Almost every Christian parent wants to instill the Word of God into their children as early as possible. However, I will be the first to admit that my preschoolers do not tremble with excitement at the thought of having the Bible read to them. So… we have to use a little creativity!
When I teach my own preschoolers Bible lessons at home, I find it helpful to always pretend (or at least put myself in the mindset) to be the character that I’m talking about. I have lately been teaching my kids about Esther. As I tell them about prideful Haman walking away from his banquet with the King and Queen, I think and act as if I am boastfully walking into the palace court, eager to go home and brag to my family about my well-deserved honor. I imagine the disgust and contempt that Haman felt toward Mordecai, and I try to relay those feelings to my preschoolers. I do the same thing as I think of how nervous Esther must have been as her small footsteps echoed through the palace halls on her way to the king’s throne room, how heartbroken and distressed Mordecai must have felt when he heard of the pending doom of his people, and so on.
Just this afternoon as I put my kids down for a nap, I used a stuffed monkey to “help” me read the scripture passage about Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. The entire passage is only eleven verses long, but there is no way my preschoolers will sit there and listen to me read that much without a picture book. So I let the monkey “interrupt” me throughout the narration with questions and goofy input. I had the monkey misinterpret certain words and phrases that would likely confuse a couple of preschoolers. When I read that Jesus fasted, monkey interrupted with a “Vrooooom, yeah, I bet Jesus was FAST!” I then took the opportunity to “teach” monkey what fasting was. My kids loved it and wanted me to repeat the whole thing when I was finished.
Another fail-proof way to get Bible verses into your preschooler’s heart is through music. There are a number of great sources of “scripture songs,” and many selections can be found at www.singnlearn.com. Another great resource is www.childrens-church-ministry.com (my personal website!). I often even make up my own little tunes for different Bible verses (hey, I’m only trying to impress a 2 and 4 year old!). There is an excellent CD/cassette at www.nogreaterjoy.org called “ABC Bible Songs” which takes common tunes and inserts Bible verse lyrics. Bet you didn’t know that you could make Psalm 118:1 sound like “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain! (Oh give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good…)
I teach my preschoolers at least one new Bible verse per week (besides the Scripture songs we sing regularly). However, we do a total review of all previous Bible verses learned; and you would be really surprised at the memory retention of a preschooler. It’s a lot better than mine; that’s for sure! I use a cheap graphics program to make coloring sheets with their Bible verses, and we “deck the halls” with the beautiful artwork of preschoolers!
Always remember that one of the most important things you can do to bring your preschoolers to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ is to portray godliness and a genuine love for the Lord in your own life. “More is caught than taught.” I have heard so many backslidden adults blame their “hypocrite” parents for their spiritual rebellion. Now I believe that everyone is accountable for their own decisions and actions; but I sure don’t want to give my children an excuse to blame me because they don’t choose to serve the Lord.
Little children are near to the heart of Jesus; and when I think of Jesus taking a child onto His lap and inviting the “little ones” into His presence, I envision preschoolers. Please, parents, don’t let those precious first years lapse before you instill a knowledge and love for the Lord into your little children. The things of this world are temporal, but we have eternity to look forward to (or not). Don’t make the choice to stand before the Lord with nothing to offer except the memory of earthly riches left behind. You are accountable for some little souls. Start now to do your job because our time with them is not contracted. We don’t know how much longer we have! Children can be saved; and although the Bible does not state a specific “age of accountability,” the time is nigh (or has already arrived) in their lives when your preschoolers will achieve the knowledge of good and evil as Adam and Eve did and become accountable for their sin and its penalty. Be ever teaching them about the Way to Heaven and as many Bible truths that you can cram into their heart. More sticks with them than you might think, so make sure you are giving them quality doctrine and Bible teaching during your time of influence. Use repetition, and give them opportunity to respond to each portion of teaching. Preschoolers have a hunger for learning, especially for learning about God and the Bible; so feed their little souls!
The childcare centre east gwillimbury is the preschool where this practice has been going on right from the very first day of school.