Drayton CRC in Drayton, ON, has two Story Hour groups and a nursery. Anja Noordam has been involved in Coffee Break and Story Hour for 27 years; that’s a lot of experience! We asked Anja to share some of her story.
Things I’ve learned in Story Hour
- Routine is essential. We are flexible but pretty much stick to the same routine with the kids.
- Kids love to help pick up the toys, get out the blanket, etc.
- Kids have great memories and will retell the stories at home.
- Even young children can sit to eat a snack. :)
- It’s not necessary to be so fussy getting the craft ready. You don’t have to cut out all the pieces along the lines; kids don’t mind if you cut a circle around the piece so you can get done faster.
- “Jesus Loves Me” is still a favorite song.
- Don’t read the story to the kids, learn it so you can tell it, they'll remember it better
- The kids make it all worthwhile.
Making it Worthwhile
A great example of a time the children took the story literally was with the telling of “The Saddest Day” story when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. As a visual aid, I brought in a star fruit as the ‘forbidden fruit.’ Later on, during snack time, the children were offered different fruits for their snack including star fruit. None of the kids wanted to eat the ‘bad fruit’ because they didn’t want to disobey!
My daughter taught me about the importance of the story and the craft. I remember when we came home with the craft from the story when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. The craft has Adam and Eve, the snake, and two trees all held on a line with clothespins. My daughter played with that for hours, recalling the whole story. That made me willing to put more effort into preparing for Story Hour again.
Baskets of Appreciation
Another very important thing we’ve learned is to show appreciation to our Story Hour Leaders who work with the children every week. At Christmas time, we have four baskets–one for each of the Story Hour leaders. The Coffee Break ladies fill them with goodies and they are given to the Story Hour leaders. The baskets are very appreciated. And so are our leaders!