All The Many Things I Have Learned From Preschoolers

good morning, cyberspace!

Today’s post is a little bit shorter than usual, folks. In fact, I have a feeling that a lot of my near-future posts are going to be slightly shorter than usual, which, if I’m being honest, is kind of depressing. I thought that once July ended, my proverbial plate would get a little lighter, but due to some very idiotic decisions* and a thirst for storytelling**, this has not come to pass.

you shall not pass lord of the rings GIF

However, because I am nothing if not a DO ALL OF THE THINGS! kind of peasant, I have decided that even though it would be remarkably nice to go on a Hiatus during the month of August, I am not going to.

In fact, I completely and irrevocably refuse to. Because I just got off an? Hiatus. Obviously.

So while all my posts in the near-future might be looking a little less than (and possibly a little late ahahahahahahaha….hahaha…ha [blame my siblings, folks. they coerced me into playing Hello Neighbor yesterday. they’re evil. {jk. i love you, butts}]), I am still going to continue blogging through this slightly stressful time. I’m not going to promise that I’ll have a post out every week, because quite frankly, I’m not sure if that is going to happen. But I can promise that there will be a post at least every two weeks. I’ll shoot for every, but if all else fails. . .at least you’ll know I’ll be coming ’round the mountain eventually, amiright?


. . .

Now let’s move on to the actual meat of this post.

*more details on this are coming soon

**please see above.

This past month I was a volunteer at my church for the delightful program known as VBS. Now, for those of you who don’t know what VBS — or Vacation Bible School — is, allow me to explain.

Basically, it’s exactly what the name implies. VBS is a week-long program where tiny smol children of all ages (typically Pre-K through 6th grade) can come to church to have fun, make friends, play games, sing songs, and ultimately, learn all about God and His love for them.

VBS is crazy. VBS is fun. VBS lasts only five days, but at the end of it, you feel as though all your strength has completely faded and you are nothing but a limp vegetable silently crying on your way home because it’s over. It’s finally, actually over. . .!

And I absolutely love every single minute of it.

It fills me with so much joy to see all these tiny children learning about and worshiping God, and though my summer this year was already pretty jam-packed with a bunch of oddball things that are useless to mention. . .avoid no way GIF by Steve Harvey TVI just knew that I had to do VBS, as well.

I could not NOT do VBS.


So when I got a call (i was slurping a delicious milkshake at the time. i was rather hyper. #sorrychurchlady) asking whether or not I was willing to volunteer this year, I jumped on board without even a second thought.

Because VBS. Obviously.

And then, when she asked me whether I preferred working with the older kids, or the little tiny ones, I said the little tiny ones. Because they make me laugh. And they are adorable.

And I thought she was going to put me in kindergarten. LOLOLOLOLOLOL #fail

I’ve helped out with kindergarten before. I am accustomed to the ways of kindergartners. I was prepared for the terror that is kindergarten.

I was not in any way, shape, or form prepared for preschool.

So when I got my folder a couple weeks later with a big ol’ “McKenzie, Preschool Leader” stamped across the top, I was simultaneously terrified and excited and slightly upset because they neVER EVER EVER GET MY NAME RIGHT ARGGGGGH!. On the one hand, I absolutely adore tiny kids. They are just so bright and innocent and adorable, and I am totally a terrible influence on them. (*insert random remark about severed arms here*)


So it’s totally safe to assume that I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I walked in through those church doors that fateful July evening. I wasn’t sure what preschoolers were even like.

Were they friendly? Were they mean? Would they appreciate the fact that I spent two entIRE WEEKS of my crazy busy life knitting toy octopi and sewing 193 buttons onto sixteen tentacles because the theme for VBS was ShipWrecked and I am way too much of an overachiever? (my fingers. they burned. . .)

Meet Wonky And Doodle, everybody!!!! Aren’t they adorable? AREN’T THEY SMOL????? I am so proud of these little suckers. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! DO YOU GET IT??? DO YOU GET IT??????? (Also a super duper special thanks to my mom, who basically ruined the tip of her thumb from winding all those stupid wire curls to shove up into the tentacles. Sorry, Mom. . .)

Would they hate me right off the bat, or would I find myself surrounded by tiny little friends at the end of the night?????

All these thoughts and more were but a few of the swirling terrors that plagued my mind meats in the awkward half hour before VBS began, but as fate would have it, they were all for naught. For when I finally got the chance to meet my tiny, wide-eyed group of yellow-clad pre-k’s, I quickly realized just how very blind to the ways of children I had been.

Throughout the course of those five long nights, I was able to learn so many things from those precious, hoppy little humans. And now, with a heart full of joy and a much wiser outlook on life, it is my greatest honor to be able to share these life lessons with you today. . .

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

All The Many Things I Have Learned from Pre-Schoolers

  • Bright yellow dangly earrings are fascinatingly intriguing, and must be stared at for at least a full minute in order to appreciate their glorious beauty.
  • Fishies are delicious
  • chainsaws = tree cutters
  • I am a girl.
  • If you do not want to wear the bright yellow t-shirt (pre-k’s crew color) that your mother put over your pretty dress anymore, it is perfectly acceptable to say “I don’t want to wear this”, and try to rip it off in the middle of the sanctuary whilst the youth pastor is trying to teach.
  • The hymnals and bibles located beneath the sanctuary pews are fun to play with — preferably when we are supposed to be paying attention to what Pastor is trying to say.
  • prayer time = spontaneous peek-a-boo sessions
  • Dummy worms are both fun to wiggle around and also yummy to eat. (that was not a typo)
  • It’s okay to not wash your hands if you can’t reach the faucet, because they always take the stool out of the bathroom in the winter (VBS takes place in the middle of summer)
  • My name is Penenzi.
  • and also Miss Kenzie
  • and also Meanie (i’m hoping this was not an insult ????)
  • poky hat = Jesus’ crown of thorns
  • If “grandma says” you should go up onto the stage to get a toy, then you should obviously get to go up on the stage to get a toy. Because “grandma said” so.
  • The picture of Jesus hanging from the cross is sad because the bird sitting on top of the cross looks like a sad bird.
  • I am headface.
  • If your spot on the bench during storytime is too small, then it is absolutely impossible to sit there. . .even if you are currently sitting on the spot that is allegedly too small.
  • WONKYDOODLE WONKYDOODLE WONKYDOODLE! (aha. . .#badinfluence [*please see above picture*])
  • The poster with every single book of the Bible on it is inaccurate because Noah is missing.
  • stems = gems (. . .or tentacles? i still haven’t figured this one out. . .)
  • The girl across the aisle had braids in her hair yesterday. This is very important.
  • If your leader is supposed to be helping three other kids BESIDES YOU with a very difficult craft (morse code bracelets. with preschoolers. are you kidding me right now.), then you should totally demand that they help you with every single bead. Because we want to finish the race first, obviously.
  • The need to use the potty is about as contagious as the common cold.
  • If someone has, say, braided tentacles dangling from their head, it is perfectly acceptable to
    WE TURNED MY HAIR INTO AN OCTOPUS FOR CRAZY HAIR NIGHT!!!! And then promptly did it again two days later because why not. (also you can probably guess by now that I became awkwardly obsessed with octopi during this year’s VBS. I still have no idea why.)

    grab and tug on them when the person who’s hair you’re yanking on is not looking. Because maybe they won’t know. Maybe.

  • Sitting still in the church pew while we’re supposed to be paying attention is boring. It is much more fun to slide towards the floor and get your foot caught in the bible-holder located beneath the bench, instead.
  • I am officially invited to a preschooler’s house so that I can eat snacks and drink juice and take the top bunk because my sister took mine.
  • Asking to get soaked with a wet sponge during game time is all fine and dandy until your leader actually takes you over to get wet. Then you may sit there with tears in your eyes and look like someone just kicked you in the face. Because you didn’t want to get wet. Obviously.
  • If someone is raising their hand, you should probably be raising yours, too.
  • When someone you don’t know very well (meaning the leader you met two hours ago. after three hours you can be best friends.) asks you a question, it’s best to just stare at them awkwardly with huge, saucer-like eyes. Perhaps they will go away and leave you to admire your frosting-covered hands in peace.

. . .and above all else, the most important lesson I learned during VBS. . .

  • Preschoolers are smol, innocent, ornery little beans full of light and laughter and hugs. They are adorable. They are sweet. They will take hold of your heart and never ever ever let go, and the hardest possible thing you will ever have to do is say goodbye.


And that is all I’ve got for today, folks! I absolutely LOVED getting to work with the preschoolers at VBS this year, and though I’m not entirely sure I would do it again (i don’t think i could take having different kids? that would just be so sad and weird. . .). . .I’m still extremely glad I did it. This exceedingly enlightening experience has only further solidified my belief that children are so much better than adults. There’s absolutely nothing bad or malicious or angry about them. All they want in life is to play and have fun and eat snacks, and to be honest, that is exactly the same mindset I have.

Which I guess only proves the fact that I am literally three years old. Aha.

BUT ANYWAY! That’s enough about me for one day. Let’s talk about you!

Have you ever helped out with VBS before? If so, what’s your favorite age group to help out with? What’s your LEAST favorite group to help out with? (I haven’t found one yet, but I have a sneaking suspicion it would be sixth grade. . . *shudders*) Have you ever learned any lessons from smol children before? Do you enjoy eating dummy worms? Are you a headface? Because apparently I am. . .? Have you ever discovered, after eighteen years of existing, that you are, in fact, a girl? (my mind, guys. it exploded.) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MY CRAZY HAIR??? And most importantly, above all else. . .


As always, until next time. . .

*flings cookies in the air and disappears*


P.S. I am so extremely sorry that this week’s post is a day late. If you must blame someone, please blame my siblings. As I mentioned earlier, they *coughforcedcough* me to play Hello, Neighbor with them yesterday, which left very little time for finishing a blog post. I totally tried to tell them that my blog is much more important than quality time with siblings, but you know how siblings are. They just never listen. Aha. *runs off to go beg siblings to play more Hello, Neighbor*


31 thoughts on “All The Many Things I Have Learned From Preschoolers

  1. Accurate post is #accurate. You have successfully captured the essence of a prechooler. (Except that one biter I used to have…. I mean, he grew out of it, but for years he was “the biter”. Wild times.) I love how wide-eyed they always are. They just stop and stare at /everything/ and they’re so violent with their love of it all. (Or hate, as the case sometimes is.)

    It’s awesome to know that the VBS experience is pretty much universal! Down to peek-a-boo during prayer and edging forward until their butt is almost off the pew just do they can rub their toes against the pew in front of them.

    I prefer kids who are old enough to read. For me, 4th and 5th grade is the sweet spot. 1st and 2nd are just learning to sit still and their attention spans are all over the place and they tend to be moody as they discover their individuality. Raw 7-year-old personalities are so volatile!

    8th grade is where it gets wild and is best left to the real adults. Like, the married ones, because obviously unmarried people cannot be adults.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MEEP!!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THIS MEANS TO ME!!! I absolutely loved getting to spend a week with these tiny little creatures, SO I AM SO SO GLAD I ACTUALLY DID IT WELL!!! XD It’s definitely going to be one of those posts that I’m happy I wrote. I’ll definitely be looking back on this one with fondness. XD (OH MY GOODNESS. A biter? You had a BITER?? That sounds…actually that sounds terrible I am so sorry???) Oh my word, I KNOW!!! They’re eyes are literally HUUUGE, and on that first day, I swear they just stared a hole right through me. It was simultaneously disconcerting and adorable. XD I KNOW. THEY WERE VERY VIOLENT WITH ME. I THINK THEY LIKED ME. #win

      Oh my goodness, YES!!!!! The poking the pew in front of them with their toes!!!! THEY DID THIS!!! SO MUCH!!!! Tiny kids are literally the best. XD

      OOOH. Yeah. I guess I didn’t even think about how they couldn’t read. I’ve only worked with pre-k’s and kindergarten, so I guess I’ve never really done “older” kids. But I’m debating doing 3rd grade next year! There’s this one little kid who was in my kindergarten year, and I really want to hang out with him again. XD I’ve never really gotten to experience 7-year-olds, but they sound kind of like a lot. XD I MUST TRY 1st GRADE SOMETIME. XD

      OH MY WORD, YES. Eighth graders are…aha. I mean it was only like five years ago since I was in eighth grade, but STILL. XD THEY ARE CRAY CRAY. Unmarried people are definitely not adults. Which means that if I remain unmarried till I die, I am forever a child…. I just discovered how to singlehandedly win at life. XD


    • I KNOW, RIGHT??? Those tiny children were SO ADORABLE ACK!!!

      Hello, Neighbor is a horror-ish (it’s not that creepy. it’s more hilarious than scary, but it’s labeled as a horror game??) video game where you literally have to break into your neighbor’s (he’s a computer AI, so he gets smarter the more you play) house to discover his dark, creepy secrets. (in the beginning you see him beating someone up and throwing them into his basement. aha. XD) IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

        • It’s actually a LOT more funny than scary, and a LOT better than I made it sound. XD You should look it up on YouTube if you get the chance! There’s this guy called DanTDM who does Hello, Neighbor playthroughs (and a bunch of other games, but watching him play Hello, Neighbor is what made my siblings and I want to get it. XD) and he is HILARIOUS. And also the game is hilarious. It’s just a super fun game.

          Liked by 1 person

                • YES. Honestly, I think the best part of playing that game is playing it with my family. They’re the best. XD (And also I may or may not have been constantly screaming the first time we played it. Aha.)

                  I don’t think I’ve seen that one!!! OH! But if you liked the creepy vibe of Hello Neighbor, you should check out his videos of Baldi’s Basics in Education and Learning!!!

                  Liked by 1 person

                    • I definitely think screaming at games is quite fun. Not only does it relieve the pressure of being scared, but it causes everyone around you to jump in fright, as well! XD

                      OOOOOH. Yes. This is a very good idea!!! BUT. BUT. BUT. IT’S SEPTEMBER, JETHAN. SEPTEMBER MEANS HALLOWEEN!!!!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m not sure if it truly relieves the pressure or only vocalizes it… xD

                      October means Halloween. xD September maybe gets a few Halloween warm ups with only tiny, cute pumpkins. Or cutesy spookiness. And buying notebooks in back-to-school sales…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Both. Definitely both.

                      Okay, but cute tiny pumpkins are some of my favorites… AND NOTEBOOKS. YES. ALL OF THE YES.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • ME TOO!!! Halloween ‘s the best… And now it’s October so you have to admit that it’s Halloween now. XD

                      Mmmmmm… Pumpkin pie… Now I’m craving pumpkin pie. Thanks, Jethan. 😂😂😂 OH MY GOODNESS YESSSSSS!!!! I’m so excited…. THE NANO IS FINALLU APPROACHING!!!! *runs around in circles until I pass out*

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • YES! IT IS OFFICIALLY HALLOWEEN SEASON NOW! *Bats fly off into the sky* *Lightning strikes* *Witches cackle* *Ghosts wail*

                      I hope you get some soon. xD

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! The best time of the year!!!! *wails along with the ghosts whilst cackling*

                      Me too. Thanks to you I’m craving it even more now that I had to go back and read through my old comment to know what you were talking about. XD
                      DUDE. IT TOTALLY WILL BE, THOUGH.

                      Liked by 1 person


    This was a glorious post. I laughed. I cried. I laughed again. I remembered when my siblings were itty bitty preschool babies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OKAY. SO HELLO, NEIGHBOR IS LIKE A HORROR-ISH VIDEO GAME (as I told Jess, it’s labeled as “horror”, I believe, but it’s more hilarious and creepy than “scary”. I wouldn’t recommend it for small people, though… They might get super freaked out? You can find videos of it online!!! [I 10/10 RECOMMEND WATCHING DANTDM PLAY IT!!! We watched him play the beta/alpha versions before the game actually released, and it was HILARIOUS! We haven’t watched him play the actual buyable version yet, though, cause we don’t want to be spoiled. XD]) where the literal objective of the game is to break into your neighbor’s house to discover his dark and creepy secrets. Because in the very beginning of the game you see him beating someone up and throwing them into his basement. Aha. XD The Neighbor is also this super cool AI, so he gets smarter the more you try to break into his house!!! IT IS AMAZING!!!!!!

      Oh my goodness!!! Thank you SO much, Ruby!!! ASDFGHJKL YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HAPPY THIS COMMENT JUST MADE ME!!!!!! <333 I've never had smol siblings (#youngest!) but I BET YOUR TINY FRIENDS WERE ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE AND SMOL IN PRE-SCHOOL!!! (they probably still are but STILL. XD)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure if we have VBS in Australia? But in July I did volunteer with a holiday outreach program, and it sounds like they were really really similar! (I mean, we were in a hall [-> room for dancing], and we didn’t have yellow shirts, or octopi, or bubbles, sadly. But surprisingly similar otherwise! ;)

    I was the leader of twelve littlies of six and seven, which isn’t quite tiny… but they seem only slightly older than yours. The bit about craft is sO RELATABLE. I had two assistant leaders but hEY TWELVE KIDS DOING CRAFT IS STILL NO JOKE AMIRIGHT. We were weaving. WEAVING. Five seconds in, twelve little voices: “I can’t do this! It’s too hard! Help me!” *shoves craft towards my face*

    But I think you’re right… the oldest kids would be the most difficult and should be left to charismatic adults who know how to use their authority in a friendly but firm way. I.e. not me.

    One story from the [three-day] event:
    Me, sitting with my group and echoing the question the event leaders had just told us to discuss: “So, what are three things that are in heaven?”
    Them: …
    Kid 1: “God.”
    Me: “Good answer!”
    Kid 2: “Angels.”
    Kid 3: “dead people.”
    Me: wut
    Kid 1: “Jesus”
    Kid 4: “my dog”
    Kid 5: “my chickens”
    Kid 3: “dead people”
    Kid 6: “toys you can buy for free”
    Me: …
    Me: “God, angels, and Jesus. Good answers, guys!!” *dies of stress*

    Liked by 4 people

    • Okay, but I always forget you live in Australia??? DUDE!!! THAT IS SO COOL! And OH MY GOODNESS THAT IS SO COOL THAT THEY ARE SIMILAR!!!! Perhaps we were even doing our programs during the same week?? And BUMMER. Octopi make everything so much more sparkly. BUUUUUT perhaps I shall just have to send you a care package full of octopi for next year. XD WE CAN FIX THIS. XD

      OH MY GOODNESS. THERE WERE ONLY THREE OF YOU??? I think we had around 12 kids, as well, but even then there were four of us most of the time. Even though *coughoneofthemcough* didn’t really help as much as the others but I’M JUST THE TEEN HELPER OBVIOUSLY I KNOW NOTHING. (AHAHAHAHAHAHA.) But holy guacamole. WEAVING??? WHAT EVEN? I’m sorry, but that’s like fifty times worse than morse code bracelets. HOW DID YOU SURVIVE, JEM?? HOW??? Oh my goodness, those poor tiny things!!!! I will never understand why the crafts are always like super difficult. Seriously, just give them a bunch of stickers and a poster board and let them go to town. They’re 3 (or six XD) years old, for goodness’ sake. EVERYONE LOVES STICKERS. XD

      EXACTLY. I would be terrible with the older children… But the tiny ones? I MAKE A WONDERFUL BEST FRIEND FOR FIVE DAYS. XD

      OH MY GOODNESS. I AM DYING, JEM. LITERALLY DYING. I JUST LAUGHED OUT LOUD AND PROBABLY GOT A REALLY WEIRD LOOK FROM MY BIRD. XD OH MY WORD KIDS ARE THE BEST. XD XD XD “DEAD PEOPLE”. XD Pretty sure this kid is a reincarnation of me. XD Last year we had a kid say that the red racing car in a music video lost the race because it was trusting in the devil instead of Jesus. Let’s just say that I may or may not have laughed. XD


      • Yep. Stickers. Glitter stickers. Who needs actual craft??

        Honestly, I’d have thought your bird would be utterly used to anything you could possibly do… xP Oh, yeah, kids are fascinating and weird and how on earth do those things go through their heads?? (I should probably have specified – “my dog” and “my chickens” were “because they died”. But that’s still not as creepy as “dead people!” Weird little kids.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • EXACTLY.

          Dude. This bird is scared of his own feathers coming off his body when he molts. XD He’s a crazy. (who I love so much oh my word.) RIGHT??? They are WAY too smart for their own good. XD Oh yes, I definitely caught on to that. I laughed out loud at all of them, to be honest. I was laughing so hard I showed my mom your comment and she laughed too. XD


  4. I’m glad you had a great time! Working with kids is so much fun. It’s been a while since I have, unfortunately. But I used to work in the church nursery, and that was always a ton of fun. I was usually in there with one of the older ladies, so they’d hold the tiny infant babies in the rocking chairs while I got on the floor with the preschoolers and let them attack me (but seriously, sometimes they did. . . all in good fun, but they did XD).


    • UGH ME TOO! I was so worried cause I’ve never worked with pre-k’s before, but they were AMAZING. I kind of teared up a bit on my way home. :(( OH MY WORD YES. THAT SOUNDS SO MUCH LIKE PRE-K’S. XD They LOVE to attack. I know this now…. XD Awwwww!!! I’ve never worked in the nursery before, but I bet getting to see all the tiny babies is so much fun…. I’d be worried I’d break them, though. XD

      (also, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!!!! WELCOME TO THE SMUDGED THOUGHTS COMMENT FAMILY!!!! *gives you cookies*)


  5. Awwww!!!! <3 Somehow this post got lost to the impenetrable depths which is WordPress Reader but !!!!! so much cuteness <3 Kids are the bestest. Althought, tbh, I think you must be a much kinder human than I am, because when I got tossed to the kindergartners last week, I'm very certain I didn't come away thinking they were sweet, innocent beans. *coughcoughcough* I loved the little monsters, but… my experience was more like this…
    "DUDE?!! Don't just lick peoples name tags!!!!"
    "NO it is NOT okay to throw metal pans at other kids!"
    "Maddy, that really should not go in your mouth. No seriously it's not edible! MADDY!"

    Basically a lot more saliva involved than expected. XD


    • Honestly, so many things have been getting lost in my WordPress Reader lately. XD It’s a problem. MEEP!! I AM SO GLAD YOU LIKED THE POST, GAIL!!! *tackle hugs* ….BUT OH MY WORD HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I AM LAUGHING SO HARD AT THIS, I’M SORRY. XD
      I don’t think I had kids LICKING the name tags, (especially not ones that were not their own??? XD) but I DID have one little girl nearly get her name tag caught in her teeth. That was kind of scary for a couple seconds…

      I’m sorry your experience was filled with saliva!!! XD If it helps any, I was able to write this whilst looking back in fondness, and not when I was right in the midst of the exhaustion and confusion that is VBS and pre-schoolers. SO. I DEFINITELY HAD MY SHARE OF “WAIT WHAT NO DON’T DO THAT!!!” moments. XD

      Liked by 1 person

    • I KNOOOOOOOOOW!! They were literally the cutest little things… And I actually got to have my picture taken with them, so that was just AMAZING. I’m gonna cherish this memory forever… OH MY GOODNESS THEY TOTALLY ARE!!!!! And awwwwww!!!!! Madeline!!!! You are far too sweet!!!!! <3333 *flings cookies and hearts at your face*

      Liked by 1 person

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