Monday, June 28, 2010

Those Creative Preschoolers (Part 1)

Keep in mind that creativity means doing the “extra” ordinary. There’s no wrong way to mold clay, paint a picture, build with blocks, etc. Offer suggestions or assistance only when a child requests help or gets frustrated. The process and the creation need only be pleasing to the child, not to you or other adults. Find something to compliment in each child’s work, but don’t overdo it to the point it becomes insincere. If you can’t tell what the drawing is supposed to be, compliment the use of color or texture and ask the child to tell you about it. Display your preschoolers’ pictures and works of art around your Cubby Bears room and in your church nursery, make a scrapbook of art they can flip through, give card-size creations to shut-ins, and send creations home with parents. Show off your own creativity (arranging flowers, cooking up a new snack, painting a piece of furniture, hanging a new picture, making up a story or song to share, etc.) in front of your preschoolers. Let those creative juices flow!

Encouraging creativity in preschoolers isn’t really difficult. Here are a few examples:

•  Young children like to use their bodies to jump, rock, sway, creep, skip, and walk in funny ways, using their heads, hands, arms, ad legs. So let music come into your classroom through CDs, radio, singing, and instruments. Don’t worry if you can’t carry a tune. Most of your preschoolers won’t even notice!

•  Preschoolers like to make things, sometimes using tools and brushes. They like to feel different materials, and squeeze them through their fingers. So once in a while provide clay, scraps of soft wood, colored paper, paint, sand, and even mud. It will all wash off! Some items aren’t safe, and some stain, so use your good judgment to keep your preschoolers safe and clean.

•  Children like to make believe. So give them puppets, grown-up clothes, scarves, hats, large pieces of fabric, and other props out of which they’ll create a whole new world of fantasy. You might be an audience for them occasionally—and you’ll be sure to enjoy the show.

•  Young children like to rhyme sounds and words, tell stories, and compose songs and poems. So encourage them and listen to them. Don’t be too upset by silly behavior, unless it’s disrupting your activity. Give them times to let go and have fun. If they can’t “let themselves go” when they’re two, three, or four (or eight), when can they?

Monday, June 21, 2010

All-Stars for Jesus TEAM Spirit

Join the All-Stars for Jesus TEAM!
TEAM = Totally fun, Easy to teach, Awesome lessons, More affordable
Totally fun for kidsAll-Stars for Jesus Bible Clubs are filled with exciting, interactive Bible learning activities, crafts, and games—all in a fun-filled club atmosphere. Kids are eager to come to All-Stars for Jesus—and they'll want to invite their non-churched friends!
Easy to teach
Each weekly Bible club comes with complete step-by-step instructions for quick, simple preparation. Our Easy-Trac meeting plans let you see at a glance which activities and materials to use. Plus, the Flex-Lessons give you maximum flexibility to accommodate the changing needs of your kids and your program.
Awesome Bible lessonsAll-Stars for Jesus Bible Clubs is the only curriculum-based midweek Bible club program, so you reinforce what your kids learn in Sunday school. Plus, every activity helps the kids focus back on the Bible lesson or meeting theme.
More affordable
We offer an Explorers Bible Club for combined age levels in one Bible club: an All-Stars for Jesus program for grades 1-6 in one complete affordable kit. Plus, we have All-in-One Kits for a variety of age levels: Preschool (ages 2-5), Primaries (grades 1-3), and Explorers (grades 1-6) with reproducible student sheets on CD-ROM. No more wasted papers. No more running out of student sheets when visitors come. Also check out our All-Stars Promo Kit for fundraising ideas, promotional posters, clip art, club kickoff ideas, and more!
All-Stars for Jesus Bible Clubs are the only Bible-based curricula that allows flexibility with your lessons for all age levels. There are no membership fees, registration forms, or doctrinal requirements—just fun, Bible-based, solid Christian learning. We are so confident that you will love our Bible clubs that we guarantee results—or your money back!

Like Other Bible Clubs, such as Awana®, All-Stars for Jesus includes Bible memory as a key element in each lesson. And while Pioneer Clubs® offer Bible exploration and memory work, All-Stars for Jesus offers that, plus incorporates the Bible point from each lesson's Bible story into every game, activity, craft, snack, song, and memory verse! Your kids are learning God's Word through everything they do!
Customer testimony: "We've been using the All-Stars for Jesus program for a couple of years now. We used to use Awana® but found that the children lost interest in their student books. The kids love the All-Stars for Jesus program, and especially love the award books! Not only are they attractive and fun, but they have a lot of solid life-application activities which vary from week to week. We've kept the same AWANA format and adapted the All-Stars curriculum to fit perfectly for us."

— Marnie Clawson, Chesterfield, MO
All children are stars in Jesus' eyes. They don't have to excel at music, academics, sports, or anything else—Jesus loves them just the way they are. All-Stars for Jesus Bible Clubs help every child feel loved and accepted. Order your Starter Kits and take 60 days to review the materials—no risk! You can return any or all of the materials, no questions asked! Just quality Bible teaching to get your students into God's Word.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bible Clubs for Twos and Threes

Welcome to the world of terrific twos and threes! “Terrific?” I can hear you saying. “Isn’t it supposed to be the ‘terrible twos and threes?’”

No! Little two- and three-year-olds really are terrific, but they do have very strong needs for love and caring during this crucial stage of their lives. As their leader or teacher, you have the challenge of guiding these precious tots to learn of their heavenly Father and Jesus, their Savior.

True, twos have often been given a bad rap and labeled as the “terrible twos”—negative, stubborn, rebellious, and selfish. Nonetheless, you can be a successful Bible club teacher of twos and threes if you understand the children’s characteristics and know how to effectively minister to them “where they are.”

When a child is two years old, his intellectual ability, imagination, and curiosity are growing very quickly. He is trying to establish his own identity and independence, so he is apt to want to “strike out on his own” frequently. However, he often finds this is scary, and he cries or screams for the protection and comfort he received as a baby or young toddler.

Honeybees for Jesus is a Bible club program written especially for twos and threes. Honeybees Bible Club provides many opportunities for children to have their own experiences in learning centers, crafts, games, snacks, and other activities, for precisely this reason. But the activities always take place with the loving care of adult leaders and helpers nearby to provide comfort and love when the child needs it.

Two-year-olds especially are challenged by just about everything they experience; their self-confidence grows as they master simple tasks. For this reason, Honeybees for Jesus provides a wide range of learning activities, using many different methods, to challenge and teach the children about their heavenly Father and, in the process, build their self-confidence as they master important skills.
The chart below shows some important developmental characteristics of two- and three-year-olds. Because each child matures individually, and should be allowed to do so without pressure, children may show various characteristics earlier or later than the chart shows. The chart is provided simply as a basic guide to help you understand the child’s development in his third and fourth years of life.
As a teacher of twos and threes, God has given you the very important responsibility of shaping young lives so they will grow up to love and serve Him. While twos and threes present important challenges for every teacher, they also provide unlimited delight and fulfillment as you watch these little lives grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Welcome to the world of terrific twos and threes!

Click on the chart to see the larger version.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome Summer: Flower Craft

Have your students create colorful summer flowers to hang in front of your windows or from the ceiling, if your classroom is windowless. To make one flower, fold a piece of colored construction paper in half. Let the child cut out one half of a simple, symmetrical flower shape, starting at the fold. Then help him cut out the center of the shape, leaving an outline about ½-inch wide. Unfold the flower outline. (You can do this initial cutting for your preschoolers.)

Lay the flower outline on a slightly larger piece of wax paper. Make sure each child has a flower. Help the child print his name on the outline. Then let the child drizzle glue along the shape’s outline  and in the center of the wax paper. Use a sponge brush to cover the wax paper with glue (but do not spread glue on the flower outline). Let the child press tissue-paper squares onto the glue. When the glue is dry, help the child peel the flower off the wax paper and trim around the flower’s edges so no  tissue paper sticks out. Hang the flowers from the ceiling or in front of your windows for a blooming display of color. Help your students thank God for the beautiful colors in His Creation and for giving us eyes to see the colorful flowers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Stay in Touch

As a Bible Club leader or helper, you spend just as much (or more) time relating to your students as you do teaching them Bible facts and concepts. When a child is absent, let him know you are concerned. Here are a few ideas:
  1. On the first absence, send a postcard or make a phone call letting the child know that he or she was missed.
  2. If the absences continue, you may want to send a letter along with any missed Classroom Activity Sheets or Take-Home Papers.
  3. Next, try another phone call and/or a personal visit, inviting the child to a specific event (such as a party). Keep your attitude cheerful and upbeat during the call or visit, letting the child know you care about him or her.
  4. Finally, have a card-writing session, where the other students send notes to the absent child, letting him know he is missed. 
Download FREE "We missed you" postcards at Print them onto card stock in color, or print them in black and white and let your students color them before sending them to the absent children.

Throughout the process, keep the child and his or her family in prayer. Ask God to give you His wisdom in determining the best approach to use in each situation.