Teaching Ideas for November 8

Bible Story: “Elisha and the Widow”
Scripture: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Babies (Their Bible story is  “God Cared for Elijah,” 1 Kings 17:1-16.)
Babies are hearing about Elijah again this week. Repetition is meaningful for preschoolers of every age group. Babies are repeating new skills many times during the day. They even watch you and how you care for other babies in the room. Just as God cared and provided for Elijah, you are caring for the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of the babies you interact with on Sunday morning. Take time to say: “God cared for Elijah and I care for you. Thank You, God, for ______________ (incorporate the child’s name here).” Then add: “I’m so glad you came to Sunday School today; it’s fun to be together at church.”

1s – Filling and Pouring Game
Have you ever noticed how one year olds like to fill things up and pour them out over and over? Locate some fill n’ dump toys from the Resource Room and place some items like Snap-and-Lock beads and plastic blocks inside. As ones fill and dump these items, say: “In our Bible story today, we hear that Elisha helped a woman. He told her to pour oil in jars. You can pour blocks and beads into the containers.” Remind one year olds that God cared about Elisha and the woman. God can do all things.

2s – Pouring Poms-Poms
Locate some large pom-poms from the Resource Room. Bring two large plastic bowls from home. Place the poms-poms in one bowl and let twos fill the other bowl with the poms-poms. The children will enjoy filling and dumping the items. Talk about how Elisha told the woman to fill the jars with oil. Say: “God can do all things. God told Elisha to tell the woman to fill the jars with oil. Then she could sell the oil and have money for food.” As preschoolers fill and dump the poms-poms, guide them to take turns putting them in the bowls.

3s – Pre-K – Playing a Game at Group Time
Look on BTH page 24 in the back of your leader guide. There is a great game to use during group time, “Fill the Jar Relay.” You can find pom-poms in the Resource Room; gather enough to play the relay game. Threes and fours will enjoy the game. As you play the game, recall the portion of the Bible story about Elisha telling the widow to fill the jars with oil. The action of the game will help the child remember the story and the way God helped the woman. Elisha did what God asked him to do.

Kindergarten – Working Puzzles
Locate two large sheets of construction paper and food puzzles from the Resource Room. Place the puzzles on the floor, in the area where you want the children to work them. As kindergarteners enjoy the puzzles, talk with them about the story. Ask questions such as: “What did the widow need? How did Elisha help her? What did she pour into the jars? I’m glad she could sell the oil and buy food for her family. We can say thank you to God for the food we eat.” Kindergartners can learn that there things only God can do, and the story today is a great example of that.

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Teaching Ideas for November 1

Bible Story: “Elijah Prayed”
Scripture: 1 Kings 18:1-2, 41-46; James 5:17-18

Babies   (Their Bible story is “God Cared for Elijah,” 1 Kings 17:1-16.)
So much goes on in the first year of life. Babies are growing at such a fast rate; they will actually double their birth weight in their first year. They are becoming more aware of their world and of those who care for them. Therefore, you are important to each child you teach. As you interact with babies as they play with toys, tell them that God takes care of them. Say to them often: “Mommy and Daddy love you. God loves you and helps you grow.” The babies will understand your care and love in the way you provide for them. One day they will understand that God loves and cares for them, too.

1s – Thanking God
Young ones can learn to thank God for many things. These short thank-you statements to God are their first prayers. We begin to pray by praising God for what He does for us. Teach ones to say thank you to God for what He does for them. Let the children hear you say, “Thank You, God, for hearing our prayers.” Today’s story is about Elijah praying for rain. Briefly talk about the Bible story. Then add, “God hears us when we pray, too.”

2s – Praying with Twos
Twos can learn that God wants people to talk (pray) to Him. Play the music CD this week as children arrive. Track 3 is a song about talking to God. Teach twos to pray or talk to God. Give them examples to say such as: “Thank You, God, for friends at church. We hear that we can talk to God anytime and anywhere.” As you tell twos the story say: “Elijah asked God to send rain. God heard Elijah and He sent rain.”

3s – Pre-K – Praying to God
Print each of the following statements on individual index cards: Pray for Mom and Dad; Pray for family; Pray for friends; Pray for my teachers; Pray for church friends; Pray for neighbors. Place the cards in a small open box. When you finish telling the Bible story, say: “We can talk to God anytime and anywhere. Now, let’s thank God for people who are special to us.” Ask each child to pick a card and pray for what is written on it. (You might whisper the words on the card to the child and let him repeat it as if reading.) Consider adding other prayer cards to the box. Enjoy teaching the boys and girls about talking to God.

Kindergarten – Playing a Word Match/Story Recall Game
Locate 14 index cards. Prepare two sets of cards with these words on individual cards: rain, Elijah, King Ahab, 7, pray, cloud, and mountain. After you have told the Bible story, place the cards facedown on the floor. Ask the children to find words that are the same. As they find each matching word, ask them to tell you how the word was used in the story. The kindergarteners may want to play the game more than once. Say to the children: “I thank God for hearing my prayers. Do you talk to God when you pray? God always hears us and wants us to talk to Him anytime and anywhere.”

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Teaching Ideas for October 25

Bible Story: “God Cared for Elijah”
Scripture: 1 Kings 17:1-16

Babies (Their Bible story is Daniel 1:1-20.)

Daniel felt God’s love and experienced His provision. Babies will feel your faithful care and attention, too. Take time to let them feel how much fun it is to be around them. Play a simple game by saying babies’ names as you clap their hands together at the same time. Continue doing the game as long as they are enjoying the interaction. Say: “I love you and God loves you, too. It’s fun to be together.”

1s – Singing a Song
Ones will enjoy singing as you talk to them about God. On page 20-BTH, you will see a song to sing using a familiar tune and different words. As you sing the song, incorporate the children’s names. You may find their attention greater when they hear their names sung. Continue to sing the song using each child’s name. Ones will be listening for their names and when they hear them, I’m sure you will see smiles on their faces.

2s – Talking as a Child Plays
At church twos hear you speak about God. Today you get to tell each child, “God knows what you need.” You may find it difficult for twos to sit still to hear the story, so talking to them one on one as they play is much easier. Use Bible story conversation and talk about how God cared for Elijah and the woman who would make bread for him. Remember, children don’t have to look at you to hear what you are saying. When they are playing, their brains are engaged. God made them that way.

3s – Pre-K – Role Playing the Story
Gather a few items for children to dress up for the role play: towels (large for a shoulder wrap and small for a head piece) and scarves for a belt or ribbon and for a headpiece (wrap around a child’s head). You may want to use some kitchen items for the bread making part of the story. After telling the Bible story in group time, say, “Now let’s role play the story.” Assign children roles. Instruct them to act out the story line as you tell the story again. Consider role playing more than once so everyone can participate. Remember repetition is good for memory. Mention how God provided for Elijah and the woman who made bread for him.

Kindergarten – Playing a Group Time Game
Locate a small paper bag. Print the following words on tongue depressors (these can be found in the Resource Room): God, Elijah, Rain, Woman, Bread, Flour, and Oil. Make enough words for each child to have a tongue-depressor word. Place these words in the paper bag. After you have told the story, let each child draw a word from the bag. Ask him to find a friend with the same word. Once each child has found his match, ask them to tell you how the word fits in the Bible story “God Cared for Elijah.”

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Teaching Ideas for October 18

Bible Story: “Daniel Chose to Obey”
Scripture: Daniel 1:1-20

The parents of the children you teach are fortunate because you are regular teachers. Their children are building relationships with you. The babies recognize your soft voice and they know you by the way you hold them and relate to them. Something so simple but so consistent helps babies recognize others who love and care for them. Why is this so important? Because babies need the consistency of care from those who genuinely provide for their needs. They will learn about God and Jesus because they know you and are learning to trust you. What a marvelous opportunity you have as you mention, “God loves you, and I love you, too.” They learn to believe the things you say.

Ones will learn more about obeying God when they have experience doing what mom or dad asks or what teachers and others may ask of them. Encourage ones to follow instructions by asking them to roll the ball to you and you roll it back; make a game of it. Gather a few toys such as pop-beads, blocks, or pull toys and play along with the children. As you play, mention: “I like to play this game together—you do what I ask. The Bible tells us to do what God says.” Remember that children will one day learn to do what God says, but they need positive experiences in learning to follow instructions.

Locate a small paper bag and index cards (found in the resource room). On the cards print descriptive words such as Jump Up and Down, Turn Around, Touch Your Nose, Bend Down, etc. Put the cards in the bag. Say to the children: “Let’s play a game. I will read a card and then you do what it says.” Encourage the children when they follow your instructions. These simple instructions are the beginnings of doing what others ask. When twos have positive experiences like these, they may choose to do what you ask more readily. They are learning that playing and trusting you is fun. State: “Our Bible verse today is ‘Do what God says.’ ”

3s-Pre-K – Puzzle or Group Time
Gather pretend food items from the homeliving kitchen area and place them in a bag. Ask the children to see if they can guess the food items in the bag. Describe each food item by: its color, its size, soft or hard, rough or smooth, fruit or vegetable, etc. When the children guess, take the food item out of the bag and place it on the floor in front of you. When the game has ended, mention: “Daniel chose the food to eat because God had told him to eat good food. We can do what God says, too.”

Kindergarten – Group Time
On a large piece of art paper, print the statement Choose to obey. Print the children’s names on the sheet of paper and leave room for you to record answers. After you tell the Bible story about Daniel, ask: “Do your parents ask you to do things at home? Do you make the right choices to obey your mom and dad?” Guide the children to tell you what their parents ask them to do and record their answers beside their names. Have fun with this activity. Mention: “Daniel chose to obey God. You can choose to obey, too.” Together say the Bible verse “Do what God says.”

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Teaching Ideas for October 11

Bible Story: “King David”
Scripture: 2 Samuel 5—8

Babies – Music
(Their Bible story is 1 Samuel 17:12-15, 17-22.)

As you greet babies, ask parents to sign in their children and complete the instruction cards by the door. Play background music so that the atmosphere is calm and welcoming. In a soft voice say the Bible phrase “Help one another.” You might say: “David helped his brothers by bringing them food. Mom has a bottle for you. Thank You, God, for __________________ (insert child’s name).” If a child does not have a Diaper Bag Tag, just let me know and I will bring a supply to your room.

1s – Music
Ones enjoy singing or at least trying. They engage when they hear music and love having you sing to them. Look on page 14 of the BTH pages in your leader guide. There you will find words to a song that you can sing to the familiar tune “Are You Sleeping?” The words are simple, but they relay a biblical truth that will follow the children all their lives—God made them and loves them. Sing the song as you play and interact with ones throughout the morning.

2s – Music/Blocks
Gather some musical instruments from the resource room. Locate some shakers, drums (use hands to beat a rhythm), and bells (jingle and wrist bells). Place them in the block area to use as twos build with blocks. Encourage the children to take turns using the instruments (you will not need one for every child). Say, “Now it is __________’s (child who is using the instrument) turn, then it will be yours.” Say to the child using the instrument, “________________ (child who be using the instrument next) will have a turn soon.” This type of conversation helps boys and girls learn to take turns and to know they will soon have a chance to use the instrument. Say, “Thank You, God, for hands to play the instruments and make music.”

3s – Pre-K – Group Time
Group time is fun when children hear you tell the Bible story with the Bible opened on your lap. The children like to be engaged as they hear the story. Whisper the Bible verse just before you tell the story. Say, “I am going to whisper today’s Bible verse to ________________ (child’s name) and she/he will whisper it to the friend beside her/him and then the next friend will do the same until everyone has heard the verse. At the end we will all say the Bible verse together.” Be sure to make any corrections that might need to be made. Say: “I am so glad God has plans for you and me. Let’s hear what plans God had for King David.

Kindergarten – Homeliving/Puzzles
Set up a tent in your classroom by turning the homeliving table on its side and placing a sheet over it. Invite the children to sit under the tent and work the Puzzle “The Tent Church.” You will find this puzzle in the resource room on the right side as you enter. Say a portion of the Bible story as the children work the puzzle. Comment: “David built a tent church where he could worship God. We can sing songs and pray to God, too, just like King David did.” Enjoy the time with the children in the tent.

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Teaching Ideas for September 20

Bible Story: “David Played Music”
Scripture: 1 Samuel 16; Psalm 23

Babies – Using Thank-You Prayers
(Bible Story is “David and Jonathan” for Babies.)
A baby is learning so much about the world around him; perhaps you will be able to influence a baby about the atmosphere at church. He might feel the warmth and love of a teacher as he hears her say: “Thank You, God, for ____________ (incorporate the child’s name). God loves you.” Simple prayers will allow you to say the name God with love and reverence. These prayer statements will help a baby connect the name of God as someone who cares about him. In the first year of life, a baby may double in weight and height. Can you imagine what his brain is assimilating? Use every opportunity to say: “God loves you. I love you, too.” You can help lay the foundation for spiritual development.

1s – Singing
The Bible phrase for 1s this week is “I will sing to God” (2 Samuel 22:50). In the back of the leader guide, you will find the Bonus Teaching Hour section. On page 8 in that section, you will see words to sing using the familiar tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Sing these words to a child. Say: “We can sing to God anytime and anywhere. Thank You, God, for hearing our song.”

2s – Using the Bible
Use the Bible frequently throughout the morning, but especially when you tell the Bible story to a two year old. Open the Read-to-Me Bible and turn to page 1674 for a picture of David playing his harp. While you are playing with a child, tell the Bible story and show him the picture of David. You can say: “David played his harp while caring for the sheep. Then David started playing his harp for King Saul. I am glad God gives us stories in the Bible.”

3s- Pre-K – Working Puzzles
Many puzzles are available for you in the Preschool Resource Room; they are on the shelves to the right. The puzzle “David and the Sheep” is one that you could use this Sunday, and enough are available for each 3s – Pre-K classroom. As you help a child work the puzzle, tell them the story of David playing his harp with the sheep and then for King Saul. Mention to the child: “David often sang songs that were prayers. You can sing your prayers, too.”

Kindergarten – Playing a Matching Game
Gather a few musical instruments from the Preschool Resource Room. On a piece of poster board, outline each instrument. Put the instruments in a bag. Encourage a child to pull an instrument from the bag and match it to the outline of that instrument on the poster board. After playing the game, sing a song using the tune “Jesus Loves Me” and these words: “God hears my prayers, this I know, for the Bible tells me so, He wants me to sing to Him, He wants me to pray to Him.”

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Teaching Ideas for September 13

Bible Story: “David and Jonathan”
Scripture: 1 Samuel 14:49; 18:1-4; 20

Babies – Playing with Friends
Babies are fascinated by others in the class. Often you will see them try to touch other baby’s faces, hair, or hands. They are curious about other friends in the room. As babies play on the mat and reach for each other, use simple statements such as: “You see ___________(child’s name); he/she is your friend.” They will someday understand what a friend is, but they can begin hearing the word friend and associate it positively.

1s – Using the Bible
Ones love books. The Bible is wonderful to use as you speak about David and Jonathan. Place a Bible marker in the Bible or lay a teaching picture near the Bible as you speak about this week’s story. Ones will be able to know that the story comes from the Bible. Use the Bible frequently throughout the morning. As you use the Bible with ones, they will learn how to handle this special book, touch its pages, and carry it around the room. Use words such as: “God is good to us. He gives us friends. You have friends at church (mention the names of teachers and other children in the room).”

2s – Homeliving Area
Getting along with others is a part of the socialization that happens in the young preschool years. Twos are learning to get along and to know each other. The opportunities for learning to be with others can happen easily in the classroom. Use the Homeliving area this week. The story of David and Jonathan will be easy to talk about, as I’m sure that David and Jonathan ate together many times. Help twos set the table and pretend to prepare a meal together. Use words like: “I am glad to have friends. We can pretend to make a meal together. Do you think that David and Jonathan ate together? Thank You, God, for friends.”

3s – Pre-K – Group Time Activity
Ask the children to tell you things they enjoy doing with their friends. Print their answers on a large sheet of paper. Use this activity to introduce the story of David and Jonathan. Emphasize to the children how important it is to have friends and to do things together. Open the Bible and begin telling the story. Show the Bible teaching picture and ask who they think Jonathan is and who they think David is. Be sure to ask why they like the story. Tell them why you like the story, too.

Kindergarten – Sequence/Matching Game
Print the first name of each child in the classroom on an index card. Use watercolor markers so the ink won’t show through the cards. Then prepare a matching set of name cards. Place the cards on the floor facedown. Encourage the children to take turns turning over two cards at a time to find matching names. This activity will be a good game to use at the end of the session as you wait for parents to arrive. Show the teaching picture during the game as you talk about David and Jonathan being friends.

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Teaching Ideas for September 6

Bible Story:  “King Saul”
Scripture:   1 Samuel 9—10; 11:12-15; 13:1-15; 15

Babies – Using the Bible
On Sunday our babies will hear you speak about David and Jonathan (other age groups are learning about King Saul). As you engage babies in play, say: “I have a good friend, ____________ (insert the child’s name) is her/his name.” Babies enjoy hearing others say their name, too. Open the Bible (page 353 in the Read-to-Me-Bible) to the picture of David and Jonathan and say, “David and Jonathan were friends.” The babies will begin to develop an attitude when you use the Bible with them. One day they will know the Bible is a special book. You have a part in the way they begin to understand the Bible is a special book.
1s – Songs
Sing songs about God. Here is a song that you can sing this Sunday as you speak about King Saul. Use different words as you sing the melody to “God Is So Good”: “God loves you so, God loves you so, God loves ____________ (insert child’s name here), God loves everyone.” Then say, “God loved the people and gave them a leader, King Saul.” Ones will love to hear you sing. Try it! Be sure to play the CD from your leader pack as ones arrive and perhaps throughout the morning.
2s – Art Activity
Print the words God chose Saul to be the king on large sheets of paper. Locate some Dot Paints from the resource room (on the right as you go into the resource room). Let the twos dot paint on and around the words. Say the words, “God answered the people’s prayers and made Saul king.” Twos can hear stories from the Bible and know that they are special by the way you speak. You are laying a foundation about the Bible and that the stories there are real.
3s—Pre-K – Group-Time Activity
The Bible story today is about a promise that God made to the people of Israel. He always keeps His promises. Print these promises on strips of paper and place them in a box: God always does what He says He will do, God will always love you, God will take care of us, God loves everyone, and God will always give us what we need. Let the children take turns removing a strip from the box and “reading” it to the group. Say a thank-you prayer, “Thank You, God, for loving us and for giving us what we need.”
Kindergarten – Puzzle or Group Time (matching game)
Print each word of the Weekly Bible Verse (“God’s promises come true”) on an index card. Make two sets. Place the cards facedown on the table or floor. After you have told the Bible story or while you are at the puzzle area, ask the children to find the matching words. Once the words have been matched put the Bible verse together. Point to each word and say the verse together. Place a marker at the location of the verse in the Bible. When the verse is put together, ask a child to help you read the verse from the Bible. Ask someone to pray, thanking God for loving us.


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Teaching Ideas for August 30

Bible Story:  “Lydia and Paul”
Scripture:   Acts 16:11-15


Who doesn’t love to hear the words “I love you?” I’m sure most moms and dads tell their babies frequently that they love them. Babies needs to hear that Jesus loves them, too. Sing the song “Jesus Loves Me” but substitute the word You as you change a baby’s diaper, play on the mat, or hold a child in your arms. Singing always adds an element of calm and security for an anxious baby. If you feel uncomfortable singing the song in front of adults, just sing quietly and softly to the baby.


Ones will begin to understand more about the Bible as you use it with them. Open the Bible to the picture of Jesus and the children. Say: “Jesus loves you. I love you, too.” Allow ones to pat the Bible or even carry it around the room. You may want to place the teaching picture on the floor near a toy. As a child picks up the picture, point to the figure of Paul and say: “Paul told Lydia that Jesus loves her. Jesus loves you, too.” Ones will love to hear that Jesus loves them as you play alongside them.


Since our story is about Lydia who sold purple cloth, provide a bag with samples of items that are purple. Locate a purple piece of fabric, purple yarn, purple piece of construction paper and maybe a purple car. Place the items in the bag. You may want to sit on the floor or at a table. Ask the children to draw a purple item from the bag. As you play the game of finding things that are purple, say: “Lydia was a lady that sold purple cloth. In our Bible story we heard that Paul told Lydia about Jesus.”


3s – Pre-K
Prepare a table setting in the homeliving area using purple construction paper as placemats. Mention that Lydia invited Paul and his friends to come to her house. Perhaps Lydia made food for them to eat. Paul told Lydia and the other women about Jesus. Ask, “What do you think Paul said about Jesus?” Add to their answers by saying, “Jesus loves all people and we can love others, too.”


Print each word of the Bible verse “Tell people about Jesus” (Acts 16:10) on individual sheets of purple construction paper. Just before group time, place the sheets of paper on the wall around the room. After you tell the Bible story during group time, ask individual children to locate a piece of purple construction paper and bring to the circle. Guide the children to put the Bible verse in order and ask them to repeat it with you. Ask, “Who can you tell about Jesus this week?” Mention, “What does the purple paper have to do with our story this week?” Mention that Lydia sold purple cloth and Paul told Lydia more about Jesus.

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Teaching Ideas for August 23

Bible Story:   “The Church Began”
Scripture:   Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 2


Babies are learning that teachers in their room help them when they need a bottle, want a diaper change, or just want to play. What a wonderful way for teachers to help babies begin to understand that people at church care about them. Even the simplest needs you meet for babies can help them feel safe and secure at church. They have not yet caught the concept of church, but they do understand when you meet their needs. You can see it in their responses to you. Your classroom is their “church.” Thank you for what you do to help babies learn that church is a happy place to be.


One year olds have an opportunity to learn that church is a happy place. When their classroom is ready for them, they can immediately engage. Here is an activity you might want to have for this Sunday as you talk about being at church. Locate a plastic laundry basket and a few balls. Encourage one year olds to toss the balls into the basket. Use conversation such as: “I am so glad you came to church today, _____________ (child’s name). I thought you would like to toss the ball in the basket.” Even simple conversations can help them feel happy about coming to church.


Twos are becoming more involved in structured play with other children. They can engage together and are beginning to learn to “take turns.” Use conversation such as: “Now it is ____________ (say child’s name) turn, then it’s your turn __________________ (say another child’s name).” Sometimes the word share is a hard term for children to understand. To some twos, share means “I won’t get use it again,” perhaps because this has been their previous experience. As twos learn that taking turns means “I get to use it again,” it will become easy to play together. In a few years, they will understand what the word share means. All of this helps them learn that coming to church can be fun and a happy place to be.


3s – Pre-K
The Bible verse “People at church helped one another” is a great verse for us to begin to help preschoolers understand what people at church can do for others. This week our own church will be involved in buying groceries that will be given to our “Graceworks” partners. Tell preschoolers that they help people who may not have money to buy food to eat. Our church can help others. Create a pretend store using the food items in the kitchen area. Place grocery bags where preschoolers can “shop” for food. Cut strips of green paper for play money. Create a place where they can “check out.” You might say: “We can bring food to someone who can’t buy their food. We can help others.”


On Sunday our own church will be involved in buying groceries for those who can’t buy for themselves. We will be giving grocery items to our “Graceworks” partners who collect food for people who are in need. Create an area where children can make their own list of what they think others might need. You may find a list of items the church will be distributing this Sunday at one of the Preschool Welcome Desks. Using this list, encourage the children to make a similar list to take with them. As you do the activity, say: “We can give food to those who need it. Our church helps, too.”


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