My goal in teaching Bible stories is that the child will know the basic story so well that they can tell it back to you using a puppet, props, flannelgraph story characters, etc.
I believe that it is very important for a little child to have a Bible of their own. Although Bible stories are readily available on the internet for free, I encourage you to spend the few dollars to give your child a Bible to hold, to take to church, and to sit on their night stand.
Just like with your child's favorite books, your child's Bible should be read over and over. Don't put the Bible back on the shelf just because it has been read through one time.
There are many, many children's Bible available. Here are my favorites Bibles that I suggest but you can see more here.
The Beginner's Bible: Timeless Children's Stories - Fun illustrations to these simply written stories. Unlike many children's Bibles, this one tells the Bible stories without adding in extra unbiblical details. This Bible is referenced in the 3 and 4 Year Curriculum and is our favorite preschool Bible. Read my full review ... The Deluxe Edition contains the Bible and two narration CD's of all 94 Bible stories.
My First Hands-On Bible - We love the second Bible used in the 5 Year Curriculum. This Bible uses scripture from the New Living Translation instead of stories. Also included are activities, songs, questions, a prayer, and a Jesus connection. Read my full review...
The same Bible lesson is taught for a week at a time. This gives ample opportunity for a child to learn the character names, story plot, and memory verse. I suggest use of props or flannelgraph to teach the story. On the first day, tell the child the story using the props yourself. The next time allow the child to assist with the props as you tell the story. By the last time, the child should be able to tell the basic plot of the story by themselves. In a week, introduce the story on Monday. Leave the props out in an area where the child can play with them. On Tuesday, allow the child to assist you with the props as you tell the story. On Wednesday, let the child interject main points into the story – maybe peoples’ names or places. Continue until on Friday the child can tell the story on their own to someone else or put on a play for their stuffed animals or dolls.
• Name toy people and stuffed animals Bible names.
• Have a puppet tell the story.
• Spoon Puppets
By creating faces on plastic spoons, an everyday utensil can become a fun way to tell a Bible Story. Add yarn for hair or scraps of material for clothes, and you can tell any story. Let the child play with the spoon puppets to tell her own story.
• Refer to a Bible timeline to help your child understand the chronological order of Bible stories.
• Through the Bible in Felt - I believe that the use of flannelgraph figures and objects is one of the best ways to teach children Bible stories. Betty Lukens sets are specifically references in each Lesson Plan. Read more...
• When practicing the weekly Bible verse, don't dismiss the scripture reference. Help the child remember the reference by displaying the numbers on their fingers. This is excellent fine motor practice as well (ie. Genesis 1:1 - point "one" with one hand and then "one" with the other hand). Another option is to point to numbers on a piece of paper or made with magnet numbers on the refrigerator.
• Refer back to Bible lessons as situations arise throughout the day to remind the child that God is in control (ie. if it is raining, discuss Noah; if the child is afraid, talk about Daniel in the lion’s den). Read more about Teachable Moments.
• Encourage the child to pretend they are a Bible character in their playtime (Adventures in Odyssey by Focus on the Family has many episodes depicting this).
Routines are good for kids. Start Bible time with the same poem or song to help children get ready to listen and sit quietly.
• It's Learning Time (Adapted from DLTK)
Turn on your listening ears
Zip up your lips
Give your hands a clap
Place them in your lap
• Are You Criss-cross? (Author Unknown)
Tune: Are You Sleeping?
Are you criss-cross, are you criss-cross
Eyes on me, eyes on me
Hands in your lap, hands in your lap
Quietly, quietly. (whisper)
• One Little, Two Little, Three Little Fingers (Author Unknown)
Tune: One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians
One little, two little, three little fingers
Four little, five little, six little fingers
Seven little, eight little, nine little fingers
Ten fingers folded in prayer.
• The Bible Chant (Adaptation of chant by Marcia Hornok in Biblical Performances for Early Childhood)
The Bible. The Bible. (form book with hands)
God wants me to know. (point up)
The Bible. The Bible.
That's how I can grow. (bend down and stand up slowly)
The Bible. The Bible.
God wants me to see. (point to eyes)
The Bible. The Bible.
Is the book for me. (point to self)
B-I-B-L-E (clap or stomp on each letter)