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The Ontario Institute 
for Studies in Education 

Toronto, Canada 


MAR 2 5 1969 





Digitized by tine Internet Arcliive 

in 2008 witli funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 


Since baby came, 

The birds all sing a brighter, merrier lay; 
The weary, darksome shades have fled away, 
And night has blossomed into perfect day — 
Since baby came. 

— Eugene Field 


of The Church School 




iDipartmeni of Educatiotial Publications) 


Copyright 1920 
By a. W. fell 


It is the aim of this little book to show 
something of the beauty and value of the child 
and the necessity of providing for his religious 
needs. If it falls into the hands of a person 
in whose church school there is no Cradle Roll, 
may it be the means of leading him to start 
one at once. 

*' God help us tf ackers, parents, all to live aright. 
And may our lives all truth and love unfold^ 
Since life for us no loftier aim can hold 
Than leading little children in the light.'* 

The Baby Who Left Me a Legacy 

IILWE been left a legacy, a wonderful, heart-warm- 
ing legacy! I smile through my tears, for I have 
been bequeathed other people's babies! Their smiles, 
their tears, their whimpers, yes, even their funny little 
tempers were willed to me just before the sunniest 
atom of all took sail in her wee white ship for the Land 
of Far-Away. 

Music there lies for me in even the stormiest baby 
cry, for it smites across the harp of memory and sounds 
forth the plaintive tones of that small sweet babe of 
long ago. Rainbows I find in the tears in a baby's 
eyes, for they bring back the bright drops that once 
glistened in eyes of heaven's hue. And when I kiss 
the tears from the eyes of another's child, it strangely 
eases the ache in this heart of mine. 

For babies are cuddly and rose-leafy and soft and 
sweet. Such friends they are to the lonely, with their 
shy, fleeting smiles, their wise, quiet eyes and their 
gurgling glee at finding a friend just over the way. 

No matter how dreary, no matter how sad this gray 
world has grown, if you make friends with the babies, 
wherever you meet them — in train, street or car, in 
carriages of state all snuggled soft in 'broidered covers 
and silken puff or pillowed close in a tired mother's 
arms on the broken steps of Poverty Town — you will 
find that the Grayness has somehow rainbowed into 
Gladness and that the shadows of life have scurried 
away under the magic touch of these God-given Sun- 

/ know! For my heart is wrapped about the chubby 
toes and pink fingers, the sweet eyes and queer but- 
tony noses, the rosebud mouths and the dimpled chins 
of all the babies that flower 'cross my path. I know, 
you see, because they have all been willed to me by 
the Baby-Who-Could-Not-Stay. 

Mary Sweete 

Used by permission. 


npHE Cradle Roll is now recognized as an 
-*- extension department of the church 

It was in 1877, in the Central Baptist 
Church of Elizabeth, New Jersey, that the 
first Cradle Roll was organized. The names 
of the baby brothers and sisters of the 
Primary children were entered in a birth- 
day book. These little children, too young 
to attend Sunday school, were visited in 
their homes, remembered on their birth- 
days, and were really counted as a part of 
the school until they were able to attend 
the sessions of the Primary Department, 
or, as it was then called, " infant class." 

From this small beginning the work has 
grown and developed until at present there 
is no branch of the church school which is 
more beautiful or far-reaching in its in- 
fluence, or which has a stronger hold upon 
the home, than has the Cradle Roll. 

The baby in the home is often the strong- 
est link which binds that home to the 
church. It is not surprising, then, that 
- these " idols of hearts and of households " 


have made a place for themselves in this 
extension department of the church school. 

It is these little lives that during their 
first three years come under the watch- 
care of the church through the Cradle Roll 
Department of the church school. 

When the mother's arms hold for the 
first time the tiny, helpless, priceless being 
God has given, the mother-love enfolds 
that baby life, shielding and supporting 
it. In a like manner the church through 
its extension department reaches out and 
enfolds the little life which is just beginning, 
surrounding it with loving care and pro- 
viding for its religious nurture, for the 
purpose of the Cradle Roll is to help the 
parents in providing Christian training for 
their little children and to open the way 
for the babies and their parents to come 
into closest relationship to the church 
through the church school. 

Every school should extend its influence 
into the home through this department. 
There is no school so small, so isolated, so 
poor, so large or so prosperous that it can 
afford to neglect its babies and little chil- 
dren. They are its greatest asset. ' 


Introduction ..... ix 

I The Baby and Mother ... 1 

II The Cradle Roll Standard . . 14 

III Organization 18 

IV The Equipment and Its Use . 29 
V Ways of Working .... 39 

VI The Cradle Roll Class and Lessons 57 

VII Special Days . 
VIII Helping the Mothers 
IX Children's Week . 



Chapter I 

Little hands that cling so tightly 

To the guardian of your fate! 
Tiny feet that press so lightly 

'Neath your wond'rous featherweight, 
Who am I to guard you rightly, 

Who am I to guide you straight? 

Yet you cling as though you knew me 
Worth your trusting, every whit; 

And the thought goes singing through me — 
Shines about me where I sit, — 

That the Power which sent you to me 
Knows that somehow I am fit.^ 

— BuRGES Johnson. 

r\P all the things in God's great, beautiful 
^^ world, there is nothing quite so beau- 
tiful, quite so precious and quite so interest- 
ing to study as a little child. 

Heredity and Environment 

We are told that the first three years of 
life are very significant. At the begin- 

'From Ckiidkood. Used by permission of Thomas Y. Crowell Co. 


ning the little life may be started right 
or the soul may be marred. Indeed, before 
the baby's eyes open upon the world, an 
influence has begun to shape his character. 
Mrs. Lamoreaux emphasizes this fact when 
she says, " Life is unstained by guilt in its 
early years. It comes innocent from the 
hand of God, but fingers long since vanished 
have traced lines that mar the perfect 

Heredity is a mighty force in shaping the 
character of the child. Through its influ- 
ence, parents may mar or beautify the lives 
of their children. Fortunately, however, 
the child is not dependent upon his parents 
alone for the stamp upon his character. 
Down through the ages there has come to 
him the impress of the many influences 
which have shaped human nature and which 
cannot be entirely lost in one or two genera- 
tions. Tendencies, both good and evil, 
are bequeathed to him. He is a " bundle of 
possibilities," and whether the good and 
beautiful or the evil shall develop is 
determined largely by environment and 

We cannot change the child's heredity. 
He is here with his " heritage of the ages." 
The most the parent can do is to try, with 
God's help, to shape the life through nurture. 


The first three years of the child's Hfe 
are the mother's golden time of opportunity. 
She should realize what wonderful possibili- 
ties lie within that little body, possibili- 
ties of " strength and activity, of unlimited 
knowledge, of a pure and noble moral 
character, which shall fit him for a life of 
service among men and of communion and 
companionship with the divine." 

Beginnings of Education 

As he starts " out from the shore of the 
great unknown " the baby is ignorant of 
everything, even of himself. He lies, a 
little helpless bundle, in his mother's arms, 
able to do little more than cry when hun- 
gry or uncomfortable. Sometimes at the 
sound of his mother's voice, as she sings or 
talks to him, his lips quiver into a queer 
little " three-cornered smile." He does not 
understand her love but he feels her care. 
Very soon he reacts to sensations, either 
agreeable or unpleasant, which come to 
him. He is attracted by a light and if 
allowed to do so, gazes at it with wide-open 
eyes. He starts at a sound. If it pleases 
him, he turns his head toward it and smiles. 
If the reverse, he turns from it and cries. 
He has learned to locate the sound. Now 
he recognizes his mother and turns in fear 


from strangers. He discovers his 'fingers 
and toes and learns the way to his mouth. 
He also makes the discovery that it|is 
possible to get what he wishes by crying 
for it. Sully says that *' it is several years 
before he knows his own body as an object 
separate from other objects, and with all of 
its parts connected and vitally related." 

Continuing his discoveries, some day he 
finds that he can creep or hitch himself 
over the floor until he can reach his ball or 
rattle which rolled away from him. Then 
the day comes when after he has pulled 
himself up by a chair, he balances himself a 
moment and takes a step or two quite 
alone. Soon he masters the art of walking 
and the feat of talking. Now he is " get- 
ting into mischief " everywhere, his busy 
little fingers grasping everything within 
reach. He takes an object, looks at it, 
shakes it, drops it, picks it up and conveys 
it to his mouth to apply the final test of 
tasting it. 

He imitates everything within his sight 
and hearing — the swaying branches of the 
tree, the crowing of the rooster, the barking 
of the dog, the chirping of the birds, the 
whistle of the engine, the laughter of chil- 
dren, the gestures of people and the sound of 
their voices. By doing what he sees others 


do, he learns how to do certain things for 
himself and also begins to feel himself in 
sympathy with them. He has things in 
common with others. 

One thing absorbs his attention and time 
from morning till night — his play. He 
lives in a veritable world of play, and evi- 
dences of his activities may be found in 
every room in the house. Here is a pile 
of blocks where once stood a wonderful 
tower or house; in the corner of the library 
is his fire-engine; the dining-room chairs 
standing in a row, one behind the other, are 
a train of cars, and the table has become a 
circus tent under which are all the toy 
animals from the nursery. 

He turns from one thing to another, 
always playing at something suggested to 
him by what he sees about him. In so 
doing he is developing powers which he will 
need later on, for play is a preparation for 
life. The little girl who loves and cuddles, 
nurses and cares for her doll will some day 
be the better fitted to care for a real baby, 
and some day the little boy who now builds 
his block houses and dams and bridges will 
do his part in the great work of the world. 

In speaking of play activity, Henry F. 
Cope says, " It is nature's best method of 
education, for when a child plays he is 


simply reaching forward in his activities 
to the realization of his ideals. Play is 
idealized experiences. There is always a 
significance of wider and maturer experi- 
ence in children's play. . . . The special 
religious value of play lies in the fact that 
the child, in his games, is experimenting 
with life, learning its lessons; especially 
is he learning the art of living with other 
lives. The adequate care of a child's 
play-life will involve, in addition to the 
trained intelligence of the parents, pro- 
vision for space in the house and also out- 
doors, willingness to subordinate our peace 
and our pleasure to the child's play at 
times, a reasonable though not necessarily 
expensive provision of play materials, at- 
tention to the character of the plays and 
playmates. The house will not lose its 
harmony and beauty if it is filled with 
playing children. Its function has to do 
with their development rather than the 
preservation of chairs."^ 

Regarding the significance of early home 
education. Professor Athearn says, " A 
child of eleven months of age will recognize 
pictures. What are to be the first pictures 
in the nursery? Long before he can talk, 
the baby enjoys the harmony of sound. 

' Relitious Education in the Family. Cope. 


What are to be the first tunes that play 
upon the infant mind? By two years of 
age the average child has used five hundred 
different words. What should be the vo- 
cabulary of the home in which a human 
being is ' picking up ' a language? " 

When does the Uttle child become con- 
scious of God? Who can tell? Before he 
can talk he absorbs religious impressions. 
Of course, he does not understand what his 
mother is doing when night after night she 
kneels beside his crib and speaks to One 
whom he cannot see, but an impression is 
indelibly registered. 

Nurture in the Home 

The nurture or training in the home may 
be summed up in the one word " habit." 
The child acquires habits very quickly, and 
if he is not helped in the beginning to form 
right habits, he will be growing all the time 
into wrong ones which he may, with great 
effort, have to undo in after years. 

Habits begin to be formed from the 
moment the baby enters the world — habits 
which determine his character and destiny. 
The impressions received from those about 
him and the home atmosphere or environ- 
ment are woven into his life, and although 
he cannot understand them, they form the 


greater part of his education. Thus the 
home becomes his first school and the 
parents are his first teachers. 

Right habits which he should form may 
be classified under three heads — habits 
concerning himself, habits of life in rela- 
tion to others, and religious habits, or 
habits in relation to God. 

{a) Habits concerning himself include 
those by which health is fostered and " the 
basis of a sound mental life is provided" 
by care which is given at regular times, 
such as regular times for eating, sleeping, 
dressing, playing, resting and caressing. 
The child soon learns what to expect at 
certain times and under certain conditions, 
and to respond happily, so that, as Professor 
Kirkpatrick says, " he will be a joy to him- 
self and others, or he may become the fretful, 
irritable, irritating tyrant of the house- 

As he grows a little older and can do some 
things for himself, he needs to form habits 
of cleanliness. He must learn that his body 
is the house in which the real self lives and 
that it must be kept pure and clean — face, 
hands, ears and teeth need his care. 

The home must also help the child to form 
habits of independence and resourcefulness. 
He must be left to do things for himself. 


It may take longer for a child to button his 
own shoes or put on his own rubbers than 
to do it for him, but as soon as he is able 
to do for himself he should not expect to 
have some one do these little things. In 
doing for himself he forms the habit of 
independence. He needs now direction and 
suggestions that will help him to act for 
himself. Habits of industry begin to be 
formed when the child is very young by 
having certain little tasks to perform. 

(b) Habits of life in relation to others 
consist, primarily, in doing what others do 
and in sharing with them. This is the time 
when the example of those about him so 
greatly influences the child's conduct. Now 
he needs to be helped to form the social 
habits of courtesy, unselfishness, helpful- 
ness, truthfulness and obedience. Profes- 
sor Kirkpatrick says that " the two most 
important things to provide during this 
period are (1) pleasant, sympathetic rela- 
tions between the child and those around 
him, and (2) the uniform conditions which 
are favorable to the formation of desirable 
habits of conduct. Obedience should, dur- 
ing this period, be more a matter of habit 
than of conscious volition." 

(c) The first and perhaps the only dis- 
tinctively religious habit that a child under 


four years of age can be expected to form Is 
that of prayer, and the training of his de- 
votional Ufe should begin long before he is 
able to understand or use language. 

His ideas and habits concerning God as 
well as concerning other things are gained 
from his home surroundings, and if the home 
is Christian and father and mother pray in 
the presence of the baby, he will receive 
religious impressions long before he under- 
stands what they are doing, or before he 
even knows the name " God." The mother 
who kneels beside her baby's crib and prays 
for him is giving him his first lessons in 
prayer. In The Dawn of Religion in the 
Mind of a Child^ Mrs. Mumford very beauti- 
fully describes the mother's prayer influence 
over her little one as follows : 

" The tiny baby, now a few months old, 
is lying awake in his cradle, ready for his 
evening sleep; his mother is kneeling be- 
side him, her head reverently bowed, her 
hand holding his in her warm, soft clasp. 
She is praying to God — praying that he 
will care for her baby through the coming 
night, care for him in the coming years of 
youth and manhood. The touch of her 
hand, the sound of her voice, the sight of 
her face, as she kneels there, from the first, 
in some dim way, vaguely modify the con- 


tents of his little mind — even though, as 
yet, he can understand nothing of what it 
all means. Still, as each night she prays, 
as each night, month after month this same 
group of sense impressions has been pas- 
sively received in his baby brain, invariably 
registered, then unconsciously analysed and 
compared, gradually the group, as a whole, 
stands out in his mind with a certain degree 
of definiteness. . . . When his mother 
prays, her attitude, her tone of voice, her 
expression of face, the very touch of her 
hand, are different from what they are at 
any other time and under any other cir- 
cumstances, and to this difference the 
child instinctively responds. Silently and 
unconsciously, her reverence, her love, com- 
municated to him in some strange and 
exquisite way, along the chords of human 
sympathy, call forth in him, almost from 
the first, feelings akin to her own. What 
she feels, he, too, begins to feel, and a 
child is capable of religious feelings long 
before he is capable of religious thought." 

As soon as the child has learned to talk, 
the mother should give him a little sentence 
prayer to say to God. He may not under- 
stand it, but the prayer habit is thus being 
formed and the understanding and meaning 
of prayer will come in due time. 


Before he is old enough to attend the 
sessions of the church school, the child is 
capable of following simple stories of a 
religious nature in the home, and of learn- 
ing his first lessons in the virtues of obedi- 
ence, kindness, unselfishness and the like. 

The Mother's Opportunity. 

These years when the mother has her 
baby with her practically all of the time, 
when the home is his sole environment, 
are the years of her golden opportunity. 
Never again will she have him entirely 
under her watch-care. Other people and 
a larger environment will soon add their 
influence to hers. Now the little child is 
the product of the home, and the songs 
and stories, the play and work, the love and 
care, the ideas and habits of the home are 
built into his very life. Professor Kirk- 
patrick says, " The spirit of the people 
around the child, the atmosphere of the 
home, never enter so fully into the child's 
nature and become a part of it as during 
this time." The little child is " the in- 
dividual in the making," and he is the 
mother's opportunity. 



My opportunity! Dear Lord, I do not ask 

That thou shouldst give me some high work of 

Some noble calling, or some wondrous task — 
Give me a little hand to hold in mine. 

I do not ask that I should ever stand 

Among the wise, the worthy, or the great; 

I only ask that, softly, hand in hand, 
A child and I may enter at thy gate. 

Give me a little child to point the way 

Over the strange, sweet path that leads to thee; 

Give me a little voice to teach to pray; 
Give me two shining eyes thy face to see. 

The only crown I ask, dear Lord, to wear, 
Is this — that I may teach a little child 

How beautiful, oh, how divinely fair 

Is thy dear face, so loving, sweet and mild! 

I do not need to ask for more than this. 

My opportunity! Tis standing at my door. 
What sorrow if this blessing I should miss! 

A little child! Why should I ask for more? 

— Marion B. Craig. 

Chapter II 


CTANDARDS have long been adopted 
^ as measurements of conditions and 
results. The thermometer records the tem- 
perature; scales test the weight; the bushel 
measures the bulk; the yardstick the 
length. Quantity and quality should both 
be " up to standard," but the custom has 
been more common to measure quantity. 

In the development of the modern church- 
school work, it has become necessary also 
to erect standards by which the various 
courses, classes, departments and schools 
may be measured. 

We realize that spiritual results cannot 
be checked and tabulated, as can points on 
organization and equipment, yet the latter 
are important as helpful toward the at- 
tainment of the spiritual aims. 

Every Cradle Roll superintendent has 
in mind certain ideals and aims for her 
department. She has probably set for her 
department and her helpers a high standard, 
and she is ambitious to have her Cradle 



Roll reach up to that standard. In so 
doing she is on the road to success. 

To help the superintendent to keep 
before her a high standard and to furnish 
a plan by which she may check up her work, 
a Standard of Efficiency has been prepared 
for the Cradle Roll. 

A standard is an ideal toward which to 
work and a measure by which to test prog- 
ress. The following standard was adopted 
by the Sunday-School Council of Evangeli- 
cal Denominations in January, 1916, and 
by the International Sunday-School Asso- 
ciation in February, 1916: 

Standard for a Cradle Roll 
The church and church school may assist 
in the religious nurture of little children in 
the home, and insure their future member- 
ship in the church school. To this end, 
it is desirable: 

1 To keep in touch with the children and 
parents J by : 

{a) Organizing a Cradle Roll of children 
from birth to three or four years of 
age, with a superintendent and any 
needed assistants. 
{h) Recognition of membership in the 
church school, a public roll and an 


accurate, permanent record of names, 
birthdays, promotions, removals, par- 
ents' names and addresses. 
(c) Public promotion not later than the 
fourth birthday to the Beginners' 
Class or Department. 

2 To make definiu provision for the child* s 
early religious nurture^ by: 

{a) Suggesting to parents appropriate 
stories, prayers, songs or simple les- 
sons preparatory to the Beginners' 
lessons, and furnishing helpful litera- 
ture when necessary. 

(J)) Furnishing appropriate and simple pre- 
liminary instruction and a sympa- 
thetic teacher for the Cradle Roll 
Class, if there is one in the Begin- 
ners' Department.^ 

(c) Mothers' or Parents' Meetings or 
Classes, in which topics concerning 
the early training of children shall be 
considered, and by providing a home 
library for their use. 

3 To provide for social contact between 
church school and home, by: 

{a) Visits, messages, and invitations for 
special days. 

1 If children under four yeart of »ge attend the Church school, special 
provision should be made for them in a Cradle Roll Class. 


(b) Recognition of birthdays. 

(c) A Cradle Roll Day annually. 

(d) An occasional social affair for parents 

and children. 

Chapter III 

" Babies short and babies tall, 
Babies big and babies small, 
Blue-eyed babies, babies fair, 
Brown-eyed babies with lots of hair, 
Babies so tiny they can't sit up. 
Babies that drink from a silver cup, 
Babies that coo, babies that creep, 
Babies that only can eat and sleep. 
Babies that laugh and babies that talk, 
Babies quite big enough to walk." 

^TpHERE are babies everywhere. No 
-*- church is without them, but some 
churches have not as yet reaHzed the value 
and blessedness of gathering them into the 
Cradle Roll and surrounding them during 
the impressionable years of life with Chris- 
tian influences. If a church school has 
made no attempt to have a Cradle Roll, now 
is the time to start one. 


The material for organizing the Cradle 
Roll is right at hand. All that is needed for 
a start is one baby, and surely there is no 



community without a baby. Large num- 
bers are not always Indicative of an efficient 
department. Much better a small number 
enrolled and each child cared for personally 
than a large enrollment that stops there, 
for the Cradle Roll should be more than a 
waiting-list of babies who will one day be- 
come pupils in the church school. 

Of course, large numbers are desirable 
and the church should strive to reach every 
baby and then provide for the nurture of 
all. Let there be no discouragement, how- 
ever, If the number is small. Cradle Roll 
Departments with but one baby enrolled 
are not uncommon. If there is but one 
baby in the community it speaks well for 
the church that takes as much care of this 
one as it would of a hundred. It is proba- 
ble, however, that if a thorough search is 
made, other babies will be found, for not 
only should the babies be sought In the 
homes of the church and congregation, but 
also in homes in the community, if they 
are not connected with another church. In- 
deed, on the rolls of many departments are 
names of babies living far away and reached 
by mail. One tiny rural school with a 
resident membership of less than twenty 
had a Cradle Roll numbering nearly two 
hundred. The families of which these 


babies were a part were not reached by any 
other church. 

The membership of the Cradle Roll con- 
sists of children from birth to three years of 
age inclusive. On the promotion Sunday 
following the little child's fourth birthday, 
he should become a member of the Be- 
ginners' Department. Even if, for any 
reason, he cannot as yet attend the sessions 
of the school, the transfer to the Beginners' 
Department should be made, that he may 
come under the supervision of the Begin- 
ners' superintendent, or teacher, and receive 
from her the lesson folders and other 
material given to the Beginners. He thus 
becomes a member of the Home or Exten- 
sion Department under the care of the Be- 
ginners' superintendent until he is able to 
attend the regular sessions of the school. 
It is a mistake to leave the child's name 
upon the Cradle Roll after the fourth birth- 
day, [ibut^t is also a mistake to take it from 
the roll without seeing to it that he is either 
a regular attendant in the Beginners' Class 
or cared for by the Beginners' superinten- 
dent or teacher. 

The Superintendent and Her Work 

Given the babies, the next step in organiz- 
ing a Cradle Roll is to find some woman in 


the church or school to whom the work may 
be intrusted. Very important is it that the 
right person be selected. In small schools 
it is often possible for the Beginners' super- 
intendent or teacher to care for the Cradle 
Roll also, but it is better to have a superin- 
tendent for the one department only. 

Certain qualifications for the superin- 
tendent are essential. She must be one 
who understands and loves little children 
and desires to help them and their parents. 
She must also love her church and school 
and be interested in their welfare. Further- 
more, she must have sympathy and love 
for people and an insight into character 
which will enable her to discover the good 
in all. She must be tactful and sympa- 
thetic in working with others. She must 
have ability in directing the work and must 
be patient and brave and consecrated. Fre- 
quently a mother is glad to undertake the 
work, because of her love for her own chil- 
dren and her desire to help other mothers. 
Sometimes one whose own baby " could 
not stay," and whose mother-love goes out 
to other babies, accepts the Cradle Roll as 
her legacy. Whoever the superintendent is, 
she must be of sufficient maturity and 
have sufficient experience to be of help to 
the babies' mothers. 


Her first work will be to study the situa- 
tion in her community. From the records 
of church and school and with the assis- 
tance of the pastor and school superin- 
tendent, she will find the names of children 
under four years of age in families which are 
identified with the congregation. In all 
probability enough babies will be found in 
this way for a beginning. It might be well, 
also, to put an attractive notice on the 
church calendar, stating that a Cradle Roll 
is being started and inviting the people to 
suggest names of babies whose parents 
might be glad to have them become mem- 
bers. An opportunity may be given for 
parents and friends to furnish names of 
babies in their neighborhoods who might 
also be reached. Then tell the pupils about 
it in the various departments of the school. 
Children will often find babies overlooked 
by adults. 

The date for the formal organization of 
the department should be set, and when 
that day comes, some form of recognition 
should be given to the charter members as a 
special feature. 

The next work of the superintendent is 
to secure her helpers and direct them in 
their particular work, and with them visit 
the babies' homes, present the plan of 


starting the Cradle Roll and secure the 
names of the babies. Great care must be 
taken to present the work attractively, that 
the parents will be pleased to have their 
babies enrolled. At the time of enrolling 
the baby, complete records should be made 
— the baby's name and date of birth, names 
of father and mother, the address and date 
of enrollment. A certificate of membership 
should be given to each mother. These 
little certificates are valued as the recogni- 
tion of the baby's first step in his course of 
religious education, his first enrolment in 
the church school. 

When the preliminary work is completed, 
the entire school should be assembled for a 
brief recognition service, when the names 
are officially placed on the Cradle Roll and 
the school is made to understand that this 
new department is really a part of the 
school in which all should take an active 

In the case of large, graded schools, 
where the departments meet in their own 
separate rooms, this first recognition service 
is the only one held before the entire school. 
As babies' names are added to the roll on 
succeeding Sundays, the recognition services 
will be conducted in the Beginners' De- 


Cradle Roll Assistants 

The Cradle Roll needs so much personal 
care that unless it is very small the superin- 
tendent will need some assistants. The 
number needed will depend entirely upon 
the size of the department, the territory 
covered and the scope of the work. A large 
Cradle Roll calls for many visits in the 
homes and considerable clerical work. It 
may also need a Cradle Roll class for the 
older members who are beginning to attend 
the school, but who are still too young to 
understand the Beginners' lessons. 

The superintendent's helpers, in visiting 
the homes, should be adults who can be of 
real service to the mothers. The clerical 
work may be cared for by a secretary, who 
will keep the records complete and accurate, 
prepare application blanks and certificates, 
see to the delivering of the birthday cards 
which have been signed by the superin- 
tendent, send out notices and invitations 
and do whatever other clerical work is 
necessary. A young girl often takes great 
interest in doing this kind of work and 
receives, in doing it, training for larger 
service. In some schools this part of the 
work has been splendidly done by a " shut- 
in," who has delighted in being able to do 
something for her school. In fact, in more 


than one case the entire work of the Cradle 
Roll has been cared for by an invalid, who, 
unable to get out herself, has so directed 
her assistants that they have carried it on 
with great success. One such invalid, who 
was confined to her wheel-chair, but who 
could use her hands, called to her assistance 
a group of Junior boys and girls, telling 
them that they must be " eyes and ears and 
feet " for her, and sending them out as her 
messengers. Many superintendents have 
found the Juniors of invaluable assistance. 
They are splendid messengers, running 
errands with willing feet, carrying notices 
and invitations, notes of sympathy when 
sorrow enters a home, programs, church 
calendars and other literature. In short, 
the Juniors are ready to do whatever is 
asked of them, especially if they are or- 
ganized as a " Messenger Band," " Cradle 
Roll Helpers," " Little Mothers," " Cradle 
Roll Brothers " and the like. 

Even the very little children in the Begin- 
ners' and Primary Departments may help 
by bringing in the names of baby brothers 
and sisters, relatives and neighbors. 

The older pupils in the Young People's 
Division may be interested to help. 
Sometimes an organized class may be given 
a definite piece of work to do, such as the 


writing of invitations, acting as ushers at 
a parents' meeting, caring for babies while 
their mothers attend church or mothers' 
meeting, sewing for babies whose mothers 
need help, making simple gifts for the babies' 
Christmas, helping with the Cradle Roll 
party and many other things for which 
time and conditions call. 

Adult classes may be enlisted also. Often 
there are cases of need among the families 
represented on the Cradle Roll. Some- 
times money is needed for carrying out 
special lines of work for which no provision 
is made in the budget of expenses. Auto- 
mobiles are needed for bringing mothers 
and babies to Cradle Roll parties, socials 
and parents' meetings. 

The Cradle Roll is logically a branch of 
the Home Division. The Cradle Roll 
superintendent and her associates may be, 
for the purposes of work, counted as Home 
Division Visitors. In any case the Superin- 
tendent of the Cradle Roll should work in 
close cooperation with the Home Division 

Certain individuals, possibly not other- 
wise closely identified with the school but 
who are interested in its work, will often 
furnish valuable^! assistance. In a rural 
farming community, where the families 


were scattered over many miles, a doctor 
had a large practise. As he visited in the 
homes within a radius of some twelve or 
fifteen miles from his church, he was always 
on the lookout for members for the church 
school, and in many instances he became 
the connecting link between the home and 
the church. One day he was to speak at a 
church-school convention held in the vi- 
cinity. When the hour arrived for his 
address, he was not there. Hurrying in, 
half an hour later, he apologized for being 
late, but added as he took a Cradle Roll 
enrollment card from his pocket, " You 
will forgive me, I know, for I have 
just added another baby to our Cradle 

It will be clearly seen that in order to 
live up to its fullest opportunity and privi- 
lege, the church school must interest and 
enlist every department in the work of 
the Cradle Roll. 

It is, perhaps, unnecessary to add that all 
Cradle Roll assistants should work under 
the direction of the superintendent, report- 
ing to her regularly and never attempting 
anything about which there is a question 
without consulting her. It is also essential 
that when the names of babies are brought 
in, a call shall be made by the superin- 


tendent or an assistant, preferably the 
superintendent, before the name is formally 
placed upon the Cradle Roll and the rec- 
ognition service is held. 

Chapter IV 



npHERE is a wealth of beautiful material 
-■- available for the use of the Cradle Roll 
superintendent, and yet the department 
may be conducted very economically if 

While many of the helpful devices pre- 
pared for the Cradle Roll are desirable, 
not all are essential for the carrying on of 
the work. The equipment may be quite 
elaborate or very simple, according to the 
condition and needs of the school. 

The better the tools the workman has 
the better the work he can do, but a good 
workman can often do very good work with 
few tools. The superintendent in a small 
school with little material may feel en- 
couraged, therefore, in the thought that 
she can do really good work with a small 
amount of material. On the other hand, 
the one who can have all that she needs 
should secure the best and never be satis- 
fied with less. 



The denominational publishing houses and 
the general church-school supply houses 
are constantly furnishing attractive material 
which will be found very useful, but if the 
school cannot afford these things, the super- 
intendent and her assistants can make 
for themselves many things at little ex- 

Cards and Certificates 

From the various publishers may be ob- 
tained application and enrollment cards 
for securing accurate information of the 
baby's name, date of birth, age when en- 
rolled, parents' names and address. Cards 
and letters are also obtainable for use on 
special occasions — congratulation upon the 
baby's arrival, invitations to Cradle Roll 
parties, church-school rallies and other 
special functions, and notes of sympathy 
in cases of sickness or death. These are 
almost a necessity when the Cradle Roll 
Department is large. In small schools, 
when the writing is not too great a burden, 
the little letters written by the superin- 
.tendent herself are of course better than 
any that are ready-made, good as they 
may be. 

A certificate of membership should al- 
ways be given to the parents when the baby's 


name is enrolled. These are often highly- 
prized as among the baby's first posses- 
sions. Frequently they are framed and 
hung over the baby's crib. The certifi- 
cates may be secured of all of the denomi- 
national publishers and houses carrying 
church-school supplies. 

Promotion certificates can also be ob- 
tained and should be given to the Cradle 
Roll children on the regular annual promo- 
tion day of the church school following the 
fourth birthday. The promotion certifi- 
cate is the second certificate which the 
child receives. The first, the certificate of 
membership, shows his entrance into the 
church school, and the promotion certificate 
indicates his first advanced step in religious 
education as he enters the Beginners' 

Birthday Cards 

There are many very dainty and attrac- 
tive birthday cards obtainable, which are 
especially designed for the Cradle Roll De- 
partment. Some of these run in a series 
for one, two and three-year-old children. 
These should be selected with care that the 
sentiment as well as the picture may be 
appropriate. These little cards are always 
appreciated by the parents if not by the 


baby himself, not because of the value of 
the card, but because it is a token of love 
and thoughtfulness. If the superintendent 
calls and delivers the card, or if she writes 
a little note to accompany it, she strengthens 
her hold on the home. 

In some cases the superintendents make 
their own birthday cards by pasting ap- 
propriate tiny pictures on cards and writing 
birthday wishes or quotations. 

The baby is always invited to attend the 
church school on the Sunday following his 
birthday, when the birthday service is 
conducted in his honor. If he brings his 
birthday offering, he may place it in the 
bank with the other children's offerings, 
or if the school is very large, there may be a 
special Cradle Roll birthday bank. Some- 
times this Cradle Roll bank is in the shape 
of a cradle. 

The Wall Roll 

A roll containing all the names should 
be hung upon the wall in the Beginners' 
room or in the general assembly-room when 
the school is small and all departments meet 
in one room. 

There is great variety in these member- 
ship rolls. One of the most durable and 
attractive is made of celluloid or white 


" flint " material, with slits to receive cards 
bearing the names. The name cards can be 
easily inserted or removed so that correc- 
tions can be made without disfiguring the 
surface and the roll is always correct. 
Other rolls are made of cardboard and the 
names are written in the spaces indicated. 
Some rolls have a picture or a motto at 
the top and nearly all are attractive in 

Many Cradle Roll superintendents make 
their own wall rolls, and these home-made 
ones are often more beautiful and interest- 
ing than any put out by a supply house. 
The advantage of the home-made roll is 
that it may be of a personal nature and can 
be frequently changed. They are not diffi- 
cult to make and by using a little ingenuity 
the superintendent may make something 
very attractive at little expense. If she 
or one of her assistants can paint, beautiful 
effects may be obtained. This, however, 
is not necessary, for pictures with which to 
decorate a Cradle Roll may be found on 
every hand. 

A sheet of mounting-board decorated 
with baby pictures cut from magazines, 
cards or calendars, with spaces left for the 
names, makes a very attractive roll. Better 
still is the Cradle Roll upon which appear 


the photographs of the babies whose names 
are on the roll. Some of the supply houses 
have such a roll prepared with spaces for 
the baby faces forming a border all around. 
It is necessary, of course, to have the pic- 
tures uniform in style and size. The school 
may arrange with a photographer to take 
the pictures at a special rate. This is 
usually possible, for almost always orders 
are received for extra prints. 

One roll had at the top a picture of a 
mother looking wonderingly at the tiny 
baby in her arms and just below the picture 
was the familiar line, " Where did you come 
from, baby dear.^* " Another had a picture 
of " Christ Blessing Little Children " and 
the words, " Suffer little children to come 
unto me." 

One superintendent used a large mounted 
picture of a madonna, suspending the name 
cards of the babies on narrow ribbons from 
the picture. 

A special roll is sometimes used on which 
to keep permanently the names of the little 
ones who have gone to the heavenly home. 
When the names of such little ones are 
left on the regular wall roll they may 
be marked in some way — by a tiny white 
ribbon bow, a rosebud sticker or a cherub 


The Cradle 

As the cradle is the emblem of the de- 
partment, many superintendents include it 
in the equipment. The styles, sizes and 
kinds of cradles vary greatly. The most 
common kind in use is a small toy cradle 
fitted up with dainty mattress and pillow. 
It should always be fresh and clean, and 
when not in use should be covered and put 
away in a closet. 

The cradle is used in the recognition 
service, when a new name is added to the 
roll. Frequently the name of the new 
baby is written on a card and placed in the 
cradle while the children repeat together: 

" Little Cradle, do you think, 
With your pretty bows of pink. 
You can faithful be and true 
To this name we trust to you? 

" As we lay it gently there, 
We will breathe a loving prayer 
That the little baby face 
In our school may find a place." 

Many superintendents, on the other hand, 
feel that putting names in a toy cradle is 
rather absurd, and on a par with the birth- 
day cake made of wood. They consider 
it quite sufficient to add the babies' names 


to the wall roll, and bring them vividly 
before the children through photographs, 
descriptions by brothers and sisters, and care 
of babies shown by all the class in panto- 
mime. This objection has much weight 
now, when the cradle is a relic of a past 

Record Books and Cards 

A very important part of the equipment 
is the record book or card index. The 
wall roll, with its list of names, is not enough. 
There must be a complete record of each 
baby. It should contain all the informa- 
tion necessary for the working of the de- 
partment and for a permanent record — 
the baby's full name, date of birth, age at 
time of enrollment, parents' names, address, 
telephone number, date of enrollment and 
transfer. In addition to this general in- 
formation the superintendent or secretary 
will wish to keep a record of the cards and 
other remembrances sent to the baby, to 
avoid duplication, and some record of the 
baby's attendance at Cradle Roll parties 
and visits to the church school. 

Some superintendents keep ai separate 
birthday book in which the names are 
recorded by months for convenience in 
sending out the birthday cards. When the 


record book is used, it is advisable to allow 
at least a page for each baby, and thus 
have space to note such information as will 
be of help to the superintendent in her 

The most satisfactory and up-to-date 
system of records is the card index, where 
there is a card for each child. All of the 
information is placed on the card. A card 
is never destroyed. When a child is pro- 
moted, leaves the community, or goes to 
the heavenly home, the card is simply 
removed and filed in another place. In 
this way the record is kept up-to-date and 

Material for Religious Instruction 

In some schools, chiefly the large graded 
schools, definite plans are carried out for 
the religious instruction of the tiniest 
children. These schools include in their 
equipment pictures and simple lesson folders 
for the babies who come to the church 
school more or less frequently, and books, 
leaflets and other material for the use of 
parents in the home. 

Selection of Material 

All needed equipment can be secured of 
the denominational publishing houses and 


other church-school supply firms, but great 
care should be given to the selection of 
this material. Use nothing cheap looking, 
trashy or undignified. It is better to do 
without than to have that which is poor and 
tawdry in appearance. 

Chapter V 


Behold, I have set before thee an open door. — 
Revelations 3 : 8. 

A DOOR stands open for the Cradle Roll 
-^^ worker. It is the door of opportunity 
and service — an unlimited opportunity and 
a great work. 

A Cradle Roll superintendent of long 
experience said one day to a group of teach- 
ers, " I am amazed when I stop to think of 
the greatness of the Cradle Roll work, and 
of how little we seem to realize it. Why, 
the Cradle Roll means everything! It 
means Americanization, child study, child 
welfare, mother training, evangelism and 
everything else." 

The success of the department depends 
largely upon the effort and vigilance of 
the superintendent and the enthusiasm she 
puts into the work. 

Building up the Department 

In order to keep the Cradle Roll active 
and up-to-date, the names of babies must 



be secured and added to the list continu- 
ally. There should be an eifort on the 
part of the entire school, through every 
department, to promote the work. Eternal 
vigilance is necessary in order that no baby 
in the community shall be overlooked for a 
single day. 

Promptness in enrolling the new baby 
means success. At the earliest moment 
possible, after the baby comes to the 
home, his name should be added to the list 
of Cradle Roll members. The name may 
be enrolled at once and the recognition 
service take place on the Sunday following. 

One baby had her name upon the roll 
and the service of recognition held for her 
when she was but a few minutes old. Just 
as the children were gathering for the school 
session the Cradle Roll superintendent 
received a telephone message telling her of 
the baby's arrival, and a few minutes later 
the tiniest, newest member of all was wel- 
comed to the Cradle Roll Department. 

There are many ways of finding babies 
in the community who are not born into 
the church families. One superintendent 
always watched the moving-vans, and if she 
saw a baby-carriage or crib carried into a 
house, she called and tried to secure the 
baby's name for the Cradle Roll. 


Another Cradle Roll worker on her way 
to the office every day watched the clothes- 
lines for baby garments, and when she saw 
them, she called to find the baby who wore 

Some superintendents consult the birth 
records, and never allow a baby to come 
into the world without looking it up and 
securing it for the Cradle Roll, if the parents 
have no other church affiliation. 

When a new baby arrives in a home, it 
is a very nice thing to send some token of 
congratulation. Such a little attention is 
always appreciated and helps to bind more 
closely the tie between that home and the 
church. There are various ways of doing 
this. It may be a little personal note of 
congratulation followed by an invitation 
to place the baby's name upon the Cradle 
Roll and an enrollment card; or, if the 
name has already been given to the superin- 
tendent, the certificate of membership may 
be sent. One superintendent sent a potted 
plant or a few flowers and later called and 
enrolled the baby. Flowers may be pur- 
chased from a school flower fund, or by an 
organized class which takes this method of 
assisting the Cradle Roll superintendent. 

Another superintendent gives a " Baby 
Record Book " to the mother, in which she 


may note the interesting facts concerning 
the baby's growth and development. 

Another way of building up the depart- 
ment is by publicity, keeping it constantly 
before the church people. Occasionally an 
item of interest may be noted on the church 
calendar or bulletin — perhaps the name 
and address of each new baby, or an inter- 
esting statistical item. If the church school 
has a bulletin-board, a Cradle Roll poster 
may be placed upon it, or the pictures of the 
babies may be displayed. 

Some schools give to the church ushers, 
or have placed in the pews, little Cradle 
Roll invitation cards, stating that the 
school has a Cradle Roll, and would be glad 
to welcome any baby who is not already a 
member. A place is indicated for the name 
and address and a request to hand the card, 
when filled out, to the usher. These cards 
are often used by strangers who have re- 
cently come into the community, and they 
furnish not only names for the Cradle Roll 
but give the pastor an opportunity to call 
upon the new family. 

Visits in the Homes 

One of the most important features of 
the Cradle Roll work is visiting in the homes. 
This the superintendent will do with some 


regularity after she has made the first call 
and secured the baby's name. This is her 
only way of keeping in close touch with 
the home, which is so helpful. 

It is especially essential in the homes of 
the poor and of foreign children, where the 
mothers need so much help along all lines. 
The Cradle Roll superintendent, better 
than any other person, can direct not only 
the religious instruction here, but also help 
the inexperienced mothers in their care of 
the home and physical life of their children. 
Often an anxious mother will open her 
heart and tell her troubles to the Cradle 
Roll superintendent, thankful for some one 
to whom she can go who will understand 
and help her. 

These visits for the purpose of acquain- 
tance and help should be made by the 
superintendent. Her helpers may visit also 
for special purposes but their visits cannot 
take the place of the superintendent's. 
Some superintendents plan to visit the home 
upon the baby's birthday, and when this 
plan is followed, the mothers get into the 
way of looking for them. The home is 
put in order, baby is dressed in his best and 
the day becomes quite an occasion when the 
superintendent calls. Only those who have 
made these little visits in the homes know 


what it means and how great is the op- 
portunity for counsel and helpfulness. 

Records and Reports 

The records of the department must be 
kept faithfully and accurately, whatever 
system is used, for these records make 
valuable history through coming years, 
as well as furnish the necessary information 
for present use. 

An important feature of the record work 
is transferring Cradle Roll members. When 
a child is promoted, moves away, or is 
taken to the heavenly home, of course the 
fact will be noted in the records. When a 
baby leaves the neighborhood, his name 
should not be simply dropped from the roll, 
but the superintendent should keep in 
touch with him until he is entered upon some 
other roll. If he should move to a place 
where there is no Cradle Roll, he can still 
remain a member and be reached by mail. 
His name should be retained on the roll 
until the superintendent knows that it has 
been placed upon another. Transfer cards, 
to be given the babies who leave and to be 
presented to the superintendents of the 
Cradle Rolls to which they go, may be 
obtained from the supply houses. When 
these cards are used, the parents are quicker 


to see to it that the baby is entered in a 
new school because of this simple reminder. 

At regular intervals, monthly or quar- 
terly, the Cradle Roll superintendent or 
secretary should prepare for the school a 
little report of the activities of the depart- 
ment, for only in this way can the school be 
kept informed of the work which is going 
on outside of the school session. The re- 
port may be read to the school, or may be 
posted upon the school bulletin-board. 

When the Cradle Roll department is 
large and there are many helpers, it is 
necessary that they furnish complete re- 
ports of their work to the superintendent. 
When the assistants submit to her the de- 
tails of their work, she can compile her own 
report for the school. 

Membership Recognition Service 

When a new name is entered on the 
Cradle Roll, the event should be recognized 
by a welcome service. This recognition 
service is usually observed in the Beginners' 
or Primary room, or if the entire school 
meets together, in the main assembly room. 

In some schools the service is held every 
time a new name is added to the roll. 
In others, it has been found best to set aside 
one Sunday in each month and on this 


Sunday add all the names secured during 
the month. The Cradle Roll superinten- 
dent sometimes conducts the service, but 
quite as often it is conducted by the Begin- 
ners' or Primary superintendent. It is 
needless to say that these superintendents 
of the elementary departments should work 
together in the very closest harmony and 
in the spirit of helpfulness and cooperation. 
The recognition should be simple and 
impressive. It may be merely a song and 
cradle service, or it may consist of a song, 
a greeting and a prayer. The baby's name 
is given and repeated by the children. 
Then they sing : 

There are blessings from God all about us; 
We should thank him for gifts large and small, 
But the gift of a dear little baby 
Needs the very best " thank you " of all. 
Bye-lo, bye-lo, bye-lo, bye-lo-bye.^ 

— From Carols. 

If the baby is present and a large cradle 
is used, he may be placed in it and gently 
rocked while the children repeat together: 

" Little baby, do you know, 
As we rock you to and fro. 
We are glad to count you here 
On our Cradle Roll so dear? " 


If the baby is not present the card bear- 
ing his name is placed in the cradle, or 
added to the wall roll, with appropriate 
conversation. (See Chapter IV, section on 
" The Cradle.") 

Following this a simple prayer may be 
oflFered for all the Cradle Roll members, 
and especially thanking our Father for this 
new baby and asking that his blessing may 
rest upon him and all in his home. The 
prayer may be offered by the pastor or the 
superintendent who is conducting the ser- 
vice, or the children may pray in concert: 

" God bless the babies on our Cradle Roll, 
Bless them and help them through each glad day; 
Watch them in daylight and guard them in dark- 
May they grow brighter and sweeter each day." 

When a baby is to be welcomed into the 
school, the parents are always invited to be 
present during the recognition service, and 
when the baby is present he may be given 
his certificate of membership and a flower 
or plant. 

Recognizing the Birthdays 

Reference has already been made in 
Chapter IV to the birthday cards and 


records, but there are other ways of recog- 
nizing the baby's birthday. One is by 
celebrating it in the school on the Sunday 
following the day. Of course, the mother 
should be urged to bring the baby to the 
school on that Sunday, and he should re- 
ceive a card or other souvenir to carry home. 
Usually when the baby is present, he brings 
his birthday offering of one, two, three or 
four pennies. Often if he is not there, his 
birthday offering is sent and the service is 
used just the same. As the offering is 
received the children recite: 

" We thank the heavenly Father, 

For all the loving care 
That he has given Betty 

At home and everywhere. 
For two years he has guarded her, 

Awake, at sleep, at play, 
O Father! love and care for her 

On this and every day." 

(Suit the name and number of years to 
the baby.) 

Occasionally a superintendent gives birth- 
day parties to the children. Unless the 
Cradle Roll is very small, to do this for 
each individual would be impossible, but 
an annual birthday party may be given to 
which all of the babies are invited. At 


this time the little ones may be gathered 
together in groups by months, each baby 
and parent meeting the other babies born 
in the same month. Little souvenirs may 
be given, appropriate to the months; or, 
instead of grouping the babies by months, 
there may be seven groups representing the 
days of the week, and the babies may be 
grouped according to the days on which 
they were born. 

Birthday cards, notes, flowers or little 
gifts sent to the home on the baby's birth- 
day are always appreciated. 

When the Baby Dies 

The death-rate is high among babies and 
many little ones never live to enter the 
Beginners' Department. When death comes 
to the home, and the precious baby-life 
is taken, often the only one to whom the 
mother turns in her sorrow is the Cradle 
Roll superintendent. How important it is 
then that the superintendent shall be in 
close touch and intimate acquaintance with 
each home that she may know what to do 
and say in the hour of trial! 

Flowers may be sent to the home in the 
name of the Cradle Roll. 

Little letters and cards to be sent to the 
parents upon the death of a little one may 


be had of the various publishers and supply 
houses, but better than these is a personal 

On the Sunday following the baby's 
death the children in the school should be 
told that this dear baby has gone to be 
with the heavenly Father. Then some 
little emblem may be placed by the baby's 
name on the wall roll, or the name may 
be transferred to the permanent " Memory 
Roll." Sometimes a white rosebud is placed 
in the cradle, where once the baby's name- 
card rested, and is sent to the mother after 
the session. This little memorial service 
must bear no note of sadness, but must be 
sweet and natural, fortifying the children 
against fear or dread and dispelling wrong 
impressions about death. 

The Cradle Roll Party 

At least once during each year there 
should be a party arranged for the Cradle 
Roll babies and their mothers. One school 
included aunts and grandmothers. It may 
be held in the church parlors or on the lawn. 
Some of the very prettiest gatherings are 
the lawn parties. It is better, if pos- 
sible, to hold the parties in the church 
building or on the church lawn than in a 
home, because often the only time the 


mother can come to the church while her 
child is small is to attend some Cradle 
Roll gathering when she can bring the 

The Cradle Roll parties may be as 
varied as one pleases. Almost anything in 
the way of a party may be planned. The 
season of the year, the interests of the moth- 
ers, the place of meeting and a hundred 
other things may determine the nature of 
the party. 

The invitations, too, may be as varied 
as the parties themselves. They may be 
written upon cards or tiny note-paper. 
They may be in the form of a note or they 
may be put in rhyme. Ready-made invita- 
tion cards can be ordered of the supply 
houses, but by using their ingenuity, the 
superintendent and her assistants may 
prepare their own invitations. Often the 
invitations are written on cards cut in 
various shapes. One such card was cut in 
the shape of a cradle and the invitation 

Dear . You and mother are invited to a 

Cradle Roll Party given by the Primary Depart- 
ment on the church lawn next Friday afternoon, from 
three to five o'clock. 

Please come and see the other babies and their 


At Easter time invitations may be written 
on egg-shaped cards or butterflies. If a 
picnic party is to be held, a basket-shaped 
card may be used to carry the invitation. 

The Cradle Roll party, while quite as 
much for the mothers as for the babies, 
must not be turned into a mothers' meet- 
ing. It is planned to bring the mothers 
together socially, that they may become 
acquainted with each other, the pastor and 
church workers, and enjoy some form of 

The program should be very informal 
and simple. Frequently the mothers are 
perfectly happy just to sit and visit and 
watch the babies as they play. However, 
music, readings and sometimes games into 
which the mothers enter are pleasing. If 
there seems to be a little feeling of strange- 
ness or embarrassment at first, arrange 
for some little game which calls for moving 
about among the others. 

Very little needs to be planned for the 
entertainment of the babies. They will 
entertain themselves and each other, but a 
kindergartner may be of great help in 
leading those who are old enough in some of 
the simplest of the circle games. If the 
school is small, it may be well to include 
the Beginners and possibly the Primary 


children, for they will help to entertain the 
younger ones. 

In one small school the Primary Depart- 
ment invited the Cradle Roll babies and 
their mothers to a party on the church lawn. 
The lawn was roped in with white crepe 
paper, tied with bunches of blue. A rug 
was spread on the ground with sofa pillows 
placed upon it. A small tent was pitched 
and chairs of all sizes scattered about for 
comfort and ease. A young woman told 
stories to the children as they sat on the 
ground. Games were played, songs were 
sung and refreshments were served. 

Another school, also holding its Cradle 
Roll party on the lawn, gave each baby, as 
it arrived, a tiny balloon, and the little ones 
were delighted to play with them all of 
the time while the mothers were being 
entertained inside, and had them to carry 

To little children the " real party " 
comes when the refreshments are served. 
It is something of a question what to serve 
for refreshments. The best plan is to pro- 
vide separately for babies and mothers. 
Even the babies who are old enough to eat 
should have only the simplest food. Some- 
times milk and animal crackers or cookies 
are served, or plain sandwiches of bread 


and butter, or jelly sandwiches may take 
the place of cookies and crackers. Little 
children love the animal crackers. If 
they were to choose, the majority would 
prefer ice-cream and animal crackers, 
and probably there is nothing better for 

The easiest way to serve them is to seat 
them on the floor or on rugs, if the party is 
on the lawn. Junior and Intermediate girls 
are delighted to help with the refreshments 
and can save the superintendent many 

For the mothers there may be tea, coffee 
or chocolate with sandwiches and wafers, 
or the refreshments may consist of ice- 
cream and cake. A few pure sugar candies 
for the babies and salted nuts or candies 
for the mothers may be included. 

Children always like to have something 
to take home from a party, so it is well to 
have some little souvenirs provided. They 
may be nothing more than cards or colored 
pictures. At one Cradle Roll party each 
child received a little basket made of pink 
paper and filled with tiny candies to take 
home. Another group of children were 
given little paper cages filled with animal 
crackers. Rubber toys, rattles and balls 
are always appreciated, especially if they 


are wrapped and tied, for every child likes 
to open a bundle. 

The Cradle Roll party means time, money 
and work, but it is well worth while, for it is 
one of the best means of winning for the 
church and its school the sympathy, co- 
operation and loyal support of the home. 

The Cradle Roll Nursery 

Some Cradle Roll Departments maintain 
a nursery where babies may be cared for 
during the church services. This is for the 
benefit of mothers who have no one with 
whom to leave their little ones at home, and 
must either bring them to church or remain 
at home themselves. Sometimes the nurs- 
ery is open during both church and school 
sessions, but more frequently during the 
preaching service only. While the nursery 
is under the supervision of the Cradle Roll 
superintendent, the work is divided among 
several women, who take turns in caring for 
the babies so that no one is deprived of at- 
tending the church service for many Sun- 
days. Frequently a class of young women 
becomes responsible for the care of the 
nursery. Sometimes the mothers them- 
selves take turns in caring for their own 
and other babies. It is better not to have 
too many different people care for the 


babies, for many little ones are timid and 
afraid to be left with strangers, but they 
will remain happily with those whom they 
have learned to know. 

The Cradle Roll nursery is for the babies 
under four years of age and is not intended 
for instruction. It is different from the 
Cradle Roll class. (See Chapter VI.) Like 
all nurseries, it is a place for rest and play. 
If the church is fortunate enough to have 
room and means for doing so, it should be 
equipped with cots, cribs, cradles, baby- 
carriages, games, toys and picture-books. 
One school provides some of its younger 
girls to wheel the babies in£their carriages 
out-of-doors during the church services, 
when the weather permits. 

Chapter VI 


Everything in a child's surroundings should be 
interpreted religiously. 

— George E. Dawson. 

n^HE little children on the Cradle Roll 
^ are occasionally invited to visit the 
church school in its regular sessions and 
many of them do so more or less regularly. 
They are too young, however, to enter 
into any of the classes of the school, and 
become a real problem if they do so. 

When they reach the age of two or three 
years, the babies are frequently brought 
quite regularly to the school by the parents, 
and are allowed to stay in the Beginners' 
Department. Although the superintendent 
of that department is glad to welcome these 
little ones, what to do with them becomes 
a real problem. Too young to be interested 
in the Beginners' lessons or to enter intelli- 
gently into the various services of the hour, 
they are restless and often talkative and 
become a disturbing element. 

Realizing that these smallest ones should 
have something suitable provided for their 



needs, the best schools now conduct a 
Cradle Roll Class. 

The Cradle Roll Room 

Not every church-school building has a 
separate room for its Cradle Roll class, but 
as new buildings are planned, there surely 
will be a place provided for this most 
important department. Where a room is 
set apart for these tiny children, it is made 
just as beautiful, interesting and homelike 
as possible. The floor is carpeted, the 
walls are tinted and it is bright and sunny, 
well-heated and ventilated. The beautiful 
pictures which children love are everywhere 
about the room where they can see them and 
touch them. Flowering plants are in the 
windows. Sometimes a canary, hanging in 
its cage by the window, adds to the cheeri- 
ness and beauty of the room. A very low 
table and tiny chairs are almost a necessity, 
although much of the time these little tots 
will be happier and more comfortable if 
allowed to sit upon the floor. A blackboard, 
blocks, objects and pictures for illustrating 
the stories are needed. A piano is not 
necessary, for few babies can carry a tune, 
and when they sing they may be led quite 
as well without an instrument. 

In schools where a separate room is not 


available, the Cradle Roll babies may meet 
with the Beginners for the opening service 
and then pass to a corner of the room which 
is curtained or screened off for them. This 
corner may be made attractive with pic- 
tures and flowers. Even in a " one-room 
school " a corner may be found somewhere 
for the babies, where they can have their 
own little stories without disturbing the 
other pupils. 

The Cradle Roll class is for instruction 
and differs in this respect from the Cradle 
Roll nursery (see Chapter V, Section on 
Cradle Roll Nursery), although it may meet 
at the time of the Sunday morning church 
service instead of during the session of the 
school. In fact, in some schools the Begin- 
ners' and Primary Departments, as well as 
the Cradle Roll class, are conducted at the 
time of morning worship. 

The Class Program 

A cut and dried program or order of 
service for the Cradle Roll class is absolutely 
impossible, but the teacher of the little class 
has her aim and plan for the session, al- 
though it is so elastic and simple that it can 
be changed at any moment. She must 
always bear in mind the informal character 
of the period and of the lessons, and drop 


any plans for lesson or program as the needs 
arise. She will teach the simplest of songs 
and prayers and tell the stories just when 
the little ones are ready for each part. 

The picture of one such Cradle Roll class 
in session will never be forgotten. The 
room was beautiful in every detail and the 
group of twelve or fifteen little children 
seated in a circle on the floor made a charm- 
ing picture. Also on the floor in the center 
of the circle was a block with pictures on 
the sides, and the teacher was telling a story 
about one of the pictures. Of course the 
story was very, very short and simple, and 
the children loved it just as they loved their 
Mother Goose nursery rhymes. 

When there is a Cradle Roll room for the 
babies they may be alone- during the entire 
hour, or the class may meet with the Be- 
ginners for the opening moments and pos- 
sibly for some of the circle talk and then be 
taken to their own room. If there is no 
Cradle Roll room, the class will, of course, 
be with the Beginners all of the time except 
for the story period, when they will gather 
in their own screened corner. 

Lessons for the Cradle Roll 

What stories to tell these tiny children 
and what material to use has been a problem 


until recently. The Beginners' lessons, al- 
though so simple and beautiful, were beyond 
their understanding, and each individual 
teacher was obliged to do the best she could 
to meet the needs of her own little ones. 
But now the problem is solved, and the right 
material is available. In her Object Les- 
sons for the Cradle Roll,^ Miss Frances 
Weld Danielson has furnished lessons which 
are admirably suited to be the first course in 
a system of practical religious education. 

The lessons are planned to run through 
one year and furnish definite religious in- 
struction preparatory to that of the Begin- 
ners' Department. The purpose of the les- 
sons is to help the little child in his daily 
life and surroundings to trace all things 
back to the heavenly Father and to show 
God's care back of everything, — to " in- 
terpret religiously " the things in his every- 
day life, the food he eats, the clothes he 
wears, the house in which he lives, his pets, 
the things he sees in nature, his friends, and 
to teach his relation to the people who con- 
stitute his world, such as members of the 
family, the cook, the postman, the grocer 
and the milkman. 

While the lessons concern the most com- 
monplace things in his life they all lead up 

I Object Lessons for the Cradle Roll, The Pilgrim Preii. 


to the religious truth. They are " a com- 
bination of conversations and stories, very 
short and simple, increasing somewhat in 
length and range as they proceed." 

The lessons are arranged in groups of 
from four to seven lessons in a group, and all 
deal with the every-day things within the 
range of the child's understanding and ex- 
perience. The group subjects are as follows : 

1. The Food We Eat 

2. The Clothes We Wear 

3. The Houses We Live in 

4. Our Families 

5. Our Helpers 

6. Other Helpers 

7. Our Pets 

8. The World of Outdoors ^ 

9. Ourselves 
10. Little Duties 

There are also four special lessons for the 
Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter sea- 
sons. The series, including the four lessons 
for special days, covers fifty-two Sundays 
and may be begun at any time of the year in 
the church school, although it would be 
natural to start with the fall quarter in 
October, or the winter quarter in January. 
If the lessons are used at home instead of in 
the school, the series should be begun when 


the child is three years old. One topic 
only is dependent upon the season ^- " The 
World of Outdoors," and this may be trans- 
posed if it does not happen to come at the 
appropriate season. 

The equipment for the course includes 
the teacher's text-book, a nest of colored 
picture blocks, a box of objects and a set of 
picture folders. 

The text-book for the teacher (or mother) 
contains the lessons worked out in detail 
both for home and Cradle Roll class, the 
suggested songs, blackboard illustrations, 
a list of helpful books and a few simple 

The nest of blocks is so arranged that 
there is a block for each group of lessons, 
the pictures on the five sides of each block 
illustrating the lessons in the group. 

Arranged in a small box are a few objects 
needed in teaching the lesson which are not 
easily obtainable by some teachers. They 
are a bit of wool, a cotton boll, a bunch of 
flax, a silkworm's cocoon and a stalk of 

The little folders are very attractive. 
There is one for each lesson to be given to 
the child to take home. The folder con- 
tains a picture, the simple story which may 
be read or told to the little one at home, sug- 


gestlons to mothers and sometimes a Bible 
verse, a prayer or .a quotation. These 
folders are punched in order that they may 
be tied together and preserved in book form 
for the children. 

The lessons may be used at home with a 
single child, or with a number of children in 
the neighborhood. When there is no class 
in the school, the Cradle Roll superintendent 
should see to it that the lessons are furnished 
the mothers and instructions given concern- 
ing their use. 

They have been so carefully worked out 
by Miss Danielson that no detail has been 
omitted. The teacher who studies them 
and uses them as they are intended to be 
used will find that they meet every need. 

The group of little children assigned to 
one teacher should be small, for it must be 
remembered that they are only babies and 
cannot keep still or listen long, even to a 
well-told story 

Because they love to hear the same story 
told over and over, the teacher should be 
ready to tell each story more than once. 

If there is more than one Cradle Roll 
class, the Cradle Roll superintendent will 
direct the class teachers as do the super- 
intendents of other departments. When 
there is but one class, it may be taught by 


the superintendent or by an appointed 
teacher. Sometimes a mother whose baby 
is in the class will teach it. 

The teacher of this little class must love 
and understand little children, be able to 
tell a story in the simplest language, have 
tact and patience and be helpful to both 
mothers and babies. 

Chapter VII 

Special Day Services 

'T^HE Cradle Roll members should have a 
-*• share in all the special day services in 
the church school. An invitation should 
always be sent to each baby to come and 
bring his father and mother with him. 
Rally Day, Christmas, Easter, Children's 
Day and Thanksgiving are all " red letter 
days," to the celebration of which the Cradle 
Roll babies should be invited. 

Prepared invitation cards may be ob- 
tained of the various supply houses and are 
found very useful when the Cradle Roll is 
large and there are many to be invited. 
The note of invitation written by the 
superintendent is better because it is per- 
sonal. It may be written on a small card 
or child's note-paper and sent in a little 
envelope to the baby himself. The invita- 
tions may be mailed or delivered by the 
Junior boys and girls of the " Messenger 
Band " or other organization. 

It may sometimes seem to the busy 
worker that it is unnecessary to go to the 



trouble of writing so many invitations and 
sending them to babies who cannot read 
them. It would be so much easier just to 
telephone the parents. But if she knew how 
much these little attentions are appre- 
ciated and how the tiny cards and notes are 
prized, she would never hesitate to send 
them. Many a thoughtless or indifferent 
father or mother has been touched by as 
simple a thing as a baby's invitation, and 
has been brought into the church as a result. 
One Cradle Roll numbered among its 
members a beautiful baby girl. When the 
mother gave the name of her baby to the 
Cradle Roll superintendent, she did so 
without letting the baby's father know. 
The mother had been brought up in a 
Christian home, but had become thought- 
less and neglectful of her church. The 
father was a Catholic, although he, too, had 
grown indifferent. When the time came 
to send out the invitations for Children's 
Day the superintendent wondered what to 
do about inviting the baby. If she were 
omitted, would the mother notice it and 
feel hurt.? If she were invited, would the 
father be angry? She felt anxious as to 
what the result might be in either case. At 
last, with many misgivings, the little invita- 
tion was sent. When Children's Day came, 


to her great joy, among the very first to 
arrive was this baby and her mother. As 
she welcomed them, the mother said, " Baby 
and I cannot thank you enough for inviting 
us to come today. You have no idea how 
proud my husband is of the baby's invita- 
tion. Why, he shows it to every one who 
comes to the house!" That baby girl 
continued to attend the services of the 
Cradle Roll and when she was old enough, 
she entered the Beginners' Department. 
About that time the father became inter- 
ested in the men's class and a little later the 
father and mother united with the church. 
Who can tell what influence a baby's invita- 
tion may have had? 

On all these special days the Cradle Roll 
babies will have a little part on the program, 
or be recognized in some way. Sometimes 
a baby's name is added to the Roll on that 
day, and the welcome service is conducted 
before the entire school. If nothing more, a 
brief greeting may be given by the superin- 
tendent of the school or the pastor and a 
prayer offered. The babies and their 
parents will be seated during at least 
a part of the service where all may see 

One church makes an effort to have as 
many of the babies as possible brought for 


baptism on Children's Day. The Cradle 
Roll superintendent sees that a white rose- 
bud is provided for each baby. These 
flowers are arranged about the edge of the 
baptismal font and as the babies are bap- 
tized, the pastor hands a rosebud to each 

It is especially fitting that at Christmas 
time when the whole world is kneeling be- 
fore the Babe of Bethlehem, the Cradle Roll 
baby should have a part in the celebration. 
Owing to the weather at this season of the 
year, the babies may not be able to attend 
the Christmas services in large numbers, 
but they should be invited just the same, 
and an opportunity given them to partici- 
pate in the giving. 

Usually the parents are anxious to let 
the baby give toward the object to which 
the school gifts go. Sometimes the gifts 
are of articles as well as of money. In 
many schools the custom has been adopted 
of bringing gifts of clothing, food, toys, 
books and games. One church always 
has a " manger service " on the Sunday 
preceding Christmas. A large box lined 
with straw and covered on the outside with 
hemlock and holly, to represent the manger, 
is placed in front of the pulpit. Into this, 
at the close of the Christmas service, the 


church school and entire church deposit 
their gifts. An opportunity is given for 
those who have brought money to place it 
upon the offering plate which is held by 
a Boy Scout, standing near the manger. 
The entire audience files by the manger 
depositing their gifts. In this the Cradle 
Roll has its part. Few babies may be 
present, but some one represents them. 
If Mrs. Curtiss' beautiful service, " White 
Gifts to the King," is used, there is a 
splendid opportunity to include the Cradle 
Roll. Why not let their gift be brought 
forward in a little white cradle f 

At Christmas time there is also the glad 
week-day celebration. Perhaps the Cradle 
Roll party may be planned to come at this 
time, or the babies may be included in the 
festivities of the Beginners' and Primary 
Departments. Sometimes a little tree is 
trimmed especially for them, the gifts for 
the babies having been made by the older 
children themselves. A class of Interme- 
diate girls often takes keen delight in mak- 
ing worsted balls, rag dolls, cloth scrap- 
books, string babies and other toys for the 
Cradle Roll babies. 

There are many, many ways in which 
the Cradle Roll members may be remem- 
bered at the Christmas season. 


Cradle Roll Day 

The Cradle Roll Standard calls for an 
annual Cradle Roll Day. It is the one day 
above all others for calling attention to the 
full significance of this department and its 
work. Dainty invitations should be sent 
to each baby, asking him to bring his father 
and mother to the service and special seats 
should be reserved for them. An effort 
should be made to insure the presence of 
as many of the parents as possible and to 
enlist their interest in the school and church. 
Many may be won in this way as members 
and workers. 

The most appropriate time for Cradle 
Roll Day seems to be in May or June, when 
the days are warm and sunny, the birds 
are singing and the fields are bright with 
flowers. Fill the church with flowers — 
roses and peonies, daisies and buttercups, 
ferns and laurel, or whatever flowers may 
be in bloom 

The service may take the place of the 
regular morning preaching service, or it 
may be held during the session of the church 
school, either in the department where 
the roll is kept or in the main room. The 
program should be arranged to suit the 
place and conditions where the service is 
held. If at the time of the morning preach- 


ing service, it should be one of dignified 
worship, with the usual music by choir 
and congregation, scripture, prayer and 
sermon, but with all parts of the service 
appropriately selected and rendered. The 
sermon, or address, should bear upon the 
significance of the day and should so ex- 
plain or describe the work of the Cradle 
Roll that all who attend shall have a clearer 
understanding and greater appreciation of 
its value. 

If it is held in the Beginners' or Primary 
room, it will be very simple and form the 
main part of the opening service. Here 
the parents and babies will be seated in the 
back of the room, where they can see and 
hear without absorbing the attention of the 
children as much as though they were 
seated in front. The children will like to 
sing a little greeting or welcome song. 
One of the simplest of these is the familiar 
" Good-Morning Song," where instead of 
singing " Good-morning to you " they 
substitute the words, " A welcome to 

" A welcome to you, 
A welcome to you, 
A welcome, dear parents, 
We're glad to see you. 


" A welcome to you, . 
A welcome to you, 
A welcome, dear babies, 
We're glad to see you." 

They may also recite some Bible verses 
and repeat a little concert prayer: 

" Heavenly Father, bless these babies, 
Guide their tender little feet. 
May we older children help them 
To be gentle, kind and sweet." 

For the school which wishes to observe 
Cradle Roll Day in the main room or in a 
one-room building, the following program 
prepared by the International Sunday School 
Association is suggested: 

1. Quieting Music on Piano or Organ. 

2. Silent Prayer followed by the Lord's 

3. Hymn by School: "When Morning 
Gilds the Skies," or any other worship 

4. Concert Scripture Reading: " Suffer 
the children to come unto me, and forbid 
them not, for of such is the kingdom of 

5. Very short statement by superin- 
tendent or Cradle Roll superintendent 


about the purpose of the Cradle Roll 

6. Solo, "Little Things." 1 

" When God doth make a lovely thing, 

The finest and completest, 
He makes it little, don't you know, 

For little things are sweetest. 
Little flowers, little birds, 

Little diamonds, little pearls. 
But the dearest things on earth, 

Are the little boys and girls." 

7. Recitation 

" Babies short and babies tall. 
Babies big and babies small. 
Blue-eyed babies, babies fair. 
Brown-eyed babies with lots of hair. 
Babies so tiny they can't sit up. 
Babies that drink from a silver cup, 
Babies that coo, babies that creep, 
Babies that only can eat and sleep, 
Babies that laugh and babies that talk. 
Babies quite big enough to walk. 
Dimpled fingers and dimpled feet — 
What in the world is half so sweet 
As babies that jump, laugh, cry and crawl, 
Eat, sleep, talk, walk, creep, coo, and all wee 

» " Little Things," Mrs Bernice C Gaines, 609 Wtshingtoii Ave., S. E., 

Minneapolis, Minn. 


8. Welcome Service 

(a) Mothers or fathers with babies in arms 

asked to stand in front of school while 
the Cradle Roll superintendent or 
pupils of Beginners' or Primary De- 
partment recite: 

" A joyful greeting, babies dear, 
God keep you in his care, 
And may you soon be with us here, 
Our happy times to share." 

(b) Each baby presented with a pink rose 

or other delicate flower. 

(c) Reception of new members. (Use ser- 

vice suggested for recognition of new 

9. Closing Song (tune, " Autumn ") by 

(Words may be typewritten and dis- 
tributed as people enter, or written on a 
blackboard. If this is impossible, let a 
group of parents sing words from memory:) 

" Up to us sweet childhood looketh. 
Heart and mind and soul awake; 
Teach us of thy ways, O Father! 

Teach us for sweet childhood's sake. 
In their young hearts, soft and tender. 
Guide our hands, good seed to sow. 
That its blossoming may praise thee, 
. Praise thee wheresoe'er they go. 


" Give to us a cheerful spirit, 

That our little flock may see 
It is good and pleasant service, 

Pleasant to be taught of thee; 
Father, order all our footsteps, 

So direct our daily way, 
That in following us, the children 

May not ever go astray." 

10. March (played softly) v^hile classes 
take their places. 

Sometimes an interesting number on the 
program is in the form of a Cradle Roll 
catechism which the Cradle Roll superin- 
tendent may prepare. Some of the older 
pupils in the Junior or Intermediate De- 
partments may ask and answer the ques- 
tions, or the superintendent may ask the 
questions and they may be answered by 
pupils. They would run something as 
follows : 

1. What is the Cradle Roll Department? 
The Cradle Roll Department is that 

department of the church school made up 
of babies under four years of age, who are 
too young to attend the school. 

2. Is it limited to babies of our own church 

No. Any baby in the community may 
belong who is not a member of another 
Roll, if his parents are wilHng. 


3. Why do we have a Cradle Roll? 

In order that we may help the babies 
and their parents that when they are old 
enough the babies will come to the Begin- 
ners' Department and the parents will be 
interested in the church. 

4. Who is the superintendent of our Cradle 

Mrs. Brown. 

5. How many names are there on our 
Cradle Roll at present? 


6. How does this enrollment compare with 
that of last year? 

There are sixteen more than last year. 
One baby died and seven moved away, but 
twenty-four new names have been enrolled. 

7. Are there many Cradle Rolls in the 

Oh, yes, there are a great many, with over 
a million babies enrolled. 

8. Why is the Cradle Roll work needed? 
Because the church must help to surround 

each baby with Christian influences from 
the very beginning and see to it that he 
receives an adequate religious education. 

Promotion Day 

Another important day for the Cradle 
Roll Department is Promotion Day, when 


those who have passed their fourth birth- 
day are promoted to the Beginners' De- 
partment. This is a regular annual day 
in the church school, and ordinarily the 
Cradle Roll children are promoted at this 
time. Occasionally a school prefers to 
have the Cradle Roll promotion take place 
as a part of the Cradle Roll Day program 
or on some other public occasion, but when 
the school has a regular Promotion Day it 
is better to have all promotions take place 
at that time. If, however, the school has 
no Promotion Day, the Cradle Roll children 
may be transferred to the Beginners' De- 
partment in connection with some other 
service, such as on Children's Day, Rally 
Day or Cradle Roll Day. In either case it 
may be made a very attractive feature of the 

Quite a popular way of carrying out the 
promotion plan is to erect a low white fence 
covered with flowers, and with a gate in the 
center, through which the children pass, to 
signify their promotion to the Beginners' 
Department. This idea may be modified 
to suit the conditions of the school. 

One school erected a simple, fern-covered 
arch and a gate to the right of the platform. 
When the time came for the Cradle Roll 
babies to be promoted, they entered at the 


left, filed across the platform, while the 
choir sang, " I Think when I Read that 
Sweet Story of Old," and through the gate, 
which was opened for them by a little girl 
from the Beginners' Department. As the 
gate swung open, she took the first baby by 
the hand and led him, the others following, 
to the section where the Beginners were 

The other departments followed with 
their promotion exercises and all from the 
Cradle Roll up received their certificates 
rolled and tied with the department colors. 

Chapter VIII 

It is not 'only from the family but with the family 
eyes that we all begin to look upon the world. The 
family plants the seeds of the social virtues. For it 
is the substantial nurture of the affections within 
the home that first gives the members genuinely 
developed affections to carry beyond it. — McCunn. 

TT has been repeatedly stated that the 
■*■ little child's first environment is the 
home. It is all-important that this en- 
vironment shall be right and conducive 
to his best development along all lines of his 

To the father and mother we must look 
for the controlling influence of childhood. 
The child's ideals, his habits, his religion, 
will depend upon what the home teaches 
and is. In Thg Training of Children in 
Religion Dr. Hodges says, " The strength 
and vividness of the child's religion depends 
greatly upon the position of religion in his 
home. The father and mother are per- 
petually teaching religion to their children, 
by their example, by the tones of their 
voices, by what they are even more than 


by what they say, by the conditions of their 
own relationship to the unseen world. 
These lessons are not in any book. They 
are in the personality of the parents." 

One of the chief functions of the Cradle 
Roll is to help the parents to see and realize 
the beauty and value of childhood and their 
own responsibility and privilege as parents. 
We believe with Professor Athearn that, 
" if parents can be made to see that their 
baby is a child of God, and that they are 
servants, entrusted with a holy stewardship, 
— partners with God in the fashioning of a 
human being in his image, — the matters 
of church attendance, religious nurture, 
etc., will follow as a matter of course," 

If the Cradle Roll is to accomplish all 
that it should, it will seek to help the 
parents through personal counsel, parents' 
meetings, literature and the like. 

An Educated Motherhood 

The Cradle Roll has an opportunity 
especially to help the mother. While the 
father, too, is not forgotten, it is more 
difficult to find a time when he is free. 
Because of his business and work in the 
world he cannot attend many of the gather- 
ings which may be more conveniently ar- 
ranged for the mother. The father, how- 


ever, should always be invited to all of the 
general services in connection with the 
Cradle Roll and to as many of the gatherings 
for parents as possible. 

Some one has said that " an educated 
motherhood is the need of the day." This 
is true not only of those who come to us 
from foreign lands and are unacquainted 
with the needs of their children in this 
country, but it is almost equally true of our 
own young American mothers. So many 
need help in starting the baby right from 
the very beginning, providing for him 
physically, training him mentally and nur- 
turing him religiously! During the three 
years of babyhood there is no better medium 
of giving this help than the Cradle Roll De- 
partment of the church school. By means 
of personal work in the homes, literature, 
parents' meetings, lectures, child welfare 
exhibits, pictures and the like, mothers may 
be encouraged, trained and inspired. 

Mothers quite generally need, and greatly 
appreciate, information concerning the care 
and feeding of their little ones. One way 
of bringing them this needed help is by 
gathering them together to listen to lec- 
tures by physicians, nurses and mothers of 
experience. Another most practical and 
workable way of giving information to the 


home is by the systematic distribution of 
Hterature, Government material prepared 
and distributed free of charge by the 
Children's Bureau at Washington is always 
available and many Cradle Rolls are fur- 
nishing such leaflets as "The Care and 
Feeding of Children," and " What a Grow- 
ing Child Needs." Books, magazines and 
leaflets dealing with hygiene and the prob- 
lems of babyhood can be taken to the homes. 
Only the best and most approved literature 
must be used. Before circulating any liter- 
ature along this line, it should be examined 
and passed upon by medical and educational 
authorities. (A list of some of the reliable 
books for this use will be found in Ap- 
pendix A.) 

Another need of the mother is concern- 
ing the use of stories. Every child loves a 
story. What kind of stories shall the mother 
tell him and where can she find them."* 
How can she fit herself to tell stories? 
Again, by means of mothers' meetings, 
clubs and classes, the information may 
be provided. Librarians, kindergartners, 
story-tellers and other educators can be 
secured to speak upon this important line 
of home education. A story-teller's class 
may be organized for the purpose of study- 
ing stories and how to tell them. If the 


Cradle Roll has a circulating library, as it 
should, books on story-telling and story 
material may be included. (See Appendix 

Perhaps more than anything else the 
mother needs help in nurturing the religious 
life of the little child. She is the baby's 
first teacher in religion. The church, 
through its Cradle Roll, must provide for 
the instruction of its mothers, so that they 
can train aright the devotional life and 
answer satisfactorily and correctly the oft- 
time puzzling questions which are asked by 
tiny children. 

One of the best books to put into the 
hands of the mother is Mrs. Mumford's 
The Dawn of Religion in the Mind of the 
Child. Other good books are listed in the 

Mothers' or Parents' Meetings 

It is of vital importance that mothers* 
and parents' meetings be held, if the Cradle 
Roll is to accomplish all that it should in 
providing for the Christian nurture of its 

The frequency with which these meetings 
are held will depend upon conditions and 
the needs in the church and community. 
They may be held quarterly, monthly or 


weekly, and differ greatly in character. 
Three types of meetings may be held, — 
meetings for instruction, social gatherings 
and meetings of a special nature. Meetings 
for the instruction of mothers should be 
held regularly and frequently, at which 
times lectures or addresses will be given 
or the mothers will form a class for definite 
study. At this meeting such subjects as 
the following and many more of a like 
nature will be helpful : 

Great Mothers in History 
Training the Child in the Home 
Heredity and Environment 
Children's Rights 

How to Deal with the Restless Child 
Helping the Child who is " Different " 
How to Deal with the Child's Fears 
How to Deal with the Angry Child 
Right and Wrong Punishments 
Training the Child in Unselfishness 
Teaching Self-Control 
The Physical Welfare of Children 
Training a Child to be Honest 
Teaching Kindness to Animals 
Teaching a Child to be Truthful 
Training a Child to Obey 
Children's Songs and Games 
Play and Character Building 
The Moral Value of Play 
The Educational Value of Play 


Stories and How to Tell Them 
Art in the Home 
Music in the Home 
Sunday and Little Children 
Teaching a Child about God 
Teaching Children to Pray 

Sometimes instead of an address by a 
specialist one or two papers may be read by 
mothers, or a book may be reviewed. At 
another time for several consecutive meet- 
ings some book may be studied and dis- 
cussed. It is helpful if the leader will pre- 
pare a list of questions upon the topic or 
book to be sent with the notice of the meet- 
ing to the mothers, that they may be think- 
ing about them and be ready to enter into 
the discussion. 

A story hour or a series of meetings de- 
voted to the subject of story-telling is 
always enjoyable and helpful. A story- 
teller should be present to tell stories for 
little children, which the mother may retell 
at home. 

At these meetings a short devotional 
period should precede the educational fea- 
ture, and it is always well to provide for a 
brief social at the close 

The mothers' meeting should usually be 
held in the afternoon and the mothers may 
bring their work. It is always more in- 


formal and homelike when this is done, and 
someway it is easier to get acquainted 
when one's fingers are busy sewing, knitting 
or crocheting. The work itself often opens 
the way to conversation. In many cases 
the mothers will be obliged to bring their 
babies with them. Provision should be 
made for the care and amusement of these 
little ones in another room, that the mothers 
may be free from care and able to enjoy the 

The social gatherings should frequently 
be held in the evening, in order that the 
fathers as well as the mothers may attend. 
The purpose of these meetings is primarily 
to promote friendship among the young 
parents, but while sociability is the main 
object in view, there may be something of 
an informing nature as well. The programs 
must be varied, well planned and interest- 
ing. Sometimes games will be planned. 
Another evening will be given to a musical 
entertainment. At another time there may 
be a stereopticon lecture, but always the 
social feature will predominate. 

Special parents' meetings will be held 
with parents and teachers of pupils in other 
departments of the school. One school, 
at the opening of its fall work, invited the 
parents of all of its pupils to a supper. 


There were bright after-dinner talks fol- 
lowed by a " sing," which was greatly en- 
joyed by all and then an address was given 
upon " The Value of Childhood to the 
American Home." During " Children's 
Week " this same school had a " Parents' 
Night." The program for the evening in- 
cluded music, a pageant, an address by the 
pastor and a social hour with refreshments. 
The chief value of the special gatherings 
to the Cradle Roll parents is that they be- 
come acquainted with the teachers and 
workers in the school who will some day 
receive their baby and be his teachers. 

Parents' Classes 

In many schools a Parents' Department 
has been organized. This department is on 
a par with other departments of the school, 
has its own superintendent, and is recog- 
nized as an important branch of the school 
work. At first there may be but one 
class needed and this is usually composed 
of young mothers, but other classes are 
sure to follow, for those whose boys and girls 
of older growth furnish different problems 
to the parents. Young mothers frequently 
bring their little ones to the Cradle Roll 
class or the Beginners' Department and 
stay with them in the room. How much 


better it is for them to go into a parents' 
class unless they prefer to enter one of 
the regular classes in the adult depart- 

The lessons studied are the courses used 
in other departments of the school, or, more 
frequently, elective courses outlined for 
their special use. Here each group or 
class discusses its own problems of training 
and instruction as they arisd in the home. 
The book, Child Nature and Child Nur- 
ture,^ by Professor St. John, furnishes an 
admirable course of study for such a class. 

Mothers' Departments or Clubs 

In some schools Mothers' Departments 
or Clubs are organized. These include all 
mothers and are not confined to mothers of 
Cradle Roll babies. Where such an or- 
ganization exists, the Cradle Roll mothers 
will, of course, be invited to attend. If 
the club is large, at some time during the 
meeting it may break up into several sepa- 
rate groups or conferences. The Cradle 
Roll mothers will then be by themselves 
for a little while to discuss their own particu- 
lar problems. The organization should be 
very simple and the meetings practical and 

1 Publifhed by The Pilgrim Preis. 


Mothers' and Teachers' Associations 

Some schools call both mothers and 
teachers together In a simple organization. 
It is known by various names, but the plan 
is the same in each case. Meetings are held 
at regular intervals, the program being 
similar to that of the mothers' meetings, 
with the exception that the topics con- 
sidered are those of interest and help to 
both teachers and mothers. It has been 
found in the schools where this plan has 
been tried that the teachers and parents 
have become mutually helpful. 

The National Congress of Mothers, Wash- 
ington, D. C, seeks to establish and help 
Mothers' Clubs, Parents' and Teachers' 
Associations and similar organizations work- 
ing in the interests of child welfare. Much 
useful literature may be secured from this 
organization. Especially helpful is the 
Child Welfare Magazine. In the various 
states are auxiliary organizations to the Na- 
tional Congress, the officers of which are 
always ready to render assistance. 

Chapter IX 

Are children trained 
Only that they may reach some higher class? 
Only for some few schoolroom years that pass 

Till growth is gained? 
Is it not rather for the years beyond, 
To which the Father looks with hopes so fair and 

— Frances Ridley Havergal. 

History and Nature of Children's Week 

TT is a significant fact that a recent 
■'- leaflet published by the Children's Bu- 
reau at Washington gave religious educa- 
tion as the greatest need of the growing 

Realizing the necessity of stressing the 
importance of this need and of making defi- 
nite plans to meet it, Children's Week has 
been inaugurated by the International Sun- 
day School Association. This is a conti- 
nent-wide movement to emphasize the 
religious education of children and is an 
outgrowth of Cradle Roll Week. 

In 1917, under the direction of the Chil- 
dren's Division Committee of the Interna- 



tional Sunday School Association, a conti- 
nent-wide Cradle Roll Week was observed 
for the purpose of emphasizing the Christian 
nurture of babies. Many states and prov- 
inces participated in the observance and 
some splendid results were gained. Pastors 
preached sermons appropriate to the occa- 
sion on the Sunday of Cradle Roll Week, 
many new Cradle Rolls were organized and 
thousands of babies were enrolled in Cradle 
Rolls throughout the country, visits were 
made in the homes, parents' meetings were 
held and parties or entertainments given. 

So great was the success of Cradle Roll 
Week and so loud the call for help, that in 
1918 the plan was broadened to include 
older children with the babies. Since that 
time one week each year has been set aside 
as Children's Week. The week suggested 
by the International Sunday School Asso- 
ciation is the first week in May, but if for 
good local reasons another week is more 
convenient it may be substituted. In the 
International Children's Week leaflet, Mrs. 
Baldwin, the Children's Division superin- 
tendent of the International Sunday School 
Association, says, " Every child needs and 
must have religious education if he is to 
become a true citizen of the nation- into 
which he has been born and a real member 


of the kingdom of God on earth. This 
task of religious education for the children 
of a nation belongs to the homes and the 
church schools of the various communities, 
just as the task of secular education belongs 
to the homes and the public schools of those 
same communities." 

That there is great need of arousing the 
continent to the spiritual needs of children 
is evidenced by the conditions revealed by 
the recent surveys of the Interchurch World 
Movement. They show that 26,000,000 
children in America are receiving very inade- 
quate religious education and that of this 
number 13,000,000 are receiving no relig- 
ious education whatever. It is to help 
change this alarming condition and make it 
possible for all children to receive their 
religious rights that Children's Week is 

Plans for Observance 

There are many ways of emphasizing 
the importance of the child's religious 
education and of observing Children's Week. 
Each school and community should plan 
the program with its own needs in mind. 
The more that can be done by communities 
the better, but there is also a large op- 
portunity for the local church. 


Among the community observances pro- 
vision may be made for a gathering of 
parents, church-school and day-school 
teachers, at which time addresses or lec- 
tures may be given upon topics mutually 
helpful to all, a booth where literature 
may be distributed, visitation of all the 
homes, a parade, a pageant, entertainment 
or song rally, moving pictures and exhibits. 

Each school should join in the community 
observances, but if there is no community 
plan, or in addition to it, the school should 
have its own Children's Week program. 
Among the many things suggested for the 
adults of the local school to show the needs 
and opportunities for work with children 
are: pastor's sermons, parents' visiting day 
in the church school, visitation in the homes, 
the mid-week prayer meeting devoted to 
the subject of religious training, parents' 
meetings of various kinds, a meeting of 
Cradle Roll mothers, pageants and festi- 
vals, motion pictures, exhibits and the like. 

For the children there must be at least 
one good time through the week. It may 
be a picnic, a rally in connection with other 
schools, a story hour, entertainment, mo- 
tion pictures, or a party. 

Many schools plan to have the annual 
Cradle Roll party held during Children's 


Week. Others have a story hour to which 
each pupil may invite his playmates who do 
not belong to another church school. 
I- Motion picture entertainments may be 
arranged wherever a church owns or is 
able to rent a moving picture projector. 
The Juvenile Motion Picture League pub- 
lishes suggestions for programs, and from 
the Community Motion Picture Bureau, 
New York, which has made a special study 
of pictures about work with children, sug- 
gestions concerning programs may also be 

Full publicity should be given through the 
press, by public announcements from pulpit 
and church-school platform, church calen- 
dars and posters. 

Very attractive home-made posters may 
be prepared and used in the church-school 
building or displayed on outside bulletin 
boards. Some churches have purchased 
sets of posters prepared by the National 
Child Welfare Association and displayed 
them during Children's Week. 

It is unnecessary to add that the Cradle 
Roll babies and their parents have a very 
large part in the observance of Children's 
Week and should be invited and urged to 
attend£all of the gatherings which are of 
an appropriate nature. 


Appendix A 


Cradle Roll Department Books and Manuals 

How to Conduct a Cradle Roll Department, 

The Cradle Roll Department, Sudlow 
Object Lessons for the Cradle Roll, Danlelson 
Our Babies, International Sunday School 

Association leaflet 

Books on Health and Care of Little Children 

The Care and Feeding of Children, Holt 

The Feeding of Children, Lowe 

The Care of the Baby, Griffith 

The Health Care of the Baby, Fischer 

How to Feed Children, Hogan 

First Aid in Nursery Ailments, Coolidge 

The Mother's Manual, Coolidge 

Mother and Child, MacCarthy 

The Mother^ s Nursery Guide, Eghian 

Short Talks to Mothers, Kerley 

The Child, Israels 

(Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 
New York. Cradle Roll superintendents 
may secure copies free for distribution.) 



Books on Child Nature and Training 

Thg Unfolding Life, Lamoreaux 
A Study of Child Nature^ Harrison 
Children's Ways, Sully 
As the Twig is Bent, Chenery 
Moral Instruction of Children, Adler 
From the Child's Standpoint, WInterburn 
Love and Law in Child Training, Poulsson 
The Natural Way, DuBois 
The Individual in the Making, Kirkpatrick 
The Unfolding of Personality, Mark 
The Development of the Child in Later In- 
fancy, Campayre 
The First Three Years of Childhood, Perez 
Children's Rights, Wiggin 
Play in the First Eight Years, Palmer 
The Right of the Child to be Well Born, 

Child Nature and Child Nurture, St. John 
The Psychology of Childhood, Norsworthy 

and Whitley 
Childhood and Character, Hartshorne 

Books on Religious Training 

The Dawn of Religion in the Mind of the 

Child, Mumford 
The Training of the Child in Religion, Hodges 
Education in Religion and Morals, Coe 
Religious Education in the Family, Cope 
The Child and His Religion, Dawson 


Training the Devotional Life, Welgle 
Prayers for Home and School, Beard 
Christian Nurture, Bushnell 

Books on Story-Telling 

Stories and Story-Telling, St. John 

Picture Work, Hervey 

The Art of the Story-Teller, Shedlock 

Hotv to Tell Stories to Children, Bryant 

For the Story-Teller, Bailey 

Story-Telling, Lyman 

Story-Telling for Home and School, Partridge 

Books of Story Material 

Mother Goose Rhymes 

A Story Garden for Little Children, Lindsay 

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Potter 

Robert Louis Stevenson Reader, O'Shea 

This Little Pig, Crane 

Mother Hubbard, Crane 

Father and Baby Plays, Poulsson 

Through the Farmyard Gate, Poulsson 

Mother Goose Village, Bigham 

The Story Hour, Wiggin and Smith 

Mother Stories, Lindsay 

More Mother Stories, Lindsay 

Kindergarten Stories and Morning Talks, 

Little Animal Stories ^ Danielson 
Stories to Tell to Children, Bryant 


For the Littlest Ones, Bryant 

For the ChildrerCs Hour, Bailey and Lewis 

Once Upon a Time Tales, Stewart 

Object Lessons for the Cradle Roll, Danielson 

Song Books for the Home and School 

Songs for Little People, Danielson and 

Song Stories for the Sunday School, Hill 
The Children's Year, Conant 
Carols, Leyda 

Magazines for Mothers 

The Mothers' Magazine, Elgin, 111. 
American Motherhood, Coopers town, N. Y. 
Child Welfare Magazine, Washington, D. C. 
Babyhood, American Baptist Publication 

Society, Philadelphia, Pa. 
The Pilgrim Elementary Teacher, (Cradle 

Roll and Beginners' Departments), The 

Pilgrim Press, Boston. 

Appendix B 


" Heavenly Father, bless this baby, 
Guide his tender little feet. 
May we older children help him 
To be gentle, kind and sweet.'* 

" Bless all our Cradle babies. 

Wherever they may be; 
Although in homes so scattered. 

Thou every one dost see. 
We love them, and thou lovest them, 

Oh! may they grow to be 
A band of little Christians, 

Obedient, Lord, to thee." 

" God bless the babies on the Cradle Roll, 
Bless them and keep them throughout each glad 

Watch them in daylight and guard them in dark- 
May they grow gentler and sweeter each day.** 


** Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep 
In peace and safety till I wake, 
And this I ask for Jesus' sake." 


" Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep. 
Thy love go with me all the night, 
And wake me with the morning light." 

" Hands together, softly — so, 

Little eyes shut tight. 
Father, just before we go, 

Hear our prayer tonight. 
We are all thy children here, 

This is what we pray, 
Keep us when the dark is near, 

And through every day." 

" All this day thy hand hath led me, 
And I thank thee for thy care. 
Thou hast clothed me, warmed me, fed me. 
Listen to my evening prayer." 

" My Father, hear my prayer 

Before I go to rest. 
It is thy little child 

That Cometh to be blest. 
Lord, help me every day 

To love thee more and more, 
And try to do thy will. 

Much better than before." 

" Into thy loving care. 
Into thy keeping. 
Thou who art everywhere. 
Take us while sleeping." 


Father, unto thee I pray. 

Thou hast guarded me all day. 

Safe I am while in thy sight, 

Safely let me sleep tonight. 

Bless my friends, the whole world bless. 

Help me to learn helpfulness. 

Keep me ever in thy sight, 

So, to all I say good-night." 


' Now I wake and see the light. 
*Tis God who kept me through the night; 
To him I lift my voice and pray. 
That he will keep me through the day." 

* For this new morning with its light. 
For rest and shelter of the night. 
For health and food, for love and friends, 
For everything thy goodness sends, 
We thank thee, heavenly Father." 

' I waken with the morning light 
That makes my room so gay and bright, 
I wake and say my morning prayer. 
Dear God, be near me everywhere." 

" The morning bright. 
With rosy light. 
Has waked me from my sleep. 
Father, I own 
Thy love alone 
Thy little one doth keep." 



" God is great and God is good, 
And we thank him for our food. 
By his hand must we be fed, 
Give us, Lord, our daily bread." 

" Father, bless the food we take 
And bless us all for Jesus' sake." 

" For all we eat and all we wear. 
For daily bread and nightly care. 
We thank the heavenly Father." 


" For my home and friends I thank thee. 
For my father, mother dear, 
For the hills, the trees, the flowers, 
And the sky so bright and clear." 

" Father, lead me day by day 
Ever in thine own sweet way. 
Teach me to be pure and true, 
Show me what I ought to do." 

" May I be a little helper. 
Lord, I pray, 
Doing little deeds for others 
Every day." 

*' I thank thee for my happy home, 
Dear Father up above. 
For mother and for father, too, 
And every one I love." 

Appendix C 


" Little Cradle, do you think, 
With your pretty bows of pink, 
You can faithful be and true 
To the name we trust to you? 

" As we lay it gently there 
We will add this little prayer. 
That the little baby face 
In our class may find a place." 

" Another new baby we welcome today; 
To him a new name has been given. 
We'll give him a place on our dear Cradle Roll, 
For of such is the kingdom of heaven." 

" In our little cradle here 
Place the baby's name so dear. 
Father, ever bless and keep 
With thy love, so true and deep." 

" There's a welcome for you here. 
Baby mine, baby mine, 
In our Sunday school so dear. 

Baby mine, baby mine. 
You can come and never fear. 
We will always hold you dear. 


There's a welcome for you here, 
Baby mine, baby mine, 

In our Sunday school so dear — 
Baby mine." 

" One year ago an angel sweet 

Looked down from heaven and smiled. 
Because it was his joy to bring 

To earth a little child. 
And all this year the child has grown 

We've learned to love her here. 
We hope she'll better, wiser grow 

With every added year." 

" Little baby, do you know. 
As we rock you to and fro. 
We are glad to count you here 
On our Cradle Roll so dear? " 

" A joyful greeting, babies dear. 
God keep you in his care, 
And may you soon be with us here, 
Our happy times to share." 

268.432 CAbJU C.1 

Chapin # The cradle roll 

of the church school. --. 


3 0005 02065333 6 


The cradle roll of the church 


The cradle roll of the church school