Preschool

Decode the WMU Emphasis for Preschoolers: I Can Help Others

By All Means

From a young age, we want to involve preschoolers in helping others and sharing God’s love with others. Here are a few examples of Helping Others activities from different Mission Friends groups:

  • Packing items for personal hygiene kits for a missions team to give people in Nicaragua.

  • Making sandwiches to include in sack lunches for a ministry to homeless people.

  • Taking cookies to a local fire station to thank the firefighters for their work.

In the WMU emphasis, By All Means, we are encouraged to step into the world around us. We must make connections with others in order to share God’s love and His Word with them. For preschoolers, this means giving them opportunities to help others. Lead your preschoolers to know of ways they can help others around them. This could be as simple as being a helper by passing out the napkins at snack time. We can also lead preschoolers to be more intentional in serving others through the Helping Others activities we plan for them to become involved in.

Products for Mission Friends, Teachers, and Parents

These are just a few of our helpful books, resources and a Mission Friends T-Shirt. Many other books and resources are available as well as finger puppets and other items perfect for your preschool classroom or home! Order using the links to the WMU online store or call 1-800-968-7301.

Mission Friends Guide for Leaders

Communicating with Parents—Behavior Issues

communicating with parents

Open, positive communication is essential to developing good relationships with parents and preschoolers, so if you have any concerns or questions about a preschooler’s behavior, it’s very important to communicate with his parents.

When working with the preschool age group, behavior problems are inevitable. Preschoolers are loud and boisterous, letting their little personalities out in the only way that they know how. They experience emotions very deeply and strongly, and they don’t always have the emotional and social tools to let them out effectively.

Grabbing Preschoolers’ Attention: Telling the Story

Group Time

Once you have grabbed your preschooler’s attention, it’s time to tell the story! You’ll be hard-pressed to find a group of people who love a good story as much as preschoolers do. Storytelling is an essential tool for teaching and engaging with your group, so learning to tell stories with efficiency is an excellent skill to have as a leader! So how does one tell a story that will get and keep preschoolers’ attention, and teach them something valuable?

Here are a few tips on how to be an effective and engaging storyteller!

  • Talk to them like you would talk to anyone else. So often in our society people speak to children with a certain level of condescension. Those little brains can absorb and understand more than you think they can! Also, the older preschoolers may decide to tune you out if they hear you speaking in a way that might be belittling.

  • Put some variety in your voice. Give different characters different voices! Whisper, get loud, be silly, and be goofy! Kids love to laugh and be silly, they will be so much more engaged if you’re willing to be as well.

The True Meaning of Christmas

child and Nativity

What parts of Christmas do we bring into our Mission Friends classrooms at church? There are so many aspects to celebrating Christmas: shopping, gifts, cookies, candies, parties, ornaments, decorations, trees, lights, Santa, elves, snowmen, and greeting cards. There is such cuteness revolving around these aspects of Christmas, it can be easy to leave out the very meaning of Christmas. How do we focus on celebrating that God sent His Son, Jesus? How do we include some of the fun aspects of Christmas while teaching preschoolers about Jesus’ birth? The points below give suggestions for being intentional about teaching preschoolers the true meaning of Christmas.

  • Tell parts of the Christmas story from Luke 2:1–20 during each session. Look for preschool books that tell the true story. I even found a board book at a discount store that told the Christmas story in simple words.

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:

Step Out and Shine

Step out and Shine

“Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples; but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you” (Isa. 60:1–2 NIV1)

What a beautiful prophecy of the coming of our Lord. As we continue pondering how to step out into our world, we must immediately turn our thoughts to Jesus, our Light, who stepped from the ethereal beauty and safety of His heavenly kingdom to bring hope and life into a world overcome by darkness and fear. He stepped out boldly and with great love for his people.

During this Christmas season, spend time meditating on His willingness to step out for us. But, don’t stop there. Meditate, too, on His command that we are to “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven” (Matt. 5:16 NIV).

Allow Christ’s words to spur you to acts of compassion and service.

Introducing Preschoolers to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

December is drawing near, and our focus on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is growing. The Dove family, whom we will study in December, says that it is the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that meets their daily needs and allows them to focus full-time on the work that God has called them to in Norway. Use some of the following suggestions to teach Mission Friends more about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and to encourage their families to involve them in missions giving.

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