Bonnie Deroski
  • Tinton Falls, New Jersey
  • United States
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Profile Information

Church/Ministry Website Address:
http://www.gracechristianchurch.com
Business Website Address:
http://bonniedgcc.wix.com/incm-jersey-shore
Church Denomination:
non denominational
Number of members attending your church:
150
Number of children attending your weekend services (birth to 5th grade):
40
Which age groups do you work with (check all that apply):
Nursery, Preschool, K-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th
Education:
Some College
Other Things About Me:
Strengths: Learner, Input, Analytical, Strategic, Activator

Bonnie Deroski's Blog

Filling in the Blanks

Posted on May 29, 2009 at 5:46pm 0 Comments

So we are about to host another Baby Dedication. It's a wonderful celebration where we, as a church family, stand up and say that we'll stand by the parents in encouraging, equipping and supporting them as they direct the spiritual life of their young child....



And then we don't connect with them - as a family, in our church family - until the child is ready to be baptized. Sometime about 10 years in the future!



What about all the milestones in between? How can we possibly… Continue

What are we hiding???

Posted on May 29, 2009 at 5:45pm 0 Comments

This Sunday I spoke briefly on Psalm 78. Specifically, this statement really struck me:



"We will not hide them (God's teachings) from their children, we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord; his power, and the wonders he has done."



I kept coming back to the word hide. It reminded me of the story of the disciples attempting to keep the little children from coming to Jesus. (Mark 10:13)



What are we hiding from our children? Surely it is… Continue

Nursery & Preschool Resources

Nursery and Preschool Essentials
by Lynda Freeman

When you think of your nursery and preschool classrooms and the resources you'd like to have, what do you think of? If I had an unlimited budget and the space for the perfect classroom, I know there are some awesome resources I'd love to offer children, but our budget doesn't allow for those things. So what resources are the essential elements for a truly effective ministry on a budget?

Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers have certain needs, and those needs help us determine what's truly essential in these ministries. The top areas you need to consider for your classroom are safety, classroom aids, teaching aids, and visual aids.

Safety

Let's assume your ministry leader has already instituted safe screening of you and any other volunteers in your classroom. That's the first step of safety but a bit beyond your control as a classroom teacher. The second safety essential is that there's some kind of check-in/check-out procedure when children arrive and leave. To learn more about each of these areas, go to www.cmmag.com. After those two primary issues, there are key areas you can work on to ensure safety for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Germ Warfare—Safety is a concern in nursery and preschool classes in the areas of illness and the passing of germs around the class. While we can't guarantee our nurseries and preschool classes are completely germ-free, we can cut down on the spread of colds and the flu by implementing a sick-child policy. You'll need to determine with your team what your policy looks like. Many churches request that parents not bring their child to class if the child is running a temperature.

Whatever your policy looks like, kindly and firmly communicate this to parents to ensure good health for all children.

Another key step is to thoroughly clean toys each week. Consider purchasing colorful laundry baskets for each service in your nursery and preschool classes. Divide your toys between the baskets and then bring out one basket per service. At the end of the service, have your volunteers put all the toys that've been played with in an empty basket and bring out a fresh basket of clean toys for the next service. During the week all the toys can be soaked in a disinfectant, rinsed, and returned to baskets for the next week's services. Cleaning of the toys each week is a great service project for older children. This allows you to be sure your toys are clean, plus as you clean them each week you'll be able to keep an eye out for broken toys; small, loose parts; or otherwise-unsafe toys that need to be tossed.

Controlled Exits—Providing a safe ministry for our little ones involves making sure doors to classrooms can't be opened by little hands, thus keeping kids from slipping out of the classroom. It isn't difficult or expensive to put up safety gates. You can also use knob covers so little ones can't open doors.

Classroom Aids—Preschool classrooms are spaces for children to learn and also spaces for them to play. Create an environment that your children—and their parents—will love.

Stink Be Gone—There's nothing worse than the smell of dirty diapers emanating from the nursery. So to improve your nursery's aroma, get a Diaper Genie. This wonderful item allows you to seal dirty diapers in plastic as soon as you remove them from the babies, helping your nurseries smell much better and keeping dirty diapers away from crawling and walking babies.

Rock-a-Bye Baby—Nurseries also need chairs for staff to hold, rock, and cuddle babies, but avoid rocking chairs as they cause injuries to babies every year. Instead, place glider rockers in your nursery.

Just My Size—Little Tikes makes wonderful, colorful, perfectly sized picnic tables that make great additions to nurseries. These tables are perfect for snack time and provide a wonderful space for little ones to color. Since they're plastic, they're easy to clean. And that's another valuable feature!

As They Grow—As our children grow, classroom furniture needs to change. Preschool classes need child-sized tables and chairs so kids are able to make their crafts. Rather than have children sit in chairs for their Bible lessons, consider placing colorful carpet squares in the story area or check out fun colorful parachutes. These can be spread on the floor for story time, and provide a special space for children to learn.

Play Time—Check out Playhut products for excellent play items to add excitement to your classroom. The school bus, connecting tunnels, and play houses allow you to make the space you have a truly inviting place for children to learn about God.

Teaching Aids—Clearly, caring for babies is one of the primary roles of our nursery ministries, but we can also begin to talk with our littlest ones about how much Jesus loves them and how he made them so very special.

Plugged In—Place a CD or cassette player in your nursery to play soft music with simple lyrics you can sing to the babies as you hold and play with them. A DVD player or VCR and a television can also be a useful resource. Consider developing a library of movies you can use to help children learn.

Booking It—The simple act of holding a child and reading is one that not only helps a child learn, but also communicates that the church nursery is a safe and comforting place for a young child to be.

Chalkboard Wall—As preschool children are growing and learning so fast, there are some unique, inexpensive options available to truly engage your Threes, Fours, and Fives. Consider painting a specific wall in your classroom with chalkboard paint. Paint your chalkboard at a preschooler's height so kids can draw with colored chalk and use their imaginations. Or ask them to draw specific things that connect with the lesson you're teaching for the day. Paint another wall with magnetic paint. Kids can make magnets or you can add magnetic strips to old flannelgraph figures for storytelling and independent play.

Artists at Work—Toddlers are emerging artists, and preschoolers see themselves as genuine Picassos. As a result, craft items should provide safe exploration of multiple media, and the end product should be open-ended—that is, no “model” project to reproduce. Include the basics such as construction paper, glue sticks, safety scissors, chenille wire, pom poms, and crayons. Stack the construction paper by color in letter stackers from an office supply store.

The Good Word—Use a quality children's Bible that children can understand. Look for simple wording and great artwork.

Visual Aids

It's essential that we provide opportunities for children to connect visually with the things we're teaching them and with the things of God.

Designers' Choice—Purchase a supply of Crayola Color Wonder markers and paper to use in your nursery so you can involve your little ones in coloring shapes and pictures to hang around your room. Color Wonder markers and finger paints only mark on Color Wonder paper. Every nursery should use these amazing resources!

Show and Tell—Your preschool classroom must have a bulletin board to display the projects and pictures kids make. This is a great place to post photos of the kids doing things in your classroom; kids and parents will enjoy these.

Post It—Hang colorful posters that you change from time to time in your nursery and preschool room. For safety reasons, use tape or Handy-tak instead of thumbtacks to hang the posters. Look for posters that show babies and toddlers, animals, birds, flowers, and pictures of Bible people—especially Jesus with children. Talk with the babies and toddlers about the people and how God made their eyes, mouths, hands, and other body parts. Talk about the animals and the sounds they make and the colors in the plants that God made. In your preschool classes, consider making your own posters; use a digital camera to take photos of the kids in your class, enlarge them, and post them for a personal touch around your room that kids and parents will love! Also, have preschoolers color posters that connect with the Bible themes and lessons you're teaching and then hang them around the room.

Puppet Magic—Puppets make wonderful visual aids for nursery- and preschool-age children. Make a point of purchasing the VBS puppets from each publisher every year; this is a wonderful way to increase your puppet supply.

Dress Up—Preschool-age children love to show they “can do it themselves,” so include simple costumes in your visual aids to let children dress up and provide their own visual aids by acting out the Bible lessons themselves.

Designed to Tell—Take whatever your theme for the next unit is and then decorate your room to correlate. Tape plastic tablecloths to the walls and then add the features for your unit. These are easily removed so you can redecorate for your next unit. Decorations can be simple; when you study Joshua and Jericho, use paper grocery bags to build your own wall of Jericho. For lessons on Jonah, hang paper fish from your ceiling and blue tablecloths on the walls. For Resurrection Sunday, make your room a garden with a paper tomb in the corner. When the classroom matches the theme, it creates enthusiasm and a sense of the unexpected for children while visually reinforcing and building on your lessons. Regardless of the size of our children's ministries and budgets, we all have elements that are essential for our ministries to effectively engage the kids so they'll remember, understand, and live God's Word.

Lynda Freeman is the editor for ‘Round About the Church in Comstock Park, Michigan.

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At 9:48am on April 22, 2014, Joan Eppehimer said…

Bonnie, I just go the link from Dennis. They no longer sell single copies, but you can view the whole thing on line here: http://www.dzresources.org/product/communion-book/

Joan

At 10:07am on October 9, 2013, Michael Chanley said…

Thanks for the encouragement, Bonnie. It was a huge blessing to serve with you and your community!

At 6:26pm on October 7, 2013, Ruth Ann Kanagy said…

Thanks, Bonnie, for your leadership in Saturday's INCM workshop!  It was great and  just what I was looking for...Blessings...

At 2:35pm on September 16, 2013, Chad Owens said…

Hi Bonnie! Thanks for connecting. If I have any questions I will let you know!

Blessings!

At 9:13pm on August 15, 2013, Judy Cooper said…

Thanks for the information about the training on October 5.  Unfortunately, our girls have fall break from college during that weekend, so we won't be able to attend.

At 4:14pm on April 19, 2011, Craig Johnson said…
Hi Bonnie! Thanks for connecting with me!
At 10:33am on April 5, 2011, Bobby Wells said…

Hi Bonnie, I hope you will check out www.BIGBibleTown.com and then follow us on CMConnect to see how churches can tap kids’ video game playtime to help teach them Bible stories, keep them connected to Christ at home, AND impact real world missions. Bobby Wells

At 10:21am on July 9, 2009, Ashley (Dukeman) Burtram said…
KidStuf works GREAT for us! Yes, it is a lot of work (especially because we do it every week during the school year). We have a good number of college students who are around during the school year and they love acting for us. KidStuf really brought excitement to our children's ministry; the families love it. Our struggle right now is finding more parents to volunteer for us. Like most ministries, they don't want us to cut down on doing KidStuf, but also are unable to volunteer. :) If you are having a hard time staffing the production, I know that a lot of churches do it once a month and that works well for them. Do have any specific questions that I can help you with?
At 8:14am on June 13, 2009, Sonja K. Waltman said…
Hey there! I just found the chat button..am new at this! Thank you for the kind words. We love what we do and I would love to share that with you!
At 7:50am on June 13, 2009, Sonja K. Waltman said…
I did! Thanks for the info...this is great :)
 
 
 

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