In August, we implemented a new curriculum in our 2 & 3 year old class. This is one of our biggest age groups right now, and we have struggled to figure out how to make the most of our time with these sweet kids on Sunday mornings. One month in, this curriculum seems to be exactly what we needed! The kids have done so well and remember the lessons and Bible verses. It has worked so well for us that we’ve decided to implement it in our 4K/5K class also. I want to take a few minutes to tell you about it, in case any parents want to know what the toddlers are up to on Sunday mornings!
The curriculum is based on The Bible App for Kids (download here) and is a free resource from Life Church. We spend 4-5 weeks on one unit, which means there is a lot of repetition so that the little ones will remember what we are learning. Understanding that most kids thrive on structure, the class time is broken down into six segments: Play, Clean-Up, Prop Talk, Movie & Music, Picture Passes, and Story Time.
Play: Play time isn’t just a free-for-all! We divide the kids into areas where they play with blocks, Little People, puzzles, or other toys, and each group has a teacher who is talking and engaging with them while they play. After 20 minutes of play time, we begin Clean-Up by playing the cute clean-up song that is included with the curriculum. The kids are awesome at helping during this time and have learned quickly where everything goes!
The Prop Talk is an object lesson that relates to the lesson somehow. For example, we used a welcome mat to teach that God welcomes everybody who loves and follows Jesus; and a globe to show that God’s family is big! We do a little game or activity with the prop, then move on to Movie & Music.
The movie includes a Scripture memory verse, a simple Bible story (from The Bible App for Kids) and two sing-along songs at the end. The movie is very simple but engaging, and moves at a slow enough pace for the toddlers to take it in. They love it! During this time, they sit on the rugs in small groups with their teachers, and teachers are interacting with the kids as they watch.
After the movie, we do Picture Passes. The Picture Passes are in an “adventure bag” similar to the one used by the character Emily in the movie. They look like the images below and also serve as a sort of object lesson. We have three picture passes per unit, they coincide with the items we use for Prop Talks, and teach the same little nugget of truth (God’s family is big! Or God welcomes everyone who loves and follows Jesus.).
We wrap up with Story Time and coloring Adventure Books. During Story Time we read the story simplified onto three picture cards. We ask the kids questions about the story, and do hand motions to keep them interested. We also review our memory verse during this time. At the end of the story, we say a simple prayer related to our lesson, then move to the tables to color the Adventure Books until parents arrive. The Adventure Books summarize that lesson and have a question for parents to ask their kids. Our first month, the question/answer was: What is the church? The church is God’s family! By the end of the four-week unit, nearly all of our sweet little toddlers could answer this question!
I have loved seeing how well the little ones have adapted to this new curriculum, and the teachers have been amazing as well- embracing this completely new way of doing the toddler class! Several parents have shared how their children are listening, remembering and telling their parents about the things we learn together on Sunday mornings. That just fills my heart with joy! I am so thankful for the privilege of pouring into their tender little souls. Thank you, parents, for trusting us with your precious babies!