They’re just preschoolers. How much can they possibly change in a few months? By leaps and bounds!
In the education world, the changes that occur from one day, week, month, or year to the next are called “Ages & Stages” or “Developmental Milestones.” When we see a 2 ½ -year-old in our ministry on a Sunday who is proudly removing her diaper while making a bee-line for the potty, we should expect that she will be wearing big-girl panties in the next few weeks. That change is hard to miss!
We need to pay just as much attention to the more subtle changes, too. A 4-year-old who enters your small group in the fall may be having his first experience in that type of setting. Ability to sit for longer than a few minutes in large group will be limited. Movement activities will be much more appealing than drawing or cutting. By the time he has been with you for 6 to 9 months and is heading for Kindergarten, he may be able to write his own name on that paper that he didn’t even want to scribble on in the fall. A Bible story that is 4 to 5 minutes long at Christmas can double in length by spring and a memory verse can be repeated by the end of the morning.
Just think about it this way: preschool is never stagnant or predictable. The difference between a 3-year-old in April and the same 3-year-old later in April is about the same as the difference between a 3rd grader and a 7th grader.
So, who is responsible for adapting to these developmental changes in our preschoolers? We are—the adults who lead and serve them. Choose activities that engage them now and be prepared for that to change, quickly!
Share some of your secrets! What are some ways you adapt your environment and change-up the curriculum to assure that your ministry is reaching milestones along with your preschoolers?