When it’s family Bible study time, your little one comes running because enjoys the faith building activities. From songs with hand motions to crafts and puppet shows, her enthusiasm often exceeds yours. If you forget, she demands you treat her to a Bible story and prayer time before she will go to bed. Thankfully, a toddler or preschool Bible storybook and her Sunday school class papers often include ideas you can use.
Your little one enjoys children’s Bible songs. They are simple and many easily adapt to hand motions and physical movement that keeps him engaged. “This Little Light of Mine,” “Zaccheus Was a Wee Little Man” and “Jesus Loves Me” are three songs that contain a simple Gospel message and adapt easily to hand motions he will insist everyone must use. You can teach him prayer songs such as “Thank You, God, for the Food We Eat” and “Be Present at Our Table, Lord” to sing before meals. Musical kids’ videos and CDs can keep him entertained and singing lustily on trips around town or trips further afield.
Dramatizing Bible stories engage your kiddo more completely than reading the stories. You can dress her in a Bible costume made from one of your old T-shirts and a scarf so she can take an active part in learning about Bible heroes and heroines. Ask her, “Would you like to retell the story with the puppets?” to see how much of the lesson she retains. If she garbles the story a bit, it’s okay because she will have many opportunities to get it right.
Arts and Crafts
Bible arts and crafts help cement the story in your child’s memory because he has something tangible to see and touch. Many Christian websites for kids provide free coloring pages for toddlers and preschoolers. Your child can use paper, markers, stickers, glue and yarn to create various craft projects that accompany the lessons. Consider crafts such as making cardboard roll people or animals using construction paper features and clothes, craft stick or paper plate puppets and masks or props for your dramatized Bible stories.
Games bring out the competitive spirit in your child and might encourage her to remember the stories in detail. You can use pictures she can sequence to retell a story. Mix and match Bible characters with elements of their stories, such as Daniel in the lions’ den, David and Goliath or Moses with the 10 Commandments. Invite her to become a fisher of men by tying a string with a magnet to a dowel rod and lowering the magnet into a container filled with paper dolls with paper clips glue to the dolls.