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.
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?