PreK-3rd Grade: Godly Play

Our PreK and early elementary school children gather in the Christ Church Chapel each week shortly for a Godly Play session. We finish up by joining the rest of the congregation for the Eucharist. Children should arrive between 9:50 and 10am to settle into the space.

What Is Godly Play?

Godly Play is an internationally-beloved Christian children’s program and spiritual practice backed by over 40 years of ongoing study and development. In particular, it has roots in the Montessori educational system and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Rather than a didactic approach to sharing the Christian story, Godly Play emphasizes discovery-based learning, wonder, and open ended meaning making.

Among the most distinctive features of Godly Play are the beautifully crafted materials that make up our lessons – and, as is the Montessori tradition of the “Children’s House,” these materials belong to and are meant for the children. From the wall calendar that depicts the cyclical nature and color-coded system underlying the liturgical year to the desert box where we recount ancient sacred stories like those of Abraham and Sarah, these materials all help to transmit our common Christian language system.

In addition to sharing a Bible-story or liturgical lesson, Godly Play sessions also include prayers and an open-ended creative response time.

Is My Child Ready For Godly Play?

Children are generally ready for Godly Play when they are toilet trained, are comfortable separating from their parent or caregiver, and can follow simple directions like standing in line. We welcome caregivers to stay for a session or two to help children adjust as needed or to make a time to tour the space with their children in advance of attending Godly Play. Our experienced classroom leaders are skilled at helping children find their place and our regular attendees are a welcoming and friendly group who are always excited to invite new friends into the circle.

The Christ Church Chapel

An circle of wood blocks color coded to match the liturgical year. It includes three arrows in the center

Our Godly Play class is so fortunate to be able to use the Chapel for our gatherings, particularly as this curriculum mirrors the rhythms of worship. Using child-size materials, we encourage active participation as we introduce young children to the structure of a traditional Episcopal service. Torch bearer, Bible bearer, prayer leader – each child plays an important role in our community.

The Chapel is located just inside the office entry of Christ Church and the main space is wheelchair accessible, though the chancel area where children typical gather for the story part of the session does not have a ramp. If you have concerns about this, please contact us – we are happy to make adjustments! The bathrooms are located across the Upper Parish Hall near the main worship space and include an accessible family bathroom.

For more information on Godly Play, please contact Bird for more information.

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