It's encouraging when families from the community attend your regular midweek kidmin programs or planned special events. Hopefully, they love every minute!
It was like that for Sharon who quietly turned up one Tuesday morning with her two little ones for playgroup.
She enjoyed the friendly,welcoming atmosphere. She appreciated the fun and excitement evident on the faces of their children as they played with the other children, joined in enthusiastically with the singing and craft time and listened intently during story-time.
But how do you extend that connection with families, like Sharon's, once your program ends? What can you do to provide interest and encouragement for families beyond the time frames of your scheduled programs and, potentially, build into their daily lives?
While we've provided regular inspiration for our church families for years using Group's ParentLink newsletter (see here if you want more information about this resource), we needed something for non-church families providing encouragement, parenting tips, ideas and resources.
The newsletter is one-sided to allow space to including details of other kidmin programs or special upcoming events on the reverse. Also, as a practical resource for families, we hand out the weekly copy of The Weekly Household Planner from the Confident Mom. You can find more information about it here..
When the newsletter was first handed out, we included an individually wrapped macaron for each person and encouraged the parents to relax and enjoy the macaron while reading the newsletter. (It was very popular!)
Read more about this newsletter here..
The newsletter is handed out each week so that families look forward to reading the new information and ideas and are encouraged when they receive something for them to enjoy. We also hand the newsletter out at the Sunday morning kidmin program. Many of the kids who come along each Sunday attend without their parents and we hope and pray that their parents will read the helpful articles without feeling threatened or uncomfortable. We also pray that they will want to learn more.
A free sample copy of The Macaron Approach is provided below and if you're thinking of using the resource yourself, you can find it here. There are 10 undated issues in the first volume pack- one for each week of the term.