Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Making Nursery Matter

Nursery has been sort of hectic lately.
We have a very large nursery, about 40 kids.
It is separated into 4 classes, 2 classes for the older, 2 for the younger.
One of the older classes didn't have a teacher for 7 months.
We had substitutes or combined the classes.
Finally the calling was filled.  Hooray!
Sir Spoil-Her-Highness has been given another calling, so he is currently doing double duty.
He really loves the nursery! So he is fine with it.
A couple was found to take our class, yet another couple teaching nursery moved.
We have taken their class.

The most important thing is to love the children.
Second most important is consistency.
A routine is very important to children.
Be there.  If you can't, then try to get the same substitute each time.

This past Sunday I was asked to do a training for our Nursery Leaders.

I discussed the importance of having a lesson.
Even 18 month olds can sit through a lesson.
Here is our routine:
We sit on carpet square samples.
Every child who wants gets to say a prayer.  
Sometimes this takes the most time.
We give the lesson straight out of the manual. It takes 2 minutes, max.
Only church approved coloring pages are used.
I also talked about singing time.
We have had a singing leader for quite some time.
Yet she is ready for a break (pregnancy, you know)
Since we need teachers quite a bit, the Nursery Leaders will do their own singing.
When I was Primary Chorister, I would go into the nursery for singing time each week.
But with 4 nurseries, there is no way that would work.

I spoke to them about what we will be doing.
We will have something for them to pick songs from.
(Our current singing leader has a gift bag with different props that go with songs the children choose.
A spider toy - Itsy Bitsy Spider, star - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, bus - Wheels on the Bus, etc)
I printed out some song books for the leaders.
I know that I forget songs I had in mind sometimes.  
I thought this would help.

The other thing I spoke about is remembering to use the child's name.
We will have twins in our class, so I'm going to bring labels to write their names on, and stick it to their backs.
I have been trying to learn who is who for a year and a half now, and have failed miserably.
I'm hoping that being with them each week for a while will help.
Their mom dresses them the same all the time.
Which is so fun to do (I do that myself, and/or fix their hair the same).
But it doesn't help me at all.

During free play, we play with them on the floor.
I will admit that Sir Spoil-Her-Highness is much better at this than I am.
I do the bubbles, coloring page, and lesson, and he plays with them.
He does a wonderful thing, which he did with our children.
He gets some toys (Little People, dinosaurs, Buzz Lightyear) and acts out scripture stories.
He will act out a story from the lesson, if there is one.
Or he will just tell a story that comes to mind.
I do enjoy the fact that Buzz Lightyear is always the hero.
Ammon, Samuel the Lamenite, Alma.
Well, until he went missing.
Now he uses a firefighter.
Very fitting!

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