Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to teach the children you minister to about God? One way to sneak in some extra educational time is through how you decorate shared spaces, play areas and classrooms. Recently, I visited a museum that had some great ideas that could be easily adapted from their culture to Bible times. Interacting with these decorative learning areas can improve your students’ Bible reading comprehension as they learn about things unfamiliar to them by actually exploring the objects.
The first was an area to introduce children to animals they may have never interacted with before. This particular area was about tanning, but you don’t have to kill an animal to get touch items for children that are from the Bible. Sheep, goats and camels can be shorn. I think that may be a piece of fleece on the bottom row. You could also add fabrics like linen and wool that were used to make clothing in Bible times.
The next area was a dress up area with period costumes. (Sorry, it’s not a better picture, but children were all over the place! Obviously a popular exhibit.) Most churches have Bible costumes anyway, so why not set up a more rustic dress up area featuring clothing from Bible times? Don’t forget to add Egyptian and Roman clothing to the mix.
Finally, they had this display. The items were firmly attached to the display, but still enabled the children to interact with them. Some items like a mortar and pestle are naturally pretty sturdy and wouldn’t need to be attached. Reproductions of items could be used or rustic versions of common household items would also be fairly authentic. You could rotate the exhibit by changing the category… for example, one exhibit could feature items used in cooking and another items used in making clothes , cleaning or whatever.
As with anything accessible to children, make sure all safety precautions are taken. You may want to have the exhibits in a room that can be locked when not in use or monitored by an adult when accessible to children. Also keep items cleaned and sanitized so transference of germs is minimal.
Creating interactive learning spaces in your facility can help you encourage parents and children to learn and explore the Bible and its cultures.