When my son Michael was a toddler, I took him to the Cradle Roll class at our church. He would stay in Cradle Roll so long as I stayed with him, which many parents were also doing. Michael and I had the most enjoyable time in the class room. We sang the songs at home during the week. We learned the memory verses. We acted out the different things they did in class. When the leader left to go to Oregon with her family, I was nominated the head of the Cradle Roll Department. The Cradle Roll class was made up of children from babies in their mother's arms to ages three or four.
It is very important that the youngest members of our church family learn about God, and we do this by teaching them God's love through the things He has created. God created mommies and daddies, brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandpas. He created the trees, the beautiful flowers, the green grass, the food we eat. He created the animals--the kitty cat, the puppy dog, the ducks, the butterflies, the lovely birds that sing.
It is also important that the room where the children meet is decorated appropriately and is attractive and inviting.
The Cradle Roll room that I inherited was decorated to some extent but not the way I wanted it to be. Something was lacking; something needed to be changed.
What could I, who is not artistic and has no creative abilities, do to transform this room into something the children would look forward to? I pondered this question sitting cross legged on the floor one day. As I sat there feeling overwhelmed, I thought of asking the Lord to help me with my deficiencies and to inspire me to do the best that I could possibly do to teach the little ones about Him.
As I sat there contemplating, ideas started popping in my head one right after the other. I starting jotting them down. I was excited. I could hardly wait to begin work in transforming a simple and bare room into something attractive the children would enjoy and that would bring glory and honor to His name.
Within a short time, I was finished with the task and was overjoyed with the results. God taught me that when I cooperate with Him, we could accomplish the impossible. Many people flocked into the Cradle Roll room to see the most beautiful room in the whole Sabbath School complex.
So what did the room look like? There was a large picture of Jesus carrying a child hung on a wall. There was a large oval shaped pond on the corner lined with smooth rocks (each was about 6"x9" in length) along the edges and placed on blue plastic material. Cattails and other shrubbery are situated around the pond held by the rocks. Stuffed yellow baby ducks were placed in different places in the pond and appeared to be 'swimming' in the water. It really looked like a real pond.
Then, there was a large artificial tree on the other corner with lots of birds on the boughs. A real bird's nest with eggs was placed in one of the boughs. The children would get an opportunity to see the bird's nest and eggs as they sing:
Down, down in their nests the little birds rest,
With a wing on the left, and a wing on the right,
We'll let the dear birdies rest all the long night.
There were artificial flowers and shrubbery along the walls and toy animals were strategically located so that the children (one at a time led by the teacher) could pick the flowers and see the squirrels, rabbits, frogs, etc., along the way as they sing:
A walk today, a walk today--
Shall we go for a walk today?
To see what God has given.
We also had a big stuffed brown bear almost as big as the children themselves that they would hug and pet as they sing:
A wee, little bear they'll be,
A wee, little bear in the New Earth,
And the little bear won't hurt me.
A short character-building story is told usually about children helping around the house--helping mommy and daddy, putting away their toys, their clothes, etc. But the best part of the hour was the story time. This was where the Bible story of the week was portrayed on the flannel board by the teacher. There was a teacher for ever 4 or 5 toddlers.
The children had fun at the Cradle Roll Class learning about Jesus and the wonderful things He has created. Come to think of it, I had as much fun as the children did going to the Cradle Roll class!