Saturday, March 16, 2013

Essentials for Safe Nursery and Preschool Classrooms -Design a Classroom Environment on a Shoestring - Part 3 & a Give-Away!

As you consider your nursery and preschool environments don't forget sound, video and books. Place a CD or MP3 player in your nursery to play soft music with simple lyrics you can sing to the babies as you hold and play with them; don't forget to train your volunteers to do this, too. Don't forget to have songs which will also get kids singing, dancing and praising God! Check my review of the new Go Fish CD; Kids Music . . . and keep reading because I'm giving one CD away! 

A DVD player and a television can also be a useful resource, but again, train your volunteers so they do not just put in a DVD and then sit around and chat while the children watch the TV.  Use DVDs sparingly, but have it available for occasional use. Consider developing a library of movies you can use to help children learn.
My Heart Is Like a ZooRead with Me Bible for ToddlersA Special Fish for Jonah: Because God Has a Job for EveryoneI love books! Don't forget to provide books for nursery volunteers so they can read them to children in your nursery. The simple act of holding a child and reading is one which not only helps a child learn, but also communicates your church nursery is a safe and comforting place for a young child to be. Consider a few of my favorite books; The House on the Rockthe Lost SheepJust One Bite - use this book to talk about the amazing creatures God made! - Little Chimp's Big Day - use this book to talk about how God is always with us and watching over us! - I Love You This MuchMy Heart is Like a ZooMy Favorite Farm Animal FriendsA Special Fish for JonahRead With Me Bible for ToddlersRead with Me BibleMoose Tracks! - use this book just for fun - and Helpful Ha's Treasury of Christian Virtues! These are just a few wonderful books . . . consider holding a book drive and publish a list of the books you'd like to add to your nursery and preschool ministry then ask people in your church to donate them! Check with your local Christian Book Store and see if they will hold a book fair at your church - often they will reduce the cost of books, so when families purchase a book for their own use, the difference between what they pay and what it "cost" is given to the church to use for purchasing books for your ministry. Or you could do as I do and pass on the reduced cost to the families in your church so they can save on the books they buy for their children - and ask them to consider purchasing one additional book to give to the church!

Finally, for your preschool children's classrooms take whatever your theme for the next unit is and then decorate your room to correlate. Tape plastic 
tablecloths to the walls and add the features you need for your unit. These are easily removed so you can redecorate for your next unit. Decorations can be simple; when you study Joshua and Jericho, use paper grocery bags to build your own wall of Jericho. For lessons on Jonah, hang paper fish from your ceiling and blue tablecloths on the walls to create an "instant" "ocean"! For Resurrection Sunday, make your room a garden with a paper tomb in the corner. When the classroom matches the theme, it creates enthusiasm and a sense of the unexpected for children while visually reinforcing and building on your lessons. 

Regardless of the size of our children's ministries and budgets, we all can have environments with the elements which are essential for our ministries to effectively engage the kids so they'll remember, understand, and live God's Word . . . and do it on a shoestring budget!

As I mentioned above, I'm giving away a new Go Fish CD; Kids MusicNot only did Go Fish send one for me to review, but they sent additional copies for me to give away (USA only)! If you'd like to be in the drawing for Kids Music, which will be on April 5, 2013,  please comment below to let me know if you have followed on Google Friend Connect, followed by liking on facebook with the tab in the "Find us on Facebook" box ON THE BLOG (not just liking the post) and/or have followed About the Children's Department by email. For each of these which you have done you will receive one entry. In addition, if you "share" this post, you'll receive an additional entry (please let me know if you share). This will help me be able to draw names from among people who would like to win this CD and it gives you several ways to enter the give-away! Thank you for reading About the Children's Department and for sharing it with the people you know!


  1. I'd love to with this CD! We could use some music in our nursery! I have your blog delivered to my google reader and find it most helpful!

  2. Thank you for all the great ideas...I follow on fb and email.

  3. Following on Google, Facebook and E-mail. :)