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'Hello, Scruff!' Holidays - keeping safe

To explore the importance of telling adults where you're going.

by The Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To explore the importance of telling adults where you're going.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.


  1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’

    If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction

    Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, and her dad, Farmer Brown. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she's happy and when she's sad. Scruff is her best friend!
  2. Scruff went to the beach on Saturday with Lucy Jane, Tom and their mum and dad. Uncle Bob, Auntie Sue and three-year-old cousin Adam came along, too. Adam and Lucy Jane had rides on Scruff’s back, but then Farmer Brown said they must give Scruff a rest. Lucy Jane decided that she wanted to build a sandcastle and she asked her dad and uncle to help her. Her mum and Auntie Sue were sitting on their deckchairs further up the beach, enjoying a chat.

    When the castle was finished, Lucy Jane shouted, ‘Look at this everyone!’ It was then they realized that Adam was missing!

    Auntie Sue was angry and upset with Uncle Bob. ‘I thought Adam was building the sandcastle with you!’ Uncle Bob was upset, too. ‘I thought he had gone back with you for a rest! We’ll have to go and look for him.’ ‘We’ll help’, said Lucy Jane, as she quickly climbed on to Scruff’s back. Off they trotted.

    Adam wasn’t paddling in the sea. He wasn’t near the ice-cream kiosk. He wasn’t climbing on the rocks. Where could he be? Have you any ideas?

    Along the beach, lots of children were sitting on the sand, watching a puppet show. Was Adam there? Yes, there he was, right in the front row.

    Lucy Jane climbed down off Scruff’s back and ran to get him. Adam didn’t want to leave. He was having fun, but Lucy Jane took hold of his hand. ‘Come on Adam, your mum and dad are looking for you. They need to know you’re safe!’ She pulled him up in front of her on Scruff’s back and trotted back along the beach. They soon saw Uncle Bob and Auntie Sue running towards them. They were so happy, they gave Adam a big hug!

    What do you think they told him? Have you ever got lost – on the beach, in a big shop, on a busy street? Who came looking for you?

    Take Scruff off.
  3. Jesus was so excited! Now he was 12, he was old enough to go to the temple in Jerusalem with his mum and dad. Every year there was a special celebration to say ‘thank you’ to God. Lots of people from Nazareth were making the journey and they all walked along the road together for several days. It was a long way, but no one cared and the children ran along, chatting happily.

    Everything in the busy city was new and exciting to Jesus, but, best of all, he liked to go to the temple. Soon the celebration was over and everyone began the long journey home. When they stopped to rest for the first night, Mary and Joseph couldn’t find Jesus anywhere. The other children hadn’t seen him. Their relatives and friends hadn’t seen him either. What could they do?

    They were very tired from walking all day, but they headed back to Jerusalem. Where do you think they found Jesus?

    He was in the temple, listening to the teachers and asking them questions about God. He was surprised that Mary and Joseph were so worried and upset. He had wanted to stay longer because he had so much to learn about his Father God?

    Mary remembered what God’s messenger had told her, that one day God had special work for Jesus to do. Until then, he returned home to Nazareth with them and was an obedient boy.

Time for reflection

Think of all the people who keep us safe and happy.

Father God,
We are sorry for the times we do what we want to do, even when it upsets other people.


‘He's got the whole world’ (Come and Praise, 19)

Publication date: July 2013   (Vol.15 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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