20 Mar Let’s Collaborate – April’s Environment – Humility!

Life App: Humility—putting others first by giving up what you think you deserve.
Theme: Be Our Guest
Date: April, 2014

When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie …That’s AMORE!

I LOVE the theme for this month. Not only do I love the idea of an Italian restaurant (my last name is Molite and my maiden name was Mannarino, so go figure!) but I also love the thought of teaching the Life App of Humility through the lens of how we might treat a guest in our home, church, etc. What a perfect month for it, as we gear up for Easter and will most likely have guests coming through the doors of our churches.

If you haven’t yet read the intro for April on 252 Basics matrix – I recommend that you do. It’s a great reminder of how when we host guests, we have to give up some of our comfort to accommodate the needs of others. Jesus gives us the ultimate example of this, and the Easter story depicts the highest form of humility. Personally, I love it when everything coordinates and connects together, so I’m super excited about the way this month’s theme and Life App tie into the celebration of Easter!

Inspiration from Disney

be-our-guest-beauty-and-the-beastThere are many directions you could take with this theme… most of which were inspired for me by Disney movies! Of course there is the theme itself – Be Our Guest, which conjures up images of dancing tea pots and candlesticks serenading Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

lady-and-the-tramp-screenThen there is the Italian restaurant scene from Lady and the Tramp – where the waiter plays “Bella Notte” on an accordion while the pups enjoy a plate of spaghetti and meatballs!

I feel like you could utilize either of these movies and create an environment based off of their images, characters, etc. Kids would relate and will most likely love seeing something so familiar incorporated into the teaching of humility.

Ultimately, I love the suggestions that 252 Basics gave in the “Create This Month’s Environment” section of Week 1’s Large Group Script. Most of our theme will come from that this month. I’ll probably use the songs “Bella Notte” and “Be Our Guest” either as intro songs for large group or on our house music-playlist that plays upon entrance to our environment.

Our Plan

You might remember from last month’s collaboration post that our church is in the midst of a move. Our new building is not ready just yet, so we are in a temporary and portable setting for the month of March. We are hopeful that we will be in our new home sometime in April. That means our kids will see their new space at the same time as we launch the Life App of Humility. As a result, the Life App Theme will not be as big as it has been in previous months for us. We will be working overtime to get our new facility up and running and we are strategically going to focus our efforts and energy on that, rather than the creation of a large-scale themed set. Having said that – we are going to use our new stage to create the setting of an Italian restaurant as 252 Basics suggested.

ernesto-s-italian-restaurantTIP – If you Google “Italian Restaurant” images, a host of inspiration awaits. This photo I found of Ernesto’s in Portland, Oregon will offer the basis for our stage design.

Here are some of the things we are planning:

  • We’ll paint our backdrop a muted yellow color.
  • We’ll have a Photo Tex sticker printed of the Theme slide graphic and hang that in the center of the backdrop.
  • We’ll hang framed photos of scenic Italy around that graphic.
  • We’ll have an easel chalkboard with the “Menu for the Day” written on it.
  • We’ll have card tables with red and white checkered table cloths, bread baskets, candles, etc on each.
  • We’ll place ficus trees around the “restaurant” and attach green leafy garland to the backdrop.

Ninos-Italian-Restaurant-09 (1)I did think about having someone in our church who is an artist paint a Tuscan scene (rolling hills, vineyards, etc.) as the entire backdrop, but again – with our move, our energy needs to be focused in a different direction this month. Thought I’d share the idea in case someone could use it.

YOUR TURN!

So, what are you all planning? Please jump in and share your ideas in the comment section below. Attach pictures if you’d like. Collaboration over the past two months has been terrific. I so appreciate all of you and your amazing creativity. Let’s keep it going… Ready. Set. SHARE!

Grazie a tutti! (Translation – thank you everyone!)

  • Bernie

    I’ve been working on it a little early since my hubby and I will be celebrating our 25th the 1st week of April. I have a bunch of stuff on my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/patnbernie/252-april-humility-decor/ . I’ll probably use the stone wall backdrop I have. I like the red, green and white flags. 2 tables all set with white tablecoths and contrasted with the checkered in the middle. I love the gondola, but I doubt I’ll do it. I just loved the idea.

    • Lisa Molite

      I love your Pinterest page! I am actually thinking now that I will possibly make an outdoor sidewalk cafe… with shutters and an awning! Thanks for sharing your page!!! Great stuff.

  • TPCC Kids

    We are using similar ideas to what Bernie posted! I purchased large rolls of plastic gingham tablecloth, and will be cutting a scalloped edge about 1 1/2 feet down to create an awing that will drape all the way across the backdrop curtain on our stages. I also used a projector to trace a chalk drawing of the theme image for the month on black butcher paper. This will go in a giant frame (about 48″ x 86″) and hang in the center of the stage. We will also have a small, round, cafe-style table with a tablecloth, vase of flowers, menus and two chairs on one corner of the stage. I’ll post pictures on Twitter one the new set goes up next week! (@tpcckids)

    • Lisa Molite

      Can’t wait to see the pics! Sounds like it’s going to be terrific.

  • Kidventure

    We have a great artist in our church. She painted a backdrop from the pic below minus the table and chairs…and added a plant on the left for balance. She made a separate awning out of fabric and attached it for dimension. We have a puppet window (no longer used for puppets) to the right of the main wall, so she made a matching awning for that window. Plan to use some black foam core to make shutters for the puppet window and use a tension rod with blue fabric draped over it for curtains. We’ll use two bistro tables & chairs from the main foyer & cover with round red/white check tablecloths. A strand or two of clear globe lights will hang over the tables for atmosphere. A few faux red hydrangeas in pots will be scattered around and possibly a faux tree or two with lights strung. This is our first month to use the 252 Curriculum…super excited!!! Love your blog site, thanks for sharing.

    • Lisa Molite

      This all sounds so great! I love this picture. I found a similar one on Bernie Lopez’s Pinterest board below that acted as our inspiration as well. So excited for you as you launch 252 Basics. We love it!!! Thanks for the kind words about the blog.

    • Lisa Molite

      Hey there… I’m finally putting my showcase together for April. Did you get photos of your Italian restaurant set? Would love to include them in the showcase!

  • Kevin Duecker

    My plan (keyword: “plan”) so far is to use black butcher paper along one wall and treat it like a blackboard, writing in white chalk (with a projector to trace from) “HUMILITY” and maybe the definition below, if there’s room. I will “frame” out the faux chalkboard with fiberboard wall strips (available for super cheap at Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc…) and then use the gingham print tablecloth as a border. Should turn out to be a pretty cool focal wall advertising the Life App.

    We have an awkward setting in our old 1904 church, so another idea I have for the wall is something I must admit may not turn out the best – OR it could be really cool: I’m thinking about getting some pieces of foam board ($1/sheet from Dollar Tree) and covering it in gingham print (tablecloth or perhaps gift wrap) and then gluing on place settings (paper plates, plasticware, napkins, cups, centerpiece, etc…) to create a mock restaurant tabletop. I may then hang those on the walls pending it doesn’t get too trippy with the depth perception. Should be a pretty inexpensive feature, though, so I figure it’s worth trying!

    • Lisa Molite

      Hey Kevin… I love these ideas! I particularly love how you’ve included the costs and places to get stuff. Really helpful. I hope you’ll send pics of your finished product. The tabletops sound like they could be really fun and cool! Hope they work!

  • OUTSIDE of FRENCH restaurant instead of the INSIDE theme:
    1) Printed the Blank Sign and had printed on Poster Size, then used chalk to create a personalized sign for our restaurant (LEAP)
    2) The Humility Wall will have the table place setting painted on with white paint, then we will have a small bistro table in the corner. This wall is outside by the sign-in area for the parents to let them know a smidgen of what their children will be learning about.
    3) Stage – still have to get two plants to put beside door (used plastic wrap for door as window), and make menu signs (weekly bottom line) to put into stands on the tables next to windows (which we nailed some wood pieces on back so they stand instead of have to be hung. Created trees from A/C Pipes and wrapped with brown paper and green for leaves. Purchased a LONG white apron from Amazon for @$9.00 for the waiter (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003KN21WY/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Purchased red/white material (2 yards) from Amazon and made an easy wooden frame to create the overhang over the door and will REUSE when we do CARNIVAL/CIRCUS at some point (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GOB82EA/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Wired a lot of it.
    4) Used an outdoor umbrella donated for the month with a bistro table. Still need to get a stand up menu printed and put on the table that I will make out of black paper or binder (http://www.amazon.com/NDG-Superior-Menu-Cover-Black/dp/B0019GQ300/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396275439&sr=8-3&keywords=restaurant+menu)
    5) A Frame Menu Board – purchased on Amazon for @$50 and it came with markers – will reuse a LOT (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051W6O5C/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1).
    6) Paris wall decal (Pier One 1/2 price) and an extra door leaning against wall
    7) Borrowing the light-up Eiffel Tower to put in the corner of the room (not shown).
    BTW, I’m going this week to purchase lots of black cloth to drape over tables and backdrop, etc. Right now, we had butcher paper and used that.

    Here are some other links of things to help with ideas:
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742380507/ – window/flowers
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742377244/ – wall
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742377232/ – my inspiration
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742377262/ – door front
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742377117/ – be our guest
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742377264/ – GOING to make and hang outside the door
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/241505598742377197/ – inside bistro

    • Lisa Molite

      Thank you Shelly for the photos and links and all the work you have put into sharing your ideas. It is all so helpful!

      • Lisa Molite

        Also, love the verse on the check in station area! Great way to engage parents from the start!

        • Thanks girl!! 😉 Sets not done compeltely, but I know it’s easier to grab someone else’s work and tweek it. LOL

    • 1) Found this clipart and blacked out the area and then put in our name. Printed on 11 x 17 cardstock and am hanging back-to-back over the doors covering the current door signs which stick out from wall.
      2) Door Signs that slide into clear panels at Small Group.

    • I have 11 x 17 stands that are vertical and needed a bottom line slide in this direction. I’ve created all of these for the month and they are on the large group stage.

  • Kory Hollensteiner

    Here is what we started with so far…looking for more ideas. I appreciate all the ideas I am seeing!

    • Lisa Molite

      Hi Kory… did you post some photos in this comments? They are not showing up here, but we’d love to see what you are up to!

      • Kory

        I did…it says that it needed to be approved by the website.

        • Lisa Molite

          Photos landed a bit later than the post. Sorry about that… but WOW! This looks terrific! I love the tablecloths, the chalkboards, everything. So great!

        • Lisa Molite

          Oh and the closed sign – such a cute detail!

    • Kory

      Photo

  • Josh Cheramie

    This is what we have so far…still have to do the finishing touches… And I’ll probably add more stuff…lol… More photos to come!!

    • Lisa Molite

      This happened earlier with another person that posted. I am not seeing the photos yet, but hopefully they will be here soon. I’ll approve them as soon as they hit the site.

  • Erica Shelton

    We try to keep our set to three main components each month. So we have the tables, wall art and hostess stand. Thanks for all of your suggestions and helps.

    • Lisa Molite

      This looks terrific Erica! Love the blue tissue in the glasses. Really cute and fun! Thanks for sharing.

    • I like the idea of the hostess stand. That’s great!! I’ll have to look for a podium around here. Atmosphere looks like a real restaurant.

  • Bernie

    Ok, just finished ours. The front wall is just vinyl brick wall covering that we already had. I made a window out of cardboard and layered it to look like you are looking inside a restaurant. I printed poster size (about 12 sheets of paper), glued them down on cardboard, then made a lace curtain out of a lace plastic tablecloth, then a sheet of clear celophane, then the window panes. The pane was spraypainted white with just some quick markings on it with black marker. The rest of the props were things I had, or I also picked up a couple of things at the thrift store. I really like the lights. It’s a nice touch, and so easy.
    The awning is just white butcher paper, and red streamers glued on it. I need to straighten out the edge or support it so the straighten out. It’s glued on cardboard and thumbtacked up. I plan to bring something each week that the kids can munch on after small group or during small group (fresh bread, italian candy, etc).

    • Lisa Molite

      Everything looks terrific! Thanks for sharing your process. Still working on mine so it is so helpful! Great stuff.

    • That looks great!!! Love the window and the use of the posters as pictures for the restaurant. I’m stealing the light idea too…need to go shop.

      • Lisa Molite

        I know what you mean Shelly! I’m stealing ideas too. As a matter of fact, did you say that restaurant sign (The Leap Bistro) was an editable file? If so, could you send it to me? Maybe you’ve already included in your comments. I’ll go look. But if not, can I get a copy? Thanks!

  • Lisa Molite

    Haven’t looked at May yet, but saw someone on the 252 FB page ask about it too. I’ll try to get that collaboration post up sooner than later this month.

  • Christian

    Got most of it done! On stage, we borrowed the facade from another ministry at church, looks perfect. All I had to buy was the table cloth (1 roll was $15 at Smart N Final). I wrapped an easel and decorated, this is in front of our doors so everyone has to interact with the verse and theme. Then I used one of those insulation panels you love and thats on the feature wall. Looks more like a picnic table but gets the point across.
    Need some more details…salt n pepper shakers, flowers, etc. but overall Im feeling good.
    I know I stole some of these ideas so thanks to whomever I stole from.
    Cheers!
    Did anyone do anything with Beauty and the Beast?

  • Christian

    Got most of it done! On stage, we borrowed the facade from another ministry at church, looks perfect. All I had to buy was the table cloth (1 roll was $15 at Smart N Final). I wrapped an easel and decorated, this is in front of our doors so everyone has to interact with the verse and theme. Then I used one of those insulation panels you love and thats on the feature wall. Looks more like a picnic table but gets the point across.
    Need some more details…salt n pepper shakers, flowers, etc. but overall Im feeling good.
    I know I stole some of these ideas so thanks to whomever I stole from.
    Cheers!
    Did anyone do anything with Beauty and the Beast?

    • Lisa Molite

      Hey Christian… This all looks terrific. I love the idea of creating a ‘set table’ with the graphics for parents to see and interact with. Also, the facade you borrowed is perfect. I have not seen any Beauty and the Beast just yet. Thanks for interacting on the blog. Can you let me know the name of your church and location for our April SHOWCASE. Thanks!

      • Christian

        Shoreline Community Church, Monterey CA
        Thanks for all you do!

        • Lisa Molite

          Thank you Christian!

  • TPCC Kids

    Forgot to share pics with you guys! Here are photos of our April Stage – Be Our Guest! The framed art is a chalk drawing I made old-school style, using an old projector. I traced the image with pencil and then filled in with chalk. It was actually incredibly simple.

  • Diane Arthurs Gihring

    We did the Italian theme. St. Paul’s Lutheran in Orange ,CA. Trying to post image…

    • Diane Arthurs Gihring

      Almost time to take it all down and start all over again for May!

      • Lisa Molite

        Love the brick walls with windows and gradient colored curtain backdrop. How did you guys make the brick walls and is the curtain just fabric your found? It’s cool the way you draped it. How did you make that happen?

        • Diane Arthurs Gihring

          I have some canvases stretched on wood frames that I can use either vertically or horizontally. I put paper over them to paint them each month. This month I painted them as windows and brick walls. The curtain is just fabric…wish it was bigger but working with what we have. Not sure where we originally got it. We have a jungle backdrop too. If neither of those fit, then I just leave it as black. I just pretend we are putting on an abstract play each Sunday and hope the audience will be able to imagine the scene bigger than I can actually make it. Thanks for asking 🙂