Music was “boring,” she “hated VBS,” and “nobody liked her.”
Yep. You’ve been there.
But where I’d normally ignore her till she was done, this time she was standing in the middle of a grassy front yard with a quiet cul-de-sac street in front of us. Tune Town was going on in the garage with kids spilling out into the driveway. I couldn’t leave her where I could watch from a distance because there were no walls to keep her from running.
One of several challenges I didn’t foresee about my first summer of Backyard Kids Club.
Between navigating tantrums and misbehavior, having tons of fun, solid Bible content that showed my preschoolers the heart of God’s love for them, and the overwhelming love I received from my kids, I felt at home. In many ways, this year’s Backyard Kids Club wasn’t that different from a mainstream VBS.
I also saw that Backyard Kids Club is a unique and wonderful thing. A few ways:
1. My church does Backyard Kids Clubs (no regular VBS), scattered all over town. I was able to get plugged in with one near me, during dates when I was available, rather than saying no because I couldn’t make the first dates.
2. The kids seemed more relaxed in a home than at church, and I was too. This made the fact that we were all new to each other in new space less scary for everyone.
3. I wasn’t prepared for an audience while I taught. The first night, parents followed us into the house. I wound up teaching about Paul to almost as many adults as children, nerve-wracking, but was pretty cool!
4. Because my classroom was in someone’s living room, I felt like it was important to clean up every night, even though they kindly assured me I could leave whatever I wanted there. Taking everything down each night helped me evaluate what was necessary. I didn’t have much, just each day’s Bible story pictures, a half circle of tape to show kids where to sit on the floor, and whatever we needed for our activities, which kept things neat and un-distracting. I spent my time focusing on teaching preparation, rather than how to decorate as I usually do.
5. Though I’ve loved larger classes in past VBS experiences, I enjoyed having six to seven kids this year. The smaller size gave me more individual time and made it easier to keep track of them as we rotated.
I loved Backyard Kids Club! I loved getting connected to the community and meeting some people in my church, where I’m still new. It was a great experience and I can’t wait for next year!
Have you tried a Backyard Kids Club? For that or your VBS, we love to hear your stories! Please share them with us in the comments!