It is the prepared environment, an environment which fosters freedom with responsibility, that supports the deep work done by children in Godly Play. But what are all these things on the shelves, and how are they used? Your children may be reminded, sometimes, of “the Godly Play way” we do things. A Godly Play way is not the only way, but it will always be a good way. One that is empowering, respective of others, and helps us be good stewards of the gifts we have been given. It is often said that Godly Play makes even the ordinary sacred. It’s quite counter cultural!
Children see many “Godly Play ways” during Orientation. These “Godly Play ways” are what allow the children to enjoy the freedom which is essential to Godly Play! They learn about work rugs…those funny “rugs” that we don’t walk on, but that become a defined space for one’s work. They learn that we try not to put our work materials directly on the floor where someone could get hurt or the materials could be damaged. They learn that a tray is like a work rug for art, and a” big tray” is like a work rug for painting. They learn they may look at and touch any story “at home on the shelf”, and if they have seen the lesson (story) presented, they may take it to a work rug during response time. They learn how to clean up their spills and care for the materials so that one day, even their children might work in this room! They learn that one way to share is by taking care of something so that when they are finished, it is all ready for use by someone else. They learn that even if they cannot yet write their name, or if their work is something on which a name cannot be written, they can still show that it is their work. And they learn that there is a place for each one of them, to keep their work. Orientation is like the classroom part of driver’s education!