Parents of preschoolers are a valuable asset in your Mission Friends classroom. Why not dream up new ways to involve your parents in the classroom? Check out these ideas and choose which ones best fit your summer Mission Friends plans.
Talk with parents and find out what skills, talents, interests, and resources they have. Is someone a baker, artist, machinist, or hiker? Perhaps a parent has traveled widely and would love to share souvenirs that fit with a monthly focus. Keep a list.
Look through the summer issue of Mission Friends Leader and match parents to sessions. Ask parents early to allow them time to prepare. Support parents by explaining what goes on in Mission Friends, what you expect them to do, and what the focus is for the session in which they will be helping. Answer any questions they have.
Invite parents to help in different activity areas. Parents can:
- help with a cooking and tasting activity
- be a guest speaker
- supervise the Art activity and give the extra assistance younger preschoolers need or guidance with more detailed projects
- prepare and tell the Group Time story
- host the Books area and read with preschoolers
- coordinate a Helping Others activity
- bring an instrument to play and lead the Music and Movement activity
- teach simple greetings and phrases in a new language
- gather nature items and lead preschoolers to observe and investigate the Nature activity area
- facilitate preschoolers as they pretend play in the Homeliving area
- help supervise an outdoor activity
- play games, work puzzles, or enjoy manipulatives in Puzzles and Manipulatives
- join the fun in the Blocks area
Summer is a busy time for families, and some parents may not be able to help in the classroom. Involve these parents in helping at times other than during your Mission Friends sessions. Ask parents to:
- prepare resource kit items or other items needed for activities
- keep track of who has been absent and reach out to those families
- prepare “Mission Friends at Home” and “Mission Friends at Home for Babies, Ones, and Twos” for distribution
- send home a list of items used on a regular basis in your Mission Friends classroom and ask parents to collect them (paper towel tubes, shoe boxes, cutting magazines, dress-up clothes, and so on)
Did you discover a parent or two who wish to help on a regular basis? They can:
- serve as a classroom helper, either each week or by rotating in for a month or quarter
- help with a specific weekly need like setting up before the session or cleaning up afterwards
- join other parents as you prepare your Mission Friends classroom for the new church year
- help put up monthly bulletin boards
- be in charge of regularly sharing Mission Friends news through church media venues
Parents are naturally invested in the success of your Mission Friends classroom and we know this because they bring their preschoolers each week to learn about missions. Welcome and celebrate parents who get involved in Mission Friends.
Reminder: As you invite parents to become involved, remember to follow your church’s security guidelines for volunteers who work in preschool classrooms.
by Gina Smith