Sister Pollyanna in the Nursery

By Karen Austin

I have recently decided to lie to the parents of the children enrolled in senior nursery. Our ward has more than twenty children who are nursery age, so we have two classes. I have the senior nursery children. We have a visual agenda, and we change tasks about every fifteen minutes. I don’t introduce chairs …

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Ode to Nursery

By Karen Austin

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I prefer serving in the nursery to attending the “grown up” classes with my age mates.

When I move to a new ward, I always start by asking the Primary president if she needs help with the nursery classes.

What’s not to like? There are toys, snacks, and a lot of action songs.  And I can roll around on the floor during class, barking like a dog with fewer raised eyebrows than if I do the same in Gospel Doctrine.

And the kids are incredibly cute.

[Photo credit: nendra_gunawan via Creative Commons]

They are full of wonder at the world, like the child Wordsworth describes as seeing “splendour in the grass.”  They are mesmerized by my beaded floral skirt. They tell engaging stories about their boo-boos of the week.  They give me warm hugs.  Even if I can’t quite understand what they are saying, they are entirely earnest.

But I’m also forging bridges from free-for-all play to a more structured environment.

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Confiscating Nursery Toys

By Karen Austin

I’ve confiscated some toys and books from the church nursery.

Last summer, I got a calling to work in the nursery. We had more books and toys than we could store neatly in the cabinets, so I thinned out our holdings.

[Photo by Nick Amoscato via Creative Commons]

The first books that went were the ones with more than ten words on a page.  Kids 18 months to 3 years old primarily look at the pictures, so I saved the picture books and sparsely narrated board books.  But I took the rest to Goodwill.

I also got rid of any book that had licensed characters.  I don’t feel as though church should encourage kids to ask their parents for licensed clothes, lunch boxes, cups, etc.  I’m not spending my energy teaching them how to be consumers of licensed products.

And I threw away all the toy guns.

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Many are Called

By Hildie Westenhaver

A few months ago a chunk of each of the two wards in my town were combined to make a sparkling new baby of a ward.  It’s an interesting thing being in a ward that’s starting from scratch; it’s not unlike the experience of being picked for kickball teams at recess in elementary school.  At …

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