I want you to know what goes into Nursery/Preschool VBS at First Baptist. Childcare for the children of volunteers is offered for those birth - 18months old. Church member children 2 years old - PreK have a full Vacation Bible School experience (3 years and up for Day School Children and 4 years and up for community children). All of the activities, crafts, Bible Adventures lessons, hands on learning experiences and games are prepared for the volunteers/workers when they arrive. That means staff and church members spend hours cutting, sticking glue dots, and creating before the week even begins. It means when your child leaves at noon, there are hours of cleaning up “day 1” to prepare for and setup “day 2”. And because I believe children respond emotionally to their environment, creating a theme and decorating with gusto is a necessity. Weeks go into transforming our space into a wonderland of sights and sounds. No preparation, however, is more important than your child being prayed for. As soon as your child is registered, we begin to pray for them by name.
We begin and end each day of Vacation Bible School with children 2 years-old - PreK in the Nix Youth Auditorium for opening and closing celebration. Celebration Time is where the children learn the songs, meet the Bible Buddy for each day and enjoy a silly skit. Each day we try to do the same Bible stories as the elementary children. There are times, however when we switch to meet the developmental needs of our littles. Our babies and one year-olds are dropped off and picked up in their classroom.
Below is a link to the lesson plans for our week (Look for on Monday, April 29). You will notice there is a lesson for the one and two-year-olds for each day and a separate one for the three and four-year-olds. The one and two-year-olds don't rotate from station to station. It is too hard with diapers and their tiny legs. They stay in their classroom for the whole time and complete their activities. The three and four year olds divide into groups that rotate through the stations (Recreation, Bible Adventure, Art, Snack/Playground and Discovery Room). I hope you will discover by looking at the week that your child will spend most of their time learning through play. I strongly believe in hands on, experiential learning. The kind of learning that happens without the child even knowing they are learning! I pay attention to not only the development of Biblical knowledge, but also to the development of fine motor-skills, group and individual interactions, and emotional development.
During the week we will collect an offering. Even with our littles, we begin teaching them to be aware of the needs of others. This year, we are working with Amani Sasa, a ministry in Kampala, Uganda. They offer shelter, counseling, training, discipleship, and education to African refugees — women, men, and children — affected by trauma, abuse and war. If you would like to learn more about the organization, you can visit www.amanisasa.org. The money we raise will go to scholarship the education of children. By raising $400 we can provide a child with a years worth of education, a life changing opportunity for them and their family. Our goal for the Nursery/Preschool area is $1,200. I know that is a lot of pennies, nickels and dimes. It may even take the help of a dollar or two from Momma or Daddy’s wallet, but I know we can do it. We are really hoping the Missy Ward, the missionary who founded the organization will join us one morning. She will be in town and the kids will love her.
By the week of Vacation Bible School, maybe a little before, I hope to have links to the music and Bible Buddy video for each day. This will allow you to watch it with your child and talk about what they learned. There will also be daily parent information sheet that you child will bring home. Please take a minute to look over it. It will include details about snack, clothing needs, or special announcements.
As you can imagine, pulling a week like this off means we need help. It requires at least 20 volunteers and 8 paid workersI It also requires many supplies. We would really enjoy having you as a volunteer. If you are interested, please contact me. If you are interested in helping purchase supplies, please check our growing Amazon wishlist.
I love Vacation Bible School. It is so much fun to watch the child as they learn and discover faith and fall in love with God. We want your child to join us. If there is anything I can do to help make that possible, please contact me.
~ Mrs. Jenny
Rev. Jenny Burns
Associate Pastor of Preschool and Special Ministries