mission friends

Fostering Creativity

Snow Wall

A 3-year-old smiled at her new discovery. She was playing at the “snow wall” in Mission Friends during that session. The snow wall was a long piece of clear self-adhesive plastic taped to the wall with the sticky side out. Our preschoolers made snow designs by sticking cotton balls, disposable cosmetic puffs, and cotton swabs to the wall to represent snow. Their creativity showed as they made snowflakes, snowmen, and snowbanks. We talked about the missionary for that month, who lived in a place with lots of snow. There was much delight when one preschooler discovered that she could stick a cosmetic puff several times, and it would leave a residue of a thin frosty look on the snow wall.

Myself

I'm here!

“I’m here!” One of my preschoolers says this nearly every week when he comes in our Mission Friends room. It is his way of saying, “Look at me! Acknowledge who I am!” All preschoolers want to be noticed and accepted. As preschool teachers, we can help preschoolers know they are special to God, and that makes them important.

Safety Issues

emergency kit

Why did it always seem to happen during nap time? When I directed a church day care center, there were several times that I sat in the inner hallway with our preschoolers and teachers as we waited for the tornado warnings to pass. A couple of cribs were designated as evacuation cribs in which a few babies would be placed to roll out in the hallway. Twos, Threes, and Fours were awakened quickly to come to the designated area. The teachers might try to sing with our preschoolers to keep them occupied and keep them from becoming afraid. We were blessed that we were never in the path of danger. A short while later all were safely back in their classrooms, but the preschoolers never went back to their naps!

Teaching in the Interest Areas

blocks area

You open Mission Friends Leader to plan this week’s session, and see all of the different interest areas listed: Art, Blocks, Books, Homeliving, Music and Movement, Nature, and Puzzles and Manipulatives. An activity is suggested for each interest area. You think, “Do I have to use all of the interest areas?”

Asking Questions

Asking questions

“What does this do?” I asked as I pulled a wrench out of a bag at Group Time in Mission Friends. Our mission story last week was about the Cases and volunteers who helped people rebuild their homes after a fire. I had some tools in a bag, and we had already talked about the hammer and hacksaw. “It turns things,” said Atsu, who is 4 years old. He started moving his arms up and down, and said, “It turns things you have to hold.”

It was evident from his words and motions that Atsu had seen a wrench being used before. In answering the question, he was recalling or remembering how he had seen a wrench being used. He showed his understanding about the tool as he explained how it is used and acted this out with his arm movements.

God’s Creation

Cinthy and Cliff Case

As preschoolers learn about missions work in the country of Chile during February in Mission Friends, they will also learn about God’s creation as the Christian Concept Area. I think it is appropriate to focus on God’s creation in learning about the people and country of Chile. This is a country of such vast differences in landscapes, and it serves as a great backdrop for teaching preschoolers of God’s creation. There are mountains, desert, and beaches within this long, thin country. This provides us many opportunities to talk about God’s creation as the area that we focus on spiritually with preschoolers.

Reflections on what I’ve learned this month in GA (and Mission Friends and RA)

A few weeks ago, our Mission Friends leaders asked if I'd like to partner together to make s'mores as we studied about Barry and Amy Rager and their ministry in Indianapolis.

What Is a Concept Area?

Concept areas foundation

A question I have received a few times lately is: What does it mean when I see “Concept Area” in Mission Friends Leader? You can see this each month on the Meet the Missionary page, and in the shaded box at the top of each session page. Along with the missions area, the Concept Area is what Mission Friends teachers focus on each month. The concept area directs our conversations, the Bible thoughts we use, and activities that we do with preschoolers during the month. The concept areas help us guide preschoolers as they begin their faith journey.

Multiply by Dividing

Multiply by dividing

Do you remember learning the multiplication tables? Ugh! I was never good at memorizing and never good with numbers, so learning the multiplication tables was quite a task for me as a child. I liked geometry, but not doing math that is multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

Checklist for the New Year

Supplies

With the arrival of a new year, this is a good time to make sure you have everything you need to teach Mission Friends. Even if you have a supply cabinet or resource room for teaching supplies, you’ll want to check off this list every week.

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