Keith Tusing gives a quick primer on holding the attention of a room full of little ones.
This morning I went in as host of chapel for our on campus childcare center. It’s funny that I seem to be continually working backwards with the age groups I teach. When I began serving in full-time ministry, it was as youth/worship Leader. I have taught teens, adults, children and now preschoolers. What struck me as humorous today is how much emphasis seems to be placed on adults who are nearing the end, and how little emphasis seems to be placed on those who are just beginning.
It was refreshing to walk into a classroom and tell a story (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) to a group who had never heard it before. So often we are looking for a fresh way to communicate something to an audience who has “heard it all before.” Now, don’t get me wrong, to hold the attention of a room full of little ones is a challenge in and of itself and certainly something we must be ready to handle. They haven’t yet learned how to fake giving us their attention. I believe we may have the greatest opportunity to create a true sense of wonder and awe with “the least of these.” What amazing potential to make a life-long difference.
With that in mind, I’ll share a couple of thoughts:
- Keep it Short – Three to five minutes is going to be the max.
- Use a Visual Aid – Introduce an object that will hold their attention.
- Pictures Are Great – I may even bring back flannel graph!
- Keep It on Their Level – Know something about their level of learning.
- Finish with a Concrete Objective – Give them something they can do in response.
Well, there you have it: a crash course in preschool lesson philosophy and presentation. What do think? What has been your experience? What would you add to the list? Leave a comment and keep the conversation going.