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A Winter Assembly

An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series

by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1


To consider that God is quietly at work behind all creation.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
  • You will also need some packets of seeds including cress seeds, and various bulbs for planting.


  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, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. 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. It had been a cold day. At playtime, Lucy Jane had needed her woolly hat, scarf, mittens and boots to keep warm. Back home on the farm, Lucy Jane went to bring in Scruff from the field.
    ‘I think you’ll need a warm blanket tonight, Scruff,’ she said, shivering.
    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ he agreed, nodding his head.
    The cold had made Scruff feel hungry.

    Pause to ask the children, ‘Do you feel hungry when it’s cold? What do you like to eat to help you to warm up and feel full?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  3. Continue with the story.

    Scruff was glad when Lucy Jane gave him an apple and a big carrot to munch. Then, she gave him a big hug and ran across the farmyard into the kitchen, which was lovely and warm. When it was time for bed, Lucy Jane’s mum filled a hot-water bottle for her.

    As Lucy Jane snuggled down under the bedclothes, the world outside seemed very quiet and still. All of the animals and birds were asleep, and soon, Lucy Jane was sound asleep too.

    When she opened her curtains in the morning, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

    Pause to ask the children, ‘Can you guess what Lucy Jane saw?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Continue with the story.

    The world outside was a dazzling white. Everything was covered in a thick layer of snow. Lucy Jane quickly pulled on some warm clothes and ran downstairs, shouting, ‘Mum, have you seen the snow?’

    Mrs B. smiled as she said, ‘Yes, the snowflakes have been falling all night without making a sound. While we were fast asleep, they were covering the brown earth and the bare trees with a beautiful white blanket.’

    It was Saturday, so there was no school. Lucy Jane had all day to play at home in the snow. She quickly ate her breakfast, pulled on her wellies and ran across the farmyard to the stable.
    ‘We’re going to have lots of fun today, Scruff,’ she shouted excitedly.
    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ replied Scruff.

    However, when Scruff stepped outside, he wasn’t so sure that he liked the deep snow. After all, he didn’t have any wellington boots! When Lucy Jane started throwing snowballs at him, he dodged out of the way and made a lot of noise.
    ‘HEE-HAW, HEE-HAW!’ he said loudly, as the snow landed on his head and back. Lucy Jane started laughing.
    ‘Ooh, you do look funny, Scruff!’ she giggled. But just then, a snowball landed on her back.
    Lucy Jane spun round to see her dad smiling.
    ‘I knew that Scruff couldn’t throw snowballs at you, so I thought I’d help him out!’ he laughed.

    Pause to ask the children, ‘What games do you play in the snow?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  5. Continue with the story.

    When he had stopped laughing, Farmer Brown said, ‘Let’s make a snowman, Lucy Jane.’
    They quickly got to work. When the snowman was finished, Lucy Jane ran into the stable and emerged with one of Scruff’s carrots.
    ‘Our snowman needs a nose,’ she announced to Scruff. ‘But don’t worry, you can still eat it when the snow melts. What shall we call him?’

    Pause to ask the children, ‘Can you think of a good name for a snowman?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  6. Continue with the story.

    That night, it rained and rained. When Lucy Jane opened her curtains the next morning, she was sad to discover that all of the snow had disappeared. Even the snowman had gone. However, in the middle of the farmyard lay a carrot, all ready for Scruff!

    Take off Scruff.

  7. Jesus told lots of stories to teach us about God. He wanted us to know that God is quietly at work all the time.

    One day, Jesus was speaking to a large crowd of people. He said, ‘A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, it doesn’t matter if the man is fast asleep or wide awake; it is God who sends the frost and snow, the wind and rain. He makes the sun shine, and those little seeds begin to sprout and grow. Even the smallest mustard seed grows and grows until it is such a big plant that the birds can rest in its shade.’

Time for reflection

Show the collection of seeds and bulbs to the children.

Ask the following questions.

- Do you know what these will look like after we have planted them and they have grown?
- Do you think that they will be daffodils? Tulips? Hyacinths?

Point out that even the tiny cress seeds will sprout and grow into something useful.

Point out that, just as the plants grow, so God helps us to grow bigger and stronger every day. We don’t see ourselves grow, but it is happening all the time. Isn’t that amazing?

Dear God,
Thank you for winter and the different weather that we can enjoy.
Thank you for the fun that we can have playing in the snow.
Thank you for all of the seeds and bulbs, which grow into beautiful plants for us to enjoy.
Thank you that even now, under the ground, bulbs and seeds are beginning to grow,
And thank you that, day by day, we are growing too.

Publication date: December 2022   (Vol.24 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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