Sunday School for Preschoolers

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by LillyoftheValley, May 5, 2012.

  1. LillyoftheValley

    LillyoftheValley
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    A year ago when our pastor took over our church there were 17 people in regular attendance. Now we average 130. Our nursery is alive, and there is currently no Sunday School for them. The majority of the kids are 4 and under, so I would like to start a class for Preschoolers. I have never taught Sunday School before, so all curriculum is foriegn to me. I need something that is very conservative, and KJV is a must. I have heard good things about Answers in Genesis from a friend - any sugguestions?
     
  2. gators_2006

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    We have three groups in the age range you have mentioned. Infants-1yr olds (not taught), 2-3 yr olds, and 4-5 yr olds. They don't move to the next class up until August of each year, so a recently turned 4yr, lets say this month, would not move up until August.

    The 2-3yr olds are given moslty coloring paper that are biblical themed. Picture of Jesus, Moses holding the ten commandments, etc...... Then they are told about each of the stories that go along with the character they are coloring.

    The 4-5yr olds are done pretty much the same, but they are more geared around hands on crafts, such as a pencil with string and a magnet on the end with cut out fish with a paper clip, then told about Jesus being a fisher of men. You know, more hands on crafts for the story they are being told. They are usually read to out of the Kids Adventure Bible.

    Remember, they have very short attention spans to sitting and listening, so while doing arts and crafts, explain the story to them at each step that they have to do.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. LillyoftheValley

    LillyoftheValley
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    It does give me a few ideas for crafts and projects. Thanks Gator. As for the short attention spans... I know exactly what you mean. I am a mother of four children, the oldest of which turns 4 next month. Explaining as you go along is a great sugguestion!
     
  4. webdog

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    I'm curios why KJV is required for a group that cannot read nor possesses a full vocabulary? :confused:
     
  5. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Hey, sister...

    .....I have been teaching 3-6 year olds whether in Children's Choir and VBS, or some other activity (occasionally Sunday School) for over 30 years. :eek:

    Even in children's choir, we only actually sing for about 10-15 minutes and we can only go that long because we put a LOT of handmotions to our songs. If I did not put hand motions to everything, then we would sing about 5 to 10 minutes.


    You don't need to buy an expensive pre-made curriculum. You can design it yourself.


    A preschooler's attention span is about one minute per his or her year of life. If you try to go much farther than that, then they are going to start asking to go to the bathroom, they are going to start turning jumping jacks, some may sprawl out in the middle of the floor as they are still sleepy, and some may even interrupt YOU and start telling stories of their own about their Daddy who walks around the house in his underwear with holes in it and how Mama yells at him all the time to stop doing that.

    Let me give you some insight. Children this age talk and move. ALOT. To try and stifle that is like trying to beat your head against a wall. If you are judging your success on whether or not they sit still in one chair and keep their mouths closed, then you are miserable. I've seen teachers try to do that and it fails.

    That is NOT how you determine your success as a preschool teacher. How do you determine that success? Spiritually speaking, you won't for years to come.

    Here's what I do when I have preschoolers for 45 minutes. Let's say VBS.




    • Have a fun activity to do at the table while everyone is coming in. That keeps them at the table and ready for when class starts. Even if it extends into the class time for a few minutes, that's OK. For example, if the lesson is on love, have the early birds draw a picture of someone that they love. Say to them as they are coming in, "Good morning, Jeffery!! I love you and I'm glad that you are here! (Guide him to the table) Tell me who you love the most in the whole wide world. (Jeffery says his Pop-Pops) Your Pop-Pops? That's great. Would you color a picture for me of you and your Pop-Pops doing something really fun and you can give it to him. When it is time to start, let everyone show their picture and tell about it. Make a big deal over what they have done. The ideas of what to do for this time of everyone coming in is endless. Also, let them go to the bathroom at this time as it won't interfere later. (sigh - maybe not)

    • Do the story first. Show them where it is in your Bible and then, if some of them have a children's Bible, show them where it is so that they can "follow along". Of course they can't, they can't read. But they like the fact that you will pretend that you think they can. When you tell the Bible story, use a lot of attention grabbing phrases like "And guess what happened next? You're just not going to believe it!" Do not read the story. You've got to remember that these children have only been out of the womb for 36-48 months. Some of them are barely potty trained. They minds cannot abstractly absorb what yours does. They are very, very concrete learners. Don't talk to them in abstracts. And even if you are the most interesting and brilliant preschool teacher in the world, if there is a bug crawling on the window - the bug is going to win out every time. You can be in the middle of your most brilliant teaching and Jeffery is going to cry out, "Look, teacher! There is a BUG on the window!! I don't like bugs. Is he a spider?" Say something like, "Look this way, Jeffery. Let's finish the story and THEN you and I are going to go over to the window and see just what kind of bug that is. But let's finish the story first. Jeffery, I'll bet you can tell me exactly what happened after God closed the boat that Noah was in." In some rare cases, you will actually have to go to the window at that moment because Jefferey has a such a bug phobia or he will not let the subject go. In that case, do so with a smile on your face and don't make him feel like he has done something wrong. It's Jeffery's nature - he has an incredibly short attention span.
    • Praise and Worship - For preschoolers, this means singing and praying. Use a lot of hand motions. Just make them up. It doesn't matter. It isn't Carnegie Hall and they aren't the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. Let them stand up if they are wiggly. And by this time they probably have ants in their pants. The hand motions help in song memory and in getting the wiggles out.
    • Craft - While they are making something that goes with the lesson, you can review the Bible story here. Talk to them one at a time - personally. Let the others talk their heads off to each other while you are having one-on-one.
    • Playtime - Let them play for the last 10 minutes. Unstructured. Unorganized. You play with them. And talk to them and let them talk to you. Preschoolers have a deep seeded need to be listened to and taken seriously.
    • Prayer time - Let them prayer in their own words. Sometimes have them repeat after you. Sometimes say, "Who wants to pray for the people in the hospital?"

     
  6. wtyson

    wtyson
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    I am just guessing but the church only uses the KJV?

    We would do the same...we only use the KJV and would not use another in a toddler or any other class.
     
  7. DiamondLady

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    Scarlett has given you some wonderful helps. I would add another (I teach in Children's Church on a rotating basis)...object lessons are wonderful as are activity lessons!

    For instance...we did a month long unit on Daniel and his friends. When Daniel was in the lion's den we made lion masks from paper plates, yarn and construction paper. In an adjoining room I turned the tables on their side, covered them with sheets and made a lion's den. They took turns being Daniel and being lions. When we studied Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego I made a fiery furnace.

    The kids love it, it's fun and they remember the lesson far longer than giving them a piece of paper with a picture Daniel in the lion's den which gets thrown away.

    When I teach we always start with our lesson time...we begin with a review of what we've learned to date. I ask questions they answer. It gives them a chance to talk and gets them ready to listen to the next story. Then we sit quiety for three to four minutes and tell the story. I always end with a teaser of what we'll be studying the next week. For instance, "Next week we're going to be learning about the finger that wrote on the wall." Next is snack time and I always try to tie it into the lesson. When we did "lion's den" we had pepperoni...after all, lion's are carnivores...and crackers. When we did Daniel in the King's palace we ate fruit, nuts, veggies and drank water. Everything you do should reinforce the lesson. Then we do our craft project, then is play time. If we don't have a lesson based play time then they can have free time. Before we leave we have music time and prayer.

    Here are some links for helps....remember the IDEAS can come from anywhere. You can make it KJV

    http://www.sermons4kids.com/hso.htm
    http://www.kidssundayschool.com/Gradeschool/Lessons/1daniel01.php
    http://dltk-bible.com/
     
  8. HeirofSalvation

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    ERM.....Their minds are little sponges, They learn incredibly quickly, maybe it will help develop their vocabulary??? Or, don't you have children. My three year old just started singing "Blessed Assurance" the other day....we had no idea she could do this, she just started singing it...Got the first verse and chorus almost perfectly. And, of course, it is also a KJV only Church anyway.
     
    #8 HeirofSalvation, May 8, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2012
  9. webdog

    webdog
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    Um...probably not. Learning words we use every day doth doest thou that
    Got 3 of them, and don't teach them language from 5 centuries ago.
    I'm sure a parrot could do the same thing, but that proves nothing.
     
  10. LillyoftheValley

    LillyoftheValley
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    Wow, those are incredibly helpful Scarlett & Diamond! I'm going to copy and paste so I can save all of these ideas - and the web links are now bookmarked. Any other suggestions are more than welcome, but now I have somewhere to start from :thumbs::thumbs:
     
  11. HeirofSalvation

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    There are more words than that in the kjv...I was raised utilizing it exclusively...It reads to me, and to anyone else raised as I was...like modern English, I don't even recognize the thees thous et. al. Obviously, there is the side point that we maintain that it is the Superior Translation overall. But that is not the point of the thread.

    4 centuries...and perhaps you should...Even Latin can be helpful...

    A parrot could not....of course they can mimic sound....but she is three, and to her, words are also developing meaning...as of right now, she is quoting Genesis 1:1 nearly perfectly...I don't know where she learned it, except by hearing it and, of course, their minds are sponges...It is not as though we ever "taught" her to speak per se...they just learn. You may have some loathing for those who exclusively use the kjv....fine... loathe them all you want; Neither I nor Lilly were pushing you to be a tee-totalling fundamentalist or insisting your wife never wore trousers of any kind were we? That isn't our policy anyway. :thumbs: She needs S.S. material in KJV...because that is the translation our church uses....that is all....what do you care? Go start some KJV hate thread somewhere...or possibly just give Lilly some advice on quality S.S. material which can be found in KJV.
     
  12. abcgrad94

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    Lily, I echo what Scarlett said. Also, after the story, let the children act out the lesson. If the lesson is Jesus walking on water, put down a blanket and let one of them pretend to be Jesus while the other sit in the boat (the blanket.) IF the lesson is on Noah's ark, give them each an animal to put into the ark, or better yet, let them BE the animals and have them hop, walk, crawl, or whatever into the "ark." It doesn't have to be elaborate. The "ark" can be under the table, or just an area on the floor.

    Change their activity every 5 to 7 minutes. Have a five-minute lesson, 5-minute coloring session, 5-minute snack time, etc. Keep them moving--up for 5 minutes, sitting for 5 minutes.

    I've seen teachers try to do everything scriptural, like an hour long "class." Nothing against scripture, but after a 5 minute lesson, there's no sin in letting the kids play with play-dough or dress up for a while. This is preschool, not adult worship. Learning to share while playing with toys is just as scriptural as the pastor preaching an hour to the grown-ups. Keep it at their age level, and you will do fine.
     
  13. DiamondLady

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    Never forget, children hear and learn even when you don't THINK they are. Last night at Wed service is a great example. We meet in our fellowship hall and sit around the tables. We let the children go into the carpeted area and play with quiet toys. Little Katie (she's 7) was running around with a stuffed bird (she was "flying") and the pastor said something about children and said, "I'm sure Little Miss Pickle over there heard every word." Katie piped up and said, "I certainly did."

    So I agree here...there's nothing sinful in play-doh and dress-up! Just keep talking, singing, saying Bible verses...it all works!
     
  14. webdog

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    What do you care that I asked why 2 and 3 year olds required 12 grade level reading? I don't hate the KJV, I was also raised on it, but I do hate the snobbish KJVO position that I sense in your post. Even the KJV will be paraphrased for preschoolers.

    There is also a huge difference in being able to remember and recite something than in actually understanding it. I read through the entire Bible at 7 in the KJV. I read through it again years later using the NKJV. I gleaned the most understanding from reading it through in the NLT, HCSB and even the ESV.

    I think Scarlett gave excellent advice, btw. As someone who also works with the preschoolers I can relate.
     
  15. LillyoftheValley

    LillyoftheValley
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    I am waiting to hear back from Answers In Genesis about what translation of the Bible they use for their new Sunday school cirriculum. It looks amazing to me. Bright, eye catching pictures and such. Even if that is something I go with, I will most definitely be using other sugguestions from you guys to help fill the extra space. And if that turns out to be a no go... well then all of your ideas will ABSOLUTELY be essential for me to really pull this off!
    My goal is to not paraphrase the initial Bible reading. I want them to hear what the Bible actually says, and then I will break it down and explain what the words we just read mean. I know their attention spans are incredibly short, and that means only a couple verses at a time (if they can even sit through that much), but I feel strongly about them hearing God's word the way it is presented in the Bible. I may fail miserably and have to backtrack/change tactics, but this is something I really want to try.

    Maybe I'll create a new thread in a few months letting you guys know how it's going.
    Once again THANK YOU! :love2:
     
  16. webdog

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    Fwiw, even the KJV is a paraphrase. Its the truth found in the Scripture that is essential and this can be accomplished by just telling them what the verse (should not use more than one for this age) says. Same with Bible stories. Reading it to them in another language (which is what it will seem like to them) and then translating that will tap into their attention span.
     
  17. HeirofSalvation

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    Incidentally the Flesch-Kincaid readability scale does not consider the kjv "12-grade level."


    I think you had a knee-jerk reaction (understandably) as soon as KJV!! popped on your screen. I know how annoying a militant KJV onlyist can be. But we are not that sort....there was nothing "snobbish" about it....we (incidentally) are a KJVO church...but as we like to say..."We are Independent Fundamental Baptists; but we're not mad about it" There was no snobbery in the posts.


    Of course.

    __________________
     
  18. Scarlett O.

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    Oh, this is wonderful idea and I forgot to mention it. I sometimes bring props and what-nots to aid in the acting out. The thing about learning for pre-schoolers and for that matter for a lot of older children and adults is that you learn by doing.

    It's proven that just listening to someone else talk doesn't provide nearly as much actually retention as does activity with small children.

    Lily, I am not a KJO, but I do not have any qualms with you wanting to use only the KJV. Well, not too many qualms. :laugh:

    Here's what I do. I never even look at what translation I am using with pre-schoolers, because I do not read anything verbatim to them.

    I bring my Bible and it's in my lap while I tell the story. The FIRST thing that I do is to get them to undertand that the Bible stories that they will be learning are true and real. We talk for about 30 seconds about make-believe vs. real. I ask them if they like to watch cartoons and they say yes. I tell them that cartoons are fun, but they are not real. I ask them if their parents read stories like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and I let them tell me some stories their parents read. Then we confirm that these stories, while fun, are also make-believe. Then I show them my Bible and ask them what book that is and they generally can answer me.

    I tell them that these stories are from God and that they are all real. I tell them that God wants them to know these stories because He loves us so very much and wants us to live good and sweet and obedient lives.

    To me, with a pre-schooler, THAT'S the Biblical foundation that's necessary, not the translation. They must learn that the Bible is genuine. So much of their little lives include the pretend and fake. A good foundation on the reality of God's Word is very necessary.

    It's imperative that you tell the story. You wanting to read the KJV and then explain what it means only underscores the fact that they will not understand what you are reading. I love the KJV and it's the Bible that I take to church every single Sunday of my life. It's not the one that I read at home, though.

    Reading a verse from the Bible and then discussing/explaining what it means is for older children who actually can read. It's a comprehension tool and very effective.

    If you are wanting to emphasis the KJV, then when you do a craft with them, for example, gluing small hearts on a cross made of popsicle sticks to emphasize that Jesus died because He loves us - then on the back of one of the sticks, you could take a sharpie pen and write John 3:16 on it.

    I write (or print) scriptures all of the time on crafts - for their sake's and also for their parents sake - parents who may look at their crafts, yet not be saved themselves.

    But in getting them to know and understand the Bible story at 3 years of age - you are going to have to tell it.
     
    #18 Scarlett O., May 11, 2012
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  19. Salty

    Salty
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    This thread has gotten off OP

    Lilly just wanted info on material to use - though did insist on KJV - thus the hijacking of the thread.

    So if you want to continue the KJV discussion - please go to this new thread

    and now we return to our regular scheduled discussion....
     
  20. DiamondLady

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    Lily, I have to agree with Scarlett on this one. PreSchoolers will never "get it" if you try to teach and explain to them. They can't grasp concepts like that. They are spatial learners.

    Here's an example. When I did Daniel and we talked about the writing finger, I could have read the verses "In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, Daniel 5:5-6"

    OR...."King Belshazzar, can you say that name?? (stop and let them work on Belshazzar a minute), saw finger writing on the wall....no person, just fingers! Can you imagine how scary that must have been for him? But God used those fingers to send that King a message"

    Which one grabs their attention and makes them "lean in" to hear more?

    If you want to use your KJV pick a verse and teach it to them....it'll take rote learning and keep it simple. For instance if you were teaching them 1Jn 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. " You wouldn't try to teach them the whole verse. You'd choose out, "God loved us and sent his son." THAT they would remember. Best way to teach scripture to children is through song.

    I understand your need to use KJV materials. Although our church is SBC we are also a KJV church. You take a lot of heat here for being KJV. I tend to ignore the naysayers. :thumbsup:
     

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