We can’t wait for it to get here—and, by mid-July, we can’t wait for it to be over.
And if you have little ones, you know how challenging summer can be. When you’re not on vacation or sending your preschooler to day camp, it’s all on you to keep them engaged and learning throughout those summer months.
Whether you’re a parent or leader of a preschooler, here’s what we want you to remember: Preschoolers think like artists. They relate to God through their sense of wonder.
When a preschooler hears a Bible story, they may interpret it in a way you don’t expect at all–and that’s okay! The loaves and two fish might become yesterday’s leftover pizza, a couple of hot dogs, and a Capri Sun–and why not?
So, keeping that sense of wonder in mind, here are three ways to keep preschoolers energized throughout the long summer months:
Ignite their imagination.
If you’re teaching a preschooler about the Bible, you can probably count on their missing a few details. Don’t fight it…just roll with it. They want to put a monkey in the manger scene? Let them put a monkey in the manger scene. They want to believe that Noah’s ark was shaped like their dad’s pontoon boat? Sure thing. Spend the short time you have with them talking about the wonder of Jesus being born, rather than correcting the details of the story.
Let them use their senses.
Remember, preschoolers are like artists–so they learn through their senses. If you want them to stay activated and relate to God (and, of course, you do!), then sing rhyming songs–the more rhymes, the better. Tell stories with a lot of hand motions. Make crafts. Show videos and pictures. Bring snacks. Get animated and loud and goofy if you need to! The only thing you might want to avoid? Smells. Preschoolers already have enough of those!
Structure their experience.
Yeah, they might be free-spirited artists; but creative types still need a little structure to thrive. Preschoolers want to know what to expect; so, prepare your plan ahead of time. Make sure your leaders are consistent, your room is clean, and have a set schedule. And about that schedule–the attention span of an average three-year-old is about eight minutes. So, yeah, plan accordingly. And good luck with that!
This summer is going to come and go before you know it. So, take advantage of this valuable time to really focus on your preschoolers.
Guide their imagination to the awe and wonder of who God is and the plans He has for their lives. When summer turns to fall, those preschoolers will thank you for creating that experience.