SMILES AT KIDSGAMES: Patrick and William Roberts (right) made nebula jars
SMILES AT KIDSGAMES: Patrick and William Roberts (right) made nebula jars Contributed

KidsGames reach for stars

STANTHORPE Baptist Church might have been mistaken for a majestic new galaxy at this year's KidsGames holiday program on October 2-4.

A giant cardboard rocket ship amid planets and all things space-like welcomed the 51 children who participated in the ecumenical event.

Among the leaders at least five denominations were represented including members of Youth With a Mission (YWAM), from Brisbane, who helped for the second time.

Co-ordinator and local chaplain Susan Johnstone had been rallying help and creating the program for months prior, picking up from KidsGames in 2017.

"Last year we had the theme of 'from mess to masterpiece' ... (and) it focused on the amazing way we're made," she said.

"This year that concept morphed to include looking at the whole universe and the wonders in space.

"We also considered what an amazing thing it is that earth is the only planet built just right to sustain human life."

Everything from the music chosen to the integrated craft time was based on a space theme, including a popular "science station" component.

"The science station activities featured stars, rockets and even games with popcorn as meteorites being drawn to the planets," Mrs Johnstone said.

"Our resident science expert and leader, Chris Hall, also did a demonstration with colour-changing 'rocket fuel'."

Mrs Johnstone, who's co-ordinated the program since its inception in 2014, was pleased with this year's "relaxed vibe", ever-mindful of the intent of creatively engage children within a Christian message.

"We managed to weave our usual array of creative activities with games and learning," she said.

"We spent a good amount of time connecting with the children, having meaningful conversations, exploring ideas on life and the universe, as well as everyone enjoying becoming closer friends."

Mrs Johnstone said the KidsGames team enjoyed reconnecting with children from previous years as well as welcoming new participants.

All delighted in the fine weather for outdoor activities and particularly the blessing of what Mrs Johnstone described as "much needed rain" as the program concluded.

- Selina Venier

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