Several years ago a mom came up to me and shared an idea from her former church. She told me about a program that the children’s pastor led every week called “Baby Praise”. It meant so much to her as a young mom to be able to connect with other young moms during the week and to do something fun with her child. She described Baby Praise as a time when moms and their kids sang fun songs together- many of them familiar nursery rhymes – and the children’s pastor would have a “mirror time” with each child where she sang a short song to them about how they are special to God. I LOVED the idea!! So, I decided to start something similar at my church.
Over the past few years Baby Praise has morphed into a wonderful opportunity to partner with parents! Each year my associate and I have tweaked it until we have a program I am very proud of! We have a few holdovers from the original idea, but the new items we have incorporated are what help us reach our goal of partnering with parents.
Every Thursday morning at 10:00 the moms (and sometimes dads) and children meet in one of our preschool rooms. We start with a five finger prayer that even the littlest can participate in. As we hold up each finger we say – “Good morning Lord. This is your day. I am your child. Show me your way. Amen. Hearing those sweet little voices saying that prayer every week melts my heart. I pray they will remember this prayer long after they have outgrown Baby Praise.
Next we sing three songs from our Sunday morning experience. Every month we choose six songs that complement our lessons for that month. Since we have two teaching hours and many of our children attend both hours, they will learn all six songs over the course of the month. For those children who only attend one hour, we alternate which songs are sung which hour each week so that those children will be able to learn all six songs as well. It is adorable to watch the moms and kids singing, jumping and doing all the motions together.
Next we review our Memory Verse for the month and motions and then we watch the Ollie video from the previous Sunday. This way parents see what their kids saw that week. It’s great for kids who missed the previous Sunday too! Our preschoolers LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Ollie, Stormie Jane and all our friends in our First Look video. We then sing the other three songs for the month.
One of my favorite parts of Baby Praise is after our singing when I play a song called “How Much Do I Love You” by Jana Alayra. Moms snuggle with their little ones while singing along. “From deep inside my heart, to the farthest star, is how much I do love you.” Such a precious time to quiet our hearts and love on each other.
Our last item on our agenda is SNACK!!! Everyone loves snack!!! Each mom brings the snack that she wants her child to have. And while the children are snacking, moms are visiting and I get to do my MOST FAVORITE part of Baby Praise – MIRROR TIME!!!!
As I hold a mirror up to each child individually, I quietly sing, just to them –
God loves ________
God loves _________
Yes, He does, Yes He does.
He thinks you are special, very, very special.
Yes He does. Yes He does.
(to the tune of Are You Sleeping)
I absolutely ADORE this time with each child. Some are a little shy and others not so much, but every single one of them are truly special to God and to me!
It blesses my heart to watch moms interact and encourage each other. Every week when I leave Baby Praise my heart is so full. I love seeing my little friends. I love encouraging moms and dads and I love multiplying the time we have on Sundays to teach God’s word.
Yes, there is no doubt that Thursdays from 10-11 AM is my favorite hour of the week.