This is the second installment in our new series of tips and ideas for optimizing the three-hour block of Sunday meetings. The first installment (and the full explanation) is here.
There exists a state of limbo for children who are too young to attend nursery, but too old to sit quietly in the adult classes. These pre-nursery children and their parents are neither here nor there; they’re lost in the fog of the foyer, the parents chasing their toddlers around and sympathetically rolling their eyes at the other parents in a similar state.
I was recently one of those parents. Once Sacrament Meeting was over, if I wasn’t responsible for teaching a lesson, I had to decide between ducking in and out of class with my rambunctious daughter, roaming the halls with her, or just going home. Church was at 11, so most Sundays I headed home after Sacrament Meeting and put my kid down for her nap. And why not? I wasn’t going to be in a class anyway.
On any given Sunday, there are several other parents in my ward in the same situation, waiting for that 18-month mark to arrive so they can dump their kids in nursery and resume full church activity.
What if we could keep these parents at church by setting up a room for them and their pre-nursery children? The room doesn’t need toys (the parents will bring their own), doesn’t need a formal teacher (the parents can improvise their own lessons/discussions), and involves no extra callings. It’s just a room with a few chairs; the rugrats are free to play or scream, the parents can enjoy a good conversation, and the church’s halls are cleared of the typical toddler parades.
Has your ward implemented a pre-nursery solution? Is there a better idea for these families? Leave a comment and let us all know. And if you’ve got your own Church-Hacker idea, submit it here. See all entries in this series here.