Welcome to our Godly Play inspired Toddler Ministry (Ages 1-3)
Thank you for your interest in our Toddler Ministry. Our hope is that you get a glimpse into how our ministry is run. If you have any further questions, please come check us out on a Sunday and our teachers will be more than happy to talk with you.
A typical day in Godly Play
- Kids stay with their parents for the first part of the service and are encouraged to sing and dance along to experience worship as a family.
- The pastor will pray for and dismiss kids – at this time parents will bring them to the classroom.
*If applicable – take your child to the bathroom before dropping them off.
- After the toddler is checked in, they will engage in free play time with our “toys with a purpose.”
- Once all students have been checked in and are comfortable, we do a partial clean up and gather for snack and story time.
- After story telling has finished and each child has cleaned up their own snack, they are encouraged to continue to interact with the story through hands-on activities, manipulatives, drawing, play-doh, etc.
- As students finish interacting with the story of the day, they are released to continue their free play using our “toys with a purpose.”
- As the service nears the end, we clean up the room and spend the end of class singing, dancing, and playing instruments to our kids praise and worship music.
What if my child cries when I drop them off? Can I stay for a little bit?
*If your child is a little teary or hesitant, we encourage you to give the ma quick reassurance and send them in with a mission to try out a toy or art supply you know they will like and that you want to hear about it later. Sometimes knowing there is snack helps also!
*If your child is extremely anxious about leaving you or is crying uncontrollably, we ask that you calm them in the hallway before sending them in. All kids develop differently, and they just may not be ready for class yet! We can work with you to help with ideas to make your child more comfortable.
*When one parent comes in for a little bit, it makes all the other kids want their parent also and it’s a very hard habit to break once we start allowing it – so to help create this routine, parents may not come into class.
How do I know if my child is doing okay? What if my child needs me during service?
*It is very common that even if a child does not initially want to come into the room that by the time you come to pick him up, they don’t want to leave! In many cases, once mom or dad is out of sight, the kids are fine! Please resist the urge to peek in the classroom as that can make it harder for the kids to adjust. (Note: If you need to leave early, or service is finished – then please do peek in!)
*If your child is unable is unable to calm down, becomes upset during service, or needs a diaper change – we will put the letter “T” (for toddler) and your child’s number on the projector screen on the stage. This signals you to come to the room to see what is needed. (Example: If your child is number 5 and you see T5 – you should come to your child’s classroom.)
What are toys with a purpose?
*Although our toys are typical toddler toys that can be found anywhere – they have been chosen for a purpose. We have toys that can be used to re-tell, act out, interact with, and wonder about the Bible. A few examples…
- A ball pit can be an ocean to act out Jonah, or it could be a lake or sea and we can be the disciples fishing, or it can even be the days of creation where God is placing creatures of the sea and sky into their correct place.
- Animals can be lined up two by two for Noah’s Ark or sorted for the days of creation. We can be in awe about the details God used in His creation.
- A baby doll can be baby Jesus and we can wonder what He was like growing up.
- Blocks can build the towel of Babel, the walls of Jericho, the city of Nineveh.
- Wooden food can be served at the last supper, used by the Good Samaritan to help, to be cooked and served to show love to one another.
Church – Home Connection
*Read, review, and re-tell the story we are learning about in class.
*Find a song or video online to kick-start a discussion about the story, what you wonder when you hear the story, and what we can learn from it.
*Bring up stories that apply to daily problems. Make talking about the Bible a habit and part of daily life!
*Show them the Facebook updates and ask them to tell you what was happening.
*Encourage your kids to use their toys to interact with and wonder about the story at home.
- Use animals to wonder about creation.
- Use blocks to build Bethlehem, Jericho, etc.
- Pretend their dolls are baby Jesus or baby Moses.
- Use a blanket to make a lake and fish like the disciples.
- Use play dough to create and re-tell the story.
- Use crayons to draw the story, or things the story makes you wonder about.