Planning and Selecting Activities
Call me a planning geek, but I love receiving my quarterly Mission Friends Leader materials. I get excited looking through them and imagining all of the fun learning activities my preschoolers will have each week. I wish my preschoolers could do every single suggested activity, but it isn’t always possible.
Whether you plan with your teaching team or plan alone as the team leader, here are a few suggestions on how to choose three to four activities for each week.
- Bathe your activity planning time in prayer. We strive to build strong biblical and missional foundations in the lives of preschoolers. In order to do this, we must seek God’s guidance and direction as we plan for each month.
- Plan early. I always begin my planning for the upcoming month by the third week of the previous month. I have found this approach gives my team and me enough time to gather resources or request resources from our Resource Room Coordinator. In addition, if we are unable to locate some of the needed supplies, we can either substitute them with different supplies or choose another activity.
- Involve all five senses. When you are planning, make sure that all five senses are engaged in learning during the month. The more senses you can engage, the more preschoolers will be able to retain the information and apply it to their lives. We desire that preschoolers remember and apply what they learn in Mission Friends in order to build a strong biblical and missional foundation.
- Select both preschooler self-guided and teacher-guided activities. One year, my class only had two teachers. Therefore, we selected most of our activities that a preschooler could engage in with very little teacher guidance. We had one activity which involved more teacher guidance to help us build relationships with each child. This strategy allowed the remaining teacher to monitor the other activities, answer the door, interact with parents, or help a child.
- Choose at least one activity from each activity area. We tend to gravitate to learning centers that we enjoy. After you have completed planning for the upcoming month, make sure that you have selected at least one activity from each activity area. For example, if you have selected four nature activities for the month, but do not have a book activity, then incorporate at least one book activity for the month.
- Make adaptations. Be mindful of preschoolers with special learning needs or physical needs. Choose or modify activities so all preschoolers are able to participate and form relationships with their peers and teachers.
Planning is key to making your Mission Friends class run smoothly. Complete plans also ensure that your class can continue with the same level of excellence in your absence.