Christian resources for very small children??(20 Posts)
A couple of ladies and I have voluteered to help at our local church's mums and tots group. The background to the group is that it has been run by a group of lovely older ladies to stop it from closing. Another church member had suggested it would be good to volunteer to help because these ladies are starting to worry that there aren't any younger mums coming through to take over.
I don't feel particularly well qualified on the Christian front (I've only been going to church for the past year and am just starting an Alpha course) so I am hoping someone can give me some suggestions of resources (books, CDs, activities etc) which we might be able to use. The children who attend are between 1 - 3 years at the moment.
I am going to our local Christian bookshop in the next few days and have looked on some of the websites I've seen suggested on other threads, but don't really know where to start! We have got some money but can't afford to make mistakes by ordering the wrong things.
Hope this all makes sense - any suggestions or pointers would be very welcome.
I help run my mother and tots, we dont really use any christian material as such. A rough guide to what we do.
10-10.45am We let the kids round around playing with toys. And we also have a craft table, but we normally only play with play do or make a mask etc. At easter/christmas we have it so its a bit more 'themed' (probally not the best word to use, but I am sure you know what I mean)
10-10.45 The kids get toast,juice and fruit/veg(all prepared by older women in the church)
10.45-11 We sing songs, 'head,shoulders,knees and toes' etc. But we also sing 'If I were a butterfly' and we sing to say thanks for the food.
11-11.30 the mums get a sit down, tea/coffee, toast, cake while the kids are left to run around.
Its normally finished then, but folk just tend to come and go as they please.
If your worried about money, can you not as folk to pay £1 each time they come. Its not a lot of money but it keeps our tots a float.
We find that we dont want to bombard non christains with it all the time. We have good relations with the mums,and have found that they will come to church services. We have nights just for the mums, which are more outreach focused.
Any other questions feel free to ask.
Oh if you really want to go down the route of christian crafty things etc. Go to Wesley Owen, they normally have great things. Look in there sunday school part, they do stuff for younger kids too ie colouring in pictures. You could also buy a childrens bible, and read a story from it every week. But to be honest a baby of 1 wont understand it, although its good to tell the parents too.
Eek Ive realised my timings are all out...
10.45-11 kids eat
11-11.30 Adults eat
Thank you Romans! That's v helpful. We currently have a few songs, a story and then a craft session but it does tend to be a bible story from an old fashioned book or a children's hymn. I think we'd get more people attending if it weren't so overtly religious, but I'm a bit worried that if we 'get rid' of the bible story then we will offend some of the lovely ladies! There is (as always) a slight backstory, in that we are worried that by volunteering to help, we have upset one of the ladies who thinks that we are criticising what she has been doing, which we aren't iyswim.
I think that is always going to be the case, but you have to make it clear to them while what they have being doing is great owrk you feel its time for a change, (change doesnt have to be bad) . You dont actually have to pull them aside and say it but you could just drop hints. Ive only just started with tots this year, and I suggested that we move the baby zone nearer to the tea and coffee area, so that while we have our tea we can still see them, as the idea is that kids shouldnt be at the tables. Oh you would have thought that I was asking the impossible, the chat went on for far to long...
This is the bible my dd has (she only6months) but the storys are short, easy to understand and full of lovely pictures
Hi, only just joinged mn, so a late response! Our mums and tots group is overtly christian, and tbh, the more christian the stories, the more people we seem to attract.
We always have 1/2 termly themes, either theme based with bible stories or an 'epic' story such as Creation or Noah. Creation gets split into 7 sessions, one for each of the days God created something. We always do a craft or messy play after the story that is (sometimes loosely) related. Eg God created light and dark - white hand prints on black paper. Another good theme was 'God is with me when...' I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm angry etc This was backed up with either Bible or secular stories.
There is a group of us that brain storm ideas, but if we're ever stuck we just google our title and usually find something we can adapt.
ps well done for stepping forward, I'm sure you're doing a fab job
Your role isn't to teach bible stories to young children, but to build relationships with primarily the adults who come.
Stories, songs and craft around the major festivals work well, but doing them every week is detracting from the purpose of the group and could be putting some people off.
The old ladies aren't going to stop helping, I don't think.
I would imagine the old ladies would understand the difference between a Sunday School for older children, where you would expect more religion, and a mums and tots groups, where I don't think you would...
I've just bought a book for a friend of mine with children of a similar age, it is called 'messy church':
www.crafts4parties.co.uk has a section on Christian crafts. Might be of some use?
This might help.
If you have a church bookshop near you they can be a great source of ideas. They often have a good range or can get in what ever you need.
The Tiddlywinks range by Scripture Union is intended for use with pre-schoolers in a toddler group type situation. Mrs Weasley's reference is good - and there are also a range of "My Big Green Book", "My Big Red Book" etc etc which have ideas for a whole toddler group programme.
Here's one: Big Purple Book
The "Little" Tiddlywinks books are daily readings to share with pre-schoolers. Some are Bible stories and some are just general stories which apply the point of the Bible story. They are lovely. My six year old still likes them, but her little sister understands them too.
Also, you could try www.crafts4christians.co.uk as they offer free shipping which always helps!
Thanks very much for all these ideas everyone.
Our church has a mums n tots our theme each weeks is a story from the bible read the children a kids based story and do activitys to go along with the story
noahs ark - make pics of animal put tem on to sticks and create ur own ark then sing animal songs
Noahs ark is a good story to use and you could do weeks of stuff based on it. Try www.crafts4christians.co.uk, they have a noah's ark doorhanger that mums and tots will enjoy making together.
We have created a worship resources document - Weve included prayers, hymns, readings and suggestions for childrens activities I hope you like it x
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