I was called into our Ward Nursery for children ages 18 months - 3 yrs last year. Ironically, I started Nursery for the first time, on the exact same day that our "Princess A" would be starting Nursery too. It was a strange thought that maybe I needed to be in Nursery to see where she would be at in her growing up progress so I might be ready when she came back again. At least that was my hope, which she did end up coming back off and on this past summer. That's for another Blog Posting however.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to take over as the Nursery Leader in our Ward. Our building has been undergoing some cleaning and renovating where the Nursery had been located, along with all of the Nursery toys. We have been going through toys and de-cluttering, as there are way too many that have been collected over the years. During this process, I've been trying to figure out a way to make the Check-in and Check-out process smoother and easier so we don't have to chase down little ones that get out the door as soon as it opens for the children to start being picked up at the end of the 2 hour block. I had Google'd and read several ideas on Sugardoodle.net, among other blogs on how to help with this project.
After thought and discussing the idea with the other 2 ladies in Nursery, I have finished a project that I am hoping will help our Nursery run smoothly when it comes to having the children come in at the beginning and when the parents pick up their children at the end. We have a total of 19 children ranging in ages of 18 months - 3, when they all come it can be busy!
The background is a blue poster board. I printed off clouds on white paper and the word "NURSERY" in a fun font. I cut out the clouds and letters, quickly used a glue stick to keep them down just a bit and then I laminated the poster board. This is what it looks like:
I found pre-cut foam shapes at the dollar store: Suns and Balloons. They came in a pack of 12 each. I used my black scrapbook pen that is double sized to write on the shapes. I purposely got Suns for the 3 yr old children that will be moving up to the "Sunbeam" class this next January, in hopes to get them excited and prepare to move up into Primary. The Balloons are for the children that will remain in Nursery the coming year. As 2012 comes to an end, I will change over the 3 yr olds from 2012 onto Suns, so that they too will be excited to move to Sunbeams next year.
On the front, I used the 1.2 mm end of my black scrapbook pen to write the Child's first name. On the backside, I used the 0.5 mm end to write the Parents' First & Last names, along with the child's Birthday. You could also write any allergies or other quick info on the back too. I haven't done this yet, but there is room when using the 0.5 mm end of the scrapbooking pen to do so if you want to.
I also traced and cut out several Balloons on color cardstock and laminated them. The laminated balloons will be available to any Visiting children - we will use a dry-erase marker to put their names and parents' names on them when they visit our Nursery.
I haven't decided exactly how we are going to have them put their Sun or Balloon onto the board. For now, we are going to try just Tape. I might try to use Velcro on the Board and the Sun/Balloon shapes - but that would limit where and how many could go on the board itself. So for now, tape should work!
This is what it looks like with only some of the names on the board:
Then I sent this note to several of our Nursery children's parents to introduce the new process:
This is the NEW way we will have the Nursery kids Check-in and Check-out of Nursery!
All of them are not pictured right now, but each have their own name - the Sun ones are for the children going into Sunbeams come Jan 2012, the Balloons are for the ones staying in Nursery.
As you bring your child to Nursery, have them put their name up on the Board (your name and their birthday is noted on the backside). The Nursery workers can help them do this so you don't have to wait.
When you pick up your child from Nursery, you will take their name down and slide it under the Nursery Door. We will get your child ready and send them out the door. Please do not open the door, as we tend to have a few trying to sneak out.
We hope this will help keep things in order - as well as give the Nursery Workers a chance to get to know each of the children's names, along with helping any substitutes.
There are Blank Balloons for Visitors - using a wipe off marker to put name and parents names on them.
*So far, I think we will try just Tape on the Board for now - I might try and use Velcro - but not sure which way will work best, so we will try tape for now.