Journey to Bethlehem week 2

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

IMG_3689

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…

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. 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

IMG_3686

 

 

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

IMG_3001

God gives us family and friends

IMG_3004

God gives us animals

IMG_3012

 

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!

IMG_3001

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.

IMG_3003IMG_3004

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.

IMG_2667IMG_2668

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

Jacob and the ladder

IMG_2643

Story – (I used the above pictures – found via google- as puppets)

Jacob and Esau were brothers. In fact they were twins! Esau had been born first and then Jacob. They were very different to look at. They liked doing different things. Esau loved to be outside and to go hunting. Jacob liked to stay at home.

Their dad liked Esau the best. Their mum liked Jacob the best.

There was a big problem in this family. Even though Esau and Jacob were grown ups they tried to trick each other. Jacob really wanted all the great things that were going to belong to Esau, who was born first.

One day Jacob and his mum tricked Esau and this made him very angry. Esau was so angry that Jacob decided to go far away and stay with his Uncle Laban.

He said goodbye in a big hurry and he was off. It was a long walk. A long, long walk. He was getting tired. The sun was going down and it was getting dark. There were stars in the dark sky.

‘I’ll have to sleep here where I am’, thought Jacob.

So he got a stone to put near his head and he lay down to go to sleep. It doesn’t sound very comfortable does it! But Jacob was so tired and was missing home that he went off to sleep.

And then something extraordinary happened. He had a dream about angels. He could see a ladder that started on the ground but reached up and up and up right to heaven. Walking up and down the ladder were angels.

Then God spoke to Jacob, ‘I am the LORD. I won’t leave you. I will give you this land on which you are lying.’

Then Jacob woke up.

God knew where Jacob was. God cared about Jacob. God loved Jacob.

God knows where you are. God cares about you. God loves you.

Craft – angel pictures to colour and decorate