We have several people live tweeting and taking notes during Orange conference. Follow along with the hashtag #OC15.
Here are the notes that came out of Holly Crawshaw’s breakout “Navigating the Three Phases of Preschool.”


“The phase that should matter most to you is the one you are working with right now.”

Then, the phase that matters most happens before or after this phase.

The most important thing you can do for preschoolers is to embrace their physical needs.

Adults tend to assume ” they are like I used to be”, but times have changed.

Every kid at every phase is changing in 6 ways;  physically, mentally, relationally, culturally, emotionally and morally.

Preschoolers blend reality with imagination and learn best through their senses.

There are three preschool stages:

Zero – One 

One – Two

Three – Four

The question you answer for preschoolers in Phase Zero – One is

  • Am I safe?  You establish trust.
  • Do your toys work, are the batteries good.  Is it clean.  Is it safe. Do you have music playing? How does the room “feel” when you walk in?   Consistent volunteers are best.  Babies can recognize faces as early as 8 weeks.

The questions you answer for preschoolers in Phase One – Two is:

  • Am I able?  You develop confidence.
  • We have to let our toddlers try to do more.

The question you answer for preschoolers in Phase Three- Four is:

  • Am I okay?  Preschoolers begin to cultivate self-control.
  • Find a good way to talk about those kids who get in trouble.  Find a way to point out something positive to share with his parents.  Don’t miss this, the buffer in every crisis is love. Have any conversations on discipline in person.

Moral emotions are instinctive.  Moral development is not.  If you want to help a preschooler develop a moral conscience you have to interpret and influence their motive.

The ultimate motive is LOVE.

If you try to motivate a child with, fear you will alienate them.

Preschoolers are motivated most by safety.

How preschoolers relate to God:

  • God’s story is my story.
  •  They have no issues having faith.
  • They don’t question what they learn about God.
  • When you embrace their physical needs you help a preschooler know God’s love and meet God’s family.

There are 3 ways you can help preschoolers in their relationship with God

  • Ignite their imaginations, build their confidence in a really big God.
  • Activate their sense.  Help them see, feel, hear and taste.
  • Structure their experience.  Have a predictable schedule.  (The perfect attention span is 8 minutes.  Nothing should last more than 8 mins.)


Check out additional posts in the “Inside #OC15” series on the blog!