Preschoolers learn through play. However, at church, we must be sure that we are guiding the preschoolers to “play with a purpose” and learn Bible content along with play. Consider applying these approaches to learning times in your preschool classroom:
- Consider holding a Bible as you greet each child at the beginning of each teaching session. Make comments about what kids will be learning from the Bible that day. This helps to begin teaching both the preschooler and his/her parents. Parents will begin to value that you do more than just “play” during a preschooler’s time at church.
- Encourage preschoolers to bring their own Bibles each week. Be sure to use them showing preschoolers where the Bible story of the day can be located. Even though preschoolers cannot read, they will begin to learn that these true stories can be found in the most wonderful book ever written, the Bible. Show preschoolers the difference in Bible storybooks and an entire Bible.
- As part of any play activity (blocks, art, puzzles, books, homeliving) place an open Bible in the activity area with a marker at the location of that day’s Bible story. While children participate in any of these activities, talk about the Bible story touching and using the Bible from time to time. (Consider retrieving Bibles from your church’s lost and found in order to have a Bible in each activity area.)
- When telling a Bible story in circle time, be sure to hold the Bible in your lap…touching it from time to time and showing preschoolers where the story is located. Use your finger to follow along the words in the story. Invite preschoolers to let you guide their fingers to follow along the words in the day’s story. Be sure to over and over remind kids that all of the stories in the Bible are TRUE! Preschoolers also enjoy talking about the pictures that can be found in kids’ Bibles. The best teaching pictures are “real and true” to the Bible content.