Trying to sit through, let alone participate in, a church service while looking after small children can be a stressful experience for everyone involved! Little Cherubs exists to make church easier for you, and to support you as you try to engage your toddler in the worship.
It is not a Sunday school or a crèche, as there is no leader to look after or teach the children. Rather, there are activities and suggestions of things to do and whisper together about, helping you to take part in the worship yourself at your own level, and to enable your toddler to take part in it at their level too. Feel free to use the space as much or as little as you need. There are toys out for tiny ones all the way through the service.
For the first part of the service, there are colouring sheets and sometimes other activities such as playdough, linked in with one of the readings (generally the gospel). There is a table with items on for you to talk through the bible reading for the day with your own toddler eg. act it out with playmobil figures. Often they want to go back and ‘play’ the story through themselves. That’s great.
Later, there is a craft activity linked with the reading or theme for the day. This is for you to do with your own child, and there are often suggestions about how you can whisper about what you’re doing and why, too.
We light a candle in the middle of the table when we reach the intercessions, which is blown out by the children just before communion, when you can then take them for a blessing and to light a votive candle on your way back.
A snack is brought out during the Eucharistic Prayer, which helps you to concentrate on what is going on at the front of church (as the children are happily munching!) and also makes a link through the symbolism of eating associated with Communion.
Children ‘catch’ worship best when they see it happening, so don’t be shy to join in all the prayers and hymns, even if you’re not sitting on a pew.