How to Introduce Bible Study into Your Preschool Curriculum
When I was pregnant with my son, who is now 3 years old, I remember praying so fervently that I would know how to share my faith and love for Jesus with him at an early age. After he was born, my prayers continued, but my mind became preoccupied with reaching his developmental milestones.
One afternoon when I picked my son up from his children’s class at church, I could make out the phrase “Jesus Loves Me” in his baby babble. My heart sang and sunk in my chest. I was overjoyed that he had learned one of the most beautiful truths about our God. But I realized that I had doubted his ability to understand even the most basic Biblical principles at such an early age.
I determined then and there that I would be more intentional about introducing God’s Word into my everyday interactions with my son and in his formal preschool education.
Your journey to this point may look different than mine but you, like I did, want to share the gift of God’s Word with your preschooler and that is wonderful! If you want to use a formal, structured curriculum for your child’s preschool years, there are a few ways you can introduce Bible study into your curriculum. I’ve shared a few of my insights in this post as well as sample lesson plan to get you started.
Simple: Start with Bible Story Reading Time
This suggestion seems too obvious for mention, but there is a reason it’s listed in this post. We are a generation obsessed with age appropriate toys, and of course, that obsession is necessary for safety and development reasons. The waters of age appropriate get a little murkier when we start talking about reading material and subject matter.
The good news is that it’s never too early to introduce Biblical teaching to your children! You may already be reading the Bible as a family or during bedtime stories, but begin to integrate Bible reading into your everyday curriculum.
Later in this post, I’ll share a sample lesson plan that incorporates a short Bible story into other preschool learning objectives.
If the leather-bound, gilded pages of your own Bible seem too advanced for your preschooler, you can always substitute a children’s Bible. I like to use the Jesus Storybook Bible and there is a curriculum kit.
My caution to anyone who considers the storybook version is that it eschews accuracy for age appropriate language. This version of the Bible is meant as an introduction to the Bible and not a replacement for the long term.
Choose one Bible story to set as a theme for the week. Read the story from your Bible or a children’s Bible on the first day of your school week and then build on themes from the story in your other daily activities.
Write It on Their Hearts and Their Minds
Children have an incredible capacity to mimic and memorize. While your preschooler may not remember to take his shoes off at the door (even though you’ve told him every day for a year), he can remember the words and motions to a song he learned the day before.
We can capitalize on this capacity to memorize by introducing short, meaningful Bible verses into your preschooler’s weekly curriculum. Write or print the scripture in large letters, post it somewhere easily visible, and use every opportunity to reference the verse during the week.
As I mentioned earlier, children learn movements just as easily as words. Use hand gestures and repetition to seal the Bible verse in your child’s heart and mind. You may also help your preschooler release some of his boundless energy while learning Scripture!
Choose a Scripture memory verse for the week, preferably one from the Bible story for the week to keep everything in context and within the theme. Preschoolers thrive on consistency and continuance. If you cannot find a short enough verse within your Bible story of the week, find a verse that relates well to the same message of your story.
Weave Scripture into Other Subjects
If you have been homeschooling for a while, you’ve probably tried your hand at themes for the week. Themes can help your preschooler build on his language, skills, and understanding in an area of study before moving on to another.
You can easily integrate your weekly Bible story and Scripture memory verse into your scheduled themes for the week. For a preschooler, there are about seven essential learning areas that should be considered when developing any curriculum:
- Creative Art/Motor Skills
- Cognitive Development
- Social/Emotional/Physical Wellbeing
- Language Arts
- Bible Principles
Now, not every single area of learning must be touched on in every lesson plan, but the good news is that with a little creativity, Bible principles can be woven into the other six areas. Tying a counting activity back to your Bible story or saying your Scripture memory verse while singing and dancing are great examples of integrating Biblical teaching into every aspect of your curriculum. Be creative! The possibilities are endless!
Sample Lesson Plan
Here’s a Sample Lesson Plan for Introducing Bible Study into Your Preschool Curriculum
Weekly Theme: The Earth
- Creative Art/Motor Skills
- Cognitive Development
- Language Arts
- Bible Principle: Gratitude
Weekly Memory Verse:
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
Read Genesis 1 – The Creation Story (Language Arts)
Activity #1 - Using your favorite art medium, create a miniature of the Earth (playdough, paper mache, or even an Earth beach ball). Talk about the story in Genesis 1 as you look at the Earth, pointing to the water and the land. Let your preschooler identify the water and the land. Repeat the memory verse for the week. (Creative Art/Motor Skills)
Activity #2 – Print or draw a calendar with 7 days. Reading the Bible story again slowly, stopping after each day of creation, let your preschooler place stickers representing water, land, animals, people, etc on the number day of their creation. For example, the sun and the moon stickers for the first day. (Creative Art/Motor Skills, Cognitive Development)
Sing a Song: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands; The Creation Song (Music/Movement)
Pray: Pray with your preschooler and encourage them to thank God for all He has made. Let your preschooler hear you pray for the things in God’s creation that you are thankful for. (Bible Principle: Gratitude)
Teacher Becomes the Student: Ask your preschooler to teach you about how the Earth was made. Ask helpful questions such as “Who was there in the beginning?” and “What did God make first?” If you have other, older children in the home, you can consider letting your preschooler teach them the Bible story. Neighbors, grandparents, and of course, dad are all great students if your child responds well to this activity.
Scripture Is Clear
Scripture is clear on the importance of sharing God’s plan for the world with our kids:
“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6
Our children have a great capacity to learn, and it is our role as parents who follow Jesus to demonstrate our love for God at an early age. Making Biblical teaching part of your preschooler’s curriculum lets your child know how important it is and that our faith is woven into everything we do.
Last, but most certainly not least, I believe it is important to pray for guidance when introducing Bible study into your preschool curriculum. God wants to be known and loved by your child just as He knows and loves them in return. Ask for His discernment when planning lessons. Ask Him to give you wisdom in those unplanned situations that become teachable moments. He will be your guide!