• Heartprints

    Encourage Children To Bloom…”Blooming As An Infant”

    Several years ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit Singapore.  While there, we were thrilled to get to visit the National Orchid Garden.  This garden was not just any orchid garden; rather, it was filled with more orchids than any other garden in the world. Upon entering we saw a large array of orchids, large and small, growing from one single stem.  Each one was unique, a one of a kind.  There were myriads of varieties sprinkling the sidewalks, paths, and walkways with their vibrant colors and designs. If you have ever tried to grow an orchid then you probably know of their temperamental nature.  Unlike most flowers, orchids can be very…

  • Heartprints

    Reassuring Parents: What You Can Do

    “Linda” (not her real name) came to pick up her eighteen month old daughter from the church nursery one Sunday. She saw her daughter sitting in a swing watching Barney. The other children in the room were playing or looking at toys on their own while the workers sat in rocking chairs. Linda felt uncomfortable with the situation. Shouldn’t the workers be engaging the children more often?  What were they doing in the toddler room? Were they learning anything? She wondered if she should even expect a church’s nursery to have higher standards. How can you as a children’s minister or nursery director help alleviate Linda’s concerns? Encourage Linda to…

  • Heartprints

    Your Church Has Decided to Hire. Now What?

    You’ve desired that it would be in the best interests of your local flock to hire workers for your church nursery. Your church has approved the hire, and has assigned to you to prepare a list of qualifications for a paid children’s ministry worker.  What should they be? I’d like to suggest some basic qualifications. The worker should be a believer. I do believe that unbelievers can be converted to Christ by hearing the gospel while serving in children’s ministry, however, I hold that a believer instructing young children in the faith is an important part of the young child’s beginning spiritual development. If your church chooses to hire a…

  • Heartprints

    Separation Anxiety and VBS

    Separation anxiety can appear in infants as early as six months and may continue through the child’s first year. This is a difficult time for parents, children and caregivers! But with patience, love and understanding, it too will pass. Remember, your VBS program is five days in length for one week (assuming you are following the traditional schedule). The infant or toddler’s enrollment in this program represents a deviation from the child’s normal schedule and routine. Couple this with the absence of his parent (or parents) and small wonder the infant or toddler cries in fear and frustration! How should VBS workers treat separation anxiety? I have a few suggestions.…

  • Heartprints

    VBS in the Nursery? Seriously?

    Some find the notion radical. Teach infants? Surely they would understand so little, if anything. Teach one year olds? Their attention span is so short that you couldn’t possibly teach a lesson. Teach wiggly, antsy, two year olds? It’s easier to herd cats.  Vacation Bible School (VBS) has a history of being radical. Eliza Hawes (who arguably pioneered the idea of VBS) begin a six-week summer program which included Bible stories, games, verse memorization, nature study, cooking, and sewing for underprivileged children in New York City. Unlike most Vacation Bible Schools held today, Hawes held her program in an unusual location–not in a church, not in a school, not in…