I experimented with:
Мои эксперименты:

When looking for the birdseed I stumbled on mustard seeds and bought some to show the kids.
В поисках птичьего корма я наткнулась на горчичные семена и купила немного, чтобы показать ребятам.

To continue the birds and seeds theme we made birdseed cakes. I found the recipe here two years ago and we love making them each winter. 
В продолжение птичьей/зерновой темы мы делали кормушки для птиц. Я нашла рецепт здесь два года назад, и с тех пор мы делаем их каждую зиму.


  1. The materials are breathtaking! When I see such beautiful things, I always wish that I had learned to sew.: )

    I also find the boys' responses to the Wondering questions so fascinating. You can tell that they are really connecting to the story and pondering what kinds of things start small and grow unbelievably big. That Pasha was able to connect growth with a more abstract concept like friendship is beautiful and developmentally amazing. Developmental specialists tell me occasionally that children cannot understand abstract things until the age of 10, but my experience with children in Godly Play has been that they begin to do this much earlier.

    And the birdseed cupcakes . . . what a lovely post!!

  2. Thank you, Sheila. Pasha mentioned than he doesn't like being asked questions - I'm thinking of ways to make the wondering phase interesting for him, but maybe it's just that he will get used to it over time.
    I love making the material and sewing little things like that is so relaxing. I'm sure you'll succeed if you try sewing!

  3. Awesome! Asmic, you're so creative:))!
    We don't feed the birds here, just because there are plenty of bugs and weed seeds year around. I wonder how fast the birds in Moscow devoured your seed-hearts?
    BTW, nobody like questions, because it makes your brain work, and usually our brain tries to make as many shortcuts as possible. The mind that stops wondering stops developing/growing. Another think that can grow forever- you mind:))).

    1. Thanks, Gayusik! I wish we had a tree by our windows to watch the birdies eat. We only saw that the seed hearts disappeared the next day. ))

  4. Hello Asmic, Loving your new blog. Your materials are wonderful, and a great example of making materials both cheaply AND beautifully. I can relate to having a son who doesn't like questions, but he is getting used to it. Sometimes I am a little provocative and playful (or at least I am learning to be!), maybe by moving figures or removing one - he can't help responding then! But I am also learning that silence is just fine too. No-one likes to be put on the spot, and some of us need time to consider the question..Looking forward to hearing more - and seeing more of your materials too. Hilary

    1. Thank you, Hilary, maybe I'm too serious and need to learn to be more playful. I think my boys perceive the wondering as something unnecessary - because the story is over!
      I love your blog too! Replicated the story of St.Nick - will share some day in December with a link back to yours!