Creche at our church is a pretty relaxed affair. We plan five minutes of structure; sitting down together with some fruit and a song or a story, and, if our song or story lends itself to it, we link some of the toys we get out with what we've chosen. Other than that our focus is on creating an enabling environment for the children to explore and play in. We like simple open-ended materials, sensory play and mark making, some opportunities for big movements, some natural things to investigate and some simple role play cues. And we like books, we like books a lot. We have a mixture of different sorts of books, some about God and some about his wonderful world, some about toddlers' day, some about the very hungry Caterpillar and some about Wibbly Pig.
I've written before about the Stories Jesus Told series by Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen and I've just recently found something equally fabulous. Susie Poole illustrates the Lion Story Teller Bible and has also written this, it's called 'My Baby is Wonderful' and it's just lovely. It's a beautifully illustrated board book. It's intended to be read to little children and the basic message is that we think you're wonderful, so does God, he made you. Simple and straightforward but true and affirming. We'll need to adapt it a little to work with a group of children but I'm pretty confident it will be a hit. We'll be using it, along with another from the same series over the next few weeks.