Toddler Group timings

 

black and white photo of clocks

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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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 🙂

 

Easter at toddler group

Lovely crafts were made today ..

The Man by the Pool – John 5

Bible reference John 5:1-9
‘One day Jesus was in the big, important city of Jerusalem (ask children to repeat name)
In Jerusalem there was a special pool of water. The people believed that when the water started to move that the first person to get into the water would be made better. So every day lots of people who were unwell sat around the pool and waited.
Now, Jesus was walking near to the pool and he saw a man who had been unable to walk for a long, long time. He asked him, ‘Do you want to get better?’
The man said, ‘When the water moves there is no one to help me to get into the water and someone else always gets there first.’
Jesus listened to the man and then he told him, ‘ Get up, pick up the mat you are lying on and walk.’
And that’s exactly what the man did. He got up and picked up the mat he’d been lying on and he walked! He was so happy!
Jesus was able to make the man walk because he is the Son of God.’
Craft Idea – we decorated footprints

The Wise Men visit Jesus

The story of the Wise Men is from Matthew 2:1-15. As this story is being told to toddlers I don’t mention Herod’s plan to kill the baby boys. It is a very dark part of the story and reminds us that Christmas and the birth of Jesus took place in a world where many people had rejected God.

To tell the story you need – some Wise Men, toy camels and a star. You can add some actions too – stars with hands (like in twinkle, twinkle little star), running, looking, kneeling.

The story

Do you remember how we heard about Jesus being born? He was a tiny baby. But then he grew and he was a toddler – just like you! He lived in a house with Mary and Joseph.

Far away from where Jesus lived there were some Wise Men. They read books and knew lots and lots of stuff. They loved to look at the stars in the dark nights sky. One night they saw a new star! They looked at the new star and they looked at each other. ‘Wow! they thought this new star means that a new king has been born in Israel. Let’s go and worship him’.

So they packed their things and set off for the important city of Jerusalem. They traveled for a long time. It took days and days to get there. But when they arrived in Jerusalem they couldn’t find a new baby king anywhere!

There was a king but he was a grown up and he wasn’t happy. He didn’t want a new King! He sent for the Wise Men. He sent for the men from the temple. ‘Where is this new King to be born?’ he asked. The men from the temple knew the answer. ‘In Bethlehem.’

So off the Wise Men went. It wasn’t too far to go now. As they got nearer something very special happened. The star was there again and this time it shone right over the house where Jesus was. The Wise men had found Jesus and they knelt down and worshiped him.

Herod didn’t want to worship Jesus. He wanted to get rid of him. An angel told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and run away to a different country till it was safe to go back home.

Craft Idea –

Decorate stars – we’ve used wooden stars from amazon and paint. Put the painted star on a white envelope so you can name it. It’s much easier than writing it on the back and then having to turn the stars over at home time.