Jesus gathers us together – even the littlest lambs in the flock. So how do you prepare your VBS for your preschoolers? To get started, remember that preschoolers are easily overwhelmed. That’s why we recommend letting young children learn in their own settings and rotations. The Early Childhood Leader Guide and CD (included in your Starter Kit) has separate openings, closings, and rotation sites for young children ages 3–5 years.
Keeping young children separate from your elementary program is beneficial for several reasons. One main reason is that VBS can be a young child’s first classroom experience. Parents and children may feel anxious, timid, or afraid in the midst of the hurry-flurry of a typical VBS week!
If you can, give young children separate learning spaces so that they can do age-appropriate activities with a quieter environment. Preschoolers can get lost among older kids, but in their own space, they can relax, play, and feel more secure.
Preparation for preschoolers
· Locate early childhood classrooms near restrooms and outside play areas.
· Remember: safety first! Require parents to sign children in and out.
· Provide an activity center that welcomes kids in when parents drop them off. Parents can help transition their child be refocusing their attention.
· Use the same schedule and staff every day to provide routine and security.
· Schedule outside play in a different area or at a different time from older children.
· Offer preschoolers an easier version of the crafts. Suggestions are found in the Early Childhood Leader Guide (included in your Starter Kit).
Provide extra helpers for your early childhood teaching staff depending on the number of preschooler you have. We suggest 1 leader plus 1 helper for:
· 3-year-olds every 3–4 children
· 4-year-olds every 4–5 children
· 5-year-olds every 5–6 children
Last, don’t forget Polly the Pig puppet! She is sold separately and her scripts are included on the Early Childhood Leader CD. She even oinks! We even provide construction instructions for a hayloft puppet stage. Check your Early Childhood Leader Guide (and CD) for more suggestions, or visit our site rotation online for more tools to create your VBS with Purpose!