The New Kid on the Block… Or in the Circle

Being the new kid in a class can be hard.  A new room, new leaders, new schedules,  and all at one time can be quite overwhelming to a preschooler’s young life! Fall will often bring new preschoolers to your group who have moved to a new home over the summer or been promoted to a new room. It’s time to start new relationships.

Sometimes the easiest way to begin to build a relationship that is intended to help lay out foundation of faith is to build a relationship with fun.  Fun is disarming and comforting.  And fun is a powerful way to connect to the heart of your few.  You only have a little time each week, so you want to make the most of it.  The goal is to have a conversation every week with every child.  If one or two are quiet, we need to initiate that conversation.

For those of your few who are reluctant to join the party, who tend to sit back and eye the new surroundings skeptically or who just don’t seem ready to jump in feet first, here are a few “fun” topics that make starting conversations a bit easier.

1.  “Do you have a pet?”

Whether it’s a dog, cat, fish, or gecko, pets are a favorite topic of little ones.  They will tell you their pet’s name, where it sleeps, who feeds it, and the grossest thing they have ever seen their pet do.  And for those who don’t have pets, the follow up question becomes, “What pet would you have if you could have any pet in the world?”

2.   “Who’s your favorite super hero/ princess/ cartoon character?”

Most preschoolers have a favorite and, oh, how excited they can be when talking about that one.  Whether their dream would be to meet that hero or to be able to fly like him, talking about super heroes or a favorite princess can be a winning icebreaker.

3.  “What’s your favorite dessert?”

Chocolate chip cookies, strawberry ice cream or yogurt with sprinkles are among the topics that can coax a smile and a bit of conversation from your few.   Who knows, you may find a common bond in Oreos!


As you are having these first conversations, remember to protect their hearts! If the answer to “What pet would you like?” is they would have a great white shark, don’t explain why sharks can’t be kept as pets.   Continue the conversation about how big a splash they would make in the tub!  Once a conversation is going, it only get easier to chat.  So talk of pets and super heroes, while they may not be very spiritual, can help clear a path to talk about Jesus and how He’s with us, even in the dark.

What have you found as a way to “break the ice” with your quiet preschoolers? How have you been successful at connecting with your quieter ones?

Barbara Graves September 18th, 2014 0 comments

Moving UP

One of the hardest parts of leading small is moving our few up to the next class.  After all, they are our few!  But we knew coming into this that they wouldn’t stay ours forever, so now that summer is here, the time has come to promote them, the next question is how to make this easy for everyone. 

Step 1!  We want to make it

Barbara Graves August 5th, 2014 0 comments

Summer: A Blast Not a Bump

Between vacations, sports camps, and visiting relatives, many churches see a drop in attendance during the summer months.  This makes the time you may spend with your few even less than usual.  So what can you do to make this summer special?

Make vacations and camps a part of your summer décor!  You can make an “Our Summer Map” of places your few will be

Barbara Graves July 29th, 2014 0 comments

Three Tips to a VERY Successful Sunday

When service is over and the last child has been dismissed to his parents, small group leaders breathe a sigh of relief and mentally recount the day.  There are just certain accomplishments that make some days feel like more of a success than others.  It’s always a great day when there is no name-calling and everyone participates in the memory verse game.  It’s a very

Barbara Graves July 8th, 2014

Not The Plan

One of the most amazing benefits of leading small, is when you get to lead your few with friends!  Recently, friends I lead small group with had taken a brief break as they welcomed their first baby.   I was so excited their first Sunday back. I wanted everything to go just right, because having a new baby is stressful, so I didn’t want our few

Gay Tucciarone June 13th, 2014 0 comments

Fully Present

You can’t see the forest for the trees. Keep the main thing the main thing. Stay on track. Keep your eye on the ball. 

All these are great idioms that remind us that life can be busy; we get distracted. It happens at home, at work, when we drive (yikes- better not do that in Atlanta where I live!). We even get distracted when we are leading

Gay Tucciarone May 13th, 2014 2 Comments

Parents on a Pedestal

One of the foundational roles of a small group leader is to partner with parents.  Often we think of this as only what we do outside of class time.  We text a parent to say we’re praying for them and their child that day.  Or we send a card to let parents know we care about them.  We chat with the parents as they pick

Barbara Graves May 6th, 2014 2 Comments

The Handoff

Most Sunday mornings find me leading my few preschoolers in some amazing adventures of life change – on their part and mine! Recently, I ended up on the other side of the lead small equation - as a family interfacing with small group leaders. On this particular day, three of my grandchildren, who are 18 months, 3 ½ years and 5 years olds were at

Gay Tucciarone March 24th, 2014 4 Comments

A Question of Trust

As we are helping our few lay a foundation for their faith, they take most of what we say as truth, because we are adults and they trust us.  But sometimes, they have questions.  And how we field those questions, even at a young age, determines whether they will ask us the next time a question arises in their mind.

Trust is a commodity that

Barbara Graves March 17th, 2014 0 comments

Move them out

How can it be almost Spring? Perhaps because the area I live in has had a much longer, colder winter than usual (2 snow events and many below freezing days... I know for those in the northeast and Midwest that doesn’t seem like much!), it seems like the calendar has suddenly fast forwarded. This brings me to a tough, but very necessary part of leading

Gay Tucciarone March 11th, 2014 0 comments