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      What has worked for you for a

      ☆ (durable) Joy School house?

      ☆ Joy Boy puppet?

      ☆ Gathering mat (for opening and closing)?

      ☆ Gunny Bag?

      ☆ Other materials?

      Last year was my first time doing JS (besides when I was a preschooler), and here are some lessons learned about the materials.

      We used a tri-fold presentation board (think science fair) for the house. It was pretty thrashed by the end of the year, with window flaps taped back on amd the cute bell portion at the top ripped completely off. The window flaps also didn’t stay open well. A wooden board would be amazing for durability, but I don’t know how to make the window flaps work better. We had velcro circles stuck on ours to try to help, but even that didn’t really fix the problem.

      One mom in our group had a Joy Boy puppet from a previous JS group, and it was perfect! But I don't know how to make one myself.

      Our gathering mat was a large blanket with big felt circles sewn on for the kids to sit on. They were big and far enough apart that the kids weren’t touching each other if they sat cross-legged on them. The front row and back row were misaligned so that the kids in the back didn’t have the other kids’ heads blocking their view. Ours had 8 circles, which worked well for our 6 JS kids plus the teacher’s younger kids. One thing I would change is making all of the circles the same color. Different colors are deffinitely cute, but kids fought (mildly) over their favorote colors almost every class.

      My gunny bag is just fabric sewn into a bag shape. I’d like to add a face and drawstring but haven’t made the time. I’d like a great plan before just doing something quick.

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