You are teaching a Bible class for children. You may have been given craft ideas or asked to plan your own craft. It’s important to understand that not all Bible crafts are beneficial. In fact, some crafts are literally a waste of money and student learning time.
A great Bible craft has very little to do with how cute the finished project is that students take home. A truly beneficial craft will enhance student learning, while also giving them a hands on, and hopefully memorable experience.
So what are the questions you should ask yourself when choosing a craft for your students to do as part of their Bible lesson?
- What will my students be thinking about while completing the craft? If your students spend more time thinking about which colors to use than the lesson, the craft may not be your best option.
- Is the craft engaging? Is it something that’s fun for your students to create? A coloring sheet is not your best choice for several reasons, but partially because it is rather boring for students.
- Is the craft developmentally appropriate? Can your students actually do the things required for the craft with minimal adult assistance? Giving two years old a craft that requires cutting things out is not developmentally appropriate for them. The students will spend much of their time watching the adults complete the craft for them.
- Will the craft make it home and be displayed for a period of time? If students don’t value the finished craft enough to take it home and display it, the impact the craft can have on your students is minimal. When students value the crafts they create, they can remind students of important Bible lessons for weeks, months and even years to come.
- Does the craft help students visualize or understand the lesson more clearly? Some group craft projects can be educationally effective even though they don’t meet some of the other criteria. Building a model of the Temple, for example, can help students better visualize and understand the Temple and the Bible stories that take place there.
Crafts can help Bible students remember important Bible lessons long after the class is over. The key is choosing crafts that will most help extend your lesson. The questions above should help you choose the best possible crafts when you want to use one.