Summer is here, and that means it’s GO time! Our little ones spend more and more time on the go, whether it’s going outdoors or going out of town. Trips to the park or to the zoo and fun play dates fill lazy summer schedules for many families. Vacations to grandma’s or the beach make for great summer memories.
The fun of “going” is a great way to present promotions for our little ones who are moving from preschool to elementary ministry. Oftentimes, that transition is a difficult one for our young ones. Preschoolers love the comfort and security of a familiar place and a familiar face at church! In the fall, when promotion time arrives, they move to a new place, often full of older kids, with leaders they don’t know yet. It’s no wonder they often are reluctant to go. Using their recent summer experiences of “going” may help make this change less difficult.
As you talk with them about promotions, remind them of the fun they had at the new places they visited during the summer. Talk about the new friends they made at play dates or the exciting “first” time of riding a bike or a ferris wheel! Talk about all those new opportunities that came when they went to a place they had never been before! Help them see that going to a new class brings opportunities for lots of new firsts just like the ones they’ve experienced all summer. If we build anticipation for the fun they will have in their new class, it can help them be excited rather than anxious.
We can maximize this perspective if we are intentional about celebrating all of the going they have done during the summer. Each Sunday, ask about where they have been that week. Maybe they have been on an exciting vacation to a place far away. Or maybe they went to the neighborhood park. Make a big deal about the trips they have made, the new sights they have seen, and the new experiences they have been able to have. Helping them focus on all the fun they are having as they are going all summer long will give you more to compare to this new adventure of going up to the elementary-age class.
Transitioning to a new class can be an anxious time for any preschoolers. Making opportunities for them to visit the new room ahead of time, to meet their new small group leader, or even have their current small group leader go with them and participate in worship the week before promotions can be beneficial. Helping them anticipate this change with excitement will make the going easier for each of them!