Friday, September 13, 2013
Free Resources for Toddler Bible Lessons
Thanks for stopping by for our last day of the Bible Basics How To Series. Our previous topics have included:
Why Teach the Bible to Toddlers?
5 Ways to Memorize Scripture with Your Toddler
How to Choose a Bible for Your Toddler
Necessary Materials for Toddler Bible Lessons
Today I wanted to put together a list of some free online resources that have used as inspiration for preparing toddler Bible lessons. Hopefully these websites, Pinterest boards, and blogs will help get your creative juices flowing as you dig into the Bible with your toddler.
All Inclusive Bible Lessons
These sites provide Bible lessons, crafts, songs, and printables for a variety of Bible stories. I have used all of these to some extent, but I never follow a lesson plan to the tee. I'm always getting ideas and then tweaking them to fit the needs of the particular lesson I am teaching and the toddlers that I'm working with.
In general, I have not found any fantastic resources for toddler Bible lessons. This is a big reason why I write my own lessons and have started sharing them on our blog. However, sometimes you just need a place to start and that's where these sites come in handy.
Ministry-to-Children: This page has many links to other resources, which is part of what makes it a good place to start. The lessons are a little "fluffy" in my opinion...but everyone's going for something different. I like that the lesson plans are laid out with scripture, a list of materials, and even questions to ask your child.
Little Blots of Faith: This is connected with another site that will be listed in the next couple of sections. The lessons primarily contain links to various coloring pages and crafts. They do, however, have a lot of different options for most of the lessons. It's definitely worth stopping by to get some ideas.
DLTK-Bible: There are several different DLTK sites covering a range of teaching topics. This one has a few ideas for Bible lessons, along with some crafts, coloring pages, and other resources. Check out the side bar under "Other Sites" to find more teaching resources. Many of the crafts and activities I do are not Bible crafts, but they fit the bill for certain Bible lessons.
Bible Coloring Pages and Printables
The following websites are useful for finding coloring pages. Some are of better quality than others - and that can bother me on certain days. But there are days when you just want a coloring page and the kids don't really care how well it's done. I have used all of these sites for free coloring pages and other printables.
Bible Printables: These are generally good and the site is easy to navigate.
Coloring.ws: This is part of the DLTK network of sites. You can find coloring pages on many different topics, including Bible. I don't find these to be the best quality, but they are a good free resource and I have used many of their coloring pages in the past.
Christian Preschool Printables, Coloring Pages: This, like DLTK, has many different lessons, printables, and crafts to offer. Most are geared toward a slightly older crowd, despite its title of "preschool". Also like DLTK, I don't find these coloring pages to be of the best quality. They are coloring pages, though. And they are free. I have used these a number of times in the past.
Christian Preschool Printables, Bible Minibooks: I really like minibooks, even though I haven't found many that are fantastic. The kids usually like them as well. There's something about a tiny little book that you made yourself that is just so engaging to a toddler. Once you figure out how to cut and fold these, you can start making your own (I've done it with free clip art in Microsoft Publisher).
First-School.ws: Another DLTK site, this one offers a list of a few Bible coloring pages and crafts/activities.
Bible Crafts and Activities
The next set of websites have many different craft ideas for toddler Bible lessons. Like the Bible lessons, I have used these sites as a springboard from which I usually develop my own projects. Generally I modify crafts to fit materials that I have on hand or because the craft is a little too involved for a toddler.
Toddler Activities at Home: You can find other ideas on this website aside from toddler Bible lessons, but the list of Bible activities is pretty good. I like that these are usually very simple and since they are designed with toddlers in mind, they need little modification to fit a younger crowd. I also like the grading scale so that at a glance you can determine if it's age appropriate, simple, and as involved as you have time and resources for.
Christian Preschool Printables, Bible Crafts: This is another page from the website listed previously. It has a handful of fairly decent lessons. Just be careful as some of the links for lessons are to outside websites - which are not free.
Christian Preschool Printables, File Folder Games: I like file folder games, but I don't use them very often. When I had only two kids (a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old) I actually had some time to assemble file folder games. Now I just don't have the time. But I think they're cute and have some potential for keeping little hands and minds busy while reinforcing Bible lessons.
Christian Preschool Printables, Bible Games: This is the last of the links for this particular website. I find it hard to navigate, which is why I linked individual pages here. These games are mostly printables like card games, puzzles, and the like. I prefer games that get kids moving around, particularly for toddlers who can't sit still anyway. Many of these seem a little advanced even for 4-year-olds. But if you have slightly older kids who like these kinds of things, you may find a game that strikes your fancy on this page.
Truth for Kids: These are nice because you can download a PDF of each craft which can be used at home and in the classroom. Most are pretty good, but generally stick with paper crafts. I like paper crafts, but they do get old after a while and toddlers, especially, need some activity in their activities at times. Overall this is a good resource.
Many of my ideas for toddler Bible lessons are coming from Pinterest these days. Well...most come out of the blue while I'm fixing dinner...but when I'm needing some inspiration I am more and more turning toward Pinterest rather than other online resources. These boards a few that I've started following recently and have enjoyed. And of course, there's my Bible board (which isn't much for now, but will hopefully keep growing as I use Pinterest for more than just recipes).
Preschool Bible Crafts
And that about wraps up this week's Bible Basics How To Series. I hope you've found some useful information that will help you as you teach the Bible to your toddler!
What are some of your favorite free resources for toddler Bible lessons?