Toddler Group timings

 

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Photo by Andrey Grushnikov on Pexels.com

A friend has asked for some ideas on what happens when at toddler group. So here are a few examples. I go to three groups a week at the moment and each one is different. Mondays and Thursday we are in community halls and on Tuesday we are in a church.

Monday group ( venue has one large hall with extra space for buggy parking)

10am Doors open and bubbles

10.15 Story time and welcome/notices

10.20 Snacks for the children

10.25 Free play and tea/coffee and cake for adults

11.15 Singing time and finish at 11.30

Tuesday group (venue has two rooms with extra space for buggy parking)

9.15 -10.15 Free play

Half way through the session snacks for the children ( everyone sits on the floor) followed by story and singing (One room is cleared of ride on toys to create space for this). The story is 5 minutes long and singing time varies.

Free play with tea/coffee and cake/biscuits for adults and finish at 11.15

Thursday group (venue has large hall, two smaller rooms and extra space for buggy parking)

9.30 Free play – with painting in side room. During this time tea/coffee is served – adults come to the kitchen door (we use a stairgate to keep it safe) and ask for their drink when they arrive or at any time up to about 10 minutes before tidy up time.

10.45 Tidy up time immediately followed by children’s snack time that we serve at tables.

At 11 we finish the morning with story, singing and musical instruments. Home time is at about 11.15.

The big downside of this timetable is that the parents don’t get any cake!

Some things to think about…

The space that you have for you group can make a difference to what you do when. If you want toddlers to be involved in story time you may need to have snacks first so that they can join in without holding a drink and a bread stick. It’s easier to tell a story without the distractions of toys around.

If parents help with tidying up toys it can be a real help if there aren’t many people in your team. In each of the three groups I help at the team of leaders tidy furniture once everyone has left.

If you have a craft table or do painting the items that are made need time to dry before home time. This is especially true when it comes to painting!

It can be hard to get a toddler and new baby out of the house to arrive at a group for 9.15. If people arrive half an hour after you’ve started will they have missed the chance for a drink or the story?

It’s useful for everyone attending your group to have an idea of what happens when. At the Thursday group we have a large print out on our noticeboard of our timetable with the heading ‘What happens in toddler group’. There was a lot of laughter the morning we found that someone had written ‘stays in toddler group’ underneath.

How does your group look? Please share your ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s just make!

Sometimes at toddler group the craft is simply a table of collage materials, paper and glue…

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God gives us ..animals!

This term we are thinking about the good things that God has given to us. The idea is borrowed from Christ Church Dunstable (big thank you to them!!). Each week we discover something that God has given to us. We aren’t exactly telling a story each week but are taking things from a story bag. This week we were thinking about animals and so I had a selection of toy animals to take from a bag. We named them and thought about stripes, colours, the sounds they make and whether they had a long tail or a long neck. The last animal was – a wild animal but one that we all might see. Any ideas? A fox. We are in an urban area where it’s not unusual to see foxes in broad daylight.

Here are the different story bag items from the last three weeks…

God gives us a beautiful world

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God gives us family and friends

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God gives us animals

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God gives us…

It’s nearly summer! This term we are thinking about the things that our Good God has given to us. This idea is borrowed from a Toddler Group scheme from Christ Church Dunstable. Last week we thought about the world. We had a globe (that lit up!) and lots of pictures. All the pictures were freely available from the internet. I just used Word and then inserted pictures from the web. No problems with copyright!

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This week we are thinking about how God has given us family and friends. Last weeks pictures will be used again and the people added. Then we will wave at our friends, smile and shake hands. For song time we’ll include Row, row, row your boat’ that needs a friend to row with.

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Moses paper plate

 

We made these over two weeks at our after school club. The first week we made the basket and baby Moses and today we made the hand shaped reeds and tissue paper water. The four year olds did a great job of using scissors. I never use scissors with preschoolers but the children today are already in year one so it’s good for them to use their skills.

Followers of Jesus – Nicodemus

Nicodemus is mentioned several times in the New Testament. He first appears in John 3, then again in John 7 and then finally in John 19. He came to be a follower of Jesus over time. Quite different to Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus but no less real.

For our Toddler Group story we’ll be thinking about the events of John 3. Nicodemus was a very important man with lots of questions. He was also wanting to see Jesus when the crowds had gone home and so he found Jesus at night.

The story

I’ll be using two ‘people’ from my storystack – www.storystack.co.uk

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Jesus had done lots of amazing things. He had made sick people better, he had made blind people see again. No one else could do something like that.

Lots of people heard about the things that Jesus did and they wondered, ‘Who is Jesus?’ ‘Is he a good man?’ Yes, he is. ‘But is he sent from God?’ Some people believed that Jesus was God’s Son sent from heaven.

But some people weren’t sure what to think. One of those people was a man called Nicodemus (everyone repeat the name). Now Nicodemus was an important man who knew lots and lots of things. But he didn’t know if Jesus really was God’s Son or not.

What could he do?

One night when the stars were shining in the sky (make star shapes with your hands) and most people were at home in bed and fast asleep (pretend to be sleeping) Nicodemus crept out of his house (walk on the spot on tiptoe and everyone shush)  and went to find Jesus.

‘Jesus, you are a great teacher sent from God or how else could you do the amazing things that you have done’ said Nicodemus.

Then Jesus said something that Nicodemus found hard to understand, ‘You must be born again!’ Jesus didn’t mean that we all have to become brand new babies again. He meant that when we believe in Jesus he makes us brand new inside.

It took Nicodemus a long time to understand what Jesus meant. But he thought about who Jesus was and he believed that he was God’s Son. Everyone who wants to be a follower of Jesus needs to believe that Jesus is God’s Son.

Craft Ideas – one is a collage of the night sky and the other is a silhouette of Jesus and Nicodemus.

 

Followers of Jesus – Tabitha

We started a new set of Bible stories at Toddler group today. Each week we are going to meet someone from the Bible who followed Jesus. Today we started with Tabitha (or Dorcas) from Acts 9. She came along in our story basket together with a few sewing related items.

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We begin by saying hello to Tabitha and then I talk about how she helped others because she followed Jesus. The way she helped was by making clothes. As items are taken out of the story basket they are named. The children listened really well!

The puppet is new and was from E W Education via Amazon. They come as a set of 10 different puppets in a lovely hessian sack with several accessories.

Our craft was decorating people shapes with fabric and wool.

On a slightly different note – I will be leading a seminar/workshop about craft at toddler group at the Care for the Family Playtime Conference in September. It’s going to be all about crafts for different seasons. I am chuffed to bits to have been invited. Here’s a link to the info. There are lots of seminars and great speakers. It’s going to be a really good day 🙂