This post is part of “The Center Approach” series. Click here for an introduction to the series.
Last week, we talked about how the center approach works well during the Small Group activities in “Make It Fun.”Once all the children are in the room and have been introduced to concepts for the day’s story, it’s time to move on to the “Make It True” section of the curriculum. During “Make It True” you will want to NOT use the center approach!
Well, “Why not?” you may ask. This is, after all, a series about the center approach! True. However, “Make It True” is designed to be a Large Group time and Large Groups are well, large groups. This opportunity to gather all of your preschoolers together to hear the Bible story offers a different set of benefits.
The Large Group experience allows for social and emotional growth that may not happen in Small Groups. During “Make It True,” the children sing, move, dance, praise, worship, and interact with each other and their Small Group Leaders in a different space altogether or in a designated space within the classroom. Please notice that I said WITH their Small Group Leaders. It’s important for the adult leaders in the classroom to be mingled among and model participation for the preschoolers. This helps keep the little guys engaged and helps to prevent behavior challenges.
If your preschoolers are moving to a space that requires leaving the classroom, a plan for transitioning will prevent all types of potential problems. First, use some type of warning (a song, an announcement, a bell) that signals it’s time to finish Small Group activities and clean up. Moving a large group of children from one space to another can be a time for singing the new monthly song, reviewing the memory verse, pretending to move slowly through peanut butter, fly to a bird’s nest, or chug like a train going uphill. Be strategic and consistent with your use of this transition time.
Large Group time may be led by one or more persons—a worship leader, an Intro Sketch Host, and a Bible Storyteller. If you are running short on volunteers, the same person may lead worship and then re-enter as the Bible Storyteller. This is also a perfect time to encourage middle and high school students to serve in the preschool ministry!
Once the “Make It True” section of the curriculum is complete, you are ready to transition back to Small Groups for the “Make It Stick” center activities. These activities encourage Small Group Leaders to retell the Bible story along with its application. More on that coming up!
What are your favorite transition tips for moving your preschoolers from Make It Fun to Make It True?