Preschool

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?”

Teaching Babies, Ones, and Twos

Water fountain

The water fountain was in the hall outside of my office door where I directed a church weekday preschool program. Every day when parents picked up their toddlers or two-year-olds, they crossed by my doorway as their preschoolers made their daily stop at the water fountain. I told the parents that they should just install a water fountain in their home, and their child would be occupied for hours! If you watch preschoolers of this age at a water fountain, you see that many times they do not even drink the water. They simply watch as they repeatedly push the button and water comes up.

Project HELP: Refugees

refugees

Have you ever moved to a place where you did not know anyone? I have had the experience of moving to a new place where I did not know anyone, and finding my way around was hard enough. I already knew the language, used the same currency, and was familiar with the grocery store chains. When I think of refugees with all of the changes and transitions they have to make when they go to a new country, it must be overwhelming for them. Then add to this the trauma they went through that caused them to leave their country. The physical and emotional needs are great. As you become aware of the needs of refugees, let this lead you to pray for refugees and for those who serve in helping refugees.

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.

Learning How to Know God More

praying preschooler

“He called a little child to him and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matt. 18:2–5 NIV1).

The longer I work with preschoolers and children, the more I realize their benefit to me in knowing God more. I often think about all the things I need to teach them to help them follow Christ when, in fact, they are teaching me! Certain things I notice about preschoolers remind me of the example of Christ.

Missionary Spotlight Update: Cliff Case

Cliff and Cinthy Case hike in Chile

Cliff Case said in addition to the people he’s already working to reach in Chile, hundreds, or maybe even thousands, more are pouring in all the time.

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.

Missionary Spotlight Update: Barry and Amy Rager

Rager family

Barry and Amy Rager, church planters at New Circle Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, give praise that their worship center has now been purchased by the church, and they are beginning the process of making needed repairs. 

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