Wednesday, December 2, 2015

4 Ways to Help Your New Sunbeams Shine

Say good-bye to Nursery, kiddos!
Oh, how fun the new Sunbeams are! They're normally wide-eyed and clueless, unless they're climbing under the chairs. :)  It goes without saying that coming from Nursery into big-kid Primary is a transition for these little darlings, so here are some of my ideas to help ease them in.

1.  Start Early

As soon as December hits, I start trying to transition the upcoming Sunbeams into Singing Time. With the Nursery leaders and your Primary presidency, discuss how this will work best in your ward. Just a short visit each week in December might be enough, for part of Singing Time, for example.

2.  Choose Songs Purposefully

Talk to your Nursery leaders to see what songs they've been singing with the children in the past couple of months.  Incorporate some of these songs into your Singing Times for the first few weeks with the new Sunbeams.  Also, whatever other songs you choose, repeat them week after week, to give the new littles a sense of familiarity.

3.  Choose Activities Purposefully

Okay, not to hammer it in, but this transition can be really hard for these children! They're not used to sitting in a chair for an hour. Like, ever. So help them out! :)  Ideally, your Junior Singing Times will always include some sort of physical movement, but it is especially crucial for the first few months with new Sunbeams.  Give them a chance to stand every week.  Just clapping their hands isn't enough. They need to get out of their seats, whether it be a simple standing wiggle song or movement that goes with a doctrinal song, like marching. 

In addition, be aware of their short attention spans with everything you do. Don't talk for more than two sentences at a time. Just DO whatever it is you want to do. Don't have any reading activities at first. Instruments and pictures are safe bets, instead.  Here is my blog post about the musical needs of this age child. They want to participate, so meet them more than half-way. 

4.  Love Them

Most importantly, look into their eyes, try to see how they're feeling, and love them. Help them feel the Savior's love for them through your own.  How blessed we are for the chance to teach them.

Happy singing!

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