The First Look curriculum is used by churches all over the world. Literally. There are churches using First Look, the same thing you used this past Sunday, on every continent (excluding Antarctica, of course). Isn’t that amazing?
With all those churches using the same curriculum, we can safely say that no two churches use it EXACTLY the same way. Why? Because every church has their own set of circumstances, their own budget, their own amazing preschoolers. How a church chooses to use First Look is a decision made by their Preschool Director, or Children’s Pastor, or Education Pastor. See, the person making the decisions isn’t even the same in every church.
We at First Look understand that no two churches are EXACTLY the same. That’s why we give you so many choices. That’s why there are so many types of activities. That’s why there are so many ways to teach your preschoolers about their heavenly Father. We want to help you succeed in introducing your preschoolers (and their families) to the amazing God who loves them so much.
One way to use First Look is to use the Center Approach. Preschoolers thrive in centers. They benefit from the attention that one adult is able to give when she interacts with a Small Group. They are thankful when someone understands that their attention span is only so long (or short really) and that they can switch activities when it’s gone. They love that they can dive into something fun and learn while they are doing it. (Well, let’s be honest. They love the fun. We, the leaders, love the learning.)
The Center Approach allows you to set up each Small Group activity in stations (or centers) around the room. You can then guide Small Groups of preschoolers through these centers in a variety of ways. We encourage your groups of three-year-olds to be no larger than four preschoolers and your groups of four-year-olds to be no more than six preschoolers. These parameters can change as your preschoolers mature, but remember, the goal is to give each child attention. The larger the group, the harder that is to do.
As you lead your groups through the different activities, you are able to say again and again the “What You Say” portion of the curriculum to each individual child. You’re able to repeat the Bottom Line multiple times so that it is something they can tell mom and dad when they’re asked, “What did you learn today?” You’re able to help each little set of hands put the stickers in exactly the right place so that they are proud of the craft they created.
Over the next few weeks, we will be discussing the Center Approach here on the First Look blog. We’ll introduce how to use it in every section of the First Look curriculum. Many of you may already use the Center Approach with your preschoolers, and we look forward to hearing what works for you as we post to this series.