Preschool Leaders

Ideas for a Fifth Session of Mission Friends

Mission Friends Leader

Sometimes you just need more to do with Mission Friends®. It might be that you meet 5 times a month and there are only 4 sessions in Mission Friends Leader, what do you do?

 

Start Something New

Russia passport stamp

Start something new with the International Mission Study for preschoolers. This year the study focuses on the missions area of Russia and coordinates with the December unit on Russia in Mission Friends®. Some churches have the International Mission Study as a churchwide event in which each age level participates in the study at one time. Other ways to offer the study for preschoolers include:

You’re Invited

Popcorn Invitation

Make an invitation to Mission Friends by simply tweaking an activity in Mission Friends Leader. We took the idea for the Helping Others activity in January for Popcorn Invitations and made a couple changes to give this as an invitation to Mission Friends. Print an invitation with the time and location of your Mission Friends on construction paper. Glue a popcorn bag on the other side. Preschoolers can glue cotton balls in and around the bag for the popcorn. Give the invitation to parents of preschoolers who attend a Parents’ Night Out at your church and to families who visit your church’s worship.

 

Communicating with Parents

Parent Text

Parents of preschoolers want to be involved and like to know what their preschooler is learning at church. Communication with parents is a key to involving them in their preschooler’s missions learning. Communicate with them about the missions area and missionaries for the month, the Helping Others activities, or extra volunteer help needed. Parents also like to hear what their child said or did in your Mission Friends® session. In today’s world, communication can come in many different ways.

Organizing for Mission Friends

Preschool classroom

How do you make the most of the interest areas in your preschool classroom? Preschool classrooms are set up in these areas because preschoolers learn from active play and interaction with various materials. The interest areas allow for the different learning styles of preschoolers. Using the interest areas supports learning in small groups.

Building Resilience within Preschoolers

resilient preschooler

When we think of a person as being resilient, we refer to the way he or she is able to regain strength after going through a stressful situation. The person is able to rebound emotionally when she experiences hardship in her life. Building resilience is a process that includes many different factors. Help preschoolers build resilience by focusing on 3 of these factors spelled out below.

Connecting

Preschoolers who have connections with others are more likely to regain emotional strength. Make connections through your consistency as a preschool teacher at church. Take time to sit with preschoolers while they are doing activities so you can ask questions and carry on conversations. Give support to preschoolers by really listening to them. Foster connections with others by helping preschoolers to become friends with one another. Talk about being friends, and what it means to be a friend.

Coping

Understanding Preschoolers with Special Needs

Special Needs child

He springs into the Mission Friends room and floats through the interest areas, not able to decide what he wants to do. He is fidgety and moves to the next activity before finishing the current one. He cannot seem to be able to wait for his turn. He pounds his feet throughout Group Time. He bursts out with a question that has nothing to do with the mission story you are in the middle of telling. You constantly feel like you are calling his name to ask him to listen.

Focus on WMU

WMU logo

Highlight Mission Friends® during the week of Focus on WMU, February 12–18, 2018, by concentrating on how your preschoolers have grown in missions. Use these ideas as starting points.

  • Share stories of ways missions learning has made an impact on preschoolers. Your church may have a time in a worship service for WMU leaders to share. Tell how your preschoolers have prayed for a missionary or share what they learned about missions through an activity in Mission Friends.

  • Write a brief paragraph for your church newsletter or website to tell about your preschoolers’ involvement in missions through a recent Helping Others activity. You could also share of ways your Mission Friends participated in giving to missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®.

  • Provide materials for your Mission Friends to make thank-you cards for your pastor and church staff.

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: Square Graphic

This quarter we offer an eye-catching square graphic to use as you share about Mission Friends. Download the graphic to use in the following ways.

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.

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