Tuesday, April 19, 2011

God Made ME

The first time for anything is usually hard. This is especially true for kids it seems. On the first day of class when kids are new, don't know me, each other, or their surroundings, it can be difficult to put them at ease and teach a lesson. This year I decided to go with the theme of "God Made Me".
I got "All About Me" posters from Oriental Trading which the leaders would help the kids fill out. This helped the leaders get to know their kids better. We read the book "God Made Me" by Debra Stuckey which is SUCH a perfect book for small children.
For our snack time, I brought in undecorated gingerbread cookies and frosting and let the kids make self-portraits. This was kinda messy but a huge hit! Plus it gave us a chance to talk about how we are all different and special.

We are AWANA Cubbies

I have been involved with our church's AWANA program for over ten years now.
Most of that time has been in the 3/4 year old's class - the Cubbies. This year, I have also been teaching the 2/3 year old Sunday School class.
I love the 2-4 year old age range. Everything is new and exciting. I get so excited by the fact that when I tell my kids a Bible story they are hearing it and understanding things about it for the first time. Since I have invested a good deal of time and effort into making the stories and crafts I use each week accessible and interesting and understandable for preschoolers, I thought I would attempt to post them all here as a resource for me for future planning, but also to help any other parents and teachers of preschoolers that might be interested.

Today I want to post about the ways I tell a Bible story. I like to use lots of different resources when I tell a story because kid's learn differently and because preschoolers have a short attention span.

Our church has a set of Betty Luken's Felts that I like to use occasionally. These take some time to set up and put away so I don't use these every week. When I do tell a story with them I try to pick one that uses LOTS of pieces of felt so I can give each child one to hold. Then, as I tell the story they get to come and put their felt onto the board. This works wonderfully for helping more active children listen and be involved in the lesson. I also keep the felts at the kids level after the story so they can play with them and retell the story to each other.

Puppets are a wonderful way to explain more abstract concepts to kids! I have a Cubbie bear, Lamb, and Elephant puppet.

Occasionally I use books such as 3 in 1 to explain big concepts like the Trinity.

I have a box of large realistic Bible Story Pictures, that Abeka makes that are fabulous, realistic ways to tell the story.

Every week I provide a coloring page for the children who have finished reciting their memory verses. I try to reinforce the theme or story I will be teaching on. The Bible Story Coloring Pages book has been wonderful for preschool appropriate coloring pages that are so cute!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Resurrection Eggs

My favorite way to teach children about Easter is with Resurrection Eggs. You might have already seen this idea around; I believe there are even sets you can purchase. I made our own set though because it really isn't that hard to do and lasts for years! There are lots of variations you will find when searching for Resurrection Egg sets so this set may not match up with others out there. Personally, the ability to customize your set is part of what makes these such an effective teaching tool.

Basically you need a dozen plastic eggs and an egg carton. Then you can copy and print out the list below and glue it to the inside of the egg carton. That will tell you what passage of scripture to read for each day, what is in each egg, and what it represents. I have found it helpful to either number the eggs or the slots in the egg carton so you know what goes where.

Day Read In Egg To Represent
Day 1 Luke 22:1-6 Silver Coins Judas betrayed Jesus
Day 2 Mark 14:12-26 Bread The last supper
(bread will mold, I used crackers)
Day 3 Luke 22:47-54 Sword Peter cuts off servant's ear
Day 4 Luke 22:55-62 Rooster Peter denies Jesus
Day 5 Matt. 27:1-2 Rope Jesus tied and whipped (Judas hangs himself)
Day 6 Matt. 27:11-31 Thorns Jesus' crown of thorns
Day 7 Luke 23:26-34 Cross Jesus dies on the cross
(I used popsicle sticks hot-glued together)
Day 8 Luke 23:35-43 Sponge Jesus is given sour wine
(vinegar works well for demonstration purposes)
Day 9 Luke 23:44-53 Linen Jesus' body is wrapped
Day 10 Matt.27:59-61 Rock Stone in front of the tomb
Day 11 Luke 23:54-24:1 Spices Women prepare spices
(whole cloves, lavender, any larger spice that smells good)
Day 12 Luke 24:1-12 Empty Jesus is risen. He's ALIVE!