Preschool

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).

Communicating with Parents—Special Needs Children

Talk with parents about needs

As a Mission Friends leader, you are in a unique position. You are spending time with preschoolers outside of their normal routine and outside of their normal circle of people. In some instances, foreign routines and people can agitate children with special needs, and as a leader you have to communicate openly with families. It is important to promote positive communication with all of your preschooler’s families regarding their experiences and behavior, but even more so with children with special needs. There are a few guidelines when speaking about children with special needs and when speaking to their families:

Project HELP: PTSD—Helping Preschoolers with Family Trauma

Hurting family

Little 3-year-old David took my hand as we looked out the window, watching and listening as an ambulance drove by the day-care center. He said in a quiet voice, just so I alone could hear, “I rode in that ambulance.” I had to choke back my own tears because I knew he remembered a terrible, violent incident that happened to him a few months before. That summer, he would wear a shirt when our child-care class played outside in the sprinkler because he did not want the other preschoolers to see the scars on his belly from stab wounds that almost killed him.

What Do Preschoolers Need from Their Leaders?

What preschoolers need

As a Mission Friends leader, you get the amazing opportunity to interact with and have an influence on preschoolers. They are adorable little sponges, with the desire and the capacity to absorb information and lessons. Remember that preschoolers aren’t little adults, they are very young children learning how to be their own little people. As a leader, you have a very important role in their development. Preschoolers need two main forms of support at this age: emotional support and social support. Here are a few ways you as a leader can help and support their emotional and social development.

Emotional Support

Preschoolers are still learning how to self-regulate, which means that they don’t yet understand how to control their emotions. They can experience very high highs and very low lows emotionally. Giving them an outlet for their emotions, even taking the time to talk to upset preschoolers about what they’re feeling and giving the emotion a name, can help them develop better emotional control.

Project HELP: PTSD—How to Use with Preschoolers

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

How to Grab Preschooler’s Attention—Introductory Activities

Introductory Activity

Getting preschoolers’ attention is no easy task! Keeping it is even harder. Preschoolers don’t always understand that you have to pause and listen when someone’s talking, or that it’s considered bad manners to talk and play while someone is speaking. They haven’t yet learned how to delay self-gratification! So, when you’re beginning your introduction to Group Time, it’s important to do something that will grab and keep your little ones’ attention! Here are some examples:

Decode the WMU Emphasis for Preschoolers

By All Means

September is the launch of the new WMU® emphasis, By All Means. This two-year emphasis is to challenge followers of Christ to follow His example, step into the world around them, cultivate relationships, and create opportunities to demonstrate the love of Christ. Throughout this emphasis, WMU will focus on the watchword verse of 1 Corinthians 9:22–23: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” (NIV1).

Because the words By All Means are difficult for preschoolers, each quarter we will decode the above messages in ways preschoolers can understand. This chart shows how we can say the objectives of the emphasis in words that are meaningful to preschoolers.

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.

Connect the Dots

CONNECT THE DOTS

Preschoolers often hear, “You have grown since I last saw you!” The preschool years are a time of constant growth. We would really be concerned if a preschooler was not growing. We would take that preschooler to the doctor to check out his bones and muscles. The doctor would check him out neurologically and any other way to find why he is not growing. We know that a healthy preschooler is a growing preschooler. We want preschoolers to grow.

We also want Mission Friends to grow! At the start of a new church year, focus on discovering new members for Mission Friends.

Make a Mission Friends bulletin board in the preschool area of the church. Use bulletin board ideas found in First Steps in Missions, vol. 22:

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