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How to teach Bible stories to preschoolers

A large segment of our homeschooling curriculum is Bible stories and lessons. Since we read a Bible story just about every day, I’ve been trying out different strategies for how to teach Bible stories to preschoolers. Plus it helps me out in my Sunday School class (also preschool!).

Last year, the Hands On Homeschooling curriculum I used had us read the same Bible story every day for a week. Maybe little kids love to hear the same. exact. story. day after day, but for me, I liked to have a little variety. So I came up with a variety of strategies for how to teach Bible stories to preschoolers when you’re reading the same story throughout the week.

teach Bible stories to preschoolers

How to teach Bible stories to preschoolers in a variety of ways (affiliate links):

1. Read directly from the Scriptures. Okay, this might seem obvious, but maybe some parents shy away from reading directly from Scripture to kids, because they might think Biblical language is difficult for children. To that I say, don’t even worry about that! We use the King James Version text for our readings, and sure, maybe some vocabulary he doesn’t understand right now, but… that’s true for ANY book!

When adults read aloud to children, it’s okay for the text to be above the child’s reading level. Your voice, gestures, and expressions are going to convey a large part of the meaning. Then, explain and define difficult words to build vocabulary. Finally, it’s good for children to hear Biblical text read aloud – it gives them experience with the style and structure and cadence of this kind of writing, which admittedly IS different than your average children’s book. Although, I believe still very accessible to kids.

2. Use a variety of children’s Bible story books. We have several Bible story books we rotate through. Each one gives slightly different details of the same story, or has a different “lens” to tell the story from. Some books don’t contain the same stories, so by using three books, I can find at least one or two versions of the story we’re covering.

The Jesus Storybook Bible – every story is focused around Jesus as the rescuer. The stories are lyrical / poetic in style and so beautifully written and illustrated. I admit this is my first pick for a Bible storybook, however, it doesn’t cover all the familiar stories – just twenty each from the Old and New Testament. So I definitely have to use other books to cover all the stories I want.

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book – this book will have just about EVERY story in the Bible told in a kid-friendly format. However, the language is definitely more grade school than preschool and has fewer pictures. I still use it when trying to teach a more obscure story, and I just condense what I read down to the basics.

The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories – you’ll find the majority of common Bible stories in this book and told at the perfect level for preschoolers. The illustrations are fun and cartoony! A great choice also for letting young children take to church as a “first Bible.”
  

3. Color a story – as companions to The Beginner’s Bible, we also have The Beginner’s Bible Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Activity Book  and Super-Duper, Mighty, Jumbo Coloring Book. Once I’ve read the Bible story to my son at least two times, I use these books to reinforce the story line or concepts.

The Coloring Book has several pictures for each story, so you can retell the story by flipping through the pages, or have your child tell the story in their own words. Then they can color pictures!

The Activity book has some coloring, but also mazes, dot-to-dot, matching, comparison, and other worksheets that engage children in the Biblical story and keep the details fresh in their mind!

 

4. Flannelgraph – Another way to retell Bible stories is through flannelgraph pictures. Again, you can tell the story yourself, or have your child help you. Or a combo of both – have your child place the pictures as you tell the story. I only have a few of these Betty Lukens flannelgraph sets but I love them and use them whenever we have the time! Our son loves to march the animals from the Noah’s Ark Bible Felt Set set up the ramp into the ark!

5. Other ways to teach Bible stories include dressing up, acting it out, or having kids draw or write their own stories!

Here’s a collage of the actual materials we use in our Bible storytelling:

teach Bible stories to preschoolers

If you have more ideas for how to teach Bible stories to preschoolers, I’d love to hear! And you can check out how Crunchy Beach Mama is teaching Bible stories to her preschooler by visiting her blog!

Home Preschool

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[…] Read Directly from the Bible—When telling bible stories there are different ways to tell the same story to your toddler, according to A Year with Mom and Dad. […]

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