As you can imagine Pinterest is our inspiration board. We rarely use the ideas we find and often when we do, we alter them so much they are virtually unrecognizable. As I scroll through preschool ideas though, I began to notice something about the activities. Many are designed with the parent of the child in mind. They are meant to create a special memory for the parent to save from those precious preschool years.
Those types of activities in Bible classes for preschoolers definitely have some meaning. Part of our job as Bible class teachers is to remind parents of the precious gift God gave them and how important it is to point their children to God. Unfortunately, because their motor skills are still developing, many preschool Bible classes rely even more heavily on coloring sheets and “glue” projects.
The next time you plan activities, shake things up a bit. The best thing about a preschool child is almost everything is new to them. You can help them experience many things in the Bible for the first time. One of my favorites is the shofar. Mentioned in the Walls of Jericho and other Bible stories the “horn” was most likely a shofar, made from the horn of a ram or goat. You can get a real one online for not much at all (especially if you will use it more than once). It takes some practice to get noise out of it, but can you imagine their delight when they hear the sounds the Israelites may have made as the walls of Jericho fell?
Be careful with food, as this age group is just discovering food allergies. If the parents clear it, try serving your students a taste of a fig from all those mention of fig trees in the Bible or some rustic bread similar to what the little boy with five loaves and two fish might have shared. (Having done this multiple times with older kids, I have learned if you give them dates (a fruit popular in the Middle East) most have seeds, so cut those out before sharing and don’t forget to cut grapes into small pieces.)
Don’t be afraid to allow children to generate their own creative art. It doesn’t matter if it is unrecognizable. Just pull out a sharpie and write on the top what the child tells you about the finished project. You may even want to add the name of the Bible story or pre-write a Bible verse on the paper before allowing the kids to create. Allowing them to create their own art will help them begin to think about what the Bible stories were really all about.
It may take a little extra time and effort, but the experiences help your students begin to build a strong spiritual foundation. They may forget the activity years from now, but as we used to say “the wrinkles” on the brain the project created will remain. If you are stumped for ideas, check periodically under activity ideas for Teach One Reach One. We hope to soon go back and add preschool activities for our Bible stories and Application activity tracks.