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beefche

Nursery help

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I work in the Nursery. As expected, these kiddos have the attention span of, well, a 2 year old. Are there any places where I can 1) find out physical activities we can do (I'd like to have at least 1 or 2 things that are more organized for the kiddos); 2) places I can download pictures to color; and 3) other ideas for Nursery leaders.

Anything will help! Thanks!

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2 hours ago, beefche said:

I work in the Nursery. As expected, these kiddos have the attention span of, well, a 2 year old. Are there any places where I can 1) find out physical activities we can do (I'd like to have at least 1 or 2 things that are more organized for the kiddos); 2) places I can download pictures to color; and 3) other ideas for Nursery leaders.

Anything will help! Thanks!

https://www.lds.org/manual/behold-your-little-ones-nursery-manual?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/study/manual/come-follow-me-for-primary-new-testament-2019/using?lang=eng

https://www.lds.org/study/manual/come-follow-me-for-singing-time-2019/instructions?lang=eng

for coloring pages: https://www.lds.org/children/resources/type/coloring-pages?lang=eng#jesus-visits

When I was 1st Counselor in Primary, we only wanted the songs that were church-related. No schoolyard songs at all. 

@beefche have you gone to your librarian and checked to see EVERYTHING that is available for you to use such as the Behold Your Little One's manual that is required for the Nursery to be using this year? The picture packet and cut-outs that come with the manual. Plus all of the pictures that are in the library - from the 11x17 to the 8.5 x 11 from ALL of the primary manuals. At least the Library should be well stocked with them. Way back in 2004 -2015 there were cassette tapes of the songs to be sung and taught to the Nursery children.

Our Nursery leader had the Activity Day girls, the YW, and the YM cut out pictures from old Friends and The New Era magazines, glue them to card stock, cut an outline of the picture and she used them in Song Books to teach the children to memorize the songs the older primary children were learning. Now the Music Director for Primary goes into Nursery and teaches them the songs. Our Nursery Leader now uses the magazine pictures a visual aids in teaching a story from the Nursery Manual.

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16 hours ago, beefche said:

I work in the Nursery. As expected, these kiddos have the attention span of, well, a 2 year old. Are there any places where I can 1) find out physical activities we can do (I'd like to have at least 1 or 2 things that are more organized for the kiddos); 2) places I can download pictures to color; and 3) other ideas for Nursery leaders.

Anything will help! Thanks!

I've seen our Nursery go on walks around the building. The leader has a rope with loops. They each grab a loop and there's a leader in front and one in back to make sure they all make it back.

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I used to be a nursery worker.  Here are the things I learned:

1.)  Consistency does wonders.  Kids start to expect what's gonna happen next which makes it easier to direct their energy.  

2.)  Kids like flashes of activity with lots of movement and colors - I studied how the Wiggles can capture nursery-aged kids' attention for 30 minutes straight... they do sets that are no more than 3 minutes long, it's mostly singing, dancing, and slapstick.  Transition between activities is rest time which is usually longer than the activities - I basically just do a "feel it out" to see when the kids are ready for the next set.  An activity as simple as putting your hand inside a red sock then having that red hand wiggle through an apple-shaped felt to illustrate Good Apple versus Bad Apple can capture a nursery kids' attention for 3 minutes. 

3.)  Coloring pages in their Sunday clothes on church furniture is not good for this age.

4.)  Board puzzles (sturdy) are great. 

5.)  Story time with picture "books" is great (I had several picture books but I also made my own by just printing pictures and stapling them together).  Story time with a blanket and a flashlight and hand shadows is effective.  Story time with a "movie box" (basically just a box with pictures on paper rolling on a pvc pipe stuck to the box to make like a rolling picture story) is awesome.  And if I'm pressed for time and can't prepare story time props, I can always employ the handy dandy story blanket - just spread a big blanket on the floor, kids roll on it to listen to a short story.

6.)  Singing time with movement can capture nursery kids' attention for 15 minutes.  I also was the Singing Time Leader for a while and nursery singing time was my favorite.  I had a bag of nursery props - plastic clappers from the dollar store to sing "When you're happy and you know it", tongue suppressor sticks with laminated pictures to hold up - like I give kids a sunbeam on a stick on one hand and a heart on a stick on the other hand and we hold up the sunbeam for the first verse of the song, and the heart for the 2nd verse of the song, and both for the chorus.  I incorporate non-Church songs if it works with the theme I'm doing, like the Wiggles song - 5 Little Ducks - using duck on a stick to teach Obedience... after each duck fail to come back I say, "he wasn't obedient".  I also had puppet things - basically just construction paper folded into small square with one side untaped so the little kiddie hands can slip inside it, I had pictures taped on both sides of the square and the kids flip their hands back and front with the song - like I had a bee on one side and the CTR symbol on the other side and they flip it back and forth for the song Stand for the Right... etc. etc.  And then there are all those action songs - Do as I'm Doing, etc. etc.  I had 15-minute sets of these songs for different themes.  If I haven't memorized the song, I just play it off my tablet so I don't have to worry about remembering the words.

7.)  We did snack time - we had little plates and sippy cups and we offer items such as goldfish crackers and pretzels.  We always ended Singing Time with Follow the Prophet song while walking around the room until they end up on the table for snack time. Then on fast Sunday we don't have snack time and instead we tell the kids it's Fast Sunday so we don't have snacks.

8.)  Kids will cry.  Kids will pout in a corner and refuse to join in.  Kids will grab something another kid is holding.  I let them be.  We only had 7 kids and sometimes, 4 of them are crying or pouting and only 3 of them are joining in the activity, doesn't matter.  Eventually, if the activity is fun, the other kids will be curious enough to at least observe, if not join in.  Some kids want to do everything, some kids just want to watch and not do anything... it's fine.  Sometimes an activity just doesn't work.  It's fine.

9.)  Text messaging is helpful to get hold of parents without having to leave the room - like when a kid needs a diaper change.

2 hours is a LOOOOOOONNNGGG time for nursery.  By the end of 2 hours, I'm exhausted and need a nap.  I'm envious that you only get to do nursery for 1 hour!  That makes it SOOOOO much easier!  I mean think of this - you can have a schedule like this:  15 minutes of toy play (getting the wigglies spent), 15 minutes of singing time, 10 minutes of snack time, 10 minutes of story time/puzzles/lessons, 10 minutes of clean-up.  Done.  Wow.

 

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