With a new year come new transitions

A new year in nursery is quite a big deal, in case you didn't know. With the 3-year-olds moving on to Sunbeams, the first Sunday in January is full of anticipation for leaders and children alike.

Average-size Mormon nursery classes in a normal year can shrink by up to 75 percent when the oldest kids graduate. The underclassmen left sitting around the snack table represent the smallest variation in ages seen all year. All close to their second birthday, the homogeneous class is a welcome reprieve for a nursery leader.

Suddenly, preparing activities, crafts or lesson enhancements doesn't need to be segmented into different age-appropriate levels. Small-motor activities that kept 3-year-olds busy beading or pasting or cutting can be postponed for a few months.

Now is the time to help the little ones learn to color with crayons instead of eat them, squish Play-doh instead of taste it and stack blocks instead of licking the paint off. Now is the time to help them transition from oral fixations to speaking and singing and smiling with their mouths instead.

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