Memorize, Store, Retrieve

Can we really expect a 4-year-old to recite the memory verse two hours after he heard it in your small group on Sunday morning?

Can we expect a 2-year-old to properly pronounce all of those words so that Mom and Dad understand what she is saying?

Yes and, well, yes—at least some of the words with a little help!

First let’s think about why we want our little ones to memorize verses from the Bible. In general, memories connect our past to our present to our future. Memory is the tool we use to form, record and store meaningful information. So, our responsibility is to make a verse meaningful and relevant so it will be stored away and retrieved at a useful time in the future.

What can we expect? We can expect that we, the leaders, will need to make the verse appealing to our preschoolers by including movement (hopping, clapping, dancing), a chant (repetition or rhyme), a craft or a combination of these approaches. In this way you are developing a memory strategy. And, our expectations of how many words can be effectively memorized should be realistic. Try the simple ratio of 1:2 – if a child is 2-years-old, he can memorize 4 words. When he is 4-years-old, a memory verse with 8 words will be achievable.

We can also expect that parents will need to have the memory verse to take home to review, sing, and move along with the words. It is frustrating to a 3-year-old who is trying very hard to tell Grandma about her verse from church and Grandma just doesn’t quite get it. Some type of written version made available to take or send home solves that problem (give them a memory verse card, send an e-mail or post on a parents’ web page).

Most importantly, we can expect that, when a memory verse is offered in an engaging and interactive way, our preschoolers will store it away and retrieve it when they most need it. Like a favorite blankie or stuffed animal, it will be there to provide comfort and strength.

Danielle Schneller February 16th, 2015 0 comments

Church is a place to have FUN!

Sometimes I think we need to remind ourselves that church IS a place to have FUN, and to have FUN does not have to be complex, does not require a ton of prep or a huge budget. Fun can be simple!! Give a preschooler a few “props” and just watch their imagination go!!

The First Look “Pirate” theme has helped remind me just how much

Jenny Zimmer February 4th, 2015 0 comments

It’s Hard to See the End

When leading our few preschoolers, some where in between the "be nice" and "share" talks, spilled snacks, “accidents”, crying over hurt feelings (and possibly "she put glue on my sheep not hers" conversations), it is easy to lose sight of thinking with the end in mind.  Our few are at a unique place in development. Their ability to communicate their thoughts and needs are often

Gay Tucciarone January 29th, 2015 2 Comments

Today Could Be “THE” Day!

You just never know what each day with your few may hold and which day could turn out to be THE day.  There were a lot of THE days in the Bible and the people who helped those days happen were simply living their life, day to day in the lives of those who they were influencing.  By choosing to be consistently present in the

Barbara Graves January 23rd, 2015 1 comment

A Year to Remember

As a small group leader, one of your goals is to partner with parents. You hope for the opportunity to team up with the parents of your few and make a combined impact on their faith development. But, often, this is easier said than done, solely based on the hectic nature of Sunday mornings. Parents rush through the check in process to get their child

Barbara Graves January 15th, 2015 1 comment

More Than A Story

Each week in our preschool classrooms you have the opportunity to teach the greatest story ever told.

You get the honor to sing songs that are catchy and fun.

You are blessed to have the chance to play, color, cut out, smile, give hugs and high fives.

ALL of those things are incredibly important in making an everlasting impact on the heart of a preschooler.

Cass Brannan December 15th, 2014 0 comments

Dear Nursery Volunteer…

An open email from a thankful mom.

Dear Nursery Volunteer,

If I were a better woman, I would send you a hand-written letter sealed in a floral-print envelope with a gift card to the local coffee shop.  But, truthfully, I’m not certain I can find a piece of paper in my house that doesn’t have a to-do list, an appointment reminder or a grocery list

Barbara Graves November 6th, 2014 5 Comments

Purposeful First Words

A baby’s first word is a milestone that many parents will remember their entire life!  According to Circle of Moms survey, these are the 10 most common “Baby’s First Words”:

Dad ( or Dada, Daddy, etc)
Mom ( or Mama, Mommy)
Hi
Bubba
Dog
Ball
No
Cat
Nana
Bye

Why these words? Partly because the hard consonant sound is the easiest to make, so words

Barbara Graves October 20th, 2014 1 comment

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 and Spring 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.

Barbara Graves September 18th, 2014 2 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