Do’s for Nursery Leaders
July 2008

“Do’s for Nursery Leaders,” Ensign, July 2008, 74–75

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.