In the Awana program, Cubbies generally fall in the 3- and 4-year-old range. Because of their young age and the fact that you only do crafts and games for about 30 minutes, once a week, it is important for the activities to be fun, easy and quick. Usually the different stories lend themselves to specific crafts and activities, although you can throw in very generic ones for the children to enjoy.
As the children come in to Cubbies each week, get them started on a craft. This is an ideal time for crafts as you wait for all the children to show up. Always have a coloring page for the children to do when they finish the craft. Salvation bracelets, Foot Loops cereal necklaces and cotton-ball sheep are all good crafts that children enjoy. Sometimes the Cubbies curriculum comes with craft suggestions that you can use. If the crafts don't work for your classroom situation, don't be afraid to come up with something else.
Young children love to sing songs, often at the top of their lungs. Have a singing time incorporated into your weekly meetings. You don't have to have piano or CD accompaniment, simply have an adult at the front of the room leading the songs. You can introduce and sing the Cubbies song, but also have songs that the children already know, such as "The B-I-B-L-E," "Father Abraham" and "Jesus Loves Me."
Each Cubbie booklet comes with a weekly short story about Cub E. Bear and his friends. Purchase the character puppets through Awana and put on a puppet show using the weekly story as your script. This helps the story come alive for the children. You don' t have to have a professional stage; set a table on its side and have the teachers crouch behind it to do the puppet show.
Three- and 4-year-olds get restless quickly, so take them outside to play for a short time during Cubbies. They can play on the playground, or organize a game. "Duck, Duck Goose" and "Red Light, Green Light" are good games for large groups of children.
Blow up a lot of balloons, at least one for each child. Have the children try to keep the balloons in the air without touching the ground. "Follow the Leader" is also a good game; try to make a maze or walk in a silly manner.
Throughout the year, have a few fun activities that don't necessarily go with any lessons. Have Pajama Night where the children arrive dressed in their PJs. Make sure the teachers participate, also. Once you have done the lesson, put in a short movie and pass around the popcorn.
Holiday parties are fun, and you can plan a Christmas party and Valentine's Day party. Bring goodies to the classroom and send home goodie bags with the children.
Rebekah Martin is a freelance writer and tutor. Her work has appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Mississippi College. Martin teaches her young children at home and also teaches Sunday School to preschoolers.