Cookie Jar Parent/Carer & Toddler Group
Bow Baptist Church runs a toddler group called Cookie Jar on Tuesday mornings during school terms. But it is not anything like the typical image that the phrase ‘toddler group’ conjures up. There are no grubby doll heads for the children to play with. Instead there is a rather complex rotation of toys (I’m constantly seeing toys for the first time), a craft table and a quiet corner with books. For the adults there is a vast array of different kinds of tea and really nice biscuits!
Recently the group has been more than thirty children, meaning sixty or so people in the room. However, there is well-fenced outdoor garden space with high quality artificial grass (no mud!) and, even when it is busy inside, it is still lots of fun, and many of the parents and carers recommend it to their friends. It is especially good to see (and hear!) people not from the UK meeting and having time out to chat to each other.
Crafts are usually painting or play-dough, but sometimes we have one of Marie’s creations, including autumn leaf windows. At 11.15 tidy up time is called, and the small chairs are placed in a circle in the corner with the stools behind for the adults to sit on for story time. The children get juice, fruit and biscuits and we tell a bible story, often using toys as props.
Over the past few weeks the stories have been parables, we’ve had the Prodigal Son, the Good Samaritan and the Lost Sheep. Then we sing some songs, some of our favourites being Twinkle Twinkle, Incy Wincy Spider and Wind the Bobbin Up.
Just before it’s time to say goodbye, Liz often has local notices – then the epic task of fitting everything back into the cupboard begins!
For safety reasons, we have reluctantly decided to limit numbers to 40 children on days when the garden can be open and 30 children on the days when it can’t. We will put out an A-board to indicate when the group is ‘FULL’. Thank you for your understanding.
Here is a link to the excellent and down-to-earth blog of one of our Cookie Jar leaders, Marie Willingham: www.willingham-messyfaith.