There are times when something hands-on is appreciated, and you might want some variety in your home Bible studies instead of narrating every day. Here are some suggestions ~
You can make worksheets for your Bible lessons at Discovery Online’s Puzzlemaker. I’ve also seen “Bible” activity books & coloring books at dollar stores and Walmart if you want to keep those on hand as an addition to Bible study lessons.
My page for Ages 0-6 has resources listed for sites with Bible class worksheets.
This website has maps of the Bible lands, plus verses that can be used while studying the maps. I would really like to write some short geography lessons for kids someday, but until then I think a map to color plus reading 1-2 verses would make a good lesson for a little child.
♦ Clay sculptures
My daughter’s Bible class teacher uses Crayola clay in their Bible class. This clay is easy to use, dries well, and can be painted. They’ve sculpted items for a miniature tabernacle, pillars for the story of Samson, and other things.
Why not just incorporate this in daily activity? If you see your kid playing with Play-Dough, ask him if he can sculpt baby Moses in a basket, etc. Or sit down with him and do it yourself and ask him if he can guess what it is. Then ask him if he wants to hear the story. There’s your Bible lesson for the day.
♦ Paper dolls
The Making Friends website has great templates for crafting your own paper dolls with “native” costumes. My best friend used this to make a “Jesus Loves the Little Children” wall hanging in the nursery of our church building.
These are basically file folders that contain smaller books (called “mini-books”) that summarize material from lessons. You can find out more about them at this website.
Some lapbooking ideas for Bible study:
- Do a lapbook of one theme (e.g., wisdom) and make mini-books of the Bible lessons you’ve studied based on that theme (you can find lessons for different subjects under “Find a Study” on the sidebar).
- Do a lapbook of one character and include summaries of events in that person’s life, a timeline, and application studies (e.g., a lapbook on Daniel would include stories from his life, a map of Judah & Babylon, and mini-books about courage, prayer, humility, etc.) You can find lessons about different Bible characters in my Children’s Daily Bible Studies.
- Do a lapbook of the travels of Paul. Include a map, timeline, and mini-books that summarize the epistles he wrote to different churches.
- Do a lapbook of the book of Genesis, with a timeline, map, and mini-books about characters in Genesis and their stories. The book will weigh 17 pounds.
Obviously, you can see how lapbooks can contain a lot of information if you get carried away. We use lapbooks in our homeschool. I get my templates from the Homeschool Share website. My kids love looking over their old lapbooks and seeing what they put together. My daughter’s Bible class teacher has used them with success. I talk more about lapbooks on my narration page.
You can find illustrations and clipart for your lapbooks here.
You can find free for Bible studies at Lapbook Lessons. Do a search for “Bible” and the lapbooks will be listed. Membership is required but free. I hope to have lapbook studies posted here in the future.
♦ Other Crafts
DLTK’s website has Bible crafts for kids. I haven’t used these and have only looked at the one on Joseph, so I can’t speak to how much they properly use the Scripture. But it looks like they can be easily adapted for your purposes.
DLTK also has templates for bingo games. I once made a bingo game for my kids so they could review characters from the Bible. I would give them a brief description of the character and they had to find him or her on the Bingo card. (Someday I will scan and upload it to this site)
I can confidently recommend any of the Bible teaching methods used at Diane Dow’s website. These are tips for Bible classes, but there are many good ideas that a Busy Mama could adapt.
I’m sure there are many other websites for Bible-themed crafts out there. I just haven’t taken time to look.
♦ Finally, a warning
Please be careful with loading activities on your children to go along with Bible studies. For one thing, you’ll burn out quick! It takes a Bible class teacher several hours to prepare a weekly lesson for young children, even with a prepared curriculum. You can’t do that every day for your kids.
There’s also the danger of sacrificing learning for entertainment. Just because a child is active doesn’t mean he’s learning. I wonder how seriously kids will take the Word of God if it’s always presented with a song & dance (ok, I don’t really dance, but you get my point).
Don’t feel like you have to compete with Disney, the Veggie Tales, and anybody else who’d rather teach your children about God. Our children love learning from us and with us ~ we’re their favorite people. Our enthusiasm and interest in the Word really are enough.