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