Preschool Leaders

Meet the Writer: Celeste Albaugh

I have always loved traveling, meeting people from other cultures, and exploring places around the world. This passion came from having been born in Great Britain and growing up as a military kid; my dad served in the United States Air Force for 26 years.

We moved every 3 ½ years of my life, and I attended 8 different schools. When we lived in California, I woke up early on Saturday morning, like any 6-year-old, to watch cartoons. However, this particular morning was different. The cartoons didn’t interest me. Instead, a TV show called The Treehouse Club by Child Evangelism Fellowship piqued my interest. After watching the show, while my parents were asleep, I started my personal relationship with Jesus.

In the various churches we attended as a family, I saw my parents model the importance of serving the Lord.

Missions Explorers

Missions Explorers

Project Learning

Preschoolers can do project learning. In Mission Friends project learning is what Missions Explorers is all about. It’s fun, and it’s easy. And it’s optional. Here are some things to remember when doing projects with young children:

Set up a special area in your classroom for project learning. Include necessary supplies and additional materials such as brochures, books, teaching pictures (many are on the Internet), and a box, pocket folder, or large envelope where preschoolers can keep their work.

Label supplies and keep them in separate boxes such as one for crayons, one for scissors, one for paper, etc.

As preschoolers investigate and learn more about their project, make a list of what they have learned on chart paper. Or have them draw what they have investigated and done on butcher paper. Preschoolers can draw or write about their findings.

Be sure to have a time for sharing what preschoolers have learned while working on their project(s). Invite parents and guests to attend the Project Presentation.

Preschool Missions Focus

For Columbus Worship Service

 

Mission Friends is an ongoing missions discipleship organization for preschool boys and girls (birth through kindergarten). Through Mission Friends, preschoolers . . .

  • become aware that God wants everyone to know of His love
  • move from a focus on self to a focus on others
  • apply Bible thoughts to their lives as they learn to pray, give, and help others.
  • and their families learn of ways to give their time, talents, and money

Learn more about this month's missionary below.

Six Ways to Engage Families in Missions

Helping Others

When families learn about missions, pray for missions, give to missions, and work together to help others, preschoolers will develop an “all in” heart for missions. While preschoolers certainly learn a great deal about missionaries in Mission Friends®, we must also enlist our preschoolers’ families to engage in missions at home.

Our ministries consultant, Lena Plunk, recently shared a story about how her nieces are on mission in their neighborhood. While Lena was visiting, her nieces were watching a video when they heard the garbage truck coming up their road. Her niece MJ jumped up and said, “The garbage truck, hurry, we don’t want to miss them!” Lena thought the girls were going to the window to watch the truck. Instead, they grabbed thirst-quencher drinks and ran out to give these gifts to the men on the truck. Lena says that her nieces enjoy sharing water, cookies, and snacks with all of their community helpers. Out of their love for Jesus, her 2 nieces enjoy giving to others.

How can you help your preschoolers’ families become Families on Mission?

Extending the Story: Always Remember to Pray

Always Remember to Pray

Using activities related to a story or book is a way of extending what preschoolers learn by giving them experiences connected to the story. When you read Always Remember to Pray, by Robin McCall, extend the story with activities related to prayer. Talk about prayer and tell preschoolers we are talking to God when we pray. Encourage preschoolers to think about ways they can pray at any time and any place. The following activities will extend the story and help preschoolers learn more about prayer.

Free Downloads for Mission Friends

WMU provides a number of free Mission Friends downloads for your church and families. Scroll down the page to see all our downloads.


Digital Templates: Computer Slide

Let people in your church know about Mission Friends! Each quarter you will find a different digital template with ideas for using the item. Download this computer slide about Mission Friends to use in a variety of ways in your church. There are 3 versions, standard and widescreen, and PDF files you can copy to put in your program, depending on the capacity of your computer presentation program.

Leading Multiple Ages

I walked about the preschool space holding a 6-month-old in my arms, and doing the activities with a 2-year-old. My co-teacher did an activity with the 2-year-old using chenille stems while the 6-month-old and I carried on conversation about what they were doing. At another time during the session, I had to pay more attention to the needs of the 6-month-old. During that time, the 2-year-old worked quietly with a puzzle.

This may be a familiar scenario if you work with multiple ages in one Mission Friends® class. Many smaller churches have one preschool class with all ages combined. Even if there is a class for younger and older preschoolers, there might be multiple ages within those broad age ranges. Blended age groups can sometimes be a challenge, but it can be done!

Organizing for Mission Friends

Organizing for Mission Friends

 

Do you want a tool that will help make your planning for Mission Friends® easier? The Mission Friends Plan Sheet is your tool! Using the plan sheet helps you to plan the whole month at one time, and cuts down on the amount of time you have to spend in weekly planning.

Understanding Preschoolers with Special Needs

Autism image

Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability identified in about 1 in 68 children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1 Autism can be diagnosed in preschoolers as early as age 2, and many parents notice developmental delays in their child during the first year. As a preschool teacher at church, you may have a time when you teach a preschooler who has autism. What are some ways of teaching and caring for a preschooler with autism?

  • Begin by including the preschooler and his or her parents in your prayers. Pray for God to guide you as you become a part of this preschooler’s life through church activities.

  • Stay connected with the preschooler’s parents. Ask the parents what skills they are working on at home and how you can include these as you care for the preschooler at church. Communicate with the parents often.

Building Resilience within Preschoolers

Resilience

“Get up, brush off, and run on,” a teacher says to a preschooler who falls on the playground as she helps him brush the leaves off his knees. This may be an example that comes to mind when we think of a preschooler’s resilience. What helps them bounce back after something bad happens? From a fall on the playground, they might have a scraped knee where we can see they are physically hurt. How can we help preschoolers to build resilience when they experience emotional trauma or stress?

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