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I used to do a book or resource of the month that was highlighted in a variety of ways (newsletters, bulletins, out on the information book, etc.).  You can also highlight it on a parent's Facebook page or create a resource list that you keep on the church website that people can access anytime.    

Melanie, I am the Children's Ministry Catalyzer for Faith Formation Ministries and have 25 years of running children's ministries within a local church.  I get the challenges you are facing.  I am wondering if a team approach might be useful - to have a coordinator and small group of invested adults who can take ownership of the nursery.  This then would make sure the work is done and done well but the burden of the work is spread out over a team.  With a good team, the work will be more enjoyable too.  

If you would like, we could set up a time to meet online or talk on the phone to brainstorm some solutions.  Contact me at [email protected] and we can set up a time.  Mimi Larson 

Each church has different rituals and practices, so a play church needs to reflect your specific context.  How does your church practice communion or baptism?  What musical instruments do you use?  What are the various items utilized in your church that children can play with?  Utilized those items in your play church.  

The last question you ask is a challenging one. This might be a bigger question for you and your team to wrestle with.  If they are not in worship, how do children experience your church?  The whole concept of a play church is for a child to make meaning of their church experience through play - just like they do about their homes when they play house. 

Here are a couple of resources for children:

We Wonder is a contemplative bible storytelling podcast for children.  They will have a scripture episode every Wednesday in Lent and a prayer episode every Monday to use throughout the week.  Then on Palm Sunday, there will be daily episodes for Holy Week.

There are also some ideas in Faith Formation Ministries' Family Faith Formation Toolkit

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