Welcoming Preschoolers to Mission Friends

Do you have new preschoolers in your Mission Friends® class as the new church year starts? You may also have preschoolers who have been away for the summer, so they feel like they are starting again. Some preschoolers may be promoting into your Mission Friends class. Use these tips for giving preschoolers a welcome to Mission Friends.

  • Pray for preschoolers who will attend. Pray for God’s leadership as you guide them to know of His love for all people.
  • Clean out your Mission Friends classroom beforehand. Clear out the clutter by taking down previous resource kit and picture set items. Clean tables, chairs, and other surfaces. Wash dress-up clothes from the Homeliving area. Check toys and equipment for broken pieces or sharp edges. Make your Mission Friends class a welcoming environment.
  • Change your bulletin board. Replace the background paper and border to freshen up your classroom. Use bulletin board ideas from First Steps in Missions, vol. 21, to go along with the missions areas each month.
  • Use the customizable Mission Friends poster in the Mission Friends Promotion Pack. Post this in your church to let parents know the place and time of your Mission Friends.
  • Prepare the classroom for missions learning. Post pictures from Mission Friends Leader Picture Set in interest areas at the preschoolers’ eye level. Set out materials for activities before preschoolers arrive.
  • Prepare name tags ahead of time. Have name tags ready for preschoolers you know will be in your class. Have extras ready to write in the names of new preschoolers.
  • If you have dual language learners in your classroom, learn to greet them with hello or welcome in the family’s heart language.
  • Be prepared for separation anxiety for younger preschoolers or older ones who have never been away from their parents. Position an activity close to the entry door so you can engage this preschooler in the activity right away.
  • Provide copies of the Mission Friends Enrollment Form for parents to complete.
  • Take a photo of each child holding the sign, “I’m a Mission Friend!” Print the photos to give each parent the picture of their preschooler, or send the parent an email with the photo attached.
  • Make a book with a preschoolers’ photo and name on each page. Keep this in the Books area of your Mission Friends classroom to help learn names.
  • Play a name game during Group Time. This will help you learn names of preschoolers, and help them learn one another’s names. Example game: "guess who?" Say: Guess who is wearing orange.
  • Describe something about each child. Include Mission Friends teachers so preschoolers learn your names, too!
  • Be flexible. Gauge preschoolers’ attention span for the length of time they can listen in Group Time. Make adjustments as needed for your preschoolers.

Enjoy your time with preschoolers! Engage with them in activities as you welcome preschoolers and begin building relationships with each one. May each preschooler feel welcomed and loved as you start a new year in Mission Friends.

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