Hands-on Bible activities create a pathway to engage the curious absorbent minds and busy hands of preschool and kindergarten children in fun and meaningful play. Even toddler children will enjoy open-ended play and the storytelling aspect of Bible stories that come alive when children are presented with an opportunity to explore faith through fun activities and natural toys and materials. In this guest post, Christina shares all the amazing ways children can explore Bible and its heroes and heroines naturally and with minimal involvement from adults.
According to the Introduction of the book, Young Children and Worship by Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman, children already have a relationship with God. If we accept this statement, then we no longer should assume that we (as adults) have to teach children everything they need to know about God.
The Montessori method of education is based on the theory that children learn best without preconceived lesson plans and adult guidance. Having “hands-on” experiences enhances the learning of children.
The use of wooden figures to tell Bible stories is a wonderful way to allow the children to better engage in the story. Figures with no color or faces enable children to not only put their hands on the figures but also to transfer different faces and people into the story.
It can be difficult for children to relate to Bible stories when they know that these stories took place thousands of years before they were born. By using figures that are free of ethnicity, culture, or age, Bible stories are easier to relate to in this time and place.
Some Bible stories take place in the desert, so adding a “desert box”/sandbox to the experience creates a more realistic visual for the stories. Children can actually move Abraham and Sarah across the desert as they search for the place that God had promised them and their children.
A dark blue felt underlay can enhance the story of Noah’s Ark and the Ark and how he and his family, with a large group of animals, lived on the water in a big boat for forty days. Using these simple materials allows the child to decide for themselves what the story looks like.
Reading a Bible can seem overwhelming to a child at the beginning because it is a long book and many do not have any pictures for the child to use to imagine the stories. Having these wooden biblical figures along with the various accessories helps children bring a Bible story to life.
As they use these materials their imagination is strengthened and their knowledge of the Bible grows. Through the use of these materials, children grow their relationship with God in their own way. They are able to figure out what the stories mean to them without an adult telling them.
About the author
Christina works with Worship Woodworks to create wooden biblical figures which aid in all ages in learning about the Bible.