When it comes to Preschoolers you really can not have "too much" to do. It is always better to have too much planned than not enough. They like to move, they like to help and they like to learn. But putting together an hour long lesson for them can be incredibly time consuming because you often need several different activities if you want them to stay on task. And because preschoolers are all at different stages in their development, you can easily find that your 3 year olds and your 5 year olds do not respond to the same things. This week, I'm including some books that I have found useful over the years.
Before I talk about the books, let me just advise that when planning your lesson, make sure you include some time for them to play. If they have a few minutes to get their wiggles out, you will probably find them easier to teach. So whether it is at the end of the service, the beginning of the service or maybe a ten minute break right in the middle. Give them some time to play.
Here are three books that I really like when I'm putting together preschool lessons. They can be used alone or you can mix and match lessons to fit your needs, but they all offer great ideas and activities that will engage and excite your preschoolers. If you want to know where you can get these books, simply click the name and it will take you to a site that sells them.
Instant Bible Lessons for Preschoolers
This book is great because it has 8 full lessons in it and each one has eight activities that you can choose to fit your service. Games ideas, crafts, story time, and even snack are all included. There is also a ninth chapter with 6 miscellaneous activities. I'll admit that I am not a fan of every activity in the book, but that's okay. There are so many to choose from that you are bound to find some you and your kids will enjoy using. Plus there are several volumes of these Instant Lessons, so if you like this book, you might want to check out some of the others as well.
This book from David C. Cook, contains 12 lessons and it also has tons of activities with each one that you can choose to make your lesson work best for you and your kids. This one is geared toward younger preschoolers, but if you have all your preschool ages combined (as most of us do) generally you can make it work with kids a little older too. A big plus for this book is that it also has a take home page for each lesson that the parents can use to reinforce the day's teaching when the children get home.
The Humongous Book of Preschool Ideas 2
This book is from Group Publishing and it has 45 lessons covering both the Old and New Testaments. It also has several activities with each lesson (though maybe not quite as many as the other two books mentioned) and so makes another great addition to your library when you are trying to mix and match activities for a service.
Now that you have some ideas for the lessons. There are times that you still want a fun coloring page to finish out your service or perhaps as part of your free time. Below are a couple of fantastic reproducible coloring books that are great additions to any lesson or activity center. They are great for kids of all ages because many never really outgrow coloring completely...at least I know I haven't. :-)
Bible Story Coloring Pages
The title is pretty self explanatory, but what I love about this book is that not only does it cover pretty much every book of the Bible, but along with each picture, there is short story explaining the what it happening in the picture. It really is a wonderful resource. I use it a lot.
Buck Denver asks...What's In The Bible Coloring Book
This is a resource that I discovered recently and it is just full of fun pictures that the kids will love coloring. Just like the videos (which are also awesome and I will talk about in a later blog), this book is fantastic and filled with things that will draw the children in and help them get excited about the stories you are sharing with them. It also covers both Old and New Testaments.
That's all for this week. I hope you find these resources as helpful in your ministries as I do in mine.