SUGGESTED PROGRAMS FOR NURSERY CHILDREN
Note: ADRA’s Adventures for Kids is not designed for nursery-aged children.If you must have children cared for because their parents are volunteering in the program,then follow these instructions.Be sure that you have MATURE supervision for these children.
Two to four-year-olds meet in a different room and do not visit the learning centers. At this age, they need stability. Remember these children like to be constantly active, lack fine muscle coordination, have short attention spans (two to four minutes), are sensitive, need constant reassurance, are building vocabulary, cannot express ideas or feelings well, have no sense of time or distance, have short memories, are fearful of new situations, and love repetition. Do not introduce new songs every day.The more acquainted they become with the program, the more they will like it. Nursery children usually will not want to sit in their chairs very much.They need lots of activity. Keep them moving.They do not relate well to crafts, so only a few have been selected.
Decorate the room with colorful, simple, kid-friendly pictures and props placed at the child’s eye- level. Because coordination is weak in young children, remove objects that might prove dangerous. Include items that tie into the theme and that spark their interest.
Include lots of music in the program. Choose songs that are easy to sing with an upbeat melody and lots of visual aids.“Singable”songs stick in the mind for years. Most importantly, use songs that are familiar to them. Find a pianist who is creative–providing background music during activities, playing excerpts of songs, and repeating a song until everyone is finished.
This age group responds well to repetition so do not worry about boring them.They do not yet understand complex, abstract issues yet, so reduce concepts to simple, concrete language. Generally, the program will include the leader welcoming children by name and enthusiastically introducing the day’s activities and familiar music. Repeat the Bible stories so that the children learn them.You can use the same Bible story as the other older children, but tell them simply and use lots of visual aids.
Tell the children that people still get hurt and are hungry today and that ADRA helps them – they feed people, help them get to clean water to drink, and teach them how to read and write. Use hand motions to demonstrate activities and encourage children to copy them.
For the service element, repeat the physical activities several times. For instance, pass out pieces of clothing and then ask everyone to bring them to the front and place in a box marked“ADRA.”Children are delighted and look forward to doing it again.
Check with parents to find out whether they want their children eating snacks and the type preferred. Ask about allergies. Serve snacks early.
Plan to conclude the program with quiet music, especially during evening programs. Bedtime is very close and children should be calming down, not getting agitated.