How to Get Kids to Pay Attention During Prop Talk - Life.Church Leaders

How to Get Kids to Pay Attention During Prop Talk

by Leaders.Life Team

Kids are sitting in small groups with leaders—but only one leader is guiding through the Prop Talk. Which leader are you? And what are you supposed to do to help kids enjoy the surprise and stay focused? Watch the video below and read on to get tips and tricks that will help your kids pay attention during Prop Talk.

Watch This
Here’s your chance to watch Prop Talk in action! Observe a leader playfully leading kids through a Prop Talk. Kids ages 2 through Kindergarten are included, so no matter which Early Childhood room you serve in, there’s something for you in this video!

As you watch, use this Prop Talk Leader Guide to follow along with the lesson.

Read These Tips

  1. Be prepared before Prop Talk. There are a few things you need to do before it’s actually Prop Talk time each week.
    • Know who’s leading Prop Talk. The Prop Talk responsibility can rotate, or it can be led by the same leader each week. Either way, find out who’s leading it a week in advance when possible.
    • Look ahead. Visit during the week to look at the Prop Talk Leader Guide. Give yourself a minute to review once you get to your room, but don’t try to learn the whole Prop Talk during Play time—kids need you to connect with them!
    • Check the curriculum cart. First, double check the Quick Look on your cart to see which Prop Talk you’re supposed to have for the week. Next, check your Prop Talk folder to make sure you have the correct Prop Talk Leader Guide and all the materials you need for it. If something is off, let your LifeKids Coach know right away.
  2. Surprise the kids. There’s a lot of repetition in other parts of the curriculum to help kids master the lesson. This makes Prop Talk even more special because the prop(s) you use will be completely new every single week! Try these tips to use this novelty to grab kids’ attention.
    • Hide. Keep the prop behind your back. Don’t show it until everyone’s watching and listening.
    • Tease. Pretend your paper Prop Talk guide is the only thing you have for Prop Talk. Have a good chuckle together when the kids insist you’ve got something way more fun than that to share!
    • Wait. Say, “When everyone is looking at me with quiet mouths, I’ll tip-toe over to the teacher cart and find our Prop Talk for today!”
  3. Keep it small. When you lead Prop Talk, monitoring every child’s behavior doesn’t automatically fall on your shoulders. Your biggest responsibility is to keep the Prop Talk activity fun!
    • For other small groups: Quietly let small group leaders take care of their own kids.
    • For your small group:
      • Ask the kids in your small group to save your spot for you while you lead the whole room.
      • If your small group struggles to stay put, ask another leader for support.
      • If a challenging issue comes up, address it gently and quickly to keep the rest of the room from losing focus on Prop Talk. Ask another leader to help if you need to.
  4. Keep it big. You’re not in charge of making every kid behave, but when you keep Prop Talk engaging and fun, there will be fewer behavior challenges for everyone to deal with!
    • Get attention. Try clapping or wiggling your fingers in the air and having kids copy you. Try saying something like, “If you can hear my voice, point to me.”
    • Let kids self-praise. You can’t praise each kid individually when the whole group is doing great, but you can tell kids to pat their own backs, clap for themselves, or give themselves a high five.
    • Use whole-group directions. Say things like, “Everyone touch your ears and listen to this!” or, “Pretend you have a bubble in your mouth. Don’t pop it!”
    • Be enthusiastic! Use tactics like excitement and humor to keep the kids excited about Prop Talk, too! If you’re more nervous than excited, don’t worry—fake it. Little kids won’t know.
  5. Finish strong. Let the whole group show what they know, and transition into Movie and Music!
    • Say the “Say Together.” Give everyone a chance to shout it out, whisper it, or say it to their small group leader. If you’re leading 2 to 3-year-olds, you’re finished!
    • Review. For 4-year-olds to Kindergarteners, ask each “Question.” Ask kids to sit quietly and raise their hands to share what they think. Pick as many kids to answer as you have time for.
    • Pick helpers. Reward kids who’ve done well by letting them perform tasks like moving the star to the next Picture Schedule Card or pushing the button on the Roku remote to start Movie and Music.

Think About This
Prop Talk as an interactive time to help kids transition from the controlled busy-ness of Play time to sitting through the message video. Keep it fun, and give kids as many opportunities to participate because it will prepare them for what’s next.

Talk It Over
Now that you’ve read a few tips and watched a video, help the info stick! Talk over these questions with your Coach or a LifeKids staff member. Share what you’ve learned with other leaders in your room!

  1. What do you think is the main goal of Prop Talk?
  2. What’s your favorite way to show your kids you’re proud of them for good listening and learning?
  3. Which part of Prop Talk do you want to get better at? Who’s a good mentor you can learn from?