Dec 13

Preschool Coat Drive

The preschool students learned about generosity during the month of December with Christmas fast-approaching. They held a Coat Drive and donated many coats and blankets for those in need this winter.

Check out this picture of our big box of coats and some of our students  modeling and displaying the coats. There were too many coats to display each one.

Click on this link to see a previous post on Coat Drives for school and children’s ministry programs.

 

coatdrive

Dec 13

Forgiveness Experiment

This is an experiment to teach God’s forgiveness for sin.

Start with a big glass container filled about 1/4 full of water. Talk about what sin is: bad choices, times we mess up. Times when we do not follow God’s ways and make God’s choices. clearwater

List examples of bad and wrong choices. Add a drop of food coloring for each example of making wrong choices. Watch the clear water turn different colors and eventually turn black. blackwater

Ask how we are going to clean up the water.

Have a cup or a mug labeled with the word forgiveness. Pour that cup of bleach into the glass container of black water.

forgivesswater

Stir the water with a big spoon while explaining that Jesus cleans our hearts from sin and makes us clean again after making bad choices. We can be clean and He helps us avoid bad choices and stay clean and without sin.

Watch the water go from black to clear and see-through again.

 

 

Dec 12

Teachers Christmas Wish Tree

Here is a helpful hint for schools to help families know what gifts to get their children’s teachers at Christmas.

Decorate a Christmas tree with paper ornaments cut out. Teachers can write things they like and items they would like to receive at Christmas.

This wish tree can either be an artificial tree on a table or a large paper cut out tree on the wall.

wishtree

Nov 25

Cheese puffs toss

Here is a fun game for children’s ministry groups.

Spread out a round plastic cloth on the floor. Draw large circles on the plastic floor-covering like a target. .Label the outside circle with 5 points, the middle circle with 10 points, and the smallest inside circle with 20 points.

Have one student stand in the small inside circle. Place a shower cap on her head and cover the cap with shaving cream.

Choose another student to stand about 3-5 steps back from the edge of the plastic floor-covering. Toss a cheese puff towards the student’s head in the center of the target.

Points are awarded as to where the cheese puff lands. If the cheese puff sticks in the shaving cream on her head, that’s 20 points.

This is a fun team activity to start off a group session.

Nov 24

Book Review: Leading your Early Childhood Program

?Leading your Early Childhood Program, written by Mary Wardlow, is an excellent resource for any early childhood professional in a leadership position.

In this book, the author describes ways from setting goals for the school to training and motivating the staff team to building the program and marketing techniques.

I like the advice she gives in the chapter on setting goals. She says to?think big.?Set out to achieve big goals, big accomplishments, big achievements. We must believe we can do it. When we believe in ourselves and believe we can do it, then we will work towards those goals, big goals.?The key to accomplishing big things is to break them down into steps that you can work on every day until they are achieved.?

I like to use the phrase: Slow and steady wins the race. One step at a time to reach our achievements, always looking forward with the next step in focus.

I like the next chapter where the author talks about not managing the team but motivating the team. Teachers in the classroom give praise to young students when they see actions and behaviors they expect and want repeated. Early childhood leaders must give similar praise to their staff teams as well. Let them know they are noticed.?

The author says:?When you believe in people, it can change their lives. The key is to believe in them before they are successful in their task.?Leaders must give their staff team the power and freedom to work and succeed and make decisions. Encourage them to think on their own.

I love how the author references Jim Collins’ book Good to Great. In this book, he talks about?getting the right people on the bus, the wrong off the bus, and the right people in the right seats on the bus.?It is vitally important to have the entire staff on the team and on the same page to work toward the goals set by the school. With the right people on the team and doing the right position and responsibilities on the team, those big goals will work much easier.

In her final chapter of the book, the author gives tips for marketing the school. In the early childhood field, the best form of marketing is often word of mouth. In this age of technology, online marketing takes a big role. When families are searching for childcare programs, they may likely turn to the Internet. Early childhood professionals want their school or center to pop up high on the list.

This is a short book and an easy read. All early childhood leaders and professionals should get a copy of this book. Even if the information in this book seems simple and common sense, it is a great reminder and refresher. A must read.

 

Nov 18

Gideon, 300 men, and a torch

This children’s ministry lesson comes from Judges 6-8. Gideon is leading the Israelites. God reduced Gideon’s army down to only 300 men:

God?said to Gideon: ?I?ll use the three hundred men who lapped at the stream to save you and give Midian into your hands. All the rest may go home.? Judges 7:7

Then the people moved in, doing as Gideon told them: “When I and those with me blow the trumpets, you also, all around the camp, blow your trumpets and shout, ?For?God?and for Gideon!” verses 16-18

For an art project to remember the work of Gideon’s army, here is an easy torch project:

Use a paper lunch bag or paper towel roll. Tear strips of orange, red, and yellow paper and glue to the top inside of the bag or roll to be the torch flame.

This becomes a great reminder of the tools the army used in the battle.

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