Preschool Blog

Keeping Babies Safe

baby on back

For Baby Safety Month in September, we offer these tips to make sure babies are safe while at church.

We Work Together

Steve and Jen Hagen

Steve Hagen mobilizes tribal churches in the Philippines to send out missionaries to unreached tribal people groups. He helps organize the churches and teaches them how to send out and support missionaries. He also works with missionaries who have been sent out to ensure they are working strategically and effectively.

To free up Mr. Hagen’s time for the writing and traveling that he does for trainings and meetings, Mrs. Hagen takes care of most of the administrative and organizational responsibilities in their ministry. She regularly keeps their prayer supporters updated and informed about their work. She communicates with and coordinates the work of volunteer teams. And, if a problem arises, she helps Mr. Hagen develop solutions. Additionally, she disciples and counsels women.

Mr. and Mrs. Hagen’s teamwork in their ministry is a beautiful illustration of the way that God gives each of us different gifts and equips us to work with others to fulfill our calling. As I read of the Hagens’ coordinated and shared responsibilities, I thought of the Bible thought that we often express to our preschoolers: We work together (see 1 Cor. 3:9).

A New Year in Mission Friends

to-do list

Here is a To Do list for the beginning of the new church year in Mission Friends.

Making

making a sand castle

Do you remember making something as a child? I remember making doll clothes and being so proud of what I made. The doll clothes became more complicated as I got older and learned how to sew, and it was fun to make outfits for my doll to go on a picnic or whatever I was playing with her at the moment. I also remember making other things such as loom pot holders and dying Easter eggs. I loved making things!

Our preschoolers today also enjoy making things. There is a whole “making” movement that is making its way even within preschool education. We have seen it for a while now in adults with do-it-yourself projects being so popular. Now we are seeing the making movement arising for preschoolers and children. Much of making with preschoolers involves science, technology, arts, and math. Preschoolers are encouraged to experiment and explore in building structures, taking apart equipment, or using various art media. Preschoolers might combine technology with other areas, such as using printed photos as a background for their painting.

Recycling Resources

reusing materials

Do you subscribe to the Mission Friends Leader Kit and Mission Friends Leader Picture Set or the Mission Friends Resource Kit and Pictures? Have you ever thought about recycling these resources after you have finished teaching each unit?

Picture set pictures could become puzzles in a unit about a similar ministry or missions area. Resource kit items, especially books, posters, stand-up figures, and teaching pictures are adaptable to other units. And, both provide pictures that could be cut out for use in activities calling for magazine pictures.

So, grab some boxes, folders, envelopes, or ziplock plastic bags, and pieces of poster board for dividers. Try these suggestions for categories to file the pictures and kit items so that you can easily find and reuse them:

Group Picture Set pictures by categories such as:

An Update from Josh Lenon:

Lenon family

The past year has been a crazy one for Red Door. We have experienced a lot of joy in seeing the gospel take hold of our lives: believers beginning to share their faith, new believers being baptized, and growing as a church as a church both in numbers and in passion. We have also experienced a lot of loss. Recently one of our core leaders who has been with Red Door since the beginning, and who was working with us in the new plant, was tragically killed in an auto accident. He left behind an awesome wife and three awesome kiddos (7, 3, and 1). This tragedy has rocked our church pretty hard and we have grieved in many ways. But we have grieved as those with hope! (1 Thess. 4).

Prepare Preschoolers for a Postmodern Culture

Our preschool group looked at a photo of the missionary family we studied that month in Mission Friends. We had been learning about this missionary family for a few weeks. I had just finished telling our mission story for the week of how the missionaries tell others about Jesus. One of the 3-year-olds leaned in to look at the picture and asked, “Are they real?” At first, it struck me as an odd question. Of course, they are real. As I thought about it, I realized that this question is indicative of the current times in which photos are altered and what seems to be real may not be the truth.

Searching for reality and truth is part of the postmodern world of which our preschoolers are a part. Preschoolers are growing up with a postmodern worldview that people can determine their own truth. Growing up as postmodernists, preschoolers will also have a much more global worldview than previous generations.

Thank You!

Christmas in August

Does Christmas in August® make a difference? According to Arlene Miller of Impact Ministry in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, your Christmas in August gifts last year made an eternal difference in the lives of many people:

“Thank you for allowing Impact Ministry to be included on the Mission Friends (Christmas in August) list of ministries to get donations. It has been such a blessing to get boxes and letters. Many of the boxes contained pictures and items that the children had made. Most of them had a note saying they had prayed for us . . . We know that the prayers of all of those collecting and packing the boxes were heard and His Holy Spirit touched hearts and people were saved. Several people gave their heart to Jesus these past few months as they met with our spiritual counselors the day they came for assistance. . . .

It was one day that I had opened a box of Christmas in August gifts and read the note that they prayed for us as they packed the box, that I realized this is why we are seeing more people saved. More people are praying . . . What an awesome God!!!!!”

Helping Preschoolers with Fear

comforting fearful child

Sometimes I am afraid. How many times have you heard preschoolers express fears? It may be about something that seems small: “I am afraid to climb to the top of the slide,” or “I am afraid of spiders.” Other times it may be about something big: “I am afraid when Mommy and Daddy yell” or “Mommy died. What if Daddy dies, too?” How can we help our preschoolers move beyond fear and stress and help them learn to live in joy and peace?

At a recent conference, I was intrigued by the thoughts of a panel of experts who spoke about helping children develop resilience by teaching them to move from a place of fear to a place of calm. As one speaker shared that children innately know that we are not created to hold to thoughts that keep us locked in a place of bitterness and fear, I thought of Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (ESV1).

Use the following suggestions to help ease your preschoolers’ fears and stress:

Kindness

Learning to share

It seems like our world could use a little more kindness. When I see what is happening in the news around the world, it is easy for me to become overwhelmed and think, What can I do? I’m only one person. And then I remember—I teach preschoolers in Mission Friends! One of the greatest things I can do is teach my preschoolers to love God and love others. We show that we love others by being kind to others. Here are some things I want to say about kindness.

As preschool teachers, it is up to us to intervene when we observe a preschooler who exhibits unkind behavior toward others, physically or verbally. We can no longer just let it go. We must use those times as teachable moments to help preschoolers express frustration in a better way and learn problem-solving skills. It may seem minor to us when a preschooler pushes another to be first in line or takes a toy away from another. If we do not intervene though, the child begins to learn that those negative behaviors help me to get what I want. We must step in whenever a preschooler is unkind to others.

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