One complaint that I have often had about Awana is that much of there stuff is kinda dated. I understand that deep tradition that Awana has. I understand the long standing history of Sharing the Gospel with children and discipling them. But, this is 2013 and some of there stuff seems almost to be from the original days of the Awana ministry. So, when I got an email offering me a chance to review some cool NEW stuff from Awana I jump at the opportunity. What arrived at my house a short time later was a treasure chest full of tools designed to capture the attention and imagination of preschool children from age 3-5, also know as CUBBIES.
Much of what I received was updated styling to familiar things. Included was a new Cubbies T-shirt that my daughter looks so cute in (My daughter is 4 years old and is, therefore, a Cubby). Also included were some rather attractive t-shirts and Polo style shirts for Cubby leaders.
- The Handbook:The most important part of any children’s ministry material is the teaching materials. Included in the updated Cubby materials is a new handbook for the kids. I LOVE THIS BOOK. The Bible makes it clear that parents are to be the primary spiritual leaders for their children. This is especially outlined in Deuteronomy chapter 6. This new book starts by explaining TO THE PARENTS their important role in the spiritual development of their children. However, it doesn’t stop there. It then goes on to explain how parents can use this new book to help guide their preschooler throughout the Awana year. Each week is a story for the parents to read with their child along with activities that help them to learn the truths within that story. Of course what would Awana be without Scripture memorization. Each weeks activities also includes a memory verse aimed specifically at preschoolers.
- Teaching Aides: One of the keys to teaching Biblical truths to children is getting and keeping their attention. This is especially true with preschoolers. Awana has developed a number of tools to help with that.
- Puppets: Included in the kit I received were puppets to help deliver each weeks message. These fuzzy, fun and lovable characters can really help to get the kids attention and keep it long enough to deliver your point home. Don’t worry about a fancy puppet stage, being the best puppeteer or becoming a great ventriloquist. With this age group just the fact that you tried is enough.
- Graphics: Also included are large, full color prints that go along with each weeks message. This can really help to tell the story and to get your preschoolers to pay attention. It also included a CD with high quality digital versions of these images for those that might be using Power Point or some other presentation software.
- Fun Stuff: Also included was one of the those light up fans that spells out a message. At first wen I turned it on I thought I was just something fun that the kids would like. As I watched the different messages pop up I realized that it was telling the gospel. Well, not really telling it, but highlighting different verses that can be used to tell the gospel. What a cool tool this would be. Turn the fan on, point it towards the kids and start sharing the gospel with them. I think it would be a fairly rare kid that could turn away from the cool, red lights as the words change.
- Over All Impression: Overall I love these new materials. If this is a sign of things to come from Awana, then I am really excited about the future of Awana in our church. I can’t wait to see our Cubby leaders use this material to teach kids and share the gospel with them. These materials are high quality and useful. If you are wondering if you should order these new materials or not, I say order them. You will not be disappointed.
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