Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Getting Their Foot in the Door

As was mentioned in a comment left by Marie, there is nothing really as unfortunate, as awkward or as painful as a bad goodbye. The way I see it, all organisms with protective parents have an instinct that tells them "Stay with Mom and Dad!! It's your only hope!" It's a good and powerful instinct and it can cause some major trouble when nursery starts.   
So how do you get your nursery kids through the door and away from the ones they love as much as life itself?
As I said before, I do it with music and dance and the chance to pick a laminated picture off the wall.  I've found the music and dancing is involved enough to attract attention away from Mom or Dad and on to me the nursery leader. I think it's also a lot of fun for the kids. It's a chance to really move and jump up and down after an hour of being pretty still. Going in front of everyone to pick a song is so EXCITING. As an added BONUS, singing can often drown out the sound of crying. It sad that that matters but it really does. 
That's how I start but I would love to hear what others do.  Here's a few more ideas I've heard:
Kids get to pick their laminated name off the door and bring it inside to be hung up
Play with Playdough
And as always, the Almighty Bubbles 
Anybody have any other ideas? I can promise they will be MUCH appreciated.


Me again said...

A couple of ideas from the last ward I was in -

This is from the stake nursery leader/trainer.

She suggested a special nursery apron. It had big pockets and would have special things in the pockets.

One pocket would have a treat of some sort (a piece of candy I think) and her theory was that the kids would eventually be trained to come to the person wearing the apron.

The other pocket had a clippy tag with the child's picture and name on it. So they would get the candy and then receive the tag with their picture and name.

All of the toys were on tables for the kids to sit at and play.

After the kid got their tag with pic and name, they would choose a chair and attach the tag to the chair. This was then their chair for the day.

I've never had a reason (so far) to use this idea. For the most part my kids have done pretty well with just being dropped off. If anyone does use it, let me know how it goes.

Elizer said...

I was a nursery leader in California, where we had a courtyard just outside the nursery. When kids first came in I'd hand out paintbrushes and they'd all go "paint" the walls outside using a bucket of water. (something my mom used to do with us as kids.) The kids loved it and we had very few criers after we started doing that.

Might not be so helpful if you have an indoors-only nursery. But it sure worked great for ours!

Amy said...

Just a helpful hint: When my sister-in-law got married, they had these bubble machines at her reception. My husband bought one for our kids and we bring it to nursery sometimes. They save your hands and your lungs! Check out the site below and type "bubble machine" into the search box. I think the link for it is #4. It's only $14.99 and you can use any type of bubble solution!

Anupa Harvey said...

Ok, I know you haven't posted to your blog in a long while, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for all your ideas and posts! I am the nursery leader in my ward, looking for ways to help our adjusting little ones leave Mommy & Daddy and you have some great ideas. Thanks again!