A few Sunday’s ago, I sat in awe as I watched one of our volunteers do what she does best, make our preschoolers double over in laughter. She walked out on stage wearing a plastic inner tube, goggles and floaties. Here was a mature, adult woman, willing to become “all things to all people” and embrace her inner child, for the pleasure of hearing sweet toddlers’ giggles.
She understands a powerful truth. Working with preschoolers means that we must do whatever we can to reach that little child, and usually that means the sillier the better. It doesn’t take much to make a preschooler chuckle.
Likewise, it can be just as easy to simply implement the curriculum and forget to really engage the children. When you are casting vision to your staff, or volunteers, remind them the importance of smiling, and laughter and pure goofiness.
- When they greet a child at the door, they have an opportunity to excite that child about joining the class.
- When they hand out snacks, they have an opportunity to bring joy and creativity into the routine.
- When the Storyteller comes on stage (or tells the story), she has the opportunity to engage a child simply by the tone and energy in her voice.
Successfully reaching the heart of a preschooler requires our ability to embrace our inner child. It requires our extra effort to forgo our inhibitions, and really do what we can to get that preschooler’s attention.
What are you doing today to encourage your staff and volunteers to embrace their inner child for the sake of successfully connecting with your preschoolers?