God’s Word tells us that we should hide His word in our hearts for a very specific reason—so we may not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). However, hiding His word is more than rote memory: it is understanding how to apply His words in our lives.
Our goal in the preschool classroom is for preschoolers to apply God’s word rather than memorize a bunch of words and phrases. We want preschoolers to feel comfortable using their Bible and to spend time in God’s Word.
In the Mission Friends classroom, leaders use Bible thoughts with preschoolers. Bible thoughts are Bible verses written in simplified words that a preschooler can understand. Using Bible thoughts with preschoolers helps them grasp the meaning of the words.
The Bible thoughts suggested in Mission Friends Leader relate to the Christian concept area for each month to reinforce what preschoolers are learning about that concept area.
Ways to Use Bible Thoughts in Your Classroom
- Mark the session Bible thought with a bookmark. For Babies and Ones, place a note in the crib or near the changing table to remind you to share the Bible thought. Display the Bible on a low table so preschoolers can see and “read” it. Say Bible thoughts with preschoolers as they participate in activities in the interest areas.
- Bibles are often kept in a “safe” location. Encourage preschoolers to touch, see, hold, and use the Bible rather than attempt to treat it as a breakable antique. Place a Bible in a preschooler’s hands and allow the child to open the Bible to find the marked Bible thought.
- Open your Bible to the Scripture reference when sharing the Bible thought. This visual allows preschoolers to know that the words came from God and the Bible.
- Repeat the Bible thought often. If a child is looking at a picture of a flower, open the Bible and say: God made the flowers (see Gen. 1:11).
- Ask open-ended questions about Bible thoughts to guide preschoolers to a greater understanding of the Bible thought. Asking questions like, What does that mean to you? will help you get a clearer picture of what a child understands about a specific Bible thought.
- Put Bible thoughts into action. Open the Bible and say, Pray for one another (see James 5:16), then stop to pray for the missionary and others. Encourage a preschooler to lead the prayer or repeat the words you say as you pray.
- Say the Bible thought in a sing-song voice. Use familiar tunes to make up Bible thought songs. Preschoolers will internalize the words as they sing.
- Play a fun Bible thought game. Have girls stand up and say one word, then sit down. Then have boys stand up, say the next word, then sit down. Continue until the Bible thought is complete.
- For kindergartners, begin to introduce Bible thought locations in the Bible: Old Testament, New Testament, or specific Bible books. For interested kindergartners, help them locate the numbers used in the Bible reference, or point to the highlighted verse that forms the Bible thought. Remember to place the focus on the meaning of the Bible thought.
- During Group Time, invite one child to stand beside you and help you say the Bible thought. Encourage the child to share what the Bible thought intends for us to do.
By including the Bible and using Bible thoughts as often as possible with preschoolers, we will build a foundation of understanding that the Bible is a special book for all people.
by Celeste Albaugh