To this day, I’m still known—to kids that I babysat many years ago—as the babysitter with the blue suitcase. For the kids and I to both have a great time when their parents left and trusted me with their care, I had to have not only a basic plan, but some flexible supplies and the element of surprise (something new) too. So, I always packed a blue suitcase to take along on babysitting jobs.
I quickly learned that if I didn’t consider the different ages and personalities of the kids I was going to babysit before I got there, things would get pretty chaotic! So, I made sure to have options and to think about the time we’d have—how, if I wound them up with a fun game, I’d have to wind them back down before bedtime. And you know what? I was a pretty popular babysitter all the way through college because of this simple preparation and thinking ahead.
Picture the group of kids that you work with each week at church. Get their faces in your mind. It’s safe to say that they are not all the same. It’s great that God makes each of us so unique, but it also means that a one-size-fits-all approach to activities doesn’t usually turn out the way you’d like.
That’s why we put so much time and effort into the Small Group Activities we provide in 252 Basics each week. We know you need variety and options in your back pocket. Each of our writers has years of experience working with kids in the age group they write for (K/1, 2/3 or 4/5), in the church and out of it.
One of the most fundamental ideas in 252 is that, in elementary school, kids are wired by God and ready to discover more about Him, what they believe and the community around them. They are active, not passive, learners primed to dive in.
We don’t want to just unpack biblical truths and principles so they understand it in the moment and move on. Instead, our goal is that these life-giving concepts would stick and they’d easily be able to see how they apply in their everyday life, outside of church. The three basic truths woven into everything we do center around faith (trusting God no matter what), wisdom (making the wise choice) and friendship (treating others the way you want to be treated).