Sunday, August 9, 2009

Vacation Bible School

This was the twins' second year attending Vacation Bible School, and they are technically not even old enough to attend yet! There is a group for two and three year olds who are the children of the workers, and I've been in this group for the past two years.

They really, really enjoyed going every day. The big thing I noticed about how this year was different than last year was this year they didn't take a nap afterwards. I sure wanted to, though!

The pictures are a bit out of order, but they started the day in the auditorium with songs and watching a skit. Then the different age groups would break apart and go to different areas. Our group went to a workbook section first and then to crafts. The picture above and below show the kids stringing beads. The kids have bigger beads at home which they've strung before, but I was impressed, especially with Jared, at how well they did with the tiny beads.

They also did a lot of pasting during the first few days. The man who was leading the crafts section remarked at how it was a bad idea to have the twos and threes work with glue since they squirt out such big glops or get it on the table, and then he told us to do it for them and not let them have the glue. That really irritated me, and I wound up letting my kids glue their own stuff anyways. Crafts for the little guys are about experimenting with the materials, making a mess and letting them figure out different ways to work with things like glue, scissors, glitter and paint.

It also irritated me at how much the adults wanted to take things away from the kids and do it themselves instead of just being patient and letting the kids figure out things themselves. And the coloring pages. I am a huge believer in NOT giving your kids coloring pages. What adult does coloring pages as art? Do you go to an art museum to look at colored pages? I want my kids to do real art, to not think that coloring outside lines is "wrong" and to love art.

After getting bored because they really didn't have art or craft things for the kids that let them be that creative, Jared decided to make his own spaceship sculpture (his words and idea).

After crafts we'd go to the gym to let the kids run around some, then to practice a song to be performed at the end of the week, and then to story time.
Story time was by far their most fun time because Steve's mom was the storyteller. She did a really great job of dressing up and acting out the stories, really involving the kids by making it interactive and giving them a chance to move around a lot. Too many times people expect such tiny kids to sit still for quite a while and at the same time making the time they are sitting so boring for the child.

After story time, we'd go back to the auditorium to sing more, they'd tell how many points each team accumulated during the day and then be dismissed. I became really popular with the group because I'd always pull out a box of Triscuits which would get passed around.

The pictures below were taken in the gym. Alexa clung to me a lot towards the beginning of the week (I forgot to say it was July 20-24th), but she eventually warmed up. She loved the balloons.

Jared loved following this older boy helper around the gym and would smack him over and over again with the balloon, then the boy would fall over and play "dead."

While the kids and I both had a great time that week, there was so much trying to control everything the kids did all the time, with strict times and schedules for doing things, that it felt very, very schooly, I was just so glad that my kids will not have to spend years in that type of environment when they are growing up.

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