For all of last week Hamish, Aonghas and I dedicated our mornings to helping out with our church's Children's Summer Programme. The theme this year was 'Amazing Animals', so the programme for each day would involve singing songs, playing games, telling stories and doing craftwork that revolved around that theme.
On the first Monday we found out our group colour and it turned out that I would be in the pink group! I was helping out the group with this boy and Jenny, this other girl from my youth group. We got along most of the time...except for when we were teasing each other! We had a group of 9 and 10 year olds so they weren't too bad, although there was this NZ European girl who asked me if she could annoy me and then throughout the week persisted in annoying me (which didn't really succeed! haha). There was also this boy who was also slightly anti-social, but then again he was only one of three boys out of twelve in our group!
We started the first day by playing games. I decided to join in and we played that game where we have to try reach the person at the front without him catching us moving, and if he does we have to go to the back. Because I got on all fours and crawled behind one of the kids I was able to get there and win!! But I decided to just let another kid win so they could play.
Jenny and Cleo did a little talk to the kids on the platypus...I learned a lot about the platypus from them! We sang some songs and played some games before ending the day with craftwork, getting the kids to make elephant bookmarks.
I didn't come on Tuesday because of my hospital appointment but I wish I did, as they got to make lion biscuits!! Aonghas was also giving a talk on sheep to the kids that day too!
I came back on Wednesday though and this time Aonghas wanted me to take more photos, so I was wandering around the place taking photos of the kids. Sometimes the shutter sound of the camera does get a little annoying and does make it a little harder to take more discreet photos! (Not in the dodgy way of course!).
That day we made animal armbands for craft while Jireh did a talk on giraffes with his little giraffe friend Jan/Jack (we got a little gender-confused!). That afternoon after the programme we visited a few material/fabric shops for my mum to check out some fabric she could use to make my skirt...on the last day of the programme I would be talking to the kids about butterflies and I wanted to dress up as one! We also visited The Warehouse for women's pink tops to go with my skirt. That was a little embarrassing, having my mum hold up women's tops in front of me to see if they fit me! We ended up managing to find a top that our mum would be able to wear afterwards, as well as some cheap hot pink stockings to go with it!
Thursday was the breakthrough day - the first day I've ever worn a pink T-shirt! I was originally going to wear a grey polo t-shirt but at the last minute realised I had a pink one in my drawer, so I decided to wear that - pink group represent!!! I was a little weary of wearing it as it was slightly tight and I thought it might make me a little gay or feminine. I got a few compliments though (they probably liked the t-shirt more than me wearing it though!), which was cool, although I got one comment
"My aunty has a t-shirt like that!"
Along with the songs, games and stories, Lisa talked to the kids about birds with Jireh dressing up as one. Lisa was pretty good with the kids! She's a natural with them. She helps out with children's Sunday School so I can see why! It was a little funny at the end Jireh ran off with the little kids chasing him. A few minutes later the kids came back to the mat saying they got told the bird died!
We made animal masks with the kids towards the end of the day which was probably one of the most challenging activities they had to do all week! A lot of the kids in our group wanted to make cat masks, although there were a couple pandas, dogs and rabbits. I was complimenting Jenny on a mask she helped fix (pretty much do) when one of the kids accused me of liking her, which was the second time it happened after she and I had a little argument over Twilight the day before! Ahh..naive kids...
Friday, the last day was probably the most fun and the weirdest for me personally. It was dress-up day and I was also giving a talk on butterflies, so we spent most of the night preparing the costumes...well my mum sewed my skirt for me while Aonghas managed to create a costume with the stuff we had a home. He grabbed a wash basket, bought a $2 bag of shoulder pads and some green fabric. He put them all together to form a tortoise costume!
We arrived in our normal clothes though since we had to get there early so they could show a slideshow of our photos. During the games I went and grabbed my costume from the car and went into the room adjacent to the hall to get dressed. I got caught out by a few of the helpers, so it wasn't much of a surprise to a few of them afterwards! I also printed out my face to attach to the end of a long green balloon (to look like a caterpillar...right?) but the balloon popped when I tried inflating it, so I had to grab some paper to form the body!
It was finally my time to come out and so I came out and did my little speech. I asked them what animal they thought I was. The first person I asked said fairy, although I thought I heard hairy! Another person said fairy before someone finally said butterfly!!
I remained in my costume for the rest of the day and got a lot of the little kids calling me 'fairy', 'hairy fairy', and calling me a girl/fafa/gay! All in good fun though! Some of the kids dressed up, while some of the helpers dressed up too. There was Jireh the cat/leopard, Jenny the rabbit, Lisa the cat, and Cleo the hippo/mouse!
Daniel, the other boy with Jenny and me helping the pink group used the print-out of my face as a mask and walked around wearing it and apparently it caused some kids to cry!!! Actually when I saw the photos afterwards I was a little disturbed at the sight of myself completely in pink as well!
The last craftwork for the day was making caterpillar magnets with pipe tubes, or is it tube pipes? Anyway we were trying to get them to make their craftwork but because I had the camera all the kids kept wanting to have a turn at taking a photo!
We ended the programme with a group photo and a bit of a prize-giving. By the end of the programme we were all exhausted and tired and it was finally over! We're going to have a barbeque for the helpers in a couple weeks to relive those memories though!