Have you ever gone to a Missions Fair where missionaries tell about their work on the mission field? Or, have you had a missionary visit your church and make a presentation about their work? As adults, we find these events interesting and challenging. We may even respond to God’s call to take a mission trip because of what the missionaries share.
For the most part, these types of missions events go over the heads of younger children, especially preschoolers. But these little ones can and do learn about missionaries in age-appropriate ways when they attend Mission Friends.
To help families in your church learn about Mission Friends, invite families with preschoolers to a special missions event designed just for them: Storytimes and Missions Rhymes! Here are some ideas for your event:
- Decorate your fellowship hall or outdoor meeting area with flags from other nations. Set up the following stations around your event area: Snacks from Around the World, Missions Storytime, Sing to the Tune, and Mission Friends Enrollment.
- Encourage volunteers to dress in cultural or traditional clothing. Try to include someone dressed in clothing from Africa, Asia, and South America. Others could represent North America and Europe by dressing in everyday clothes. These volunteers can serve at each of the stations.
- At the Snacks from Around the World station, provide snacks with an international flavor that preschoolers would like: usual and unusual fruit (bananas, orange wedges, and mango slices), tortilla rollups, hummus with small pieces of pita bread, naan bread, and cookies or cupcakes decorated with flag designs. Enlist multicultural families who are a part of your church to bring a snack that children enjoy from their cultural background. Remember to post an allergy alert chart.
- At the Missions Storytime station, a volunteer can tell missions stories from past issues of Mission Friends Leader, found in each week’s Group Time. Additional story suggestions are:
- Around the World / Alrededor del mundo, to share the Christian Concept Area World in age-appropriate ways.
- One Little Child, to help preschoolers understand the needs of people around the world and how they can help people in need.
- Always Remember to Pray, to share the importance of praying for others, no matter what our age.
- Encourage volunteers to say a short prayer with preschoolers and their families for the missionaries and places in the stories they shared.
- At the Sing to the Tune station, volunteers can sing missions songs with preschoolers and their families using tunes of familiar nursery rhyme songs, such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Find these songs in Sing to the Tune. Provide simple rhythm instruments so preschoolers can take turns “leading” the singing.
- At the Mission Friends Enrollment station, provide information about your Mission Friends group. Encourage families to register their preschoolers for Mission Friends so they can continue to experience missions in age-appropriate ways!
*In these difficult times of COVID-19, please adjust your event to reflect the safety guidelines of your church and city as you plan this preschool missions event. Visit WMU.com to read more about missions during COVID-19.