Today was our first story time in the park, and boy what a great weather we had for it! Praise God for that!
Getting Set Up
We selected a shady spot and laid out a few blankets and sheets for kids to sit on. I brought along a fold-up lawn chair to sit in while I read (partly so everyone could see the pictures, partly because I’m 34 weeks pregnant!) Nearby, we put a fitted sheet on a picnic table to make a crafting space. Anne, our outreach director, made up a sample craft and Michelle handed out freezee pops as the kids made their way to the story-area. Bernie did all those little last minute things that you always forget about (paper plates for the paint? oops!) Thanks ladies!!
Story Time in Shifts
We already had a few families gathered by 10:25, so we started right at 10:30 as advertised. After the story, we invited them to the craft table to make a frog puppet (the story was “Let’s Go Froggy!). I had reserved a few other Froggybooks at the library, but didn’t have time to pick them up. A few kids asked for another story, so it would have been good to have more.
Around 10:40 a few more families ambled in the story area, so I just read the story again. I read it a third time for another family around 10:50. It worked out pretty well this way, since it kept the craft table from getting too crowded and didn’t make families who were a few minutes late feel left out.
We handed out Punch Cards to the kids with 10 holes on them. If they fill out the card, they get a free book. We’re still debating on a book to hand out. We’ve narrowed it down to I Can Pray or Pogo’s Prank-a-Paloosa (if you’ve got a great idea, let me know in the comments!) Looking back, we should have put our church information on the punch card as well.
Who Are You Guys Anyway?
We wore name tags and have literature about our church available on the craft table, however one team member came up with another great idea. For next week, we’ll print our church name and information on address labels and then stick them on the back of the craft. That way, the parents have something if they’d like to follow up with us. Some people thought we worked for the park, so we want to make sure to get our name out there.
Don’t Forget the Basics
I gathered up all the supplies for the frog puppet this morning — scissors, copies of the template, paper bags, green paint, etc. We got all the way to the park and realized I forgot glue! How are we supposed to attach the tongue, eyes, and arms? Oops. It’s a good idea to stock a small tote with all the art basics: glue, brushes, paper plates, crayons, scissors, etc. Stick it in your trunk and you won’t be caught without these basics. We also brought a few paint smocks with us (old men’s shirts), even though the paint was washable. Hand wipes are a plus as well!
Draw a Little Attention
We had a sandwich board up with a poster, but it couldn’t really be seen from the main playground area. For next week, we’ll be making a different sign with BIG BOLD letters and adding some balloons to the sign. I might even through some glitter. That should do the trick.
Stay tuned for more updates.