Yesterday was our first Sunday teaching the 2nd & 3rd grade kid's connection class at The Well. It actually went really good. Nick felt nervous at first but the kids loved him. We spent some time coloring and talking with all of them for the first few minutes and then the kindergarten/1st grade class joined us for worship and the video lesson. Everyone enjoyed both. We also had an awesome group discussion with our kids about this months value: Uniqueness. All the kids participated and grasped the concept, because even later when I would ask one of them what the value was, they were able to rattle it off and give me a definition of it too. I was pretty proud of them. But we also learned that our kids have tons of pent up energy that if tempted, will cause them to go absolutely nuts. First of all, the class ran twenty minutes late because of the communion being served in the adult service. It really would have been no big deal except that one of the kids got bored and found some balloons. Harmless? I think not...
That was probably the worst idea ever. Immediately every kid wanted a balloon and soon they were racing around the room screaming and stealing each other's balloons. It got better too. One kid blew up his balloon until it was huuuuge, and then he inhaled back all the carbon dioxide into his mouth. Then he stumbled up to me to inform me that he felt really dizzy. Go figure. I had to crush that idea really fast by knotting his balloon shut. Another kid thought it would be a great idea to blow up the balloon and then let it go so that it shot around the room and smacked Nick right in the forehead. Sadly we had to stop that idea too. The kids thought it was hilarious but Nick seemed a bit stunned. Thankful, everyone enjoyed themselves and no harm was done.
Finally the balloons began to pop and everyone calmed down and we convinced them to play some calmer games just in time. Parents arrived to pick up their excited but much calmer children. And, I made sure to send each child home with a lesson reminder card like the awesome teacher that I am. At least we let them expend a lot of energy, right? I'd like to think that those children went straight home to a long nap and happy parents.
Needless to say, balloons have been banned from our classroom. Forever.
Even so, we learned some valuable lessons for the future. If the service happens to run a little late, from now on we will be playing heads up seven up or the quiet game. :) Just kidding. But seriously, who invented balloons? And, who left them in our classroom in plain sight??
This minor ballon blip actually turned out to be extremely enlightening and entertaining so for that I am grateful. The wheels in my mind have been turning with activity ideas to keep the class occupied and focused in the future, with more fun but less chaos.