Once upon a time, over 30 years ago now, I joined our church's Tots Group after my son David was born. It was a fantastic way to meet other parents and watch our tiny humans grow up together. However, due to work commitments, I had to pass on the leadership torch in 2010. But guess what? Back in 2019, I felt a strong urge to jump back in and lend a helping hand once more. And am I so glad I did!
Stepping into the Tots Group after such a long break, I noticed a few changes. The group seemed younger, as the kids were now off to pre-school at an earlier age. But what really caught my attention was the song time.
It used to be an amazing moment when the children, parents, and grandparents all came together, singing, dancing and having a fantastic time. However, it seemed like something was missing. Instead of being fully present with their little ones, the parents and grandparents appeared more interested in their phones.
Then, one day, while scrolling through the Scramblers Network on Facebook, I stumbled upon a brilliant idea - the Song Bag! It was like a light bulb went off in my head. I just had to give it a try and see if it could bring back the lost engagement to our song time.
The concept was simple yet exciting. Inside the bag were various objects, each representing a different nursery rhyme or song. The children would take turns pulling out an object, revealing the next song we would sing. Picture this: a Humpty Dumpty finger puppet for "Humpty Dumpty" or a majestic crown for "Who's the King of the Jungle." The possibilities were endless!
Eager to put this idea into action, I introduced the Song Bag to our Tots Group one Wednesday afternoon before the Playtime conference in September. Let me tell you, it was an instant transformation! The kids were practically bursting with anticipation, waiting for their turn to delve into the bag and uncover the next colourful object.
What about the parents and grandparents I hear you ask?
Well, they were fully engaged, watching their little ones with beaming smiles, and happily joining in on the singing. Plus, and you won't believe this - there wasn't a single phone in sight! The Song Bag had done what I thought was impossible - it had brought back the excitement and connection we had all been missing during this musical time.
With such fantastic results from the trial, we knew it was time to really focus on developing and refining this further. After carefully selecting 12 popular songs, we went on a mission to find beautiful props and tactile objects to accompany them. For the more unique items, we designed and 3D printed these to be exactly as we wanted. The ‘Sing With Me’ Nursery Rhyme Bag was born, complete with vivid colours, a variety of textures, and even a printed lyric card for those "blank mind" moments.
Excited to share our creation with the world, we launched the 'Sing With Me’ Nursery Rhyme Bag at the Playtime Conference in Wigan in September 2019. And boy, did it fly off the shelves, we had sold out by the end of the first day!
Sure, you can make your own version and add your personal touch (we highly encourage it!), but let's be honest, time is a precious commodity. Many leaders were thrilled to find a ready-made set that allowed them to dive right into the fun, without any of the hours of time hunting around shops for the props. The positive response was overwhelming, and we still love to hear stories of transformed song times and renewed enthusiasm within toddler groups.
Curious to see it in action? Check out our promotional video here.
So, if you're ready to add some serious fun and engagement to your song time, hop on over to www.onewayuk.com/singwithme. And hey, if you prefer the “good ol' human touch”, give our team a call at 01472 362810, and we'll be more than happy to answer any questions and take your order over the phone.
I've really enjoyed diving back into our toddler group. Time may have passed, and things may have changed, but, the moments we spend together with the mums, dads, grandparents, and carers are still incredibly special. There's a certain unique buzz in the air - the kind that builds relationships, offers support, and creates an unbreakable bond within our group. It's not just about the songs we sing or the giggles we share; it's about the beautiful connections we can make with the community we serve.
So, whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out in your ministry, we're here to cheer you on and lend a helping hand. We'd love to hear all about your incredible work and offer any advice, assistance, or support you may need. Because let's face it, we're all in this adventure together.
The 'Sing With Me' Nursery Rhyme Bag is waiting to bring smiles, laughter, and a whole lot of unforgettable moments to your group. Trust me, you won't want to miss out on this impact it can have!