Showstoppers!: Under 5S Introduction

Showstoppers!: Under 5S Introduction

Showstoppers!: Under 5s introduction

The ideas that follow are intended to be used alongside a Showstoppers! holiday club for 5 to 11s.It may be that you provide a crèche for the young children of your volunteers or the toddler group or toddler service families want to be able to join in the fun. Or you may be a church that puts on occasionalactivities for young children and want tolink these in with the holiday club. These ideas are for you.

In the following pages you will finda selection of activities that tie in with the day’s theme that older children will be exploring, so your younger children and their parents can be part of it all. The activities are suitable for under-5s but children of 2 and under may need more help with the craft ideas.

Each day has ideas for a story (told in different ways), a prayer, a craft activity and a general activity. How you choose to use these is entirely up to you. Feel free to adapt them to your group, the space you have available and your personal preferences. If you have children for a long period of time you will need to provide plenty of other toys and activities which can be linked in with the theme. The story, prayer and activity ideas would then provide you with an all-together time, perhaps at the same time as refreshments. Make sure that you have plenty of adults to look after the children. For 3- to 5-year-olds ideally you should have 1 adult to 6 children, for under 3s 1 adult to 3 children. If you have lots of babies you may find it easier to have more adults than this.

If you are running a short session such as a toddler service you will only need about half-an-hour’s material. Choosing some of these activities and a song time, plus refreshments,may be plenty to use the time well.You will often find that the best time for this sort of activity is just after older children have been dropped off as the young child and parent/carer are on site. Make sure that you do not go on too long so that they have time to do something else before needing to collect older children.Make sure that you have enough adults to welcome and chat to the families, serve refreshments and lead the activities. If parents are staying with their children then you do not need to have any specific ratios of adults to children.

Be creative about your space. In most churches the 5 to 11s will take over much of the space, as they need it. Think about what other space you could use. In my church we clear the altar rails away from the chancel and have a clear space at the front of the church for the under 5s sessions. We then decorate the church with streamers and flags to make our long, thin, pew-filled church look attractive to the families.Perhaps you could use a small room in your hall, or a side chapel, or even a large tent in your grounds. Issues to think through include amount of space, safety, storage of buggies, access to toilets and changing facilities and serving refreshments.

Have fun sharing Jesus’ love with these young children!

Alison Dayer 2008