The church nursery isn’t meant to be the “crying zone.” You know the place–where parents and children tearfully part for a few hours during service. The church nursery can be the most popular place in the church, at least amongst the children.
Be ready for faith-filled action by providing upbeat activities for the kids in your care. Activities will allow children to learn about God and be entertained so that Mom and Dad can enjoy all the events on the church’s event calendar.
Music speaks to the soul, even little ones. Who hasn’t caught themselves humming a tune from their childhood? Place a CD player in an out-of-the-way place. Buy or burn a CD collection to use during nursery time. While some attendees will be too little to clap their hands and stomp their feet the older ones will love it. Songs like “If You’re Happy and You Know It” or “This Little Light of Mine” are easy to teach children. You should sit on the floor or rest on your knees when demonstrating bouncy hand and foot movements. Smile and don’t forget to show expression with your face.
Use your CD player to play a narrated Bible story or show a Bible video. To complement the lesson, offer children dress up clothing. A big box of dress up clothing will make a fun activity for children in the nursery. Make sure the clothing is size appropriate and safe. Don’t offer kids clothing with buttons or embellishments they might swallow. Encourage kids to dress up like King David or Queen Esther.
Nursery age children love puppets. Buy or make puppets from socks and act out Bible stories. Keep in mind the “Minute Rule.” Kids that are 1 will have a 1-minute attention span. Children that are 2 will have a 2-minute attention span etc. Keep your storytelling simple and exciting. Avoid reading from a script that is long on conversation but short on action. Kids like to laugh!
Coordinate your snacks with a Bible theme or lesson. For example, if your nursery theme is Jesus feeding the five thousand have lots of Goldfish crackers. Teach little ones about building their house on God with peanut butter and pretzel sticks. Serve animal shaped bread pieces or sandwiches for Noah and the Ark. Always check with parents before serving snacks. Some children may have allergies to certain foods like peanuts or milk-based products.