Numbers have remained steady week to week, averaging 20+ children aged 0-4,with a mixture of childminders, Mums, Dads and Nans.
The format of the morning remains the same – the first part of the morning with a variety of small toys, dolls and prams, and riding cars or bikes, table top activities which we vary each week – jigsaws, threading, or building games. As there are not so many of us regularly helping we have not varied the ‘craft’ table each week but just once a month. Toast, drinks and biscuits are always served mid-morning. We end with song and action time in which we include some Bible based choruses and notices including an invitation to Messy Church each month. A small gift and card is given to each child when it is their birthday in the coming week and we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ before our closing song.
Our summer session ended with all the children having gifts to take home and those leaving us to go to pre-school writing books and pencils.
We had our usual Christmas party morning with craft and games, then Steve leading us into the church for a short service time, each child had a gift from ‘Santa’s sack’ to take home and we finished back in the hall with party food.
It was great to be able to announce that the back area has been resurfaced, we have shown several mums/carers and discussed plans for the area once the weather improves – ideas include planters on the wall (helping to cover the ‘jagged’ stones), a mural, sand and water tables,. We have already purchased some interlocking rubber matting and are in the process of ordering more small chairs.
After the demise of our cooker, Emma found a 2nd hand one advertised on facebook which we purchased, scrubbed down and once again enjoy ‘cooking’! We have also recently purchased 2 balance bikes which have proved very popular with the older ones.
There is always plenty for us to do whether it be chatting to mums/carers, playing with the children, watching out for possible accidents, making drinks etc. but it is an enjoyable time and we feel worth it from the comments we receive from our attendees.
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Frances Woolard in September as she retired to Brittany, we presented her with a cheese board & knives – I hope to make use of this when visiting this summer! We have also lost Orinthia and Emma so there is a lot more for just Barbara and I to do, although the carers do all ‘muck in’ to help. I was really grateful for the offers of help in January when Barbara was away, many thanks to Hilary Brownett for coming along each week.
Please pray for this outreach that it will continue to grow and provide something needed in our community.