Use names when you talk to children. When you use a child’s name, you’re not only making them feel welcome, but you’re also helping other children learn the child’s name as well. Instead of saying generic phrases, such as “Welcome” or “I’m happy to see you,” make your interactions personal, such as “Welcome Malcolm” or “I’m happy to see you, Carissa.”
Get to know the parents. Instead of knowing parents as “Jacob’s mom” or “Amy’s dad,” learn their first names. Not only give a class list to your teachers but also a list that includes the first and last names of the children’s parents as well. Parents feel more satisfied with a children’s ministry or education class when the teachers call them by name.
Ask questions. When children are doing quiet activities, ask them questions. Find out more about them. Ask them about their families, their pets, and what they love to do. This not only helps you get to know children more, but the other children also hear these conversations and take them in as well.
Keep notes. Some people are better at remembering names than others are. That’s okay. Encourage teachers, leaders, and volunteers to keep notes about individual children. Notes can help adults learn the names of children and more about them.
Have fun. Getting to know children can be a lot of fun. When you play getting-to-know you games, everyone has a good time and everyone learns the names of people around them.