Weve just had our usual Thursday service and I'm definitely starting to see some things with more clarity.
The first is that trying to get all the children working at the same thing at the same time is very difficult.
The second is that play doh is a pain in the neck!
The third is that it's all a journey and there is no right or wrong in this.
This evening we were fighting lots of unusual constraints such as: musicians in the space that the children spill over into (so we felt cramped), an unusually long service, an unusually quiet service and mid term tiredness in everyone. This could have led to disaster but it didn't. LittleLanky did get fed up towards the end and was not engaged in the service much but she was fairly contented considering.
However it made me think that I want to make some changes.
1) When LittleLanky can't see what's going on she completely loses interest - therefore the children's area needs a good view of the altar and the aisle for the gospel. I need to plan ahead and look at moving the children if there are musicians who block their view.
2) I think it needs to be more based around the individual child working through the service with their parent/carer rather than trying to do it as a group. I think it's great that they can sit together and interact but if we try to do too much as a group it's just becoming Sunday school in church rather than trying to be part of the service.
I have some great plans for how to bring all this about and I hope to be able blog about it soon!