Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ideas for Teaching Preschoolers

A preschooler's intellectual ability, imagination, and curiosity are growing very quickly. He is trying to establish his own identity and independence, so he is apt to want to "strike out on his own" frequently. However, he often finds independence to be scary, and he may cry or scream for the protection and comfort he received as a baby or young toddler.

The games and activities in Honeybees for Jesus and Cubby Bears for Jesus Bible Clubs provide many opportunities for children to have their own experiences for precisely this reason. However, these Bible club learning experiences always include the loving care of adult leaders and helpers nearby to provide comfort and love when the child needs it.

Preschoolers especially are challenged by just about everything they experience. Their self-confidence grows as they master simple tasks they are able to accomplish. For this reason, Honeybees for Jesus and Cubby Bears for Jesus Bible Clubs include a wide range of learning activities, using many different methods, to challenge and teach children about their heavenly Father and in the process build their self-confidence as they master important skills.

Preschoolers remember best when they use all their senses—touch, hearing, sight, smell, and even taste— in the learning process. The more senses a child uses in learning, the more real that item or experience will become to him. This is the reason the activities in these Bible club programs incorporate the use of many senses. You will want to include activities that use a variety of senses in your lessons.

It is also important which senses are used in teaching. Studies have shown children learn 1% by taste, 1.5% by touch, 3.5% by smell, 11% by hearing, and 83% by sight. So you will want to enhance your room environment with visuals and decorations to engage the children. Placing a few small beanbag chair or rockers near a tub of picture books can make a reading corner where children can enjoy books on their own or while sitting in the lap of an adult leader.

Preschoolers' curiosity and creativity can be further stimulated by opportunities to explore and experience. Learning centers are a great way to let children explore new art mediums and nature items under the close supervision of a loving, Christian adult. Children need lots of new sensations, new impressions, new sights, feelings, and sounds. Honeybees for Jesus and Cubby Bears for Jesus Bible Clubs are designed to help you create such a place, where the growing child can receive a foundation of positive interaction with other children. Not only do preschoolers sing and talk about loving God and each other, but the children are given the chance to talk and interact with each other and with adults who love and care for them.

Children also learn by questioning—asking questions to solve current problems and clear up any misconceptions. Allow your students' questions to guide the direction of your discussions, moving your teaching to fit the children's ever-changing interests while being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Now you're ready to guide your preschoolers on an exciting journey toward a personal relationship with Jesus and a love for God and His Word!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Name That Bible Tune

Begin by singing a number of favorite praise songs or old hymns. Let the children name some of their favorites. Have a coworker write down the song titles in large print, one per paper, as they are mentioned. Then play a game of "Name That Bible Tune"!

Divide the students into two teams. Seat each team in a half circle, some distance apart from each other. Have two coworkers be referees, one for each team. Choose a student volunteer for each team to stand facing the half circle (someone from each team who thinks they are good at guessing songs). Stand behind the guessers and show the teams the first song title. Have the students start humming the tune. See which team can be first to guess the song title (or first line). Give 100 points to the winning team. Play several rounds. If the players are stumped, have the children sing the words to help them out.

Give the winning team a round of applause. Say the following Bible verses together:
"I will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel." — Judges 5:3
"Praise the LORD. Sing to the LORD a new song." — Psalm 149:1

Feel free to print the following coloring page for your students to help reinforce Psalm 149:1. The first page has the verse in KJV and the second page is NIV. Click on the image below to download the file.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Peace of Christ

Jesus Christ brought peace to humankind when He came into this world, but it was a personal peace, not a political peace. "And on earth peace..." (Luke 2:14) was part of the angel's announcement of the birth of Christ.

Thirty-three years later, as Jesus prepared to leave His friends and followers, He said to them, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:24).

When things are topsy-turvy in our lives, we can remember promises such as these:
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8).
"You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You" (Isaiah 26:3).
"Great peace have they who love Your law, and nothing can  make them stumble." (Psalm 119:165).
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

Even when the trials of the world seem overwhelming, we have a deep peace beyond anything we can understand through the love of our Savior, Jesus.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Parrot Memory Verse Craft

Let your students make a Colorful Parrot craft for your Sunday school or Bible club program. Choose one of the Bible verses your students are learning and print it on a sheet of poster board so the children can copy it onto their craft. (Or print the Bible memory verse  onto stickers or labels for younger children. Make one sticker for each child.)

Give each child a drinking straw, various colors of construction paper, glue, tape, a 9-inch piece of yarn, scissors, and crayons or markers. Bring a hole punch (or several, if you have a large group). Copy the Parrot pattern for each child. This pattern is a download you can purchase for just $1.99. Then print as many patterns with instructions as you need. 

Make sure names are on the parrots after they are completed. Let each child add a memory verse sticker to the craft or print the memory verse on the parrot as a reminder of the Bible story or lesson theme.

As the children work, talk about ways they can tell others about Jesus this week. Say the memory verse together a few times.

Click on the image above to download the Parrot Pattern and craft instructions.