Imagine parents sharing Jesus through bouncing songs, peek-a-boo games, massage, folk dances, tickles and cuddles. Empower, involve and equip parents in your children’s programs.

Your Sunday school, Sabbath school or playgroup is an ideal place to involve and equip parents. We challenge you to create a dynamic group experience, involving not only the children, but also mum, dad and grandparents. How to do this?

In our particular setting, we removed the rows of chairs that the children were required to sit in, and we also removed the big grown-up chairs. Using the floor space we then had, we placed cushions (or foam mats) on the floor in a circle. When parents arrive, they choose a cushion for themselves and their young child sits on their knee or on the cushion with them. (We always have a few spare chairs for parents or grandparents who physically may not be able to sit on the floor, or breast-feeding mums).

Then, each activity we do can involve the parents. Imagine parents bouncing their children on their knees, playing peek-a-boo, massaging their legs while singing a rhyme, tickling, doing actions, blowing feathers, playing instruments and praying with and for them individually.

To keep the focus within the circle and on mum and dad, we found it helpful to remove props and decorations off the floor where they would cause distraction. To make our space colourful, we placed wall art on the walls and hung items from the ceiling. This was particularly great for activities where children lay on their backs looking up – they could enjoy looking at the hanging items too.

Make your children’s program not only for the children, but for mum and dad too. Allow and equip them to be their child’s primary spiritual nurturer.

Excellent resources for church or playgroup include:

Tactile and rainbow rings

Scarves

Percussion instruments and drums