Written by Brenda Gwaltney
The same factors that may cause Sunday School attendance to slump during the summer can help you stretch your involvement with preschoolers and their families.
Try some of these ideas.
- As summer begins, mail a newsletter to the family of each prospect and each enrolled preschooler. Tell about Vacation Bible School and other summer events your church has planned. Add helpful information, such as tips for summer safety, summer snack ideas, a recipe for bubble solution, outdoor activities, and close-to-home excursions that are "preschooler friendly." Encourage families to keep Sunday School attendance in their summer plans. Invite them to bring summer snapshots of their preschoolers for a display.
- Decorate a bulletin board or wall in the hall near the door to your preschool department. Display photographs of the preschoolers involved in summer activities. Also provide tips for traveling with preschoolers and brochures of nearby places with "preschool appeal."
- Prepare travel bags for the girls and boys. From outdated leader packs, select books, pictures, puzzles, or other items a preschooler might enjoy while traveling. Sing several preschool Bible songs and tell a few preschool Bible stories on a cassette tape. Make several copies of the tape. Place a tape and several leader pack items in zip-lock bags. Put the bags in a basket near your department room door. Invite parents to take one for their child to use while traveling.
- If you go on a summer trip, mail a postcard to each of your preschoolers.
- Contact every absentee each week, even if you know in advance that the child will be gone. Send a card, make a phone call, or mail the Early Bible Steps weekly take-home page for the missed Sunday. Tell the child and his family that you missed him. Especially during summer, one missed Sunday can often lead to two and can then begin a pattern of absenteeism.
- Make home visits. Call ahead to arrange a time. Take the preschooler for a walk. Enjoy nature with her. Share a simple outdoor activity such as blowing bubbles or playing with a ball.
- Pray for the preschoolers and their families.