Tag Archives: toddler group

Shepherd craft

Luke tells us that shepherds were told that the Saviour had been born!

‘For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord’ Luke 2:11

So here are some shepherds to make … using paper plates

All you need to make these shepherds – paper plates,pipe cleaners, wool, tissue paper and circles.

Group craft!

Noah’s ark – drawn onto wall paper (found in the church storage cupboard!!) The animals are stickers, the water is tissue and sugar paper. Very easy to set up and you can always display it afterwards.

Let’s Share Bible Stories with Toddlers

“Hello friends, hello friends. How are you, how are you? It’s time for a story, time for a story. Come and listen, come and listen.”

We sing this song to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’ every week at toddler group. We gather round the story chair in a semi – circle; some sit on the rugs and others on chairs and then we share a story together.

By saying ‘share a story together’ I mean that I don’t just read a story from a book or recite a story script. It is story telling – a much more interactive group activity. We are ‘in it together’, taking part, joining in.

There are different ways of creating a joining in experience when telling a story. Here are a few ideas

  • Sounds to make – the sound of the storm on the lake
  • Actions to do – climbing the tree with Zacchaeus
  • Saying hello to the characters in the story as they come out of the story bag
  • Singing a song – include ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ part way through the story of the shepherds and angels.

So how do you choose which stories to tell?

As a church-based group (although we meet in a community hall) we tell stories from the Bible. It can help if each story is connected to a theme for half a term. Animal Bible stories, Homes Jesus Visited, Stories Jesus Told, Creation. Choose stories that you feel comfortable with and will enjoy telling.

When to have Story Time?

Pick a time in your session when there are less distractions. If you want the children to join in, then serve snacks before or after. Try to time things so that hands are free to take part in the story actions. If possible, have a space where there are no toys or do Story Time at the beginning or towards the end of the session.

Create a space

The storyteller needs to be seen and to be on the children’s level. Choose a low seat and create a semi – circle. Clean rugs encourage parents/carers and children to sit on the floor, but chairs are good for adults who need a higher seat.

The idea is to know the story well and encourage interaction with the group. The Bible is full of the most wonderful stories. Enjoy sharing them!

(This is an article I wrote for CEF Britain’s Newsletter)

Here are some of the items I use when telling stories…

Thank you God for family and friends

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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.

Journey to Bethlehem – week 2 – Adam and Eve disobey

We are travelling to Bethlehem for Christmas starting at the very beginning…

 Week one was creation – God made everything good and Adam and Eve were friends with God and each other.

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The idea for the creation paper plates came from here – https://ithappensinablink.com/paper-plate-the-days-of-creation/

This week the story is all about how things went from being ‘very good’ (thumbs up) to very bad (thumbs down). The creation plates will be part of the large picture board and the next story will be added.

The story from Genesis 3

Bible truth for toddlers – Adam and Eve broke God’s one rule

‘God gave Adam and Eve one rule. ‘Don’t eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden’. They could eat from every other tree but not that one.

Then one day a serpent began to talk to Eve! ‘ Just look at the fruit on that lovely tree in the middle of the garden! It looks so deliciousssss. I’m sure God won’t mind if you take a bite. Nothing bad will happen!’

Eve looked at the tree. It did look lovely. Eve looked at the fruit. It did look yummy. She reached out her hand…. and she took the fruit. She could smell how delicious it was and then…… she took a bite. Then Adam took a bite too!

They had broken God’s one rule and everything changed. They weren’t friends with God anymore and they tried to hide.

But God found them. He still loved them and he promised to send a Saviour so that people could be friends with God again.’

In the storybag

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Easter at toddler group

Lovely crafts were made today ..

Favourite books to share

Do you have a cosy corner for sharing books? Does your toddler group have a special space for parents and children to read a book together?

Last week I spotted a  mum sitting in our comfy book corner with her son and baby daughter. They were surrounded by books and were, in her words, having a ‘book fest’. Even though it was time for snacks I left them to it – they had to finish the book!

When my own children were small we had a favourite book – we can still quote parts of it to each other. It’s ‘So Much’ written by Trish Cooke and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury. When I joined the Toddler Group Team at my church I bought a copy for our group. Everyone should have a chance to enjoy this book.

It’s all about a family and how that family love the new baby – they love him so much. As the book goes on we are introduced to all the family – mum, dad, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas. The illustrations are fab.

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Do you have a favourite children’s book? Please share!