Help! I Don’t Know the Early Childhood Curriculum Lingo! - Life.Church Leaders

Help! I Don’t Know the Early Childhood Curriculum Lingo!

You may have heard leaders and staff talk about the parts of an Early Childhood experience like it ain’t no thang. They throw around terms like “Toys with a Purpose,” “Clean Up,” “Prop Talk,” or “Picture Passes.” Some are easy to figure out, but others leave you wondering, “What are they talking about?” Here’s a little glossary for you to help you out!

Adventure Bag
What is it? A real, in-room bag used to lead Picture Passes review that looks exactly like the bag the main character in the teaching video wears.
What’s the win? Leaders act amazed at how the bag is the exact same one as the bag in the video to get kids excited about the Picture Pass review time and to lend the information in the video real-world validity.

Adventure Books
What is it? A coloring sheet that tells parents what their kids learned and what they can do at home to reinforce the lesson.
How long does it last? Adventure Books only come out while parents are picking up kids.
What do leaders do during this time? Leaders keep their kids in small groups while one leader is helping parents with pick up. Leaders can read over the Adventure Books with their group, let them color and put stickers on them, or just send them home for kids to do later with their parents.
What’s the win? Every parent receives an Adventure Book to review with their child at home.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Lead Story Time and Manage Parent Pick-Up
Ending Strong with Story Time

Clean Up
What is it? A time when kids and leaders put toys away and form small groups.
How long does it last? Approximately 2 minutes
What do leaders do during this time? Help kids put Toys with a Purpose on the curriculum cart, play the Clean Up music video, and form small groups of kids.
What’s the win? Leaders help kids transition from free play to sitting in small groups.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Master Clean Up
How to Transition from Play Time to Small Groups

Clean Up Music Video
What is it? A music video about cleaning up to be played during Clean Up time.
What’s the win? Kids become accustomed to the routine of cleaning up when they hear the song, to help them transition more easily from Play time to small groups.

Curriculum Cart
What is it? An in-room cart that contains all the materials needed to run the experience: leader guides, Prop Talk props, and Toys with a Purpose.
What’s the win? Leaders acquaint themselves with the materials on the cart, know how to find them easily, and put them back where they belong when they’re finished using them. The cart can also be easily wheeled into the hall if it is distracting to kids.

Leader Guides
What are they? Leader guides have instructions, sample scripts, and questions for review to walk leaders through what to do for each in-room segment step-by-step. There are leader guides available for a monthly overview (the Quick Look), Prop Talk (Prop Talk Leader Guide), Picture Passes (Picture Passes Leader Guide), and Story Time (Small Group Leader Guide + Story Cards).
What’s the win? Leaders know where all the needed leader guides are located and when to use each one. They can follow all the instructions on the leader guides and return them to their spots when they’re finished.

Leader Orientation
What is it? A prospective LifeKids leader meets with a LifeKids staff member to go over ministry non-negotiables, talk about the best fit for the leader, and receive basic LifeKids training.
What’s the win? A prospective leader gains basic knowledge about keeping kids safe in LifeKids, who to talk to when they need help, what the vision and values of LifeKids are, and where their gifts and talents can be maximized.
Extra Note: Leader orientation does not include all room-specific training. Talk with your LifeKids Coach or staff member about the campus procedure to follow for getting all of the room-specific training you need.
Want to sign up to serve in LifeKids?

LifeKids Buddy
What is it? A leader who works one-on-one with a kid who needs extra support to be successful in the LifeKids environment.
What’s the win? Buddies partner with the kid they’re assigned to, the kid’s family as needed, and the in-room leaders to make LifeKids inclusive for every child.
Extra Notes: Buddies do not lead small groups or in-room activities. They only work with the kid they’re assigned to or who needs their support on a given week. If you feel like you need a Buddy for a kid in your room, talk to your coach or a LifeKids staff member, first.
Watch a video and get more tips here: What is a LifeKids Buddy?

LifeKids Leader Page (www.life.church/leaders)
What is it? A website where leaders can access training and prepare for the hour they serve in LifeKids by looking at leader guides, getting helpful in-room hints, reading inspirational stories, and previewing videos of in-room content.
What’s the win? Leaders visit the Leader Page often to prepare for their experiences and find training to help answer questions, learn important information, and resolve in-room challenges.

Movie & Music
What is it? A video everyone watches together that teaches the memory verse, the monthly theme, and leads everyone through worship.
How long does it last? Approximately 23 minutes
What do leaders do during this time? Encourage kids to respond to video cues as the video plays, and keep their small groups sitting with them.
What’s the win? Kids and leaders interact with the video, with each other quietly within small groups, and have fun singing and dancing for God.
Watch a video and get more tips here and here:
The Art of Watching Movie and Music with Preschoolers (Part 1)
The Art of Watching Movie and Music with Preschoolers (Part 2)

Picture Passes
What is it? A time when one leader leads all small groups through a review using an in-room Adventure Bag and three cards that have pictures on them from the video.
How long does it last? Approximately 5 minutes
What do leaders do during this time? One leader wears the Adventure Bag and pulls out the Picture Passes one at a time. They use the directions on the back of each Picture Pass to review while kids sit in small groups with their small group leaders.
What’s the win? Kids review what they learned and have fun guessing which Picture Pass will come next.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Keep Picture Passes Fun Every Single Week

Picture Schedule Cards
What are they? A set of pictures that hang on the wall in each early childhood room. Each picture represents a segment of the hour and is turned over when that segment is complete. There are pictures for Play, Clean Up, Prop Talk, Movie and Music, Picture Passes, and Story Time.
What’s the win? Kids have a visual way to keep track of what things are left to do before parents return to pick them up. The visual schedule helps reduce separation anxiety and keep kids oriented with the routine of the hour so transitions are easier.

Play
What is it? A time when kids and leaders play together with Toys with a Purpose to get used to the room and build relationships with leaders.
How long does it last? Approximately 20 minutes
What do leaders do during this time? Leaders make sure pre-experience music is playing, keep Toys with a Purpose at separate centers, play with the kids, and set the tone for the rest of the experience by gently managing conflicts and behavior.
What’s the win? Leaders connect with kids to make them feel comfortable, build relationships, and prepare them to join a small group later in the hour.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Keep Play Time Fun, Safe, and Purposeful

Pre-experience Music
What is it? Music videos that play in between services and during Play time.
What’s the win? Leaders start the music and keep it running for the prescribed time so the room has a warmer, more inviting environment.

Prop Talk
What is it? A time when one leader leads all small groups through an object lesson using a prop.
How long does it last? 5 minutes
What do leaders do during this time? One leader uses the Prop Talk Leader Guide to lead the object lesson while kids sit in small groups with their small group leaders.
What’s the win? Kids are surprised and delighted while learning from a fun prop while sitting with their small groups.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Get Kids to Pay Attention During Prop Talk

Small Groups
What are they? Groups of 3-6 kids and 1-2 leaders that sit together from Prop Talk through pick-up time.
What’s the win? Kids grow connections with their small group leaders and with other kids in their small group so they know they have a safe place where they are known, they matter, and they can get help.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Transition from Play Time to Small Groups
How to Lead Story Time and Manage Parent Pick-Up
Ending Strong with Story Time

Story Time
What is it? Small groups review the Bible story, the Bible verse, play a game, ask questions, pray together, and talk together.
How long does it last? Approximately 5-10 minutes (from the end of Picture Passes until parents show up to pick up their kids)
What do leaders do during this time? Small group leaders follow the directions on a small group leader guide and use story cards to lead their small group.
What’s the win? Kids build relationships and learn they have a safe place to talk about what they’re learning and what’s going on in their lives.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Lead Story Time and Manage Parent Pick-Up
Ending Strong with Story Time

Toys with a Purpose
What are they? Different types of age-appropriate, easily shareable toys separated into bins that rotate through the rooms each weekend. They are only used during Play time.
What’s the win? Kids and leaders bond over playing with fun toys so small group formation is easier later in the hour.
Watch a video and get more tips here:
How to Keep Play Time Fun, Safe, and Purposeful