In part one of this post, we discussed the added value projects can give in a church Bible class setting. Done well, projects can enhance student learning and teach godly character traits like patience and perseverance. Even most secular teachers are unaware, however, that projects can also be done with preschoolers.
In the first post, we discussed how to structure and manage a project for preschoolers. Now, we want to give you a few possible ideas to get you started.
- Grow something. Growing something is a great long term project if you want to use only a bit of your activity time for the project after the first class. Growing things mentioned in the Bible is great. Consider planting mustard seeds and see who can grow the tallest one. Teach students not only what they need to help their plants grow, but also what they need to start doing to grow spiritually. Or make it a service project and plant (and tend) a community garden or start container gardens using only kitchen scraps as “seeds”. Then gift the produce or container gardens (once they are big enough) to people who may struggle to feed their families.
- Build something. There are a lot of buildings mentioned in the Bible. Some of them, like the Tabernacle and Temple, students will hear about for years to come. Even preschoolers can make simple models of the main parts. Make the model large enough for all students to participate over a couple of weeks. If you have a lot of kids and a lot of space, divide them into two groups and have each build a different structure. Or give students lots of craft supplies, and building blocks and have them build models of the stories of their choice. When finished either project, display them in your very own ”Bible museum” for parents and others to see.
- Act it out. Allow students to ”write” and perform their own skits of either a Bible story or an application principle.
- Make something. Whether it’s an art display or book they create, encourage them to explore perhaps a group of Bible stories attached to a particular person. (If students want writing, but can’t write or type yet, they can dictate to an adult who captures it for them.)
Whatever project area you choose, give the children as many choices as possible. So if you decide to grow something, give them several options from which to choose. The more choices students make on the project, the more engaged they will be and the more excited they will be about the finished project. (Word of warning to those of you who think everything your class does should look ”professional”, do not ruin the project experience for your students. The finished project should look like preschoolers did it. It is in the best interest of the kids.)
Have fun with it. Try a small project first to work out the kinks. Then make projects part of your activity rotation in your Bible class.