Preschoolers are so excited to learn about Jesus. I remember teaching a class of two year olds about how Jesus used to be a little boy. Then I said to little Wyatt, “Hey, Wyatt, you’re a little boy too!” Then I continued on with the lesson about when Jesus was a little boy. At the conclusion of class, Wyatt’s mother came to pick him up. As he was leaving the room, I quickly asked him what he learned during class. Wyatt was so excited to answer! He threw his hands up in the air and yelled, “I am Jesus!” As the case with Wyatt, kids may not always completely understand what we are teaching them. Don’t give up! Every time you minister to kids, you are sowing seeds of God’s Word, and it will not return void. You need to make every effort to be organized in your ministry and relational in your teaching. How can you do this? I’m glad you asked!
From the volunteers welcoming people at the door, to the kids’ ministry check-in station, and then on to the drop-off area in your preschool department, all volunteers and supplies should be in place before the first family arrives. Schedule volunteers at least a month in advance. Then, send out a weekly reminder. This will help to ensure that most of your scheduled volunteers will be ready for action. Volunteers should be trained and know their job duties before being placed into a position. If the person is a new volunteer, you can assign them a coach to help them along.
Ask volunteers to arrive 30 minutes prior to starting time so that they can familiarize themselves with the schedule and supplies, and will be ready to give their complete attention to the kids in your ministry. Also, be sure to have the proper child to teacher ratios in your preschool environment. For safety reasons, never have one person alone in a room with one child or a group of children.
Simply reading a Bible story to a group of preschoolers or expecting them to sit still for a long period of time is no way to relate to them. Plan activities that are centered around playing. This is something these guys are really good at doing. Preschoolers are always on the move, so you need to be, too! While teaching, the rule of thumb is that a preschooler’s attention span is one minute per age. So a three year olds’ attention span will be approximately three to four minutes.
For example, if your lesson is about being Created by God, you can break the lesson down into segments like this:
Welcome Time (20 minutes)
- have activity centers set-up through out the room
- blocks (God made us. We can make things, too!)
- puzzles (We are putting things together. God put us together!)
- play-doh people
- Bible Time (15-20 minutes)
Bible Time (15-20 minutes)
- sing a couple of songs about being wonderfully made and how much God loves us
- read a story about how God created us
- allow kids to take turns viewing themselves in a mirror, and spend time talking about the different parts of our bodies that God made
- using motions, teach kids a Bible Verse
- lead the kids in prayer, thanking God for creating us
Closing Activities (20 minutes)
- serve a snack
- craft activity (create a person by gluing pasta onto a piece of construction paper)
By being organized in your ministry and changing your teaching methods, you will be able to stay on the move with your preschoolers, successfully keeping their attention, and planting lifelong seeds of God’s Word into their lives. How awesome is that? I’m so excited for you and pray that your ministry will be blessed!