Sunday, January 27, 2008

Clock Watching

My ward has gotten into the habit of going ten to fifteen minutes over every Sunday. This has left me thinking very mean thoughts. I don't like thinking mean thoughts but after two hours of toddlers who are becoming exhausted and irritable I am SOO ready for church to end.
What adds to my problem is I watch the clock like a hawk, doing my best to pace my lesson and activities to the end. Another ten minutes can be a VERY long time. As soon as the first kid leaves, usually the one lucky enough to have parents in primary instead of EQ or RS, the others are antsy and eager to go. I'm not sure what a good activity for this time could be. Does anyone have any ideas?


Lindsay said...

Was referred to your blog (which is fabulous, I must say) by my friend and your relative, Kari. Anyway, my husband and I are the nursery leaders in our Brooklyn ward. We, too, don't like when other meetings run overtime thus leaving us with a bunch of overly energetic toddlers. Though right now we just joke about it, there may come a day when we just start delivering screaming toddlers to their parents in Priesthood/Relief Society during their respective closing prayers like live-wire time bombs.

Keep up the blog! You have GREAT ideas!

Abby said...

Duck-Duck-Goose would be good. That way you can have kids involved, but those that have to leave can.

jeans said...

We used to pull out the playdough *after* the closing prayer. That was the only time it came out. It made for some extra cleanup when they finally did all leave, but they liked it and stayed very occupied. We would give them a blob, and a fat craft wooden popsicle stick. That was good for cutting, sticking into it, etc.

What does your Primary pres say about the lateness? It's surely affecting all the classes with kids. It could be addressed through ward council.

Laura C said...

bubbles. lots and lots of bubbles. chasing them, stomping them, eating them - who cares about mom and dad when we have bubbles!

Marlo said...

I don't have a good idea for you, just a silly idea. One thing I did when i was teaching primary was to make microwave popcorn for the kids in my class. I didn't think it through ahead of time, so yes the whole church smelled like microwave popcorn for the rest of the day. But all the parents quickly made their way to get their kids. In all honesty, when parents would do that, I would just take the kids to their parents class. Sure the RS frowns on all the primary kids running in before the prayer is over. But not if an adult comes in with a child to deliver to a parent. And you could tell them they have a poopy diaper to boot. Good luck. And I defintely agree with the bubbles. I also used to let the kids just run wild. I had a divider in my room, and i just opened it up and turned up the (reverent) tunes, and the kids just ran around. And I laid dead on the floor.

The MomBabe said...

I think you for sure need to speak to the Primary President and have her say something. Because if it's consistently going over, that's not fair to you OR the kids.

Speak up!

Crystal said...

Yes, I second the bubbles. The nursery leaders in our ward are geniuses and they hold bubble wand up to the air vent cooler thing (it's mounted high on the wall). That way they don't have to die from blowing them for 10 minutes straight.
Also, I agree with speaking up. Lack of communication is usually the only thing holding back tons of improvement.
I really like your blog. Thank you for sharing your nursery insights!

Abby said...

I think the popcorn sounds good because it would be a signal or reminder to all parents to pick up their kid.

Nikki said...

A couple weeks ago my friends dropped off their three kids ages 5, almost 4, and 2 1/2. Those three add to my four and past bedtime with my hubby still at work, I was about to pull my hair out after 2 hours had passed. And then I had the brilliant idea to play Simon Says. I sat in the recliner nursing the baby and yelling out commands. Mostly I had them jumping and spinning and burning off all their excess energy. But in nursery on Sunday, you could play "Heavenly Father says..." or "Teacher says..." and do things like:

fold your arms
stand tall like a snowman
touch your feet
pretend you're asleep
walk reverently
kneel down and pretend to pray
be a church mouse

When my hubby and I were in nursery and only had an 18-month old of our own, we would do Primary action/wiggle songs after time was up.

Popcorn popping
Once there was a snowman
Jesus Wants me for a Sunbeam
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Do as I'm doing
Book of Mormon Stories
The Wise Man and the Foolish Man

I hope this helps. We are truly blessed for the wonderful church members who teach our little ones. Thank you.

M said...

I heard of a nursery that took care of this problem by serving chocolate pudding without spoons as soon as the bell rang. The parents started leaving class to pick up their children, and voila! the teachers began ending on time as well. It may be an urban legend, but hey, it could work.

piebean said...

EVERY SUNDAY? 10 minutes can seem like an eternity! I go crazy when we go even a few minutes past church end time. Yes we do bubbles, but it's only a matter of time before they're bored of that too; and they're crying from running into each other and getting soap in their eyes. We hand-deliver the last few straggling kids (whose parents ALWAYS seem to be late).

We do play ring-around-the-rosies and london-bridge. You can try simon-says, mother-may-i or red-light-green-light, if they can handle it. But our kids are too small/disinterested for those ones.

The chocolate pudding is hilarious! hmmm.... ideas...hmm...

Getting out late every Sunday is not good. You need to talk to your Primary President about that. She needs to bring it up in ward council.

PS - I've finished uploading all of my color pages to; I'm caught up now!

Mary Beth said...

I had this problem one day and I was so fed up (not with the parent in particular- just the day) and so I had this one kid sit on the floor, with the door open, with his arms folded making a mad face because his parents were late (this was one of the kids that was about to go to primary so he was older and actually followed my instruction) Needless to say the parents were pretty embarrased.