One day my friend Lori called and asked me to be on the substitute list for the preschool Bible and activity class at our church. Helping on an occasional Wednesday night in the preschool class, called the Cubbies, sounded kind of fun. Then I learned that their mascot is a teddy bear.
Oh, yeah. I’m in.
A couple of months later Lori called on me. My first task was to learn the names of the kids, five or so little moving targets who were all as cute as buttons. You say that sounds easy enough? Oh sure, you can probably name all Santa’s reindeer, too.
After introducing the children, Lori ran over the simple agenda with me. Craft time, large group, book time, snack. All the materials were right there on our countertop, except for the large group time, when both classes would gather in the big room across the hall.
1. Craft Time: Noah’s Ark was our theme for the evening. We had pre-cut crepe paper streamers in rainbow colors, a paper plate for each child, a bag of cotton balls and some glue. At their age, the kids could do very little independently. So the teachers would staple the streamers to hang from one edge of the plate and spread some glue, and the kids could stick their cotton balls on for clouds.
“I CAN DO IT MYSELF” seemed to be the order of the day. Most of the children insisted on pressing a tiny hand down on the rather stiff stapler, whether the crepe paper was in place or not, while I tried to help without appearing to do so. Call me “stealth fingers.” At that, two or three of the kids scolded me for interfering. The activity progressed at glacial speed.
2. Group Time: Across the hall, a team of high-school students wisely led the children in get-the-wiggles-out songs with hand motions and plenty of jumping around. For the last song, “Show Me a Trick,” they passed around a mat and each kid executed a somersault or other performance. Surely they’ll be tired and will sit and listen to the puppet show and story, right?
The Cubby Bear puppet was quite popular. In fact, the children had to repeatedly be shooed away from the stage. For the story, Lori brought out visual aids, did the voices, and even swooped around the room like a dove. Her efforts garnered about 3% of the little ones’ attention. The rest of us grownups sat among the kids and tried to keep them sitting still and out of each other’s faces, with predictable results, while a sort of bucket brigade of children rotated in and out of the miniature restroom. The flushing noises added a touch of realism to the Noah’s Flood story.
3. Book time: I can only give thanks for the wonderful high-school student who knew all about getting toddlers to repeat their memory verses and how to record their success in their books. He did it without my even realizing, as I was entangled in the other craft which had been prepared to keep the children busy while waiting their turn to say their Bible verse. What was the other craft? Ya got me. I’m pretty sure it was multi-colored.
4. Snack time: By now I felt like I’d been trapped in a popcorn popper for an hour. The snack was rainbow colored… something. Skittles, perhaps? No idea whether or not the little sweethearts got water to drink. Fortunately, the parents arrived to rescue any who were thirsty.
Well, that was my Wednesday evening, an exercise which I can only compare to juggling ferrets. Cute little ferrets with boundless energy.
I hope I get to fill in again soon!
Thanks for reading,
PS: I am linking up with the amazing Jen and our Soli Deo Gloria friends.