On Saturday we drove to Wembley nice and early to go to a Toddler Group leaders conference. I was leading a couple of workshops about Crafts. It was a really good day. The Keynote speaker, Mary Hawes drew our attention to how toddler groups should be places of generosity, relationships, accessibility, community and encouragement. She encouraged us to be confident about being church based and to share Bible Stories. In the afternoon there was a music workshop that everyone was able to attend.
Very importantly tea and coffee and great pastries kept me so well fed during the breaks that I didn’t really need my packed lunch!
The day was really well organised and I came away enthused about running a Toddler Group and encouraged.
Here’s a picture of the Christmas craft we made
Sunrise – best time of day to drive on the north circular!
There are lots of versions of this in my house (!) – this is my favourite
How to make – paper plates cut in half. You can easily cut the dinosaur spikes/plates a few plates at a time. Older children who can safely use scissors can do this part themselves.
Each dinosaur needs a tail and a head – there is a free printable here – Dinosaur Head and Tail (1) Colour these and then attach with glue.
Decorate the dinosaur with tissue paper, crayon, pens – whatever suits you. I like to give children a choice.
Decorate the pegs and attach. The dinosaur should stand up!
Genesis 1: 25 ‘And God made the beasts of the earth…and everything that creeps on the ground…and God saw that it was good.’
There are so many crafts that you could make about the small animals that God made – spiders (!), paper plate ladybirds, butterflies to mane a few. i decided on a caterpillar with a butterfly. I used circles (these are card making supplies), tissue paper grass and paper antennae and added some flower shapes.
Here’s a link to Vicki Howie’s Faith in the Family blog post – it’s all about creation!
This last term at Toddler Group we thought about ourselves – our hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose and mouth. It is a very easy starting point for the children as they are learning about themselves as well as hearing a short story.
We started with Tabitha. We’ve done her story before but with young children repetition is good.
Tabitha came along to toddler group and bought some sewing supplies with her. We talked about what we could do with our hands – wave, shake hands and help tidy away toys.
For the craft we made coloured rice pictures. Children and adults loved this craft and it was very easy to prepare. I dyed the rice using food colouring and a spoonful of vinegar. Just put the rice in a plastic freezer bag, add food colouring and a teaspoon of vinegar and then smoosh it all around. Pour out onto a tray to dry. ( You can cover the tray in kitchen roll – you just need to then tease the rice off when it’s dry). Once it dries and you break it up with your fingers. We then made rice collages – I used black, square paper plates rather than paper as the rim of the plate kept the rice and PVA glue a bit more contained.
We have a large group so I separated the rice into small containers – two lots of each colour. Half way through the activity I was able to refresh the supplies so that everyone got a chance to choose individual colours.
Salt dough recipe
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water.
Mix together to form a dough. ( I added green food colouring to the dough – but I think it then took longer to dry so I won’t add it next time!)
Roll out and use a cookie cutter to make Christmas tree shapes. If you want to make hanging decorations make a hole for the thread now with a skewer.
Dry – either in a low over for three hours; air dry for a couple of days of dry in the microwave for a couple of minutes.
Decorate with paint, felt tips, glitter once the dough is dry. You could paint the trees with green acrylic paint yourself and then the trees are green and ready for the children to decorate.