Do’s for Nursery Leaders
Victoria T. Draper, Idaho
After serving in the nursery several times, I came to realize how important that calling was. My nursery experience was challenging but also rewarding as I followed some important do’s for the nursery:
• Understand the importance of your calling. A child’s first Church experience away from parents often takes place in the nursery. How children feel about the nursery can greatly influence how they feel about going to church.
• Be enthusiastic. The children will sense how you feel and react accordingly. I have found that, just like some missionaries, when I anticipate a release date, I become less focused. My happiest time in the nursery was months after I was told I would be released—and wasn’t. I decided to enjoy the “now” instead of anticipating the “when.”
• Always recognize a child—in or out of the nursery. Greet the children each by name and mention something fun about them or about what they’re doing.
• Create a reverent atmosphere. Your purpose is to help the children develop an understanding of and love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Provide quiet toys and gentle music. If a child cries and refuses to be consoled, take him or her to a parent. While you are doing this, talk about the things you will be doing in nursery and encourage the child to come back.
• Keep the nursery tidy and organized. This will help the children be more motivated to put the toys away when they are finished playing.
• Be prepared. Carefully and prayerfully read and re-read the lesson manual’s guidelines. Prepare the lesson carefully with the children in mind. Offer a variety of activities, and keep the lesson brief. You may need to give it in short segments. For instance, we often talk about the lesson during snack time.
• Be there. Make every effort to be in the nursery every week. When you must be away, carefully consider your substitute, since young children have a hard time feeling comfortable with someone they don’t know.
Emergency Food for Dinner?
Miriam Blackham Een, Nevada
Since many of the food supplies in emergency kits are common pantry items, you should use them before they expire. The “use by” dates on these items are projected for maximum vitamin and mineral potency. You may still be able to use some items for a period after the date indicated, but you may not get the maximum nutritional value.
So what are some easy ways to rotate your emergency foods?
• Use them for a quick meal at home. Better yet, have a picnic or campout.
• Include them in lunch boxes.
• Carry some in your purse, briefcase, car, or diaper bag for a quick meal or snack.
Try to Say Yes
Mary King, Ontario, Canada
In responding to children’s day-to-day requests, try to say yes. Then add a conditional clause if needed. For instance, when asked, “Mom, can I have a cookie?” you could respond, “Yes, but let’s put them on a pretty plate and serve them for dessert so it won’t spoil your appetite now.” Saying things in a more positive way will increase the significance of no when you have to say it.
Family Home Evening Helps
Melinda Hunter, Utah
To have purposeful family home evenings, we have learned to focus on what is important to all of our family members. But how do we know what each member in our large family needs? We hold a family council at the dining room table to brainstorm ideas. After beginning with prayer, we each write down a list of things we think our family could improve upon. After considering everyone’s ideas, we schedule topics for each Monday night for several months. Writing them on a calendar is an easy way to organize and remind family members of what we’ll be discussing and when. When that schedule is finished, we simply gather for another family council. This way we all help to plan family home evening.
Left and bottom right: illustrations by Joe Flores; top right: illustration by Beth Whittaker