Child's Play

If you’ve been following this column at all, you know that I am very interested—and sometimes successful—in setting aside my artist’s ego every now and then to get other people involved in the creation of a worship visual. As hard as it is sometimes to work with a group of people with varying opinions, the result is almost always worth the extra effort. (And from what I read in your e-mails, some of you are doing way too much of the work yourselves.) For this cooperative project, why not recruit a group who are easy to work with: kids?

Clip-Art Start

Clip art is often a good place to start saving time. This art is from Clip Art for Year A (B and C also available), published by Liturgy Training Publications (800-933-1800 or Clip art often looks like clip art because it is left as it was found: floating on a background of pure white. As you can see, we fixed that by adding color and . . . kids.

Kids and Paint
  1. Project and trace the artwork on a piece of plywood as wide as you can handle in your worship space. Plywood comes in 4' x 8' sheets, so if you are going larger than that, I’d suggest that you join the halves of the circle with hinges so you can fold it for storage.
  2. One of the things that makes this design interesting, I think, is that the color in the background is much stronger than the foreground. To enhance this effect, paint the black shapes yourself, before getting the young ones involved.
  3. Now things get interesting. Find one or two other willing adults for crowd control and put out a general invitation to the first- or second-graders in your congregation to join you on a Saturday morning. Ask them to take a paint shirt, but don’t tell them—or their parents—too much else. With the children watching, put a dab of the desired color in the middle of a non-black area and ask them to fill in the rest of the shape. Don’t be too fussy—kids’ ownership of their work is important.

Once complete, hang as is or against a background of dark fabric. Guaranteed, the kids who were a part of the project will feel they contributed to worship that Sunday.


Download the 2pg/490k pattern and corresponding bulletin cover.

Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at

Reformed Worship 63 © March 2002 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.