7 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers the Bible By Alyssa Liljequist Teaching children about God and His Word is the single most important part of a child’s education, and instructing preschoolers about the Bible presents its own joys and challenges. Preschoolers are naturally curious yet at the same time very energetic. I would like to offer seven tips to help you in your journey of teaching your little ones the Bible. 1. Keep it simple. The words and story line should be made as simple as possible while remaining accurate. Teach the Bible in short chunks of time. Preschoolers don’t have the same attention span as do you and your older kids. 2. Prioritize. Which stories and events in the Scriptures do you most desire your children to know at a young age? It might be helpful to make a list. It will be a while before your children read the entire Bible, so it’s good to identify the Bible knowledge that it’s most important to cover. 3. Use visuals. Pictures spice things up. Flannel graphs are lots of fun; it’s as if you have a stage with cast and settings at your fingertips. Even your own hands can be used to make shapes and emphasize numbers. For instance, with the story of Joshua and Jericho, the Israelites had to walk around the wall for six days (hold up six fingers) and on the seventh day, they walked around seven times (hold seven fingers up). Encourage the children to hold up their own fingers. This way they are learning to count in addition to learning about the Bible. Visuals are not only incredibly helpful in keeping kids’ attention, but they also help them remember the story. 4. Hands-on activities. Seize opportunities to engage their hands and their whole bodies. Have them do easy crafts related to the story, or let them act out the story. Teach them the motions to songs such as “Jesus Loves Me,” “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands,” and “I’m In the Lord’s Army.” For the story of Joshua, you and your children could build Jericho out of cardboard boxes and march around it, blasting loudly on pretend (or real) trumpets. Then you can give a loud shout—kids love noise—and knock down the boxes. 5. Inflection is vital. If you don’t sound excited, they won’t be. This is not the time to be too serious or reserved. Emphasize important words by your tone, and don’t be afraid to repeat significant phrases. Use different voices for different Bible characters. And again, remember to be animated and sound excited. If you’re feeling grumpy or angry or frustrated, take a break and/or have your own Quiet Time; it’s not the right time to get Bible “out of the way” as if it were just another subject on a list. Bible time with kids should be a positive experience. 6. Ask questions. To help stories sink in and stick, ask questions like these: “Who led the Israelites into Jericho?” and “How many days did they walk around the wall?” Keep it light and don’t become frustrated if they get answers completely “wrong.” They are learning. Gently tell them the correct answers. You can repeat the questions to see if they understand. 7. Finally, don’t underestimate your preschoolers. They absorb more than you know. Don’t shy away from deep topics such as heaven and hell and life and death. They can—and should—begin learning about these things at an age-appropriate level. I hope you and your children have fun studying God’s Word together. Enjoy this time! Alyssa Liljequist is an 18-year-old homeschool graduate of 2011. She enjoys helping with the children in her church’s preschool ministry. She has a passion for reaching the unreached with the Gospel. In addition to being a freelance writer, Alyssa is an aspiring author and filmmaker. You can visit her blog, Life With A Mission, at mylifewithamission.blogspot.com. Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the trade magazine for homeschool families. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.