Has this ever happened to you? Mom and Dad appear at your door to drop off a sweet 3-year old. The only problem is that as soon as he realizes what is about to happen, he begins throwing a tantrum in protest. What do you do? Running out of the room may end up with a solid face plant over the baby gate separating you from freedom. But the good news is, most tantrums will abruptly stop the minute mom and dad are out of sight. The bad news? That’s when the fiery tantrum turns to ice—the wide-eyed silence or the monkey cling that replaces the screaming.

Now what? Once you’re able to calm your little one down, it’s time to start breaking the ice.

Here are just a few of my favorites…

Ask a simple question…
Ask a simple and easy to answer question that has to do with the child you’re trying to engage but also one that you can answer as well. You may ask: “What was the most fun thing that you did this week?” or “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” Once they answer, you can share your answers with them. In the few minutes it took to ask and answer that question, you will have begun a relationship with them that will continue on and make time spent with you something they begin to look forward to.

Quiet and simple activities…
Butcher paper and crayons are the key to this one. Often times you can get kids to sit with you at the table or in your lap if there’s crayons and paper involved. Sometimes there’s no need to help them get started. They will naturally pick up a crayon and go. But if they seem a little hesitant, try drawing a picture of your house or a pet or even a picture of your family. Chances are, they will copy what you’re drawing and before you know it, you’ve created another shared experience together.

Bring in something special…
Send each of your preschoolers a special note through the mail asking them to bring something special to share with the class. Include suggestions of what to bring based on the Bible story for that week or the monthly theme your preschool ministry is using. On the appointed day, each preschooler has the opportunity to share what they brought and why they brought it. This gives you a way to see your preschoolers the way they see themselves.

After you have been able to get your preschoolers comfortable, let them know what to expect during the morning. Will there be a craft? Will they be traveling to large group? When is snack and what will it be? Give this information in an adventurous and exciting fashion. These are all things that preschoolers wonder about and by using these pieces of information to grab their attention, you are breaking the ice and establishing the routine of what to expect on Sunday morning.

Breaking the ice may be more important than you think. It allows you to become a credible and trusted person as well as helping make the transition from mom and dad to you as tantrum-free and fun as possible.

Who knows… one day you may become the most fun they’ve had all week!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This