The story of Lydia is from Acts 16:11-15.
Here are Lydia (with her purple cloth) and Paul and Barnabas. We begin the story by saying hello to Lydia, a rich successful woman who has money and a lovely home and a great job but still has something missing in her life.
Then Paul and Barnabas meet her and her friends and tell them about Jesus – and Lydia finds what is missing! It is knowing Jesus as her friend!
A simple craft idea – we had a washing line and purple pieces of material.
I do really love doing three toddler groups a week. The Thursday group is at my own church (at the other two I lend a hand – taking a turn telling a Bible story, leading songtime and generally helping out where needed). So the following photos are from the Thursday group – we have a lot of space … and this is a glimpse of what happens on a Thursday morning from set up to tidy up! If you are running a toddler group then I really hope that you know that all the hard work that goes on before and after is really appreciated! I am really grateful that my husband does the setting up of all the furniture each week and that I’m part of a team that works really hard and is really cheerful each week.
So – the beginning of the day in the life – early morning furniture moving..
followed by toy set up.. by now there are three of us …
Our craft table is important – it’s really missed if it’s not there! We also have a painting room – I’ll try to get some photos! Our painting dryer is a clothes airer from Lakeland. It does the job, has no sharp edges and was a good price! One of the team makes the playdough and sorts out the paints bringing these from home.
For the first hour and a quarter it’s free play and tea/coffee and biscuits for the adults. The team is now at 5. We serve from the kitchen – the door is open but we use a stairgate to keep children safely out of the kitchen.
Then there is tidy up of the toys and snack time for the children.
At 11am we have a Bible Story and singing. Our hall has a stage which comes in very handy if we’re displaying pictures for the Story. This is a Go pack table on it’s side. It makes a great display space. We use a story bag too.
It’s almost the end of the session – this is when we celebrate birthdays. We sing and then the birthday child can dong the birthday bell once for each year. It’s decorated bell in a special box.
And finally we always end singing time with, ‘Row. row, row your boat.’ Then the CD is put on (we are still using CD’s) and the musical instruments come out for the last few minutes.
And then it’s washing up … putting everything away..sweeping the floor…there are often 6 or 7 of us clearing everything away
And sometimes there’s washing to take home and toys to clean. Every week a team member takes the tea towels home and the children’s painting aprons and washes them ready for the following week. Another team member is responsible for our welcome booklet with all the dates for the term.
I’m really grateful that I work in a team!
A few weeks ago the children’s talk in church was about prayer. The question was ‘What is prayer?’ The answer came from Psalm 62:8, ‘Pour out your heart to him’.
This seemed to me to be such a simple and straightforward way to think about talking to God. We simply pour our heart out to him. The person who does this in the Bible is Hannah as she prays for a child.
It made me think – ‘what are the things on my heart when it comes to the toddler groups that I either lead or help at each week?’ Sometimes there have been specific health concerns of parents, sometimes we’ve struggled with either too few people coming or too many. Sometimes there haven’t been enough helpers. Sometimes I have felt really nervous about leading the singing.
This June we have (in the UK) a month of prayer for Toddler Groups so I decided to make a visual aid for myself. You are very welcome to download the two ideas. My aim is to pray each day for the things that are on my heart.
2019 – Pour out your heart
2019 – Pour out your heart 2
To make – sugar paper, tissue paper, cut up petit four cases, heart shapes, wool, crayons, glue, people shapes
(bought from Amazon – girl shapes and boy shapes) These can be cut into individual people.
Let the children choose how many people to add to their family and friends picture.
All you need for these crafts ….
Sugar paper, glue, pictures cut from catalogues and magazines, felt, feathers, satin type fabric, wool, ribbon, stars, pictures of birds singing, pictures of musical instruments and paper plates. For ‘Things I like to smell’ spray the pictures with perfume beforehand. (If you can have some real items for the children to smell – lemons, herbs and sweetpeas are all good. For ‘Things I like to hear’ it would be great to have a table of musical instruments for the children to use.) I also used printed labels, ‘Things I like to… smell/taste/see/touch or hear’.
Label (3×8) ‘Things I like to taste’
Label (3×8) ‘Things I like to smell’
Label (3×8) ‘Things I like to see’
Label (3×8) ‘Things I like to hear’
Label (3×8) ‘Things I like to touch’