I’ve been torturing myself and my church congregation with Mini-ion #1 since he was a little over 2. I’m sure you can tell me that it is important to start the mini-ions with church early, and I agree, but in the meantime, right now, it is torture.
For the most part, my church congregation is very open to children. But at times, Mini-ion #1 and his cohorts test even the most patient of our congregation by the sheer fact that they are children and I want church to be a safe, loving place for them, not a place to be constantly shushed or confined.
We’ve had an area at the back of the church with some toys for all of the children to play, but while well-meaning, some of the toys became a little loud, and one Sunday it got a little too much. In response (and to try to keep the peace), I’ve started creating some busy bags which seemed to have worked beautifully this past Sunday.
First I replaced the plastic lego style blocks (that seemed to hit our hearing aid members in the worst way) with sponge blocks. It was super easy and cheap to do. I bought about 6 packages of sponges for $0.70 each from the grocery store and cut them in varying sizes. This creates all the building with none of the noise (or the swords that eventually moved to combat). Mini-ion #1 loved these so much, he asked me to make more to have at home. However, we have three sets of blocks, I just don’t think one more set of blocks is really necessary.
Our church seems to have an abundance of boys that all love cars. One thing I knew would be a hit would be anything related to building car tracks. I used the inside separator of a box from the liquor store (sometimes those filled boxes get you through the month!), cut the pieces apart and drew black lines. This was an easy win. The one improvement that needs to be made is to make more! The boys loved them.
I had a couple of the games where you match shapes to pictures. I didn’t grab a picture because I didn’t make it, but I did make some bags of those.
First Sunday was a success. I have a couple of more bags in mind to add. In the meantime, I think this week, the peace was kept.
If you are on the fence about bringing your children to church, read this post: Dear Parents with Young Children. It is beautiful, heartfelt and reassuring. Churches need families, no matter how loud.