Preschool Leaders

Connect the Dots

growing

A friend has two sons who are 5 years apart in age. The boys’ grandfather marks their growth by putting a mark of their height on a door frame in his home, and labeling the marks with the child’s name and age. They recently noted that the younger son’s mark is higher than when the older son was at the same age. My friend is using that information to predict that the younger son is probably going to be taller than the older son once they are both grown up.

A similar connection can be made between growth in your Mission Friends® and greater missions discipleship within your church. Growth is not simply so you have more numbers to report, but so you will have more girls and boys who are growing in discipleship by learning about missions. As more preschoolers learn about missions, they will then respond to God by praying for missions, giving to missions, and doing missions.

What are some ways to grow Mission Friends?

Project HELP: PTSD Helping Families with Financial Stress

Financial difficulties

Though the song says it’s the most wonderful time of the year, for many families the Christmas season is the most stressful time of the year. This can be a particularly difficult time for parents who are under financial stress, as they struggle to provide for their family. The pressures of providing Christmas gifts for their children is great.

Financial stress for families can be caused by the loss of a job, an ongoing illness or hospitalization, divorce, or the death of a family member. Some families are in financial stress because of spending practices, credit card debt, or lack of budgeting. Be prepared to minister to families who are under financial stress.

  • Be sensitive to the needs of families who may be in situations of financial stress. Keep information confidential.

  • Be aware that financial stress is not just about money. Emotional and social issues may also be involved, such as pride, self-confidence, or loss of purpose.

  • Listen to the parent so you can determine opportunities in which you can be of help.

Ages and Stages: Preschool Development

As a Mission Friends teacher, you will get the opportunity to work with a wide age range of children, from infants all the way up to five-year-olds. Understanding the milestones and abilities of each age group is so important, so that you can better serve and teach these little ones. Keep in mind that patience is key with any age group!

Preschoolers of all ages are still learning and figuring out how to interact with the people around them!

 

Infants (0–1)

Baby

  • Infants are developing quickly and they’re using their sensory (touch) and motor (movement) functions to explore the environments around them.

  • They’re learning to hold their heads up, sit up, crawl, stand, and walk.

  • They like to explore new sounds, and they’ll explore using their voices with cries and coos and babbles.

How you as a leader can help them develop:

Thankful

Thankful Turkey

The Preschool Resource Team made this turkey to show what we are thankful for. We used the turkey outline and each person took 3 feathers to write 3 things for which we are thankful. We’re sharing our list with you here.

 

Joan Hicks, administrative assistant:

  • Salvation: Jesus and the Lord
  • Family
  • Church

 

Clay Allison, graphic designer:

  • My salvation
  • Medical miracles for the time in which I live
  • My family, job, and co-workers

 

Teri Easterling, copy editor:

  • Family
  • Friends
  • WMU work

 

Robin McCall, editor:

  • Jesus
  • Love
  • Children

 

Joye Smith, consultant:

Myself

Myself Cover

My Mission Friends had the most fun making self-portraits on paper plates as suggested in Mission Friends Leader  for last week. We also drew around each preschooler’s hands on a piece of paper and asked them to decorate their hands. As our preschoolers drew and colored, we talked about things we do with our hands and how God made each of us different. After Ashlyn finished drawing, she said, “Now I’ll put them together.” She put her paper plate face on the table and placed the paper hands below the plate. Then she smiled a big smile and held her own hands right below her face as if she were saying, “Ta Da! Here I am!”

Praying with Preschoolers

Always Remember to Pray

“I don’t know what to pray,” said one of my preschoolers after I read the title page in Always Remember to Pray. Several new preschoolers had just promoted into our Mission Friends class a couple weeks before at the beginning of this church year. I decided to read Always Remember to Pray before our prayertime to help us talk about prayer. I responded to this preschooler, “Let’s find out what we can pray!” I read several pages of the book until the preschoolers started fidgeting, and then I flipped the pages over to read the last page. Before we prayed, we talked about ways we could pray for the missionary family.

Preschoolers are learning that we can pray anywhere and at any time. In order to learn how to pray, they need to hear the prayers of their parents and teachers at church. In Mission Friends, we can model how to pray for others as we teach preschoolers of ways to pray for the missionaries featured and the people with whom they serve.

Tips about Praying with Preschoolers

Ways to Use the Mission Friends Promotion Pack

Have you heard about the Mission Friends Promotion Pack? This pack offers great resources for enriching your Mission Friends’ experience.

The Promotion Pack contains posters to go with each Christian concept area, an allergy alert chart, postcards, 2 Missions Friends promotional posters, and the Mission Friends song. You will find that these resources can be used in a variety of ways.

Christian concept area posters with Bible thoughts

Project HELP: PTSD—How to Use with Preschoolers

Project HELP logo

As WMU focuses on Project HELP: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), all ages in the church are encouraged to be involved in this critical issue. You may be wondering, How can I focus on this critical issue with preschoolers?

Following are recommendations about using Project HELP: PTSD with preschoolers.

Hints for Preschool Teachers

Caring for Families

Caring for families

As you teach preschoolers, you are in a unique position of showing care to families who have a child with special needs. You may have preschoolers with special needs in your class, and that gives you the opportunity to come to know the parents and the needs within the family. What are some ways that you can minister to a family with a special needs child?

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.

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