Welcoming Others

In conjunction with my latest blog about welcoming the children, I thought it might be kind of fun to follow-up with a blog about how to encourage your children to welcome others and how to welcome others in a classroom setting. These are tried in the trenches ways that I have learned either from others or as I have welcomed kids into my classroom. Please note, what works for one child may not work for another so feel free to get creative and keep trying. Kids don’t come with an instruction manual and no two are alike so keep doing your best to be welcoming. Eventually, if you keep trying, I believe you can even with over the shyest of children. Of course, I believe prayer works too. When you truly love children as Jesus loves them, you will make friends with the children and their families.

HELPING YOUR CHILDREN TO WELCOME OTHERS

* Model for your preschooler how to introduce themselves to someone. “Hi, my name is Bella, what’s your name?….It’s nice to meet you.”

* Keep it simple. Encourage your child to share. One of the best ways kids bond is by playing together or sharing together. When your child has a friend over, suggest ways to share. “Glenda, why don’t you share your Legos with Seth. Maybe you could build a fort together.”

* A snack is a good way to share too.

* Help your child greet his friend at the door and show his friend where to put his coat, where the toys are, etc.

WELCOMING CHILDREN IN THE CLASSROOM

* Greet the child and his parents at the door. Get down on the child’s level to say, “Good morning.” Introduce yourself. Give the child a hug or “high five”. If you know the child, call him/her by name. “Hi Sami! It’s so good to have you in class this morning. I have some play dough out. Would you like to make something with it?”

* When greeting the child, sometimes it helps to be silly. “Eli, I’m so glad you’re here. What did you have for breakfast this morning? Did you eat grasshoppers or did you eat waffles? … Oh, you had cereal. I’m glad you didn’t eat grasshoppers!”

* Show the child where he/she can put his belongings and help the him/her find something to do in the room.

* Set activities out before the child arrives so that when he/she enters the classroom there are fun things to do. Make your classroom a bright, cheery welcoming place.

* Introduce the child to some of the other kids in the room. “Eli, this is Sami. Would you two like to work on this puzzle together?”

* If you have a shy child, try to find out from the parents what he/she likes to do. Engage them in something by sitting down and playing with him/her. Invite the parent to stay a few minutes until the child feels comfortable and insure the parents that you can page them if needed.

* When parents come to pick up, be sure that you let the child know you are glad he/she came. Welcome him/her to come back next week. Be sure the child knows that you love him/her and that Jesus loves him/her too.

Author: faithstepsandmore

I am a mom of three, grandmother of eight and have worked with young children for over thirty years. I currently write curriculum, speak for women's groups, do chapel for a daycare center and help with teacher/volunteer training at churches. I love what I do. There is nothing better than helping kids take those first steps of faith in a God who loves them more than they can imagine.

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